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De-Stress with Doggos

July 20, 2018
College Students
Popular Topics
Coloring, Crafts & Hands-on
Health and Wellness
Advance Planning

My goal for this program was to create a safe, relaxing space for "new adults" (18-30+) to use the library. I was hoping to attract college students from the nearby college and other millennial adults who may not utilize the library. I began planning approximately six months in advance. I coordinated with one of our Board of Trustee members, who has two registered therapy dogs, to pick a date that was right before finals week.


To promote this program I utilized meme or internet language, especially language often associated with dogs on the internet, such as doggo, pupper, bork bork and heck. These were used on our fliers and on our Facebook event.

We paid to boost our Facebook event ($7) and feel that it was really worth it as many of our attendees told us they saw the event on Facebook. Boosting a post is useful because you can very specifically target your audience by age, location and interests.

We also posted fliers at local college campuses. If you choose to advertise at college campuses, be sure to have your fliers stamped by the Office of Student Life or the equivalent prior to hanging them. 

Budget Details

The cost for this program was minimal. We purchased pizza as the program was around dinner time and geared toward college students (cost: $50). We also paid to boost our Facebook post ($7). The crafts were items we had on hand, and the board games were from our collection.

The therapy dogs we hosted were registered through Therapy Dogs International. If you find dogs registered through this organization there should be no cost to having them come to your library.

Day-of-event Activity

I set up a table each for crafting, gaming and food, and left open spaces on opposite ends of the room for the therapy dogs. People could circulate around to which activity they preferred and take breaks to pet the dogs in between.

For the craft, we had a table of Perler/melty beads and different patterns that people could make. Our library page assisted with set up, but I was the only staff member present at the program.

Program Execution

This program was very well received. We had about 30 people in attendance, all of whom were in the 18-35 range except for two women in their 40s. Many people who came were older college students (returning to school or studying for a graduate degree), and they said it was the perfect way to relax before finals.

Constructive feedback I received was to have more dogs in the future (we had three in total).

I feel that my goals of hosting a relaxing therapy dog session for 18-30+ adults was successful, and we see some of the patrons who attended the program using the library today! We plan to continue our De-Stress with Doggos program, but with different themes throughout the year. For example: a spa/beauty night with face masks and a DIY bath bomb; a pet shelter/adoption day where the craft is making pet toys for the shelter and accepting donations, etc. 


My advice would be to try something new and be relaxed. I found that the lack of structure worked really well for this program. I was very much hands-off, except if someone came alone and needed a friend, then I would step in and help make connections by starting a board game or something similar.

I would also try advertising some place you have never gone before (bar, colleges, coffee shops, yoga studios, wellness centers, etc.) to try to reach a new audience.

Short Title
De-Stress with Doggos

De-Stress with Doggos is based on the idea that adults would benefit just as much, if not more, from therapy dog sessions as children do. This event included pizza, crafts and games, as well as therapy dogs.

I presented this program at the Programming Librarian Interest Group (PLIG) Program Speed Dating session at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. View my handout from that session.

Job Functions
Resources and Program Starters
Program Date
Wed, 2018-05-02

Ogden Farmers' Library attracted 20- and 30-somethings with a low-key event with therapy dogs.

Programming Librarian Forum