15 SPEC Kit 355: Campus-wide Entrepreneurship
Answered On an Ongoing Basis N=18
Any researcher who needs entrepreneurial support may consult with a business research librarian.
Currently, focused on support inside the classroom but looking at opportunities outside the classroom
as well.
Librarians provide classroom teaching, instructional materials (handouts, LibGuides, tutorials),
and research consultations to support courses offered through the Center for Leadership Education
(W.P. Carey Program in Entrepreneurship and Management); Center for Bioengineering Innovation
and Design (CBID); Carey Business School (e.g., Discovery to Market course, Business of Healthcare
program), JHU’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp (sponsored by Technology Ventures and the Carey
Business School), and the School of Public Health (e.g., Strategic Planning classes in which students
partner with real organizations to conduct market research or propose how to sell new technologies).
Cross-collaboration between the business, medical, and engineering librarians of the Sheridan
Libraries and East Baltimore campus libraries; the faculty; and the entrepreneurship-related offices
at those campuses has been particularly instrumental in supporting the university’s innovations in
health-related services, technologies, medical devices, and medicine and pharmaceuticals. A business
librarian and informationist provides research consultations to faculty members of the schools of
medicine, nursing, and public health who are conducting market research on potential new services
and technologies. A few librarians have formed relationships with Technology Ventures staff and
enlightened those employees on what library resources and services exist to support their work.
Although the librarians provide reference consultations for students entering business competitions,
the extent of support and type of resources promoted varies, depending on the situation, the local
policies that the library set with General Counsel and the Associate Director of Collections and
Services, and the specific licenses of the data providers. Some rules for competitions specify that
students should not seek assistance.
Our library provides strong support for entrepreneurial activities. We have partnered with the
Kentucky Small Business Development Center for the last five years to provide market research.
KSBDC funds a student researcher (a graduate student from the library science program) who
is trained and supervised by the business librarian. The researcher is housed in the library and
produces market research to support the clients of the KSBDC. In addition, the business librarian has
held training sessions for researchers in the campus Commercialization Center. We also work with
entrepreneurs from the general public who need assistance with research.
Our new Maker Hub opened in the library in October 2016, and one of the goals was to support
entrepreneurship initiatives with other campus departments.
Support and services to campus entrepreneurship falls under the business librarian’s work in liaising
with the College of Business and providing business reference assistance.
Syracuse University Libraries has a long history of supporting entrepreneurship on campus and
in the local community, primarily through the services provided via the business librarian (now
titled “Business, Management, and Entrepreneurship”) and the business resources in the Libraries’
collections, which are also supported by the bibliographers (now titled “Collection Development and
Analysis Librarian”) and the acquisitions and cataloging staff. The Libraries has recently decided
to place additional emphasis on entrepreneurship by providing and supporting the Blackstone
LaunchPad. The Blackstone LaunchPad, an innovation and entrepreneurship resource center founded
in April 2016 and located in Syracuse University Libraries Bird Library, is one of 20 LaunchPads in
universities across the United States and Ireland supported by three-year seed funding grants from
the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. It is the only LaunchPad whose principal investigator is the
dean and university librarian and was the first LaunchPad in the US to be located in a library. The
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