At an institution with a challenging quarter system where students cope with an intense schedule, including taking final exams four times a year, this poster seeks to illustrate how a small library with limited resources can build a student wellness and finals support program.
At the end of each term the library’s finals support program provides access to an array of activities that seek to encourage students to take a few minutes to rest while in the library. The activities range from decorating cookies to visits from certified therapy dogs. To support the program, the library collaborates with various student organizations and campus offices to provide a range of additional services, such as study tips and free coffee.
The Library also identified a need on campus for students to have space to engage in activities such as meditation, stimming, and prayer. Working with the campus Disability Services office, the Student Development and Counseling Center, and the library’s student advisory board, a quiet and semi-private library space was transformed into a reflection area to provide students with an alternative space to meet their needs for reflection and sensory relief. The library also provides a biweekly fifteen-minute mindfulness meditation class for the entire WPI community which focuses on meditation best practices.
The library wellness programs are coordinated by an ad-hoc three-person library committee headed by the Access Services and Outreach Librarian. The committee plans new finals support activities each term, monitors and updates the refection area, and promotes the mindfulness class. Assessment is conducted primarily through participation counts, surveys, and a suggestion box. In tracking attendance, the committee has determined that the finals support activities are consistently the library’s most popular form of programming. Surveys and suggestions resulted in updates to the reflection area and the addition of a second mindfulness class.
Type of Library
finals support, wellness, therapy dogs, cross-campus collaboration, student organizations, mindfulness, programming
Take a Paws & Breath: Library Programming that Supports Student Wellness