Paws to Relax returns for finals week!


You may be checking out a million articles on Buzzfeed about adorable dogs this finals week, but what is better for easing stress than getting to play with ACTUAL, REAL LIFE DOGS?

Paws to Relax understands your struggle, and to help you out they will be on Level 1 of Homer Babbidge Library every day during finals week!  The dogs are registered with national organizations dedicated to improving human health through the use of service and therapy.

Here’s the schedule, so you can visit your doggie of choice (or just go see them all):

Monday, December 14th
1:00 – 2:00  Gerri & Suzie (German Shepherd)
2:00 – 3:00  Michelle & Vinny (English Mastiff)
3:00 – 4:00  Nancy & Cooper (German Shepherd)

Tuesday, December 15th
1:00 – 2:00  Paula & Bella (Schnoodle)
2:00 – 3:00  Devon & Rosie (Corgie Mix)
3:00 – 3:30  Laurel & Dooley (Newfoundland)
3:30 – 4:00  Laurel & Iggy (Portuguese Water Dog)

Wednesday, December 16th
1:00 – 2:00  Sandra & Ginger, Nutmeg or Andy (Golden Retrievers)
2:00 – 3:00  michelle & Chase (Golden Retriever)
3:00 – 4:00  Betsy & Barney (Golden Retriever)

Thursday, December 17th
1:00 – 2:00  Michelle & Chase (Golden Retriever)
2:00 – 3:00  Karen & Sebbi (American Cocker Spaniel)
3:00 – 4:00  Laura & Penny (Pomeranian Chihuahua Mix)

Friday, December 18th
1:00 – 2:00  Katherine, Pat & Kammi or Chumai & BamBam (Keeshond & Coton de Tulear)
2:00 – 2:30  Laurel & Dooley (Newfoundland)
2:30 – 3:30  Laurel & Iggy (Portuguese Water Dog)
3:30 – 4:00  Kristine & Duncan (Labrador Retriever)

Library pilots new Mobile Collaboration Stations

collaboration station screen

Sick of doing group studying and projects all huddling around a small laptop screen? Head over to the library!

This week, two “Mobile Collaboration Stations” where introduced to Level 1 of Homer Babbidge.  These stations, paid for through the student technology fee, consist of a large computer touch screen on a rolling stand that can be transported to anywhere on the first floor.

The stations are made to encourage collaboration and convenience.  The touch screen is ideal for using the station like a white board or going through presentations or charts with a group so that everyone can see and participate in whatever is being reviewed.  Student groups can already be seen rolling one over to their own little corner, or testing out the touch screen white board in their spare time.

If they do not want to utilize the touch screen, students can check out a mouse and keyboard from the iDesk on the Plaza Level.

At this point, the stations are only available on the first floor and must be returned to their dock by the Q center after use. However, if people find them useful for academics, library staff will consider adding more to other floors.

Stop by Level 1 and check them out today- they have arrived just in time for all of your group studying sessions for finals!

Subject Specialists- helping you every step of the way

Subject Specialist Kathy Labadorf assists a student with his assignment.

Subject Specialist Kathy Labadorf assists a student with his assignment.

As the semester starts to wind down, that scary due date on your syllabus for that final research paper, presentation or other big assignment gets closer and closer. But don’t worry- you don’t have to go through this alone. The library employs “subject specialists” in over 60 subject areas. They can help you with multiple stages of your paper, from choosing a topic to managing your citations. I sat down with Kathy Labadorf, Reference Librarian and the subject specialist for Women, Gender and Sexuality studies, and she informed me of all that she and her colleagues have to offer students.

  1. Come in as soon as you get the assignment.

Kathy’s most important piece of advice? Don’t wait until the last minute. As soon as you have the specifications for the assignment, come see a librarian. They can conduct what is called a “reference interview” with you where they can ask questions to help you specify or narrow down your topic.

“We want to get you to a place where you have something to start with,” she said.

  1. Find out where to look.

Kathy’s rule of thumb is, “If you can’t find what you’re looking for in 20 minutes, come see us.”

Since the librarians hand pick a lot of the databases and sources that the university offers, they can easily make connections between different information sources to help you find research to support your topic. They know which databases will be good for you and can help you with keywords and search tips. They are constantly searching for new information and are happy to share their findings with you.

According to Kathy, “everything is interesting to a librarian.”

  1. Find out which sources you should trust.

The subject specialists can also help you to evaluate the sources you find. They teach “information literacy” to students to help them learn how to identify things like bias, timeliness and authority that can distinguish a good reference from a bad reference.

Kathy and the other specialists also recognize that you may need some non-scholarly sources as well.

“These can bring in different perspectives. For example, a lot of information and statistics about women come from data from different NGO’s,” she said. The librarians can help you evaluate the legitimacy and value of sources like these.

  1. Make a plan.

Kathy will often do exercises with students like “mind maps” to strategize the organization of research papers.

“We want to make sure you walk out of the door with a plan,” she said. “We want to open the door for you and give you a starting point to continue on.”

  1. Ask from home.

Did you know that you can chat online with a librarian? If you have a quick question, or don’t want to trudge through the snow in the winter to the library, UConn librarians are available to chat on the library website to discuss any questions you may have. If the chat is offline, you can also consult the searchable FAQ, call the library, or send an email.

So if you have a big assignment and don’t know where to start, the subject specialists can help. They are located on the first floor of the library- stop by today!

Congratulation Beth Rumery for your 2015 I Love My Librarian Award

(l to r) Nancy Dryden, Undergraduate Education Services Librarian, Stamford Library; Beth Rumery;  and Sue Shontell, Executive Director, New London Housing Authority

(l to r) Nancy Dryden, Undergraduate Education Services Librarian, Stamford Library; Beth Rumery; and Sue Shontell, Executive Director, New London Housing Authority

Our own Beth Rumery, library director for the Avery Point Campus Library, received the I Love My Librarian Award for her outstanding public service to the community and ongoing commitment to transforming lives through education and lifelong learning. Rumery was one of only 10 librarians within the United States recognized this year for this esteemed honor.

Beth was nominated by Sue Shontell, the Executive Director of the New London Housing Authority for her outreach efforts both to students and faculty at UConn and the community at large. With physical changes to make the library more inviting and a safe location for students to come and discuss issues with sexual orientation, depression and other difficult personal issues, she has created a sense of place within the library. She has also been an active member of the greater Groton community, reaching out to the low income elderly and disabled housing authority and their families. According to the nomination, her work has “opened university speakers to staff and families as a way to reach them and show that they too can go to school, not be intimidated by campuses and connect with their lives.”

As part of the award process, library users nationwide are invited to nominate their favorite librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. This year more than 1,300 library patrons submitted detailed stories showing how their librarian had an impact on their communities and lives by connecting people with the information access and critical resources they need to succeed in today’s digital age.

Beth received her award, which includes a $5,000 prize, last week at a ceremony in New York City. The event was hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York, which generously sponsors the award along with The New York Public Library and The New York Times. For more information and a copy of the nomination form, please see ALA’s website at

About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.

About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. The ALA administers the I Love My Librarian Award through the ALA’s Public Awareness Office which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.


Husky statue exhibit takes over the library

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 2.37.07 PMHave you ever seen a husky wearing a firefighter costume? How about running shoes? What about painted with binary code?

Stop by Homer Babbidge Library and you just might. Last week, it debuted its winter exhibit: a collection of husky dog statues painted by various organizations and individuals on campus.

The dogs give a visual to the diversity of student organizations here on campus and have allowed some extremely talented individuals to showcase their art. Viewers will be able to vote for their favorite husky with slips located next to the exhibit. Both the artists and those casting ballots have a chance to win gift cards to the Adventure Park at Storrs or Insomnia cookies.

Viewers can check out the creative designs, including the Nursing School Class of 2017’s “Jonathan Goodnurse,” UCMB’s “Marching Husky,” and even “Jonathan the RA” by the Residence Hall Association.

The mind behind the creative project was Agata Harabasz, a UConn senior and president of the Bean Team, a group that works with the Benton Museum of Art to promote the arts on campus through campus projects, museum trips and art demonstrations.


Harabasz stands by the Husky statues. (Photo credit: Suzanne Zack)

She got the idea from the “CowParade,” where local artists and businesses paint cow statues that are displayed around town.   The event occurred in West Hartford in 2007 and has been held in cities around the world. Since UConn already had larger painted dogs in the Co-Op and Student Union, she decided it would be a great idea to bring back the activity as a competition.

In September, student organizations submitted designs for their dog, which were then voted on by the Bean Team. The winning groups were given the statues to paint, which were bought from Cowpainters, a company based in Chicago, and funded by USG.

The event was a great opportunity for organizations to bond while advertising themselves on campus.

“As a club, we decided that participating in this contest would allow for team camaraderie and increase the scope of awareness in the UConn community of Club Track and Field,” said Christina Cotte, who designed and painted the group’s statue along with two other students, Harry Walton and Adam Gagnon.

Club Track and Field's painted husky statue.

Club Track and Field’s painted husky statue, on the left.

Chris Browne designed and painted the statue for WHUS, and was happy to be able to demonstrate his passion for the organization.

“I wanted to represent WHUS because of how much fun being a member of the radio station is,” he said. “I’ve been a DJ with the station since my sophomore year and its just full of really cool people and a lot of different opportunities for folk to express themselves.”

Harabasz also got in on the action- she painted the husky representing the Benton, the Beanery and the Bean Team.

Besides that, her favorite submission is the “Four Seasons” husky, painted by Patty Guardiani, a member of the library staff.

“My inspiration for my design comes from my drive into work everyday and enjoying the beautiful grounds at UConn,” said Guardiani about her design.   Guardiani is an art lover with two dogs, so she couldn’t resist getting involved in a competition that combined the two.


Guardini shared this photo of her two dogs “wondering who the new dog in town is” before she painted it. (Photo credit: Patty Guardini)

Although the future of the dogs after the exhibit is not set in stone, the Bean Team and USG think it would be best if they were made part of the campus in some way.

“We’re going to ask each member or club which location on campus is favorable to them and try and get it in there,” said Harabasz.

Although she is a biology and psychology major, she joined the Bean Team to stay involved in the art community.

“I just wanted to share art with different people instead of just keeping it to myself,” she said.

Harabasz was happy to bring art, something she is very passionate about, to the broader campus community.

“Sometimes students neglect the power that art can have,” she said. “It can actually help with stress relief, and can be a way to express your creativity in a healthy way.”

Guardiani would agree.

“I can get lost for hours with my art projects and it is when I am my happiest,” she said.

Harabasz hopes that this exhibit will make students more aware of the Benton, what she calls a “cultural hub” where you can always come back and see something new.

The exhibition will be on display until February 19th– and this week will be the last week you can vote for your favorite with slips located near the display cases (Both the artists and those who vote have a chance to win prizes!) Make sure you don’t miss your chance to see it- and perhaps be inspired to check out the Benton Museum’s current exhibits or get involved in upcoming events!

Meet Sarah, the library’s student blogger

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 2.37.07 PM

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah, a student blogger for the library. I am a senior studying communication and journalism. Like many of you, I have spent countless nights holed up in Homer Babbidge Library, subsisting solely on snacks and coffee from Bookworms Café. However, the library is way more than just a study spot, and I think many students don’t realize everything the library has to offer.

Library staff members work to put together many programs that can help you succeed in your academics and improve your experience on campus. There are resources that can help you in every step of the academic process. From research specialists dedicated to helping you find sources in your subject area, to the diverse exhibits adorning different areas of the building, a lot of thought goes into every aspect of good ol’ Homer.

This blog serves to let UConn students know about all the technology, programs, events and assistance available to them at the library. Check out my “Hints from Homer” posts on this site to see what you may have missed!

Enjoy the last couple of weeks before finals!