Kathy Crowe, Associate Dean for Public Services and Associate Professor, Michael Crumpton, Assistant Dean for Administration and Associate Professor and David Gwynn, Digital Projects Coordinator and Associate Professor, have published a book chapter, “The Status of Entrepreneurship in Libraries: Content Analysis and Assessment from the Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians,” in Advances in Library Administration and Organization: Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
The chapter discusses key topics and findings related to libraries and entrepreneurship based on an assessment of the content presented at the Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians between 2009 and 2016. Presentations delivered at the conference were categorized into topics and tracked to uncover perceptions of what is entrepreneurial in libraries and how the importance of certain issues has changed over time. This chapter summarizes the results of that evaluation and of a survey of attendees after the conferences concluded.
Entrepreneurship in libraries in 2009 was more heavily linked to making money. Over time, however, the term “entrepreneurial” became more conceptually associated with finding value, reaching out to new constituencies, and taking risks. There is a definite distinction as to the definition of “entrepreneurial” between public libraries (who consider community outreach to be a part of their core mission) and academic libraries (who often see this as an entrepreneurial enterprise). The finding that librarians attended the conference to “find change agents” indicates a yearning to identify with others in the field who are likewise seeking ways to be entrepreneurial.
The evaluation of the status of “entrepreneurship in libraries” has never before been undertaken by evaluating the presentations of the practitioners in a conference setting. Since the practitioners are determining what is most valuable to discuss with others in the field, this book chapter provides some insight into the status of entrepreneurship in the field.