Creating Online Learning and Collaborating Opportunities through Entrepreneurial Librarianship

Concurrent Session 4

Brief Abstract

This presentation is to understand the demand for entrepreneurial curriculum support in universities and colleges through collaboration and providing resources to online students. 


I have been in the Western Kentucky University Libraries for six years. I have a MA and a MM in Music and a MLIS. My research and experience is with Distance Learning utilizing course management systems as an embedded librarian and personal librarian.

Extended Abstract

OLC Innovate Conference Abstract

Anthony Paganelli and Dr. Andrea Paganelli

Creating Online Learning and Collaborating Opportunities through Entrepreneurial Librarianship


Most universities and colleges have been effected by decreased government funding and support since the 2008 recession. In addition to budget cuts, institutions are being held accountable in preparing and producing an education that will place students into their careers upon graduation. Lumley noted that since the recession “the workplace is undergoing fundamental shifts, with self-employment, entrepreneurship, and contract work rapidly becoming the norm” (Lumley, 2014). The recovery process from the recession has included the ability to be innovative and entrepreneurial to create new businesses to assist in increasing the local economy.

            As a part of the new innovative business trends, people are no longer seeking traditional ways to create businesses, such as the utilization of co-working spaces that are spaces that can be leased to entrepreneurs for temporary business uses that would include meeting spaces or office equipment. By utilizing the co-working space, new entrepreneurs will immediately reduce expenditures. Another trend is onboarding that is a similar concept to micro-training, which acclimates new team members to a project by an introduction to all the team members, the project goals, and a mentorship. Through this process, new team members are ready to contribute within a short amount of time.

            Another aspect that is changing in the workforce is the collaboration between multiple university departments and the business community to provide opportunities for faculty and students to create innovative products and ideas. The idea is to utilize the entrepreneurial librarian to provide resources and support for university departments, students, and the business community as they develop a business.

Lumley stated that higher education is adding entrepreneurial courses to the curriculum to support the increase of entrepreneurial demands from the workforce (Lumley, 2014). He reiterated that over 2,000 universities and colleges have an entrepreneurship course in the United States. Based on this demand, libraries are creating opportunities to support the curriculum growth and the programs.

Since the 1990s, academic libraries have been approaching the concept of transforming libraries into an entrepreneurial form of management, which has established the ability to support the entrepreneurial initiative (St. Clair, 1996). The concept is for librarians to think more as an entrepreneur instead of the traditional librarian approach to organizational structures and outcomes (Scanlon & Crumpton, 2011). Pun (2015) indicates that librarians need to be more opportunistic, creative, persistent, understand how to collaborate, and to be a risk-taker.

Librarians have begun collaborating with other university departments in the effort to prepare students for the workforce. For instance, in 1994 libraries have been working with Career Development Centers to provide the resources needed to prepare students to enter the workforce. A part of the effort to support the Career Development Centers, librarians conducted numerous workshops in career research. LibGuides were also created to provide information for students, as well as an embedded librarian in entrepreneurial courses (Pun, 2015).   

Due to the demand for entrepreneurial courses in higher education, libraries have begun to support the curriculum through programs, such as co-working spaces, teaching research and instruction courses specifically towards entrepreneurship, and creating learning objects. The most recent program is the collaboration with other university departments, students, and the business community.

A new approach is to provide learning opportunities for entrepreneurship through online resources. Libraries can create learning modules and case studies in a course management systems to prepare students for the business profession. In addition, the library can create learning objects that will assist students in seeking innovative ideas and business models. The library can also provide a virtual space for students to collaborate with other departments and the business community to learn of the opportunities for entrepreneurship.




Lumley, R. M. (2014). A coworking project in the campus: Supporting and modeling


entrepreneurial activity in the academic library. New Review of Academic Librarianship,


20(1). 49-65.


Pun, Raymond. (2015). The embedded librarian as an entrepreneur in a startup university.


Reference Services Review43(3), 439-449.


Scanlon, M. G. & Crumpton, M. A. (2011). Re-conceiving entrepreneurship for libraries:


Collaboration and the anatomy of a conference. Collaborative Librarianship3(1), 16-27.


St. Clair, G. (1996). Entrepreneurial Librarianship: The Key to Effective Information Services


Management. New Jersey: Bowker-Saur.