Entrepreneurium
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252 A g r e e m e n t s u p p l e m e n t s entAilment mesh mAp loCAtion F, 2 threAD loCAtion Page 49 sCApe Memory Entailment Mesh Cataloging Relationships Scapes Annotations need system to capture meshes will influence can be represented in includes Author R. David Lankes Free Library of Philadelphia Innovation versus Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurium created concept for demonstrates entrepreneurium mAp loCAtion F, 4 threAD loCAtion Page 98 sCApe Figure 123 Figure 124 A g r e e m e n t s u p p l e m e n t s 253 Agreement DesCription The Entrepreneurium: Building a Research-Based Model for Serving Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Assessment of Need Syracuse University and the Free Library of Philadelphia propose to investigate the roles and opportunities for public libraries in the support of entrepreneurs. This study is a direct result of the Free Library of Philadelphia engaging the business community and seeking to better serve the entrepreneur, a key driver of economic development, an effort that has been named the “Entrepreneurium.” Rather than simply build a new center or replicate existing efforts of other libraries, the Free Library feels there is great value in developing such services from grounded research. It also feels that such research is invaluable to the rest of the public library community. Increasingly, public libraries are seen as stakeholders in the economic development of their communities, as was highlighted in a recent report by the Urban Libraries Council: Public libraries build a community’s capacity for economic activity and resiliency, says a new study from the Urban Institute. [The study] adds to the body of research pointing to a shift in the role of public libraries—from a passive, recreational reading and research institution to an active economic development agent, addressing such pressing urban issues as literacy, workforce training , small business vitality and community quality of life.1 Because small and new businesses currently constitute 45.1% of the payroll2 in the country, an increased focus by libraries on the startup, in addition to the more established library role in job searching , is warranted. Public libraries have long been involved in providing service to entrepreneurs. From print and electronic resources that are so critical to this constituent to workshops and one-on-one assistance, libraries are attempting to fill gaps in services available to entrepreneurs. Libraries are often invaluable resources to the startup, offering the Gale Virtual Reference Library, ReferenceUSA, Dun & Bradstreet’s Million Dollar Database (whose usage at the Free Library has almost doubled), and Business and Company Resource. The Free Library alone spends more than $100,000 each year on 12 databases useful to entrepreneurs and small business owners. This dollar figure doesn’t count the extensive one-to-one assistance, workshops, and reference activities that libraries are offering. The Free Library is hardly alone in its current outreach to entrepreneurs, with notable programs at the Brooklyn Public Library, the St. Paul Public Library, Middle County Public Library, and even the British Library. However, librarians create many entrepreneurial offerings with little direct involvement in startup operations. Further, libraries may emulate existing entrepreneurship programs in the not-for-profit sector without deep consideration of the library’s role beyond the provision of resources. In essence, a great deal of money is being spent on an important activity but with little concrete research and evaluative data on which to build their programs. If public libraries are to play an important role in entrepreneurship , thereby enhancing their communities and the libraries’ role within the community, they need evidence-based guidance in creating , operating, and governing entrepreneurship centers. This research project will provide such guidance grounded in the real world, with real data, and with real resources. National Impact and Intended Results The overall aim of this proposed research activity is to increase and promote the ability of public libraries throughout the country to stimulate entrepreneurship in communities. The Entrepreneurium, an umbrella project concept, will do this through data, actionable plans, and shared resources. The resources and findings of this project will strengthen the public library’s role in economic development by creating mechanisms to engrain the public library in the entrepreneurship communities throughout the country. The emphasis on entrepreneurship and the startup comes directly from the mission of public libraries to enhance their communities. Entrepreneurial activities not only form a major part of the U.S. economy, but they also are directly relevant to traditionally underrepresented populations . According...



Subject Headings

  • Library science -- Philosophy.
  • Library science -- Forecasting.
  • Libraries and community.
  • Libraries and society.
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