Office Hours as a Tool to Increase Availability

Lately I've been talking to a lot of staff about various library issues, but especially communications, and I've come to the conclusion that many/most people simply don't want to email or blog or IM in order to communicate — they want to talk. But they don't talk because they're afraid to "bother" me. I repeatedly hear things like, "I didn't want to interrupt your work", or, "I know you're so busy with IT stuff so I didn't call/stop by".

I've been trying to come up with another way to foster this important communication and I've been thinking about how we used to handle it in academia — office hours. So, I'm wondering if any of you out there have tried setting up regular weekly office hours in an effort to improve your approachability and accessibility? Do you just toss open the door or do you ask people to schedule time so you can dedicate a block of minutes to each person?

When I return from CIL2008 I think I'll give this idea a try and see what happens.

1 thought on “Office Hours as a Tool to Increase Availability

  1. Iris

    I don’t have set hours that are the same each week, but I borrowed the “I’m available for YOU during these times” concept from the faculty on campus to develop an http://people.carleton.edu/~ijastram/schedule.htm“ rel=”nofollow”>availability calendar. It’s been a very successful option for me and my students so far.

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