To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Library as incubating space for innovations: practices, trends and skill sets

Xin Li (Instruction, Research, and Information Services Division, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, New York, USA)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 1 July 2006




The purpose of this paper is to discuss library transformation and creative approaches in public services.


Using classic business concept and drawing on Cornell University service examples, changing customer demands and library's ability to innovate and respond to customers are assessed. The critical skills needed for library to remain competitive are outlined.


In order for libraries to remain relevant to their customers, they must follow the fundamental rule of business, that is, to supply what is demanded by their market. Library staff skills and library services all have to shift from book‐centric to user‐centric.

Practical implications

As the academic library continues to redefine its role in teaching and research in the digital environment, it needs to leverage its strengths, such as physical space and collections, and to innovate responsive and convenient services.


The ideas presented in this paper are most useful to library managers and leaders as they address service weak points or the design and development of user‐centric, value‐added library services.



Li, X. (2006), "Library as incubating space for innovations: practices, trends and skill sets", Library Management, Vol. 27 No. 6/7, pp. 370-378.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles