Library puzzles provide welcome respite


Library staff put out puzzles to help students take study breaks. (DVC Inquirer/Isaac Norman)

Isaac Norman, staff member

Students stressed over finals last semester found welcome relief from two words attached to a table in the library: study break.

On the table were an assortment of 1000-piece puzzles and bookmarks with intricate patterns to be colored in, along with a cup full of colored pencils.

Senior library assistant Alicia Huntley wrote via email that one of the librarians read about another library putting out legos for students who wanted to take a break.

A Google search of library study breaks reveals the practice is becoming common throughout college libraries across the country, with libraries offering everything from refreshments to therapy dogs.

Working without a budget, DVC staff received permission from a bookmark company to download some designs for free and staff and student workers donated their own puzzles and colored pencils.

However it took a little time for students to acclimate to the new table.

Student assistant Harvey Chen explained that at first people just walked by and asked, ‘what’s this?’ because they thought it was another art exhibit.

Staff solved the problem by putting a sign out encouraging students to take a break.

The results have been clear.

“It’s a good way to free your thoughts and get away from school when you have been here for a good portion of the day. The puzzles are engaging but relaxing,” said biology major Sarah Frantz.

Nicholas Ruiz, who is also a biology major, echoed Frantz’s sentiment, saying, “It’s a different type of mental exercise. Instead of watching a video or listening to music it works the brain but in a different way.”

According to Chen, the most popular puzzle students have worked on to date featured a design with three dogs on it. He estimates students put it together three times.

Most recently the study break table has featured puzzles showcasing Ford Mustang cars through the years and another with R2-D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars.

So if you love to puzzle or need a break from the daily grind come to the library, where a timeless but enervating activity awaits you.

And remember, donations are always welcome.