Librarians at large: alternative careers as entrepreneurs and in startups

business-891339_1280Have you got a great idea for a business or project? Many library professionals are also amazing entrepreneurs – starting their own businesses in consulting, research, publishing, writing and more.

Three librarians have recently started a business research firm called ‘Bizologie’. Catering for the fact that many companies cannot afford in-house researchers, Bizologie provides for outsourced research requests. These requests usually cover information on consumer markets, products, or clients. Lindsey Schell, one of the founders, defines the type of research and why it’s needed: “We’re providing credible and strategic data to make business decisions. If you’re not using data to back up business decisions, there might be a problem there.”

Another encouraging example is Jill Hurst-Wahl. Her many hats include “instructor, information consultant, speaker and author/blogger. She is an Associate Professor of Practice in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and director of the iSchool’s Library and Information Science Program. She is also the President of Hurst Associates, Ltd.” You can read her full bio at the Hurst Associates consulting practice website. Within this capacity, Jill works as a digitisation consultant, helping organisations make their content more accessible. In addition, she trains people in the use of social media and web technologies to ‘connect, share and collaborate’.

If running your own business seems a bit daunting, you may be “the ideal new hire for any number of emerging innovative startup companies”, as discussed in the article ‘Why Startups Need Libraries (and Librarians)’. Read about Cen Campbell’s experience as a ‘startup librarian’ for

If you would like to learn more about developing your career, you can read Ms Hurst-Wahl’s book ‘The Information and Knowledge Professional’s Career Handbook: Define and Create Your Success.’ You can also check out this publication by Susanne Markgren and Tiffany Eatman Allen, ‘Alternative Jobs: The Non-traditional Career Path’, a chapter from the book Career Q&A: A Librarian’s Real-Life, Practical Guide to Managing a Successful Career.

If you have other alternative career suggestions for librarians, we’d love to hear them! Feel free to join in the conversation in our comments below, or on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn using the tag #interlibnet.

Michelle De Aizpurua, ILN Content Officer


Posted in Discussion topics, Round 2016A and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. That is great message for Library Professional . We can proof our knowledge with another achievement with the help of Library field . Because many people are knows Library professionals are very helpless staff as well as they doesn’t know any things beyond the library field .

    • One of the strength of librarians is that we often come to libraries as a second career – meaning that many of us have done something else beforehand. Library skills are so transferrable that, when they are combined with other areas of expertise, they can be very powerful! -Alyson

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