The Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University Libraries won the Fast Pitch Competition at the Charleston Conference on November 4. The innovation competition looks for compelling new ideas in academic library and information management. A committee of professional judges selected the winners from a national field of applicants.
Scott Warren, associate dean for research and scholarship at Syracuse University Libraries, pitched the Libraries’ idea. Warren oversees collections and subject librarian services, and recently participated in the 2016-2017 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Leadership Fellows Program.
The winning concept is a new entrepreneurial resource collection developed by librarians and staff, working with the Blackstone LaunchPad. The LaunchPad provides support for faculty, staff, students and alumni in areas related to startups, innovation, and entrepreneurship and is one of the first in the country located in a library. Supported by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, it is part of a network of 20 LaunchPads at major universities across the United States and the United Kingdom.
Warren developed the Fast Pitch proposal working with Linda Dickerson Hartsock, Blackstone LaunchPad executive director, Stephanie McReynolds, Syracuse University’s business, management and entrepreneurship librarian, and other library staff. The LaunchPad worked with Syracuse University faculty across many academic program areas to crowdsource the book collection that encompasses multi-disciplinary topics related to ideation, creativity, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and more. It is a unique collection, beyond volumes typically found in a business school collection. Making it more unique is that faculty across so many academic program areas participated in the curation process, providing stewardship and engagement with the project.
The collection will be installed in “book nodes” adjacent to the LaunchPad in Bird Library. Library staff worked on the acquisition, cataloging, and other service aspects of the project. Usage metrics will be tracked and tied to LaunchPad metrics, providing data analysis of how the new service is augmenting LaunchPad services. The collection has already been adopted as a suggested reading list by faculty teaching entrepreneurship and related subjects. LaunchPad students are planning to start a book club around the collection, to continue the interdisciplinary collaboration.
The Charleston Conference is an annual international gathering of librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants, and vendors of library materials in Charleston, SC each November. The 2016 Theme is “Roll with the Times, or the Times Roll Over You.” The conference, which focuses on serial and book acquisition, began in 1980, and has grown from to more than 1,600 attendees annually.