The Libraries organized two successful Dr Dog sessions through a local NGO during the December 2016 and May 2017 Assessment periods. After the sessions, a suggestion was made to arrange a HKU Libraries staff member’s dog, Jasper, as a therapy dog. During the programme’s initial discussions, Law Librarian, Irene Shieh, suggested we take the programme one step further and create a Resident Therapy Dog programme.
It is well documented that therapy dogs can contribute to calmness and overall emotional well-being. Therapy dog programmes are being offered in many universities around the world and the Libraries hopes that this programme will benefit our students and colleagues in encouraging less stress and anxiety during stressful periods of the semester.
The Resident Therapy Dog programme planning was initiated soon after and Jasper underwent therapy dog training and testing. Upon receiving approval for the programme from the Libraries senior management and Estates Office, and the full support of HKU management, the programme was launched.
The PROGRAMME SUMMARY below will provide detailed information on the sessions, the interaction and the feedback. Overall the pilot programme was very well received with positive feedback from all participants. Though there are lessons learned based on suggestions and observations, the Libraries will carry on to tweak and adjust the programme to benefit HKU students, its staff, and of course Jasper.
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