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Entrepreneurship in Libraries: Transforming Library Services


Three forms of entrepreneurship can be found in libraries: entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, and social entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial librarians are those who create for-profit entities that serve the information landscape. The concepts for these companies frequently come from challenges found in libraries which entrepreneurs have developed into solutions and taken to the marketplace. Entrepreneurs design and develop new library services in innovative ways to address the needs of existing or unserved customers. Social entrepreneurs, the third category of library entrepreneur, are motivated to implement programs that meet the needs of their communities or advocate for social causes. In this session the presenters will utilize case studies to define and illustrate the three forms of entrepreneurial librarianship and participants will learn to apply these principles to library services.


  • In this session the audience will learn about the three forms of entrepreneurship found in libraries: entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship.
  • Using case studies, the presenters will describe the application of entrepreneurial ideals to specific projects.
  • The audience will learn how they can incorporate entrepreneurial ideas into their services and professional projects.


90 minutes

Mary Krautter

Mary Krautter is Head of Research, Outreach and Instruction at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Libraries, a position she has held since 2007. Previously, she was Director of Interdisciplinary Information Literacy at the University of Kentucky. She received her Master’s in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also holds Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees in English from Virginia Tech. She is co-editor• along with Ms. Lock and Ms. Scanlon of The Entrepreneurial Librarian: Essays on the Infusion of Private Business Dynamism into Professional Service, published by McFarland in 2012. Other recent publications include “Advocating for the Devil: Transforming Conflict in Libraries” in Imagine, Innovate, Inspire: The Proceedings of the ACRL 2013 Conference, edited by Dawn M. Mueller. She has also published chapters in Leading the Reference Renaissance: Today’s Ideas for Tomorrow’s Cutting Edge Services, edited by Marie L. Radford and in Middle Management in Academic and Public Libraries, edited by Tom Diamond.

Mary Beth Lock

Mary Beth Lock is the Director of Access Services in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University, a position that she’s held for 8 years. Previous to this appointment, she worked for 20 years in Wayne State University Libraries in a variety of positions from student assistant to Manager of Access Services. She holds a Masters in Library Science degree from the North Carolina Central University. After serving on the planning committee for the Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians for the first two conferences, she co-edited The Entrepreneurial Librarian: Essays on the Infusion of Private-Business Dynamism into Professional Service, along with her co-presenters Mary Scanlon and Mary Krautter. Other recent publications include an article on cataloging e-books to maximize access entitled “The Cataloging of E-book Readers: a Service Model-Oriented Approach” in Serials Review and will have a chapter in the forthcomingDisaster Management and Contingency Planning in Modern Libraries, published by IGI-Global and edited by Emy Decker and Jennifer Townes` She has done recent presentations on resolving over-crowded stacks in libraries through the utilization of high-bay offsite storage; and emergency preparedness in libraries. Her research interests are on disaster management and emergency response, and entrepreneurial librarianship. She continues to serve on the planning committee for the Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians.

Mary G. Scanlon

Mary G. Scanlon has been serving as the Research and Instruction Librarian for Business & Economics at Wake Forest University for the past 10 years. She earned her Master's degree in Library and Information Science from Kent State University and her M.B.A. from Case Western Reserve University. She provides research support to students and faculty in the School of Business, the department of Economics and the program for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise. She teaches two research methods classes, one to students in the School of Business and another to students pursuing a minor in Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise. Along with her co-presenters she published The Entrepreneurial Librarian: Essays on the Infusion of Private-business Dynamism into Professional Service. Along with Ms. Lock she wrote the chapter “Teaching by Doing: Sustainability Education and Practice in a Student-Services Program” in Focus on Educating for Sustainability: Toolkit for Academic Libraries. She serves as Chair of the professional group Business Librarianship in North Carolina, a section of the North Carolina Library Association, on whose executive committee she also serves. She has served on the organizing committee for all four offerings of The Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians.

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