Think like a startup: A white paper to inspire library entrepreneurialism

“We have to face the future boldly. We have to peer upwards and outwards through telescopes, not downwards into microscopes. Over the next decade we need to implement big new ideas, otherwise the role of the library will become marginalized in higher education. We’ll become the keepers of the campus proxy, rather than information authorities. We’ll become just another campus utility like parking, dining services, and IT rather than the intellectual soul of the community.
Now is the time to “zoom out” rather than “zoom in.”1 Let’s not pigeonhole ourselves into finite roles, such as print collections, computer labs, or information literacy. These self-imposed limitations will only ensure our vulnerability and gradual decline. We can’t abide by the dictionary definition of “library.” We can’t stay basically the same and only make small changes. Not only will that constrain the library, but it will also hold back scholarship and learning. With or without us the nature of information, knowledge creation, and content sharing is going to evolve. It’s already happening.
Which side of the revolution will we be on? Dyson offers beautiful state-of-the-art vacuum machines. Their tools are top of the line. But ultimately, it’s still a chore to push a vacuum cleaner around the floor. If we’re talking about transformative ideas then iRobot is the place to focus your attention. Their machines are autonomous. Vacuuming isn’t a chore; it’s just something that happens while you sleep, work, or run errands. Their focus isn’t on providing new hardware, but on providing an ingenuous system that cleans surfaces for you. Carpets. Tiles. Hardwood. Pools. The Roomba is a revolution! It’s a new way of thinking. It’s solving a problem in a different way. And that’s what we need right now. We need to reinvent not just what we do, but how we think about it.
This document is intended to inspire transformative thinking using insight into startup culture and innovation methodologies. It’s a collection of talking points intended to stir the entrepreneurial spirit in library leaders at every level.”

A must read for all the new generation library professionals by Brian Mathews, Associate Dean for Learning & Outreach
at Virginia Tech                            

Download and read the exciting paper now.

Think like a startup: A white paper to inspire library entrepreneurialism

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