7 SPEC Kit 355: Campus-wide Entrepreneurship
Forty-seven of the respondents described a variety of topics covered by library instruction. The
top five include market research (64%), industry research (47%), and company research (43%), followed
by patent, IP, trademark searching (28%) and general resource overview with searching strategies
(23%). Noteworthy examples of entrepreneurship instructional materials are found in the representative
documents section.
New Funds for Entrepreneurship
Libraries have not received much new or additional funding to support campus entrepreneurship
activities. In the cases where funding has been received, it has generally been designated for the purchase
or licensing of resources, space, or equipment, such as makerspaces and their associated technologies.
Typically, this additional funding has not been specifically earmarked for entrepreneurship activities, but
rather to support all educational and research endeavours. New funding has come from alumni, corporate
or private donors, endowments, university administration, or grant funding.
Most notable partners are the technology transfer/commercialization office, faculties/departments—
business and engineering schools in particular, incubators, accelerators, established campus
entrepreneurship centers, and centers for teaching and learning.
Partnership activities include presentations/instruction, collaborating on events, co-funding
of business resources, cross-promotion, support for data, visualization, and digital scholarship services,
maker services, business plan competitions, and hackathons. For example, at York University, the Steacie
Library Hackfest is offered in partnership with LaunchYU and Duke University Libraries partnered with
Duke Extend to create and teach an introduction to patents online course.
Promotion of library resources and services for entrepreneurship mirrors that of typical promotion
efforts employed by libraries for other resources and services. The most common methods are ongoing
liaison outreach with faculty and students, subject guides and specialized websites, regular contact with
staff of the various entrepreneurship centers and programs, and participation in networking events and
conferences. Other methods employed by some libraries include cross-promotion on websites, email
lists, newsletters, and social media of other campus groups involved in entrepreneurship, and promotion
of workshops, presentations, etc. on their online calendars. Liaison with staff of the technology
transfer/commercialization office was often cited as a method of promotion and cross-promotion.
Some respondents provide specialized support for business plan competitions. More rarely, libraries
sponsor innovation contests and give presentations outside of the university community. Encouragingly,
one responding library indicated that their marketing plan for library resources and services was
in development.
Gaps in Services
The most often cited gaps in services are more accurately related to the inability to meet the demand
due to insufficient staff, funding for expensive databases, and lack of coordination of library services. In
particular, respondents noted gaps in their collections for market research databases and venture capital/
angel investing funding databases, private company research, and business plan competition databases.
A couple of libraries mentioned that the lack of available local- or state-level market research data is an
important gap. Respondents want to be able to provide more specialized and custom research services,
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