Animals in the LIbrary
NIC Library & Learning Commons patrons should know that they may encounter animals in our library space. Even though we recognize that some people may feel uncomfortable around animals (i.e., due to allergies, due to fears, due to diverse cultural understandings), these animals have just as much right to be in the library as any student, staff, or faculty member.
These animals are allowed in library space because they perform necessary jobs. Not only do they keep people safe, but they also improve the quality of life of individuals. For instance, guide dogs assist visually impaired people to move freely and safely around campus. Seizure alert dogs sense epileptic seizures up to 45 minutes before they occur. Diabetic alert dogs smell dangerous changes in someone’s blood sugar levels.
Service Animal: Guide and service animals (primarily dogs) help people avoid hazards or perform tasks. These animals are licensed to perform their service. They can be identified by a vest.
Therapy Animal: Animals (primarily dogs) that are certified by organizations (i.e., St. John’s Ambulance) that are allowed to visit NIC buildings during college-approved, scheduled therapeutic and/or stress release events. They can be identified by a vest.
Emotional Support Animal: Emotional support animals are not licensed service animals. They are not allowed in NIC buildings unless there is an approved accommodation from the Department of Accessible Learning Services (DALS) for students or Human Resources for employees. They can be identified by an NIC badge.
If you see a service animal or an emotional support animal in our library space, please do not approach it or try to interact with it. These animals are working and need to be focused on their task. A well-meaning scratch behind the ears or a friendly “Who’s a good dog?!?” from a stranger can be enough to break that focus and put both the dog and the person that they help at risk.
We welcome you to engage with therapy animals that you see in the library during college-approved, scheduled events such as Thrive Week or Late Night Against Procrastination. These animals have been invited to the college for the purpose of bringing joy and relieving students, staff, and faculty of stress. These pups will certainly be grateful for your attention!
For more information about service animals and legislation in British Columbia, visit Government of B.C. | Guide Dog and Service Dog Certification.
For more information about animals at NIC campuses, we invite you to view college policy and procedures.