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Abstract

Despite the increasing importance to libraries of supporting entrepreneurship and economic development, professional development opportunities on those topics have been rare. Also rare are opportunities for public, special, and academic librarians plus other types of professionals to collaborate on major professional development events like a multi-day conference. The authors and a diverse planning group worked to challenge that status quo by creating the Entrepreneurship & Libraries Conference (ELC) 2020. After making a COVID-19-mandated pivot to an online format, this conference featured speakers, networking hours, a discussion room hour, and a pitch competition with cash prizes for libraries proposing economic development projects. This article describes how a diverse group of librarians and economic development stakeholders from across the United States and Canada worked together to define, develop, and lead the ELC 2020. The article concludes with assessment and recommendations.

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