How Public Libraries Are a Boon to Small Business | American Libraries Magazine | The Information Professional |


"Tips for Enhancing Business Services

- Post a pathfinder to resources on your website. Outline all the steps involved in a business start-up as well as how to use your resources. Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library is an excellent example with its business and career center site. \

- Databases and other online services are often available through state library associations or regional consortiums. If you are purchasing your own, look carefully at all your options and keep reevaluating new products. Gale Cengage, for instance, recently released its DemographicsNow: Business & People database, which it says is powerful enough to replace two or three other popular services.

- Choose trade journals that fit your local markets, which might mean fashion design in New York but food trucks in Chicago and agriculture in Carson City.

- Attend business functions to listen for trends and topics for your programs and to identify speakers. You may persuade even professional speakers to appear pro bono because they may wind up with a customer or two at the end of their program.

- Record your workshop speakers for videos or podcasts on your website or on YouTube. Keep them short, or edit them into focused segments. Link to good programs on other library sites as well. The New York and Simsbury, Connecticut, libraries have very good collections.

- Join BRASS, the Business Reference and Services Section of ALA’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). The BRASS website offers some wonderful information, and you can learn even more by networking with others in field."