Inforpreneurship: Opportunities and Challenges for Library and Information Science Professionals in 21st Century
Keywords:Inforpreneurship, Library, Information Science, Professionals, 21st Century
The 21st century has offered unlimited opportunities to library and information science (LIS) professionals to explore their potentials and engage in productive ventures through the use of Internet and digital technologies. The objectives of this paper was to explore inforpreneurship opportunities that library and information science professionals could venture in the information industry as well as unravel the challenges that might be encountered especially in today’s world of 21st century. The opportunities discussed include: information brokerage, information systems consultancy, blogging and advertisement, web development/programming, database designing/distribution as well as internet café / business centre. The study stressed that these opportunities could enable tech-savvy LIS professionals to engage in one or more of these ventures without necessarily waiting for white collar jobs from the government. They could also offer job opportunities to themselves and to others, become self-reliant, as well as prestige associated with the jobs which could ultimately contribute in boosting the economy of the country, reduce unemployment and empower people. Challenges bedevilling LIS professionals from engaging in inforpreneurship as highlighted by this study include: lack of inforpreneurial spirit and fear of competition, lack of requisite skills/expertise, lack of adequate funds/capital, lack of adequate electricity and bandwidth and poor patronage from fellow citizens. Finally, the study recommended encouraging LIS professionals to develop inforpreneurship spirit during their course of study, reviewing curriculums that could inculcate inforpreneurship ideas in students, granting soft loans to graduates who are endowed with inforpreneurship ideas, improving power supply as well as encouraging fellow citizens towards patronising information products and services produced locally.
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