During the Fall 2013 semester, a program was implemented that brings stress buster dogs – like therapy dogs – into the Library for the purpose of giving students a break from the pressure of studying for looming exams. The Library asked Volunteer Services if therapy dogs working on campus that were already cleared could be made available for students in the Library. These certified dogs are part of SPOT (Special Pets Offering Therapy) Teams that visit patients. Each team consists of a dog and its owner.

Studies have shown that contact with animals relieves anxiety, lowers blood pressure, combats depression, etc. A schedule of finals and major unit tests was provided to the Library by the different Colleges with the goal of providing SPOT Teams for
one hour the day before exams. The positive response from the students to seeing and interacting with the SPOT Teams has deemed the program a success. Students were encouraged to fill out a comment slip after their visits and every remark was complimentary of the program and expressed the wish that it continue. Dogs will again be in the Library during the Spring 2014 semester and the semesters following as long as the students want them and there are SPOT Teams available.

Students enjoying the therapy dog in the UAMS library.
Students relaxing with the therapy dog in the UAMS library.