Curiosity as Outreach: Flipping Outreach on its Head




outreach, curiosity


Science and Engineering Library staff at the University of Massachusetts Amherst visited several sites on campus in a novel outreach initiative that involved all nine staff members taking “field trips” without agendas. We demonstrate that outreach without the explicit goal of promoting a specific resource or service can be an effective use of time, and can build social capital that shares the goals of traditional outreach. Involving all staff in this outreach effort was a valuable team building experience, exposing the depth of our interests and expertise to each other and to our campus community.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Anthony, K. 2010. Reconnecting the disconnects: Library outreach to faculty as addressed in the literature. College and Undergraduate Libraries 17(1):79–92. DOI: 10.1080/10691310903584817.

Barr-Walker, J. & Nevels, I. 2018. Creating value through outreach in a hospital setting: A case study from Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital Library. Journal of the Medical Library Association 106(4):483–489. DOI: 10.5195/jmla.2018.454.

Deitering, A-M. & Rempel, H.G. 2017. Sparking curiosity: Librarians’ role in encouraging exploration [Internet]. Boise (ID): In the Library with the Lead Pipe; [cited 2019 Sept 12]. Available from:

Eden, B.L. 2016. Marketing and Outreach for the Academic Library. London: Rowman & Littlefield.

Fabian, C.A., D’Aniello, C., Tysick, C. & Morin, M. 2003. Multiple models for library outreach initiatives. The Reference Librarian 39(82):39–55. DOI: 10.1300/J120v39n82_04.

Fisher, K.M. 2000. Curiouser and curiouser: The virtue of wonder. Journal of Education 182(2):34–42. DOI: 10.1177/002205740018200205.

Flash, K., Allen, M., Mack, T. & Clement, K. 2017. STEM bridges: Evolution of an academic library STEM outreach program. Journal of Library Administration 57(8):879–890. DOI: 10.1080/01930826.2017.1374105.

Forbes, C. & Keeran, P. 2017. Reference, instruction, and outreach: Current methods and models. In: Gilman, T., & Lynch, B.P., editors. Academic Librarianship Today. London: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 85-100.

Ford, E. 2009. Outreach is (un)dead [Internet]. Boise (ID): In the Library with the Lead Pipe; [cited 2019 Sept 12]. Available from:

German, E. & LeMire, S. 2018. Sharing the value and impact of outreach: Taking a multifaceted approach to outreach assessment. Journal of Academic Librarianship 44(1):66–74. DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2017.11.001.

Jaguszewski, J.M. & Williams, K. 2013. New roles for new times: Transforming liaison roles in research libraries [Internet]. Washington (DC): Association of College and Research Libraries; [cited 2019 Sept 12]. Available from:

MacKenzie, E. 2014. Academic libraries and outreach to the sciences: Taking a closer look at research groups. Science & Technology Libraries 33(2):165–175. DOI: 10.1080/0194262X.2014.914011.

McCullough, I. 2015. Science outreach through art: A journal article cover gallery. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. 81. DOI: 10.5062/F4CJ8BGG.

Meyer, E.E. 2014. Low-hanging fruit: Leveraging short-term partnerships to advance academic library outreach goals. Collaborative Librarianship 6(3):112–120.

Silver, I.D. & Trott, B. 2014. Outreach activities for librarian liaisons. Reference and User Services Quarterly 54(2):8–14. DOI: 10.5860/rusq.54n2.8.

Sittler, R.L. & Rogerson, T.J. 2018. The Library Outreach Casebook. Chicago (IL): Association of College and Research Libraries.

Smallwood, C. 2010. Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook. Chicago (IL): American Library Association.

Smith, R. 2018. Reconceptualizing outreach: Leveraging librarians’ knowledge and curiosity to enhance collaboration. In: Keeran, P. & Forbes, C., editors. Successful Campus Outreach for Academic Libraries: Building Community through Collaboration. London: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 19–31.

Wagner, A.B. 2015. Personal outreach in a virtual world. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. 81. DOI:




How to Cite

Borrego, P., Graham, A., Lutz, E., Radik, M., & Reznik-Zellen, R. (2020). Curiosity as Outreach: Flipping Outreach on its Head. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (94).



Tips from the Experts
Share |