Furry Friends, Free Coffee for Stressed-out Students Studying for Finals


Students under the stress of passing finals will have a furry friend to turn to for a moment of relaxation said Hardin-Simmons University librarian Elizabeth Worley.

“Petting an animal reduces stress and lowers heart rate,” said Worley, who has researched therapy dogs. As a result of her research and the success of therapy dogs in the HSU Richardson Library last year, Worley invited the Hendrick Pet Enhanced Therapy Service back to campus May 4 – 6, 2014.

“I have a friend who has a therapy dog she takes to schools. I have also heard of other academic libraries inviting therapy dogs. Looking for a program to have on campus during finals week, Gary Stephenson, in educational technologies, told me about the program at Hendrick Medical Center. We invited therapy dogs last year and the students loved petting them.”

The dogs are well trained and go through a rigorous certification process to qualify them to be a part of the program, said Worley.

“Dog owners serve as volunteers and spend their time to bring the dogs to the library. We don’t know how many will be at the library each time, but therapy dogs come in all different sizes, so there is sure to be a perfect dog a student will enjoy petting.” Worley added that the dogs will only be in the Ford Lounge area as the library wants to be sensitive to anyone with allergies. “Students already in the library to study can choose to come downstairs and love on a dog if they want,” she said.

The library also serves students by keeping big pots of free coffee brewing from Sunday all the way through Thursday, the last day of finals, said Worley.

“We have extended hours with each of the floors staffed with personnel to help our students through a very academically rigorous time. We are full-service plus; students can check out books, the labs are open, and students can take care of any printing needs. We are available until 1 a.m., through Tuesday and until midnight Wednesday,” she said.

Event Hours:

  • Pet therapy hours will be Sunday, May 4, 2014, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Monday and Tuesday, May 5 - 6, 7– 9 p.m. 
  • Library extended hours are Saturday, May 3, 1 – 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 4, 1 p.m. – 1 a.m.; Monday and Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. -1 a.m.


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