Finding Entrepreneurship Opportunities and the Development of New Businesses in Iranian Public Libraries
Author(s): Somayeh Mardomi
Entrepreneurship is a way to benefit from opportunities and create new products and services. Considering the increase in competition in organizations today and the importance of survival and durability, responding to the users’ needs and their loyalty are of paramount importance. Providing the suitable business environment and also distributing services, libraries and information centers keep their customers or users satisfied and lead to the identification of entrepreneurial opportunities which consequently leads to the development of various sectors in libraries and provides a way for a full-fledged economic development. Furthermore, libraries have obtained more awareness regarding the significance of professional and ongoing training of librarians in order to improve their academic level, preparedness, and innovation. Thus, due to their mutual impact on each other, combining the two subjects above seems a worthwhile subject to investigate.Aiming at searching and finding entrepreneurial opportunities in libraries and information centers, with a descriptive-practical approach, the present research introduces these opportunities to entrepreneur librarians in order to provide new services for their clients, customers, and users. The present research is a descriptive survey. The research population consists of 6047 librarians active in 2224 public libraries in the country (institutional, co-operative, and independent libraries) in the year 1395 (according to the statistics provided by the Public Library of Iran). In this research, in addition to conducting impromptu interviews and investigating the characteristics of the society providing services and the users, the academic structure of the library was also studied and 5 entrepreneurial opportunities were identified through the Anthony Oliwik model. Afterwards, according to the model and the two aspects of satisfaction and significance, intended characteristics of the clients were evaluated and used as a basis for the identification of opportunities regarding librarianship and information, as well as the final result. Investigating the proposed entrepreneurial opportunities with regard to the services and the users’ satisfaction, the entrepreneurial opportunities were identified and ranked using the entrepreneurial opportunity identification pattern. The results of the research demonstrate that, due to the increase in the demands for providing services to clients in information centers and public libraries, an entrepreneur librarian is one of the main sources of entrepreneurship, and identification and provision of services and each of these opportunities can help provide new job opportunities in this field and lead to economic growth and employment for professional librarians.