March 22, 2011

Dogs with a call number

Yale Law School is one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. And now they're getting even better: Students can check out Monty, a therapy dog, for a 30-min stress-relieving cuddle session.
Law School, renowned for competitiveness and its Supreme Court justices, is embarking on a pilot program next week in which students can check out a “therapy dog” named Monty along with the library’s collection of more than one million books. While the law school is saying little so far about its dog-lending program, it has distributed a memo to students with the basics: that Monty will be available at the circulation desk to stressed-out students for 30 minutes at a time beginning Monday, for a three-day trial run. “It is well documented that visits from therapy dogs have resulted in increased happiness, calmness and overall emotional well-being,” Blair Kauffman, the law librarian, wrote in an e-mail to students.
I think it's safe to bet that this is going to be a successful program, even if some faculty  members are skeptical:
“I’m surprised to hear of it,” said John Witt, a professor who was awarded a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship last year for a project on the laws of war through American history. “I’ve always found library books to be therapeutic. But maybe that’s just me.”
Perhaps he should talk to students in Wisconsin, who had visits from therapy dogs during exam week two years ago

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