Session Description

Like its college, the Library has a long history of outreach to its community. This poster describes the librarians’ many failures and few successes with outreach to faculty through workshops. Primary takeaways include: reasons why they’ve been able to persist in their efforts despite their failures, and best and worst practices for implementing faculty workshops.

Type of Library

College Library


faculty outreach, workshops, campus partnerships, discussion series, one-shots


May 4th, 2:30 PM May 4th, 3:15 PM

Spectacular Failures and Tenuous Successes in Faculty Outreach: A Story of Persistence

Floor 2

The College has a long history of engagement and outreach with its community. The Library supports the college’s mission of “engagement within local, national, and global communities” in various ways. For example, librarians work with local high schools to provide access to resources and information literacy instruction, as well as engage immigrant, refugee, and underserved high school students in the college experience to help them envision a pathway to college. On campus, the library’s outreach efforts extend to faculty, staff, and students through collaborations that support teaching and learning programming and resources. Despite all of its successes, the library has specifically struggled with its outreach efforts to faculty through workshops held each semester.

Year after year, faculty express interest in library workshops, perhaps even register for them, and then fail to attend. Over time, the librarians have experimented with modifying the workshops’ content, format, date, time of day, and incentives of food and prizes, with minimal success. And yet, with full support of their director they persist, continuing to try new and innovative ideas each semester in the never ending search for the perfect recipe that yields attendance.

This poster describes these efforts and programs, the librarians’ many failures and few successes, and what they’ve learned along the way. Included are roadblocks they’ve overcome and lessons learned that have turned into best practices for implementing faculty workshops. Included is a case study of a day-long workshop inspired by another college library’s successful implementation, but which failed miserably when implemented at the Library. Primary takeaways include: 1) reasons why they’ve been able to persist in their efforts, and 2) best and worst practices.


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