The first Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration conference was held on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in June of 2009. The conference started as a joint venture between interested librarians from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and Wake Forest University. Keynoters Steven J. Bell and Joyce L. Ogburn provided foundation for the conference explaining the challenges and rewards of the entrepreneurial librarian. Other presenters identified many successful ventures and illustrated the variety of interpretations of what it means to be an entrepreneurial librarian.

In September, 2010, the conference planners held a webinar that furthered the conversation begun at the conference and continued to define and sharpen the vision of what it means to be an “Entrepreneurial Librarian.”

The libraries of Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro came together again to organize the The Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians: From Vision to Implementation March 10-11, 2011. This conference was for library entrepreneurs and those who want to learn from them. Keynoters Mary Ellen Bates of Bates Information Services, and Tim Spalding of LibraryThing framed the conference which focused on beginning entrepreneurial ventures in libraries and then later taking them to the marketplace.

In February of 2012 three of the conference planners collaborated to edit a book entitled The Entrepreneurial Librarian: Essays on the Infusion of Private-Business Dynamism into Professional Service. Published by McFarland the book “chronicles how entrepreneurial librarians are flourishing in the digital age, advocating social change, responding to patron demands, designing new services, and developing exciting fundraising programs. Applying new business models to traditional services, they eagerly embrace entrepreneurship in response to patrons’ demands, funding declines, changing resource formats, and other challenges. By documenting the current state of entrepreneurship in libraries, this volume upends the public image of librarians as ill-suited to risky or creative ventures and places them instead on the cutting edge of innovations in the field.”

In September, 2012, a webinar was held that will cover digitizing initiatives of cultural significance.

The third Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians was be held May 16-17, 2013 again on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. The focus of this conference was bringing social and culturally significant entrepreneurial ventures into libraries.

We are creating a community of interested librarians who will perpetuate the discussion beyond the conferences and webinars and bring Entrepreneurial Librarianship into everyday practice. Join us.