Public Libraries Briefcase


No. 4, 2nd Quarter 2003

A publication of the BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee


Public Libraries Briefcase is a quarterly column written by members of the BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee.


Successful Business Programs in Public Libraries

Business librarians in public libraries were asked to share their ideas for successful business programs. The ideas covered a variety of topics and were funded with the existing programming budget available through their library, except for the extensive outreach program developed by the San Diego Public Library through an LSTA grant. Library staff and volunteer speakers usually served as presenters, with occasional honorariums provided. Publicity for the events was achieved through library newsletters, newspaper articles, local cable TV and radio announcements, in-house displays and flyers, networking through local business organizations, direct mailings, and postings on the library website. Here is a summary of the ideas submitted.

Small Business Start-Up and Growth

Themes: Start-up How To, Marketing, E-Commerce, Financing, Home-Based Businesses, Intellectual Property, Writing a Business Plan

Speakers: City Economic Development Office, Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Women’s Entrepreneurial Network, SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), business faculty from a local university, local patent lawyers association, Home-Based Business Association, web site designers, business librarian


Themes: Local/State/National Economy

Speakers: economists from major banks, universities, consulting firms, state and local offices, workforce analysts

Personal Investment

Themes: Financial and Estate Planning, Investment Research (print, subscription databases and Internet sites), Using Value Line and Morningstar.

Speakers: stock brokers and investment firms, National Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC), radio/TV financial talk show hosts, business librarian

Jobs and Careers

Themes: Jobseekers’ Resources and Tips (print, online, government programs)

Speakers: employment agencies, executive recruiters, Human Resources personnel, Unemployment Office, reference librarians

Library Business Resources

Themes: Business Databases/Resources and Internet Sites, Partner with SBDC and SCORE to Give Tours/Orientations, Hosting a Chamber of Commerce Event (Breakfast/After Hours), Exhibitor at a Business Expo

Speakers: business librarian, online database publisher’s representatives

Business Book Discussion Groups

Themes: Monthly Book Discussion (featuring a business title)

Speakers: local business people, Chamber of Commerce, business librarian

Websites that May Help with Finding Speakers

Thanks to the following libraries for their contributions:

  • Beaverton City Library (Beaverton, Oregon)
  • Farmington Community Library (Farmington Hills, Michigan)
  • Gloucester County Library (New Jersey)
  • Johnson County Library (Overland Park, Kansas)
  • Kirkwood Public Library (Kirkwood, Missouri)
  • Mid-Continent Public Library (Independence, Missouri)
  • Pikes Peak Library District (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
  • Rockford Public Library (Rockford, Illinois)
  • San Diego Public Library
  • Toledo- Lucas County Public Library
  • Westport Public Library (Westport, Connecticut)

Written by Sharon Vincent, Farmington Community Library, Farmington, Michigan

Disclaimer : This publication has been placed on the web for the convenience of BRASS members. Information and links will not be updated. Posted 2 April 2003.