Our 2005 eventwas in a room madecozy with sofas,throws, and plants.Our budget wassmall. We providedwater, fruit, games,and...
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Little event that could the amazing success of stress busters

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In 2005 McConnell Library experimented with holding its first stress buster event as an outreach to students before final examinations, a bold or foolhardy project considering a lack of space and funds. From its roots as a small, sparsely-funded event crammed into one small room, the stress buster has grown and become a wildly popular regular event during fall and spring semesters. Positive feedback has contributed towards stable funding and partnerships with student groups, faculty, therapists, and the local public library. McConnell Library’s success in transforming a small cozy one-room stress buster to an event that includes massages and therapy dogs is one that can be replicated in any library. We will describe the transformation of the McConnell Library stress buster and inspire you to hold or expand your own stress buster events.

Presenters: Kay Johnson & Beth Johnson, Radford University

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Little event that could the amazing success of stress busters

  1. 1. Our 2005 eventwas in a room madecozy with sofas,throws, and plants.Our budget wassmall. We providedwater, fruit, games,and massage.The Little Event That CouldThe Amazing Success of Stress Busters at McConnell LibraryBeth Johnson and Kay JohnsonWhat exactly is a Stress Buster? It’s a way to help students relax and prepare for examsat the end of the semester. At McConnell Library, it’s ranged from a small room filledwith pillows and healthy snacks to an extravaganza of massage, therapydogs, crafts, music, and more. The university’s Foundation provides most of the funding;we also partner with campus and community groups. Stress Busters benefit students inmany ways – including increasing library awareness. Plus, they’re a lot of fun!Therapy dogs were addedto the mix in 2012. Studentsflock to the library as soonas we post the dogs’ arrivalon our Facebook page. Theonly problem? Students arereally disappointed if theymiss the dogs’ visits.Starting to serve catered fruittrays, cheese trays, and hot teamade us very popular. Wehave learned that cheesemakes for happy students.Want to try your own eventbut aren’t sure how to fundit? Find a space, somecomfy furnishings, one ortwo activities, and somevolunteers. “Build a stress-free oasis and they willcome.” Snacks, crafts,music, and games are nicebut not necessary.Over time, we have partneredmore and more with studentgroups and individuals. Thesegroups often provide prizes fordrawings. We’ve also featuredlive music performed bystudents and staff.Photos by Whitescarver Photography, LLC,Christiansburg, VAA few members of theStress Buster CommitteeDuring thenext fewsemesters, weaddedhypnotherapyand crafts.Offeringsvaried as didthe budget.A scene from theDecember 2012 eventRU students whoreceived publiclibrary cards at theStress BusterOverheard comment from student in April 2013:“The Stress Buster has sure come a long way.”

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