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SOLS Webinar November 16, 2012 Anne Dorsey – Business Librarian Christopher Vanderkruys – Manager of Development, Marketing and Communications Barrie Public.

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Presentation on theme: "SOLS Webinar November 16, 2012 Anne Dorsey – Business Librarian Christopher Vanderkruys – Manager of Development, Marketing and Communications Barrie Public."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOLS Webinar November 16, 2012 Anne Dorsey – Business Librarian Christopher Vanderkruys – Manager of Development, Marketing and Communications Barrie Public Library The Library and Economic Development

2 The “times, they are a changin” Need for libraries to remain relevant and adapt to changing times Address the needs of job seekers, working families and small businesses Libraries may/can be the best business value in town Times Are Tough, Libraries Are Thriving NY Times, March 15, 2009

3 Library Impact on Community Libraries already part of the economy and tax base Local businesses generate tax revenues that directly and indirectly support libraries Libraries provide info so businesses can be more competitive and more successful Libraries support needs of the workforce to gain skills to find and keep good jobs Small biz have huge economic input in community with 97% of business having >20 employees Business owners that understand value of libraries can bring assets and influence to the library

4 Libraries at the heart of our communities

5 Library as Community Whisperer Economic outlook – global, Canada, local Employment picture Local business goes global Newcomers Youth entrepreneurs- CYBF Womenpreneurs Mompreneurs Home-based Job seekers – demographics! Complete communities – live, work, play locally

6 Job Seekers @ Your Library

7 SWOT Analysis StrengthsWeaknesses OpportunitiesChallenges Streamlining solutions Online Tutorials Develop specific skills Library as biz expert The economy = lost businesses Financial restraints Administrative support Proprietary limits Time Management Resources Awareness Library dependent Victim of your success Information broker Core community service Access for all Lifelong learning Established resources StrengthsWeaknesses Opportunities Threats

8 Information is KING (and QUEEN!) Who are my competitors? Who are my target customers? What are the characteristics of my market? What are the market trends in my industry ? These questions comprise as much as 80% of business queries

9 Assisting Small Businesses Assisting the job creators in small-medium-sized businesses – community def’n of SME Last 30 years, nearly all net new jobs created by start-ups (U.S. Dept. of Commerce 2011) People with good/innovative ideas build start-ups Access for all and a level playing field Library assistance is truly priceless Books, databases, meeting space, trends and more Ripple effect of the spending of new businesses

10 Library Support for Small Business Offer library space for business meetings/programs Sponsor/co-sponsor business events in the library Include a business link on the library’s home page Build a basic/fundamental business collection Provide essential business-specific databases

11 Library Support for Small Business Train staff to answer basic business queries Create or host networking opportunities Sponsor /participate in young entrepreneur programs Develop/ share a resource guide for businesses Provide information on community resources

12 Library Support for Small Business Provide library introduction to new businesses Create a brochure that “Welcomes Business to the Library Attend local business events and serve on committees Share testimonials from businesses you have helped Use social media to keep biz current on library news

13 AssessmentCollectionsTrainingProgrammingCollaborationCommunication Information Cycle

14 Assessment

15 Know your community Determine number of small businesses and their size (employees, revenue) Determine current library support for small biz Evaluate what has been tried and tested in the past Library as a connector for businesses to local agencies that provide support Inventory what you already have i.e. business directories, periodicals, databases, business collection etc.

16 AssessmentCollections

17 A basic business collection of print/online resources Use existing and/or library created resource guides and pathfinders Online directory/websites list to answer business questions Library website link to relevant small business organizations/agencies Library staff familiar with business specific databases and understand how they can support small business Network with other libraries to share database access Subscribe to resources that must be authenticated in-library or remotely with library card

18 Collections General Business Plans Sample Business Plans – Gale Business Plans Handbook Business Start-Up Series – Self-Counsel, Entrepreneur Press Directories – Scotts, MDDI, Reference Canada Online Periodicals – trade associations, industry specific, newspapers, magazines etc. Marketing Resources – CARD Online, books, periodicals Legal/Government – CCH O’Briens Forms, Statutes/Regulations International Business - EY/Passport, Doing Business In…. Not-For-Profits resources (Imagine Canada)

19 Resources at a Glance

20 Million Dollar Database

21 PCensus

22 AssessmentCollectionsTraining

23 Provide training for staff on how to support small biz with in- house resources Connect businesses to resources available at other libraries, agencies Provide assistance to biz on accessing information Provide training documents/tools Attend business training sessions in the community

24 Programming AssessmentCollectionsTrainingProgramming

25 Identify business programs that assist the local businesses Implement programs that are valuable to local businesses Research and connect biz to new ideas and opportunities Inform businesses about use of social media and the value of an online presence Connect businesses to free, high quality self-directed online training that support businesses Plan networking events to facilitate info sharing Identify necessary skills for business ownership and see how the library can meet the need Tap local business presenters (BUT firm guidelines are a must)



28 Collaboration AssessmentCollectionsTrainingProgrammingCollaboration

29 Connect with business leaders, groups etc. in the community Sit on local business meetings and serve on committees Identify and prioritize programs & services to support small biz Share library value with community stakeholders Attend nonprofit AGMs, Chamber events etc. Stay on the same playing field as businesses with business cards, professional materials etc. Develop a multi-prong approach to providing and publicizing resources & services Form and sustain ongoing relationships with businesses

30 Communication AssessmentCollectionsTrainingProgrammingCollaborationCommunication

31 Develop ideas & strategies for marketing/ outreach to the business community Communicate library value re: the local economy Inform businesses about library resources, assistance Use word-of-mouth marketing to promote its services/resources Generate and promote “good news” stories Establish a method to evaluate success with businesses Maintain a productive relationship with the local media

32 Social Media Approval process Consistent brand Measure success One stop funnel Establish priorities Reevaluate often! Trend watching

33 Key Success Factors Passion & commitment to service small business community Library admin/board must be totally behind the efforts Time to be involved must be allocated fairly Staff must be committed to spending time outside the library Connections must be made with other businesses, support agencies, community partners, politicians etc. Attend meetings, networking events, join committees etc. Train other library staff on business needs and research tools Provide basic business resources and online databases Spread the word about the value of the library to local businesses and ultimately the local economy


35 The Future The library can position itself as a key player in the economic development of the community Libraries are dependent on successful local businesses to bring in tax revenue and contribute to the library budget Libraries can develop and sustain partnerships with local support agencies to provide key resources so that businesses can not only survive but thrive Local businesses can be powerful allies if they understand and appreciate the value of the library to their success in the community Libraries of ALL sizes can find ways to serve local businesses

36 Thank you for your time and attention Anne Dorsey – Christopher Vanderkruys –

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