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Campus Life

Behind the Scenes at Mugar Memorial Library

A 24/7 hub for students during study days

Back by popular demand—the video, not the finals. This article originally ran in May 2017.

It’s that time again. Twice a year Mugar Memorial Library is transformed into BU’s ground zero. From this semester’s first study day, last Thursday, to the last day of finals, Friday, May 12—library staff expect to see about 4,000 visitors a day.

When BU Today was shooting video over four days last week, we found plenty of students studying, as well as a few procrastinators cadging breaks as they watched videos on their phones and exchanged emails or snapchat or instagram with friends.

And then there are the students who literally move in for the duration. One student reports seeing someone last year who didn’t leave for three days.

The Mugar staff, which includes some 200 student-employees, puts out candy and Post-its with words of encouragement. And during the end-of-semester frenzy, the library provides van service from midnight to 6 a.m. for any student living on campus who needs a ride home.

There are other stress-busters, too: visits from Rhett the Terrier and from real (What! Rhett isn’t real?) four-legged creatures, among them Ana, a two-year old Great Pyrenees therapy dog, the undisputed star attraction while we were filming. The Jamaica Plain resident drew a crowd of adoring fans during her two visits to Mugar last week.

Evening circulation supervisor Ann Marie Shafer (COM’08), who schedules the therapy dog visits, says students “leave reenergized and less stressed” after 15 minutes with Ana or one of the other dogs. Library staff members have done informal studies showing that most students do not feel as stressed after a few minutes of quality time with the dogs.

Bill Politis can be reached at bpolitis@bu.edu.


5 Comments on Behind the Scenes at Mugar Memorial Library

  • Confidence Achilike on 05.08.2017 at 7:15 am

    AWWWWW….I’m so jealous. Why don’t we get this (Rhet and therapy dogs)at the medical campus library? We are BU too… Haha. Its kind of easy to feel isolated over here and watch fun things happen on the Charles River campus.We need the stress relief too.

    • Studyblues on 05.07.2018 at 7:29 am

      I totally agree! Even during finals the library closes at 945 on Friday and Saturday. No candy, dogs, or kind notes at the Med campus.

  • Jose Artigas on 05.09.2017 at 5:45 pm

    Mugar Library’s literally going to the dogs — and that’s a good thing!

  • Susanne Jordan on 05.09.2017 at 7:12 pm

    Kudos to the adult staff as well that might be working some unusual hours! Nice video; it encouraged me! Parent 2020

  • Sergio on 07.18.2017 at 12:17 pm

    Congratulations, really good article and video

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