Anthony Molaro, Associate Dean of Library and Instructional Services at Prairie State College, wrote a provocative post today entitled “What Librarians Lack: The Importance of the Entrepreneurial Spirit.” I would not go so far as to say all librarians/libraries lack entrepreneurial spirit (NC State, Virginia Tech, Harvard, Virginia, and Champlain College immediately come to mind as libraries making significant strides in library services and technology and I’m sure there are others), but I would agree that tectonic shifts rarely happen in academic libraries. When was the last time we created a shift so profound that the academy shuddered and the profession balked at the mere thought?
We don’t lack for innovators. As Molaro notes:
No society is devoid of entrepreneurs, ubiquitous protests of “we have lost our entrepreneurial spirit” notwithstanding. They may be under the radar, languishing in non-entrepreneurial positions, or channeling their entrepreneurial spirit in non-productive ways, but they are present. Find and enlist them. Support and mentor them. Galvanize the entrepreneurship resources and stakeholders to support them as well. Use your positions of power to help them find new customers, investors, advisors, and business partners.
I’m ready to do something radical. I’m ready to try something scary. Let’s build something from the ground up and terraform the library landscape.