Journal of Academic Librarianship
Whether or not a librarian appears approachable in public service environments is critical to providing excellent service, conveying a welcoming space, and encouraging library users to engage with one of the key intellectual venues on our campuses. This study used an image-rating method to assess the influence of affect and attire on patron impressions of librarian approachability. Findings suggest that librarian behaviors do matter, with specific treatments resulting in increased or decreased perceptions of approachability. These findings not only support common sense assessments that an attentive and welcoming environment is essential to encouraging patrons to engage with librarians; they also provide information on specific behaviors that affect approachability, allowing librarians to distinguish between a range of presentation styles that can be readily employed in public service.
Bonnet, Jennifer and McAlexander, Ben, "First Impressions and the Reference Encounter: The Influence of Affect and Clothing on Librarian Approachability" (2013). Library Staff Publications. 16.
post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing with all author corrections and edits)