ALA announces Libraries Build Business coaches

For Immediate Release
Tue, 06/22/2021


Shawnda Hines

Assistant Director, Communications

Public Policy and Advocacy


Applications for public library participation to open July 19th

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association's (ALA) Libraries Build Business initiative has selected six coaches to provide leadership and technical assistance to its growing community throughout the remainder of 2021. Launched in 2020, Libraries Build Business is a national program supported by to build capacity in libraries offering programming or services to local entrepreneurs and the small business community.

Libraries Build Business coaches

  • Chris Bourret and Ann Poulos, Small Business Hub, Providence Public Library (Providence, RI)
  • Diane Luccy, Entrepreneurial Launchpad, Richland Library (Columbia, SC)
  • Adriana McCleer and Yee Lee Vue, Small Business – Big Impact, Appleton Public Library (Appleton, WI)
  • Karly Feinberg, Entrepreneur Academy, Baltimore County Public Library (Towson, MD)
  • Rachael Svoboda, Wyoming Library to Business, Laramie County Library System (Cheyenne, WY)
  • Stacey Goddard and Danielle Milton, Small Business Boot Camp, Spokane County Library District (Spokane, WA) 

“The Libraries Build Business coaches will play a key role in accomplishing our initiative goals of scaling our community of libraries working together on small business and entrepreneur programs and providing promising practices and models to the field,” said Megan Janicki, Libraries Build Business Project Manager. “We are so inspired by the expertise, leadership and innovation the Libraries Build Business coaches have demonstrated throughout their time in the program, and I’m excited for this next phase of our work together to unfold.”

Libraries Build Business program leaders selected the coaches from the pool of 13 libraries in the Libraries Build Business cohort. Coaches will support library professionals interested in starting or growing a small business development program at their library with one-to-one coaching sessions, peer review and feedback, technical assistance, resources and networking. The awards come with additional grant money for coaches’ own business programs; professional development and training; and the honored title of ALA Fellow throughout the six-month term. The coaching experience will be highly customizable and responsive, based on the needs and questions of the mentee. Topics may include equity, diversity, and inclusion; evaluation; partnerships; sustainability; and program models and startup.

The Libraries Build Business community has expanded beyond the 13-member cohort to include nearly 40 public libraries across the country who follow the Slack message board to address challenges, share resources and announcements, and engage in discussions and networking. Libraries Build Business encourages all library workers developing, managing, or expanding small business or entrepreneur programs to join the community on Slack. Applications for Libraries Build Business mentees will open on July 19, 2021.

To learn more about the Libraries Build Business initiative, attend the networking mixer/happy hour during ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition (Virtual) on Monday, June 28, 2021, 4:00-5:00 p.m. (CT).