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Supporting the information needs of entrepreneurs in South Africa

Supporting the information needs of entrepreneurs in South Africa Purpose – The Library Business Corners (LBC) service for entrepreneurs in the Western Cape of South Africa uses public libraries as a channel for information and expertise. It is a “grass roots”, community‐driven, approach which has been adopted elsewhere in South Africa. Similar services have appeared addressing the same, or similar, groups of users, often concentrating on the use of information and communication technology. Design/methodology/approach – Developing an effective service for entrepreneurs depends critically on the quality of staff and their contacts. The opportunities and problems of the LBCs’ approach are identified and a response to the emergence of similar services is considered. The “balanced score card” model is used to explore the vision and strategy of the present services and the potential contribution of information literacy. Findings – Financial support for LBC work is scarce and unlikely to increase. The challenge is to create a sustainable service by the LBC team as points of presence, using the existing or reduced financial base. Concentration on increasing capacity at the point of delivery of information through knowledge of the business environment and information literacy is essential. Originality/value – The paper describes the first application of the “balanced score card” technique to a public library business information service in South Africa. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Library Review Emerald Publishing

Supporting the information needs of entrepreneurs in South Africa

Library Review , Volume 58 (8): 12 – Sep 4, 2009

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0024-2535
DOI
10.1108/00242530910987064
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The Library Business Corners (LBC) service for entrepreneurs in the Western Cape of South Africa uses public libraries as a channel for information and expertise. It is a “grass roots”, community‐driven, approach which has been adopted elsewhere in South Africa. Similar services have appeared addressing the same, or similar, groups of users, often concentrating on the use of information and communication technology. Design/methodology/approach – Developing an effective service for entrepreneurs depends critically on the quality of staff and their contacts. The opportunities and problems of the LBCs’ approach are identified and a response to the emergence of similar services is considered. The “balanced score card” model is used to explore the vision and strategy of the present services and the potential contribution of information literacy. Findings – Financial support for LBC work is scarce and unlikely to increase. The challenge is to create a sustainable service by the LBC team as points of presence, using the existing or reduced financial base. Concentration on increasing capacity at the point of delivery of information through knowledge of the business environment and information literacy is essential. Originality/value – The paper describes the first application of the “balanced score card” technique to a public library business information service in South Africa.

Journal

Library ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 4, 2009

Keywords: South Africa; Information literacy; Balanced scorecard; Business support services; Public libraries

References