Library establishes “De-Stress Island” for finals week
From left to right, seniors Mary Akseniw, Katelyn Morgan, Jasmine Balderas, and Ethan Marns enjoy a game of Uno in the library as part of the De-Stress Island event. The library will be offering activities though out finals week to help students take a break and relax. | Tomber Su/THE CHIMES
The Biola library’s middle level has transformed into “De-Stress Island” for May 14-16 and 19-21 from 2-5 p.m. Each afternoon will feature board games, origami or coloring to encourage students to utilize the creative side of their minds during the stressful finals week.
The idea for implementing this pilot initiative came from observing other university libraries and taking notice of the change that occurs in students around finals week, said Stacie Schmidt, reference and instruction librarian.
“Something that I was thinking of when I was planning this was trying to get something that will get you away from your computer screen and engaged with different parts of your mind that you don’t use when you’re studying or writing a paper,” Schmidt said.
In addition to a coloring activity, planned for Monday, May 19, Therapy Dogs Inc. will be providing two therapy dogs to engage with students. Although only hospitals typically use therapy dogs, there has been a recent trend of libraries bringing in animals, Schmidt said.
“It’s the same goal as going to a hospital. It’s to brighten the spirits of the people who interact with the dog,” Schmidt said.
Striving for a lively library
The amount of student involvement during the week of featured activities will determine if De-Stress Island will become an annual event, said Greg Geary, dean of the library.
Greg Geary, the recently hired library dean, has begun a process of transforming the library’s role on campus. When Geary first stepped into his role at Biola’s library, he shared that his vision looks past the traditional provisions of a library and considers other factors in student needs, including longer hours, accessible food and a cheerful environment.
“We want to have an environment that is enriching in its all its aspects…,” Geary said.
De-Stress Island, in its pilot form, is among the library’s first steps in heading toward that new direction, Schmidt said.
“There is that opportunity of adding life back into the library, and I think that this is seizing that opportunity,” Schmidt said.
A potential distraction
Some students are unsure of how effective the creative activities will be to assist them through finals because they will be unable to focus.
“It’ll be more of a distraction than a stress reliever,” said Kelsey Post, freshman kinesiology major.
If De-Stress Island is not effective for students, the library staff is willing to cater the event to student needs, Geary said.
“We will certainly be receptive if students find them distracting, and then we can modify them or not do them,” Geary said.