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Earning Our Place at the Table. Librarians, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
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Earning Our Place at the Table. What Librarians Need to Know to Support Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
Presented at the Florida Libraries Online Conference
June 12, 2020

Supporting entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, and small business owners is a goal for a growing number of libraries. And libraries have long supported the needs of job seekers and business students. However, most librarians (including the presenter) do not have a background in business. Many of us might struggle to speak the language of business research, let alone understand how entrepreneurs use market, industry, and financial data to make strategic decisions.

In this presentation and discussion, Steve will define core competencies and skill sets that libraries can develop to enable proactive and effective engagement with entrepreneurs. These skills apply to public, academic, and school media librarians. He will also outline the core categories of secondary research that entrepreneurs usually need, and will identify a few subscription business databases that do work with multi-library consortia.

Presenter: Steven Cramer

Steve is the business and entrepreneurship librarian at UNC Greensboro. As a Coleman Fellow for Entrepreneurship Education, he teaches a 3-credit class “Researching Opportunities in Entrepreneurship & Economic Development” to graduate students and upper-level undergrads across campus each spring semester. He is also embedded in an entrepreneurship capstone class required of all UNCG entrepreneurship majors and minors plus Arts Administration majors.

Steve is co-founder of Business Librarianship in North Carolina (BLINC), a member of ALA’s BRASS, and a Carolina Consortium negotiator. He co-created a RUSA Pilot Interest Group on Entrepreneurship. Recently Steve became co-chair of the Entrepreneurship & Libraries Conference (Durham, NC, November 2020,, whose planning group includes public, special, community college, and university librarians from across the country (and one from Toronto).

He was awarded the BRASS Excellence in Business Librarianship award in April 2020 (largely for mentoring and supporting early career librarians and co-founding BLINC) and the PrivCo Prize for Excellence in Business Librarianship in 2015 (largely for his Coleman work and class).




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