Avoiding the cookie-cutter approach in library outreach

A recent paper by Catherine Essinger and Irene Ke updates a  2007 report regarding the efficacy of outreach activity amongst Liaison Librarians at the University of Houston.

The bottom line:  "[F]aculty outreach is similar to other types of relationship building: it requires time to establish trust, respect and appreciation on both sides." 

To continue:  

While librarians adopted many outreach methods, the most effective one appears to be person-to-person contact. In their survey responses, librarians stressed the importance of appearing available and repeatedly reminding the department faculty and administrators of their presence. Successful methods adopted by UH librarians include attending department events and lectures, offering personalized orientation to new faculty members, participating in depart-mental orientations, and hosting office hours in the academic departments’ facilities.

High turnover is a problem in academics, and when a liaison has multiple counterparts over a few years, user engagement can suffer.