Library Shark Tank: Entrepreneurs Take Ideas to Action

Library Shark Tank: Entrepreneurs Take Ideas to Action

Do you have ideas about doing things differently in libraries? Want to develop the Uber for libraries? Tired of cliches at conferences and want to actually take a concept forward? Then come to the 1st Library Shark Tank and Hive Mind.  Join other thinkers, doers, misfits and bad-ass librarians at the Asilomar Conference Grounds right beside the Pacific Ocean near Monterey, CA October 12-14, 2018 – right before Internet Librarian.
It’s all in honor of Barbara Quint, a revolutionary librarian and information industry provocateur who died last year.  For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to know her, Barbara – BQ – was the editor of Searcher and Online Searcher, founder of SCOUG (the Southern California Online Users Group), a mentor, provocateur, cheerleader and queen of bad-ass librarians;  she loved pulling together kindred spirits, working on big ideas and disruptive possibilities that could move our sector forward.  BQ’s friends and colleagues decided there could be no more fitting way to honor her – and all the other wonderful librarians and info pros we’ve lost over the years — than to create a hive mind of fun-loving, free-thinking librarians and information professionals to design and do something meaningful for our profession and industry. #LibrarySharkTank is totally non-profit, non-commercial and funded by a bunch of BQ’s friends & people who believe we need to invest in our R&D. The fees are to cover the costs – that’s it.

A hive mind brings people together to share their collective intelligence and opinions as they create new possibilities. A shark tank has aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to investors for a chance to see their projects realized.   We’re switching it up for the library world.   You’ll be pitching big new ideas or projects for libraries to thrive in tomorrow’s world.  And instead of millionaires, you’ll pitch the concept to an audience of experienced library leaders and business professionals who are as hungry for good new ideas as you are.  Here are just a few of the ideas that have been submitted so far:  proposal for a combined library / bookstore so patrons can get the best of both worlds, proposal for a subscription reference service that would allow any library to offer its community access to a crack reference team on demand, proposal for a shared library catalog that would act like Goodreads for libraries.

Here’s the plan:
Arrive Friday afternoon, check into your room at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds (designed by Julia Morgan, architect of Hearst Castle and first woman architect licensed in California) and @ 5:30 head to cocktails and dinner with colleagues from across the library sector – BQ events always included minds from academic, public, corporate, and government sectors as well as vendors and suppliers.  A hive needs minds with many perspectives.   After dinner, those of you who brought ideas will pitch them to the group.   Everyone will vote for the project team they want to work on, and the winning projects will move forward to the Shark Tank.

Saturday morning, we’ll hear from each of the Sharks about what what’s impacting the sector.   Then it’s down to work as you and your team members work to craft a winning proposal for the Sharks.  On Saturday night, more dinner and drinks and a special showing of Desk Set, one of BQ’s favorite films.

Bright and early Sunday morning we’ll have a good breakfast, and then each project team presents their proposal to the Sharks and the audience.   The winning proposal gets a full write-up in an Information Today publication … and a chance to be realized.   Sandwiched in between all of that will be a lot fun, jokes and good times – BQ believed that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy … and she did know ‘Jack’.

You don’t have to have a big idea to attend! You have a choice of either pitching a project or working on a project team.  You’ll meet some great contacts and potential mentors – and you’ll learn all about what taking an idea to concept, and crafting a winning proposal.  Are you a student enrolled in an iSchool or Masters of Information? Then submit your idea proposal – quick!  We will award one All Inclusive #LibrarySharkTank Package (travel/transportation not included) to the student with the best project idea proposal to be pursued @ the weekend.

Register here.  Prices range from $710 – $906 (depending on room type) which includes your room and meals for Friday night thru to Sunday lunch.  We think most of you will want to stay at the beautiful Asilomar, but if you’d prefer to stay offsite, the Registration fee for the Weekend is $375 and includes all meals on Saturday and Sunday.  And hurry! Registration is limited to keep the group manageable and once the slots are gone, they’re gone.   If you’re coming for Internet Librarian .. just come a little early for the Library Shark Tank – you’ll be glad you did – and the first at a new venture!

Many thanks and we look forward to seeing you there. Questions? Please contact rebecca@dysartjones.com or Steve.Coffman@lsslibraries.com.

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