Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration: The 2009 Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians

Pioneers, adventurers, and inventors!

In 2009, the libraries of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Wake Forest University organized a conference entitled, Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration: a Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians. At the conference we shared and celebrated entrepreneurial accomplishments in libraries, inspired each other to innovate, and created a community of interested librarians who will perpetuate the discussion beyond the conference. Our goal was to provide a forum and a path, while attendees supplied the creativity to make it happen for your institution.

Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration was held June 3rd and 4th, 2009 in the Elliott University Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Keynote Presenters

Joyce L. Ogburn

Risk and Entrepreneurship in a Time of Uncertainty

Especially in a time of uncertainty librarians should be aggressively seeking new opportunities for experimentation and entrepreneurship to advance library programs and serve our users better. An essential element of being an entrepreneur is assuming and managing risk effectively. Strategies for risk and entrepreneurship will be explored and suggestions offered to help librarians achieve our desired outcomes.

Joyce L. Ogburn is the University Librarian and Director of the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. Previously Joyce was at the University of Washington, Old Dominion University, Yale University, and Penn State University. She holds degrees in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Indiana University, and an MS in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the University of Utah Joyce co-chairs the Knowledge Management Committee, and is a member of the Council of Academic Deans, the Information Technology Council, and the Cyberinfrastructure Council.

She has led national activities and served many national organizations, among them the American Anthropological Association, American Library Association divisions of ACRL and ALCTS, the Association of Research Libraries, the Center for Research Libraries, and SPARC. As a researcher, Joyce is interested in the history of anthropology, scholarly communication, the future of libraries, and leadership. She believes strongly in interdisciplinary knowledge and the interweaving paths of scholarship that libraries inspire and is passionate about the creation, sharing, and preservation of knowledge in its many forms.

Steven J. Bell

Librarian Entrepreneurs: Demystifying A Professional Oxymoron

Quick! Think of a great librarian entrepreneur. Not so easy, is it? Librarians are not well regarded as having the entrepreneurial spirit, and finding good examples of noteworthy entrepreneurial innovations within the profession is challenging. Yet you and your library colleagues may already be entrepreneurs without realizing it’s happening. Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian at Temple University, will share ideas and possibilities for tapping into our inner entrepreneurs to deliver great library experiences for our users. Together we need to understand what we mean by “librarian entrepreneur” and how innovation and creativity tie into the formula for entrepreneurial success – even at libraries.

Steven J. Bell is Associate University Librarian for Research and Instructional Services at Temple University. Previously he was Director of the Library at Philadelphia University and Assistant Director at Penn’s Wharton School Library, where he also earned his Ed.D. He writes and speaks about academic librarianship, learning technologies and library management. An Adjunct Professor at Drexel University’s College of Information Science and Technology, he teaches the academic librarianship course. His website and blog, “Steven Bell’s Keeping Up Web Site” and “The Kept-Up Academic Librarian” promote current awareness skills and resources. Steven is a co-founder of the Blended Librarian’s Online Learning Community on the Learning Times Network and has participated in numerous virtual presentations. He blogs for ACRLog, ACRL’s official Weblog, and Designing Better Libraries, a blog about design thinking and library user experiences. He is co-author of the book “Academic Librarianship by Design”.  See Steven’s ACRLOG post and his interview in UNCG’s Irma Minerva’s Audio Magazine.

Lunchtime Speaker:

Stacking the Odds for Success: A Six-Stage Process to Articulate and Promote Your Entrepreneurial Idea

Jon Obermeyer

Jon Obermeyer, Director of External Education and Outreach at Wake Forest University Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and former CEO of the Piedmont Triad Entrepreneurial Network (PTEN), will be our dynamic lunchtime speaker providing us with a toolkit for developing entrepreneurial ideas.

Entrepreneurs seeking venture capital follow a standard format for attracting outside investment, using six topic areas to describe concisely and compellingly the viability of a new product or service. This same process can be used for library professionals to articulate and promote their innovative concept to peers, administrators and strategic partners. Return-on-investment for this session will include an understanding of what makes a new idea compelling and more likely to be successful in execution, as well as a one-page template participants can use following the conference.

Concurrent Presentations:

Reach out and Touch: Innovation to Connect with Non-Traditional Library Users at Community Colleges

Retha Hall, Central Piedmont Community College

With the proliferation of media options and information, more than ever, libraries are competing with various technological advances in efforts to maintain their visibility and relevance. To address this issue, the CPCC Library conceived and implemented “Librarians on the Go”, an innovative outreach project using technology to expand reference services and to connect with “non-traditional” library users on the Central Campus. In this session, participants will learn how the idea was conceptualized, implemented and the challenges associated with providing services at a community college. Other innovative ideas and experiences on improving and expanding services will also be shared. Through this presentation and discussion attendees will be inspired to think of innovative ways to help extend the scope of library services while creating a presence beyond the bricks and mortar.

Retha Hall is responsible for outreach and marketing, reference and instruction at CPCC’s Hagemeyer Learning Resource Center

Beyond the Academic Wall: Creating An Entrepreneurship Spirit

Monika Rhue, Johnson C. Smith University

How can librarians turn their passion and expertise into a consulting business, while providing a must needed service in their communities. Think about all the services, multitasking ability, and talent librarians have in helping people from all cultural backgrounds. Now, think about how Librarians can turn that passion into entrepreneurship. Librarians have always been innovative and creative in delivering services to their constituents. Librarians are adventures, and have revolutionized everything they touched, with little resources. It’s time Librarians learn how to put their potentials and versatile expertise to work and go beyond the academic wall.

Monika Rhue is the Director of the James B. Duke Memorial Library.

The Worcester Library and History Centre: a Shared Vision, a Single Community

Roger Fairman, University of Worcester (UK)

The Worcester Library & History Centre (WLHC) brings together five information based services with the aim of providing the people of Worcester and its surrounding region with an integrated facility that will combine the main library of the University of Worcester, the Worcester Central Public Library, The Worcestershire County Record Office, the Worcestershire County Archaeology Service and the Worcester City Customer Service Centre (one-stop-shop for inquiries about local government services).  The physical location of the building allows the design to emphasize links between the University and the City acting as a bridge between the two, reflecting one of the projects core concepts; that all the present and potential users of these services are not one dimensional entities but rather multi-faceted individuals.   This presentation describes the design journey undertaken by the project team, illustrating how they & the wider staffs of the five services have, and are, working together to meet the many challenges presented by this exciting vision, and some of the solutions proposed in the final design.

Roger Fairman is in Library Services Development, Information & Learning Services, University of Worcester

C. G. O’Kelly Library’s OK Scholar’s Institute

Mae Rodney, Winston Salem State University

Since the proliferation of information on the internet, informal assessments of students’ written papers confirmed the habit of cutting and pasting and not citing sources. Faculty members complained more about the quality of students’ final papers. To counter students’ reliance on the Internet, many faculty members’ assignments directed students not to use any Internet resources. Librarians wanted to teach students information literacy skills to help them locate, evaluate and use information. To achieve that goal, faculty members required more information about library services and collections along with techniques to develop quality library assignments.  A request was made for Title III funds to sponsor annual workshops for five years to help faculty members develop techniques to create assignments that require students to locate, use and evaluate library resources to complete their written assignments. This presentation describes how the O’K Fellows experience helped to bridge the gap in understanding.

Mae Rodney is the Director of Library Services in the C. G. O’Kelly Library at Winston Salem State University

Competition for Library Services

Larry Nash White, East Carolina University

Information seekers can literally obtain information from any where in the global market place, so the library’s service environment is experiencing increased competition for customers like they never have before. The service environment of libraries is becoming more competitive at a time when resources to operate libraries are becoming more difficult to obtain. In order to strategically respond to these challenges, today’s libraries need to show evidence of understanding the global market place. Library leaders need to demonstrate visionary leadership that incorporates both “high touch” and “high tech” in allowing the library customer to shape and control their library experience to best meet their information needs. The presentation will review the competitors and how they are competing in the information service economy and how libraries are responding to this challenge.

Dr. White is an Assistant Professor and Co-Interim Chair of the Department of Library Science at East Carolina University.

Integrating Library Resources into the Course Development Process at an Online College

Anita Norton, Johns Hopkins University

Electronic resources and librarians services must reach out to a broad spectrum of populations in academic settings. In an effort to promote use of library resources and services, the librarians for Excelsior College have produced a way of increasing usage of both the services and resources through course integration. This model of systematically integrating library services and resources into online courses was addressed in this presentation.

Anita Norton is with the Entrepreneurial Library Program, Distance Education Library Coordinator, Johns Hopkins University

Money, Money, Money: New Sources of Income for Academic Libraries

Adam Corson-Finnerty, University of Pennsylvania

What can you learn if you look under every rock and around every corner for new sources of income for your library? This is the two-year assignment that the Penn Libraries handed to Adam Corson-Finnerty in July, 2008. His presentation will focus on what he has learned at mid-point. This study dovetails with a new emphasis on “sustainability” in library projects and programs. Led by the A.W. Mellon Foundation, funders are asking libraries (and their universities) to develop long-term business plans for sustaining new projects after their initial period of support. It also coincides with a trend in the non-profit world to consider income-producing activities and fees as part of their financial underpinning. Adam’s presentation will also address internal opposition to “profit-making” activity. Are such activities inherently “repugnant,” as one colleague pronounced during a briefing? Participants can expect to pick up ideas and details related to the process of conducting such a study, the specific areas studied, and what initiatives (if any) were deemed worthy of undertaking. A final section will focus on the opportunities for libraries to “monetize” their assets through publishing, print-on-demand, and e-publishing.

Adam Corson-Finnerty is Director of Special Initiatives and Board Communications at the Penn Libraries.He is one of the original founders of ALADN, the academic library development network.

Developing Entrepreneurial, Customer-Focused Leaders

Mark Livingston, Transformational Library Partners

Kem Ellis, High Point Public Library

The presentation explains the learning design of the 4-day Leadership Institute and 8-month Post-Institute Experience. Examples from across North Carolina to transform the customer experience will illustrate the fundamental shift in thinking and behavior required of “outside-in” leaders and their staff as they redesign “customer touch-points” and deliver memorable experiences that engage and excite library customers.  The presenters also share results achieved by the High Point Public Library to implement the High Point Library Experience and grow the number of passionate customers who become loyal promoters and vocal advocates.

Mark Livingston is the President of Transformational Library Partners

Kem Ellis is the Director of High Point Public Library

Libraries as Entrepreneurial Booksellers: Counterintuitive Cha-Ching

Bill Kane, Alibris

Walter Sears, Better World Books

Libraries have actually been selling books for centuries, but only with the advent of Internet technologies in the past decade have libraries been able to easily reach a worldwide audience of motivated book buyers. With just a few clicks, libraries are turning leftover booksale books, discards, de-accessions, and unwanted donations into real money – money which can be relatively seamlessly converted back into acquisitions/collection development funds, extending otherwise shrinking budgets.  Among other such bookselling sites, has created real-time turnkey user interfaces for both buyers and sellers, enabling libraries to upload listings very quickly, at nominal cost. Literally millions of local, regional, national, and international book buyers can thus peruse libraries’ for-sale inventory (alongside millions of other books, granted), ideally resulting in quick sales, almost all of which is almost always pure profit.  In addition, and likewise among other organizations of their ilk, Better World Books has devised mutually profitable services allowing libraries to off-load not only their books, but also most of the work involved in selling, as well as — via its donation programs — any latent guilt involved in exchanging unwanted books for money.  Finally, there are still other innovative ways for libraries to earn some per-click commissions by pointing patrons from a book on the library’s shelf (or just in the catalog) to another copy of the book on a bookseller’s for-sale shelves – and by “selling” books thus, affiliate links may pay off in more ways than just mutual goodwill.

William P. Kane is Account Manager for Alibris for Libraries [email protected]

Walter Sears is Director of Library Division for Better World Books [email protected]

Carpe Digital, or, Reinventing a 1980s AV Center as an Entrepreneurial Digital Services Center

Gillian McCombs and Rob Walker, Southern Methodist University

The creation of the Norwick Center for Digital Services (NCDS) was an overnight success, five years in the making! This presentation describes the entrepreneurial project in broad brush strokes. Staff transformed a library department on the decline- a 1980’s audiovisual center that provided classroom technology support and video check-out – into a digital services center that better serves the library and its patrons. The presenters chronicle how staff tackled the challenges and delivered the goods in less than a year, thus providing a much needed, more agile model for change in the organization, overcoming financial, spatial, technical and personnel hurdles by thinking outside the box (from within a box) and other creative concepts that contributed to the overall success.

Gillian McCombs is Dean and Director of the Central University Libraries at Southern Methodist University.

Rob Walker is the Director of CUL’s Norwick Center for Digital Services (NCDS).

Going Green in the Library: It’s Not Just for Contractors

Michael Crumpton, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Sarah Dorsey, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Beth Filar-Williams, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Mary Scanlon, Wake Forest University

Ameet Doshi, Georgia Perimeter College

Many green initiatives are related directly to new construction or major remodels, as these events provide the opportunity for energy efficient solutions. “Going Green” in these circumstances typically falls to an institution’s physical plant or facilities department with an emphasis on the building itself and/or basic recycling. So what about the rest of the sustainable activities that can make a difference in our everyday lives and of course our future? Libraries across the world have started making small contributions to sustainability with awareness programs, community projects, and a change of attitude toward protecting our environment. Building or remodeling buildings alone will not achieve long term goals for a sustainable future. Actions need to be in the hands of the building’s occupants and users.  This panel discussion by library experts, who have each been pro-active advocates in their libraries for looking beyond basic activities or relying on a facilities project to get them green, will provide plenty of ideas for conference attendees to take home and put into action.

Competing for Fun and Funds: The 1st Annual ˜Wake the Library’ 5k

Erik Mitchell, Susan Smith, and Mary Beth Lock , Wake Forest University

This session presents case study of the inaugural “Wake the Library” 5k held in the Fall of 2008 on the campus of Wake Forest University. The 5k was conceived earlier in the year as a means of fund raising for the semi-annual all-night study event in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library. As planning for the race progressed, it became apparent that the process was more complex than we anticipated but also more rewarding.

Erik Mitchell, Assistant Head of Technology Services in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library

Susan Smith, Head of Research, Instruction, & Technology Services in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library

Mary Beth Lock, Head of Access Services in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library

Clemson Connect: Reaching All Incoming Students

Anne Grant, Clemson University

Suzanne Rook Schilf, Clemson University

The presentation discussed the ways that the Clemson University Libraries partnered with other campus departments to create a course that included all first year and transfer students. Attendees were provided with lessons that the librarians learned while creating and implementing the 50-minute workshop component. This Clemson Connect library workshop has been taught at for the past two semesters and the presenters will discuss the assessment that was completed and the changes that were made as a result.

Anne Grant is the Instruction Coordinator/Education Reference Librarian at Clemson University

Suzanne Rook Schilf is the Head of Reference at Clemson University.

Learning Commons After Dark

Jennifer Calvo, North Carolina State University

This presentation described the planning and delivery of the NCSU Libraries’ new Learning Commons After Dark series. Emerging successes and challenges of the series, such as marketing, management of space, and feedback will be discussed. The Learning Commons is designed to accommodate the rapid changes taking place in how students study and learn and how they socialize and communicate. It facilitates change by offering students a place that provokes their imagination. During the Spring 2009 semester, NCSU Libraries launched the Learning Commons After Dark series. The goals of the series are to create original programming that highlights the Libraries’ collections and exposes students to the broader university community (much like public library programming), to raise awareness of the Libraries’ late-night hours and services, and to foster and further develop the Learning Commons’ student community.

Jennifer Calvo is a Reference Librarian for the Learning Commons at North Carolina State University

Horses and Hoops: New Approaches to Oral History in a Digital Environment

Doug Boyd, University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky Libraries’ Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History is internationally recognized for its outstanding collection of more than 7,000 oral history interviews. The traditional approach to conducting oral history projects involved conducting the interviews, sometimes transcribing the interviews, and finally, archiving the interviews. The result of this methodology has been a passive approach to integrating oral history into more mainstream use. The Nunn Center has embarked on several initiatives to transcend the mere collection and transcription of oral history interviews and to construct projects that are designed, from the outset, to be engaged by users in new and imaginative ways. This program discussed innovative approaches to several aspects of an oral history project from creative fund raising for a major project on the equine industry in Kentucky to the invention and implementation of a revolutionary new interface that more efficiently presents oral histories in a digital, Internet-based environment. The Nunn Center has designed this interface to more intelligently present oral histories online by enabling users to search at the word level and then to link to the moment in the audio where those words occur. This exciting capability is made possible through a process of digital preparation of the interview in an interface designed to mimic a video game.

Doug Boyd, Ph.D. is the Director, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries,

Enriching the Academic Experience: the Library and Experiential Learning at Middle Tennessee State University

William Black, Christy Groves and Amy York, Middle Tennessee State University

Middle Tennessee State University adopted its experiential learning program as part of the 2006 academic accreditation process. Experiential learning (EXL) merges classroom teaching with the work environment to enhance the overall educational experience. Through EXL, students, faculty and external organizations collaborate to strengthen learning.  This presentation discussed some of the library’s entrepreneurial partnerships that enhance learning through experience. These programs include initiatives such as the Student Art Partnership which offers the Library as a learning site for art installations that raise student awareness, the Printing Press Project which brings the library’s locally crafted 18th century reproduction printing press into university and county K-12 classrooms, and the Assessment Project which utilizes skills of Management & Marketing and Anthropology students to evaluate library effectiveness across campus.

William Black is a Professor & the Administrative Services Librarian

Christy Groves is an Assistant Professor & the Coordinator of User Services

Amy York is an Assistant Professor & the Distance Education Librarian

Building a 21st Century University Library: Golf Course Included

Alan Bearman, and Kelley Weber, Washburn University

What would you do if one day you realized your library was 30 years old, and 29 years out-of-date? Would you make incremental changes or blow things up and build a golf course? At Washburn University of Topeka, Kansas, we chose the 18-hole miniature golf course approach. We built the indoor course and organized the 1st Annual Caddystacks Golf Tournament in just six short weeks. All you need is a persuasive Library Dean who is not afraid to do the unexpected, staff willing to follow him into the unknown, and the collaboration and support of many offices and departments across campus. We worked hard and had fun, raised some much-needed money, and built strong collaborative relationships that have allowed us to bring our library into the 21st century with innovative changes. Introduction. Presentation.

Alan Bearman is the Interim Dean of Libraries at Washburn University.

Kelley Weber is the Business / Reference / Instruction Librarianat Mabee Library, Washburn University.

Study Space for Students with Young Children

Camilla Baker and Michelle DeLoach, Augusta State University

In response to a 2005 initiative on student retention and success by the University System of Georgia, Augusta State University formulated its plan, entitled “Meeting Students Where They Stand.”Reese Library at ASU solicited suggestions from faculty, staff, and students for new ways in which we could help students persist toward graduation. The project given highest priority for development was the creation of a “family space,” where students who have young children in tow can bring them when they have work to do in the library.Young children are often viewed askance in an academic library. However, at a university with a high concentration of commuter students, small children are frequently a fact of life for our student body. Creating a place for children, where the parents can still get some work done on their course assignments, is one of our ways of meeting our students “where they stand.” This panel presentation will cover the planning process, implementation, costs, current use, and measures of the success of this space in Reese Library.

Variety is the Spice of Life: Differing Models of Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Libraries

Tim Bucknall, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

This session discussed three very different successful entrepreneurial initiatives launched at UNCG. Journal Finder was the first link resolver to go into production in the U.S. and is currently used by 40 libraries in 6 states. It was recently sold to WT Cox, a serials subscription agency. The Carolina Consortium is a buying club of 130 libraries that save approximately $150 million per year through joint purchasing arrangements. NC DOCKS is a locally developed institutional repository shared among 5 universities. These collaborations are very, very different from one another, yet all are cost-effective and fiscally sustainable. This session compared and contrast differing models of entrepeneurship within a library, as well as the mechanisms used for assessing their financial viability.

Tim Bucknall is the Assistant Dean, University Libraries at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and the Founder and Convener of the Carolina Consortia

Meeting an Unmet Need: Extending the Learning Commons Concept Through On-Campus Partnerships and Branding

La Loria Konata, Georgia State University

Libraries have reinvented themselves to remain relevant in the 21st Century. Establishing a Learning Commons space is an example of libraries using a business model to remain relevant to its clientele – the students. The goal or end result sought for Learning Commons is to become integrated into the academic and cultural life of the Georgia State University undergraduate experience. To achieve this outcome, the Learning Commons department decided to embark on a new journey of collaboration and marketing. La Loria detailed methods used at Georgia State University Library to turn its Learning Commons space into a place. With programming, additional services such as writing support, and marketing, the Learning Commons is slowly becoming an example of library as place.

La Loria Konata, <[email protected]>, is the Learning Commons Coordinator at Georgia State University Library.