A couple of years ago D&J, along with a number of colleagues and buddies, attempted the first library shark tank in honor of Barbara Quint, a revolutionary librarian and information industry provocateur . It was a learning experience and we have tried to get the concept going in other places ever since.  Pushed by a former speaker and attendee of Computers in Libraries, we are trying a new shorter version which also teaches others to evaluate projects in their communities! So if you want to pitch your entrepreneurial idea for a library-related project to be considered for funding and critiqued for moving ahead, please submit it for participation in the following workshop!

In the Tank with Sharks: Funding Library Innovation Competition

Rebecca Jones, Dysart & Jones Associates & Workshop Facilitator

Cheryl Peltier-Davis, Librarian, Open Campus Libraries & Information Services, The University of the West Indies

Kristin Delwo, Founder of Stacks & VP, SaaS Product & Technology, Ebsco Information Services

M. J. D’elia, Associate Chief Librarian, Engagement & Access, Okanagan Library, The University of British Columbia

Brian Pichman, Director, Strategic Innovation, Evolve Project

Susan Hildreth, Consultant & former Executive Director, Institute of Museum & Library Services

Scott Hargrove, Chief Executive Officer, Fraser Valley Regional Library

The “Shark Tank” series critiques products that entrepreneurs hope will be funded by investors. This workshop adapts and adopts this approach – considering and critiquing ideas for library-related projects. What’s the project idea? Who will benefit? Will they be interested? Is the project worth the cost? Is there a payoff for the campus or community? Do the sharks believe it – and are they willing to help find investments and funds?

Six innovative project ideas are pitched to a panel of judges and the workshop participants. The judges or “sharks” don’t bite but they do question, evaluate and opine on the feasibility of these projects. Simultaneously, workshop participants collaborate in small groups discussing each pitch with the six criteria. The judging panel and workshop attendees vote for the top 2 projects pitched (maximum) that they are willing to advise on or assist in identifying potential funding or collaborations. Let’s see if the workshop participants and judges agree!

Project ideas will be judged on six criteria: the presentation pitch; scalability of the idea to other libraries; use of technology; UX; innovation; and potential return on investment. Have fun while learning to judge which projects should get the go ahead in your library! If you want your idea to be pitched, discussed and possibly supported, submit your project idea by Monday February 22, 2021 to Jane Dysart (jane (at) dysartjones.com); you’ll be notified by Monday March 8, 2021 if you are to present your project in the workshop!

Everyone learns – everyone’s involved – and everyone gains new ideas and some critical thinking! Join in – as a pitcher or a participant! You won’t regret it!

* IMPORTANT NOTE: Action Needed to Participate! To make sure you can participate fully in this workshop, prior to the event you will need to download the Zoom client if you haven’t already, and it needs to be updated to the most recent version of Zoom (view instructions here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362233-Upgrade-update-to-the-latest-version). This upgrade is available even if you are running the free edition of Zoom; but allows break out rooms which are necessary for the workshop so make sure you have at least the free version, updated, running on the client instead of in a browser.

Everyone learns – everyone’s involved – and everyone gains new ideas and some critical thinking! Join in – as a pitcher or a participant! You won’t regret it!  For participant you can register via Computers in Libraries Connect 2021 website