Students met therapy puppies to shake off the winter blues and relieve the stresses of university work last week.
The event was part of the library’s Winter Checkup event.
On Wednesday 6 December, the national charity Pets As Therapy (PAT) brought four dogs for students to pet and play with.
The event included other relaxing activities, such as puzzles and drawing. Also present were academic librarians and support staff to answer questions about searching, essays, and more.
Carole Adam, a PAT volunteer coordinator and dog assessor from Norfolk, said she hoped those who came to the event were able to “de-stress and enjoy spending time with some very nice dogs.”
She explained: “Many young people have pets and home and don’t get to see them [at University], and research indicates the act of stroking a dog reduces stress.”
Pets As Therapy say that their pets “bring joy, comfort and companionship to may individuals who appreciate being able to touch and stroke a friendly animal”.
The organisation currently doesn’t receive any government funding, and since 1983 has relied on the work of their volunteers, who often are the owners of the dogs.
Mrs. Adam adds: “The bedrock of our work is caring for the elderly, but in Norfolk we’re blessed to work with young people at the hospital, prisons in Norfolk, schools, UEASU, and the Library.
“We love coming to UEA because we’re respected and looked after, and the dogs are treasured which makes it all so worthwhile.”
The event last Wednesday was organised by Academic Librarian Matthew Smith.
He told Concrete he was pleased with the student turnout, and that he would love to put the event on again.
Mr. Smith added: “We’re trying to change the picture of the library a bit, we want to put out a friendly face and show we’re welcoming.
“The library can seem a cold place, but we’re trying to warm it up. There can be over 50 staff in the library at a time, it’s more than just a place to work.
“The library has seven staff members whose role is to offer research skills support and manage resources for specific subject areas taught at UEA.”
Four dogs came to the event: Inca, Minty, Buddy, and Lily. All PAT dogs have to pass temperament assessments to demonstrate they are suitable to attend visits like this.
Mrs. Adam said PAT are currently short of volunteers, and urged anyone with suitable dogs or cats to get in touch.
PAT can also be supported through donations made on their website