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Drawing on the “predator” model of entrepreneurship put forward by Villette and Vuillermot in their 2009 book “From Predators to Icons,” this article argues that challenging economic times reveal that self-funded, collaborative information literacy models have in many cases unsustainably overstretched staff and budgets. In such circumstances, it is necessary for librarians to shift to an entrepreneurial approach that seeks profitable opportunities funded by parties other than the library in order to build capital for current and future instructional services. Following Villette and Vuillermot, the article seeks to refute a cultural myth that sees the entrepreneur as someone who is first and foremost a “do-gooder” or marketer of helpful products, and it also advocates that librarians adopt a view of the entrepreneur as one who preys on unexploited, lowcost/high-profit opportunities to leverage “other people’s money” to build capital for later innovation. The article considers the economics of information literacy and library instruction programs, provides historical context for what has come to be known as the “collaborative imperative,” points to the economic shortsightedness of many collaborative and “embedded librarian” partnerships, and details six examples from information literacy programs that model successful entrepreneurship of the sort argued for.


This work was originally published in College & Undergraduate Libraries.



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