News & Views‎ > ‎

Business Model Canvas: Academic Library Edition

posted Nov 21, 2015, 5:39 PM by Greg Smith
I’ve been inattentive to posting news and views here over the past few years because I’ve devoted much of my time to pursuing the MBA degree. I posted my portfolio some months ago here on this site, and I’ve added to it as I’ve progressed toward degree completion. Now, with weeks left in my final course, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The course I’m taking now focuses on business strategies and models. One of the tools we’ve been exposed to is the Business Model Canvas (BMC), as elaborated by Osterwalder and Pigneur (2010). A few weeks ago I took the time to interpret the operations of the Jerry Falwell Library, where I work, via the structure of the BMC. The results are pictured below. Click on the image to view a larger version.

Jerry Falwell Library Business Model Canvas

I know that I’m not the first to apply the BMC to a library setting; nevertheless, thinking through this has been valuable to me. Getting acquainted with the BMC was enlightening, but it was particularly rewarding to apply it fruitfully to my own work context. The concepts and tools that I learned about in my MBA program were usually explained in function of a for-profit environment. It is refreshing whenever I find that a concept or tool has been applied, or can be applied, to the nonprofit world as well.

Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business model generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changes, and challengers. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.