Research, Education & Outreach Librarian University of Maryland, Baltimore Baltimore, Maryland
Objective: To determine which of three office hour models was most effective in increasing librarian visibility in and engagement with a school of pharmacy.
Setting/Population: One librarian is the liaison to a school of pharmacy (SOP) that includes approximately 90 full-time faculty, 300 staff, 800 affiliate and preceptor faculty, and 900 students. The library is across campus from the buildings where most SOP personnel are located.
Methods: The librarian held weekly office hours in the main SOP building. The “lobby” model involved two hours per week at a table in the lobby, the “hybrid” model increased the lobby time to four hours and added additional hours in an office, and the “office” model removed lobby hours and increased the office time to a full day (7.5 hours). The librarian tracked all interactions and classified them in the following categories: brief chat, brief hello, brief question, and in-depth question. Descriptive statistics were calculated to compare the number of interactions by category and population.
Results: Results indicate that the lobby model had the most interactions (71), followed by the office model (39), with the hybrid model having the least (29). The office (9) and hybrid (8) models had more in-depth questions than the lobby model (3), but the lobby model had a higher number of brief questions (25) than the office (13) or hybrid (9) models. The number of student interactions differed most drastically, with the lobby model having far more (28) than the hybrid (6) or office (3) models.
Conclusions: Based on these results, holding office hours in the building lobby is most effective for increasing librarian visibility in the SOP. However, people appear to be more comfortable asking in-depth questions in the office setting. There are advantages and disadvantages to each model depending on the goal of the office hours – visibility versus in-depth engagement and support.