8 Survey Results: Executive Summary
more sophisticated services and support for visualization, product design and development, and expertise
in using specialized equipment for innovation.
Future Plans
The survey results showed a nearly even split between the development of new products or services
and not. New services planned include a suite of workshops covering more aspects of entrepreneurship;
in-depth tutorials on specialized resources; new or expanded research guides, web portals, or the
library’s website for entrepreneurship resources and services; and tailored support services for specific
campus programs. Also planned is access to applied resources such as market research databases, patent
databases, emerging technologies and industries, along with support for searching. Libraries would like
to be able to provide library access and support for those not currently entitled to access but involved
in university-affiliated start-ups. Moving library resources out of the library to entrepreneurship center
spaces is another idea for making resources more accessible. Finally, respondents are looking for
additional opportunities to be involved in campus entrepreneurship through partnerships with other
campus players, including student clubs, sponsoring and supporting events, and creating or improving
spaces that support entrepreneurship, such as makerspaces.
Assessing Library Support for Entrepreneurship
The majority of responding libraries have not assessed the impact or success of the services they provide
to support campus-wide entrepreneurship. Of the 56 libraries that answered this question, only six
indicated that they have conducted any assessment. A further 17 have not yet conducted any assessment,
but plan to. When assessment is conducted, it typically takes the form of feedback or evaluations of
instruction sessions or workshops, standard output statistics, such as number of consultations, database
usage, or surveys about space and services. Libraries that are planning to assess their support for campus-
entrepreneurship are considering, in addition to the above mentioned metrics, how to measure impact
and value.
Challenges
Almost all respondents cited budget or funding as one of the biggest challenges to supporting campus
entrepreneurship. Not surprisingly, staffing challenges were not far behind. There is much concern
about having enough staff to keep up with demand for the ever-expanding number of entrepreneurship
programs on campus. Not only are respondents worried about having enough staff, but staff that have
the needed competencies and specialized knowledge and skills to support the wide range of needs of
entrepreneurs. Also related to budgets, are concerns over the high cost of information resources needed
to support entrepreneurship activities. The cost of market research was often cited as a real hindrance
for libraries. In addition, there is a minefield of issues around licensing of electronic resources for use
by entrepreneurs, as the line between course-work/not-for-profit activities and commercial activities
is very blurry. Finally, libraries are finding it challenging to coordinate their support for campus
entrepreneurship activities due to the lack of coordination, collaboration, or strategic direction of their
institution. There are many existing programs and activities on campus, with new programs continuously
being developed by faculties, departments, etc. Respondents feel they are unable to respond to all of
the competing demands. Related to this, is the challenges that libraries encounter in providing input
or becoming a partner on campus regarding the direction and development of these programs. Finally,
getting the message out to campus groups, faculty, and students about what the library can offer would-be
entrepreneurs is an ongoing challenge.
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