The planning of events at Parks Library during prep and finals weeks hasn't changed, but there is a different feeling after the pandemic caused modifications the past three semesters.
Parks will be open 24/7 Sunday through Wednesday Dec. 12-15. It is a practice that began during the fall semester of 2016, but was interrupted spring 2020 through spring 2021 because of the pandemic.
"It is a certain sense of excitement and normalcy," library communications specialist Monica Gillen said. "I am happy we can offer these things to the students again."
Parks is open during prep week Dec. 6-10 from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. each day, with plenty of activities to help students relax. Barks@Parks, which began in 2014, will feature many four-legged friends in the upper rotunda from noon to 3 p.m. each day. It gives students a break from final exam preparation by petting and cuddling dogs.
"It is another cause for celebration to be able to bring the dogs back in and offer that time for the students," Gillen said. "People get excited about it and post to social media about it."
Other activities available to encourage student well-being include coloring pages and books, puzzles and games. The mindfulness room is available during library hours, and a massage chair will be offered from noon to 3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of prep week.
Free fresh fruit and coffee -- provided in partnership with the dean of students office -- will be available during late-night hours.
Bookends Cafe will be open its usual hours during prep and finals week, until 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It opens at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends.
Gillen said the library extends services during this time to help students achieve at their highest level, but reminds them to maintain well-being by leaving when tired to sleep and get proper nutrition.
Over the past couple of years, Parks has renovated several areas in an effort to offer more reliable internet access, USB ports and power outlets. The staff has worked to provide many different kinds of comfortable seating and an array of study spaces for groups and individuals for the 10,000 people who use the library each day, Gillen said.
"The number of students increases during prep and finals weeks, so it gives us a chance to see all of those resources being used," She said. "We want it to be welcoming and provide something for everybody."