Libraries announce 24-hour animal loan program

If you visit King Library today, you might notice some new, unusual-looking patrons.

Through a new 24-hour therapy animal loan program called "Pause for Paws", the Libraries seeks to help students reduce stress, particularly during the weeks leading up to final exams. The initiative adds to an already impressive array of free resources available for check out at the circulation desk.

"We provide a wide variety of items at circulation, from simple things like adapters and phone chargers to laptops, digital cameras, and tripods," said library technician and "Pause for Paws" program development lead April Jester. "With the animals, though, we're breaking new ground in offering a resource that has the ability to really improve the well-being of students." Research suggests animal companionship may provide psychological and physical benefits, and students missing their family pets may find comfort in an animal loan.

The libraries are taking a broad approach with "Pause for Paws", offering not only dogs and cats but also honey badgers, wombats, hawks, red pandas and more, creating additional opportunities for yet-unknown benefits.

Students interested in checking out a 24-hour animal loan should be aware they are responsible for cleaning up after their animal, and that today is April Fool's Day.