Imagine the Next! The 2016 Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians

I attended the 2016 Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians on the campus of UNCG on 10/18/16.

The conference was created in 2009 and began publication of The Proceedings of the Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians with the 4th conference held in 2014.  The conference was organized as a joint effort by Wake Forest University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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The topics of this year’s conference included five tracks:

  • Community/Partner Engagement
  • Enabling Inspiration
  • Instructional Design
  • Professional Development

I met with some familiar faces as well as meeting some new librarians.  One librarian asked me if this is the conference where we learn how to “make lots of money”.  “Hmmm”, I said “I’m not sure about that”

I attended sessions relating to creating an open environment and creating a culture of Yes

Creating a Culture of Yes:  Building Good will Through Policy and Practice

“Negative Nancy” sign in a library says NO!

New students entering the library don’t need to be bombarded by roadblocks.  They seem to prefer asking their peers for help instead of approaching a librarian behind a desk.  Signage in the library can also create roadblocks by stating library policies that seem negative.

Staff members are challenged with creating new signage that doesn’t create barriers.  The information desk at the Hunt Library at North Carolina State University was created as an open environment without a big reference or information desk.  Students approach the desk with their questions and are triaged to the correct location in the library for the assistance needed.

“Positive Polly”signs all around says “Ask Us”!

Student success is key to any academic organization and creating an open welcoming environment is very important.

Obstacles to Innovation:  How to Plan for a Future with Roadblocks

The presentation included a discussion of various obstacles that get in the way of implementing new ideas.

  • Budget Restraints
    • Plan ahead
    • Look for grants
  • Technology Barriers
    • Look at what you have in place and what will be needed for implementing the new idea
  • Staff Resistance
    • Communication is key to avoid staff resistance
    • Discuss the idea with staff to let them in on the idea and the impact it could have
  • Staff Time
    • Create a schedule ahead of time so that the staff can see how they might be able to work on the project 2 hours a week and that it may not take as much of their time as they think at first.


The audience discussion included practical ideas from personal experiences in their libraries.

Author: Cindy Levine


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