5 SPEC Kit 355: Campus-wide Entrepreneurship
business researcher position that is supervised by a librarian and funded by the Kentucky Small Business
Development Center (KSBDC). The student employee provides secondary market research services to
the KSBDC counselors who work with entrepreneurs in the community.
The results of the survey suggest that for the responding libraries, business librarians provide
the primary library support for entrepreneurship on campus, with engineering librarians being a close
second. This mirrors the pattern seen on campuses where business and engineering schools tend to
lead campus entrepreneurship activities. However, what was clear from the survey results was that due
to the multidisciplinary nature of campus entrepreneurship and the goal of providing opportunities to
all faculty and students, regardless of major, that library support requires a team effort. In many cases,
support for entrepreneurship requires many different librarian subject specialities and skills. Data, GIS,
digital scholarship, and visualization librarians are needed. Support from the science, medical, and law
librarian specialities, and support from makerspace and media center staff are all required to fulfill the
needs of faculty and students’ entrepreneurship endeavours.
Library Resources for Entrepreneurship
Of the 55 library respondents, 47 (86%) indicated that books are the top resource type purchased
to support entrepreneurship activities. Specialized databases (43 or 78%) and reference material
(39 or 71%) round up the top three types of library resources purchased or licensed specifically to
support entrepreneurship activities. It should be noted that a few institutions stated that although
they had purchased or licensed these library resources, they were not specifically acquired to support
entrepreneurship activities but to support more broadly “academic use.”
In terms of funding, 51 of the 53 responding libraries (96%) indicated that the main library’s
general budget was the primary source of funds for purchasing library resources that specifically
supported entrepreneurship activities, followed by the business library’s budget (20 or 38%). A minority
of respondents use another branch/unit library budget (30%), an academic department/unit budget
(28%), or an endowment fund (25%) to purchase resources. The top three resources funded by the main
library’s general budget are “books, journals, databases,” data, and software. The same trend is true for the
resources funded by the business library’s budget.
Resources are overwhelming located in the main campus library and online (both with 47
responses or 89%). Interestingly, 25 (47%) responded that their resources are located in “another branch/
unit library.” More specifically, the branch or unit library more likely to hold library resources for
entrepreneurship activities is the engineering library, the science library, or the medical/health sciences
library. Surprisingly, the business library was ranked fourth (19 or 36%). Of the small minority that listed
“other location,” the most commonly mentioned site was labs such as an “IdeaLab” or “Rolls Royce
Rapid Prototype Lab.” When the resources were further split into categories “books, journals, databases,”
data, and software were three most commonly found in the main campus library, following in the same
order online.
The three core user groups of library resources are students, faculty, and staff, in that order. The
general public, alumni, and members of the business community round out the top six users of library
resources. The exact pattern continues when resources are further divided into resource types. For
instance, students, faculty, and staff are all equally leading users of “books, journals, databases.” The same
three user categories are the principal users of data, software, and equipment with students and faculty
slightly ahead of staff. The pattern stops when it comes to separating resource types among the bottom
three user groups. Interestingly, the top three resource types change to “books, journals, databases,” data,
then equipment. At the 10 libraries that reported an “other user category,” walk-ins are allowed on-site
access to some, if not most, resources, keeping in mind “some restrictions apply.”
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