New book spotlights ways to advance entrepreneurship in public libraries
For Immediate Release
ALA Publishing & Media
American Library Association
CHICAGO — Libraries have a distinctive role to play in the small business ecosystem and can effectively partner to complement existing business services in the community. A nationwide initiative that launched in 2020, Libraries Build Business (LBB) aims to build capacity in libraries offering programming or services to local entrepreneurs and the small business community, prioritizing low-income and underrepresented entrepreneurs. And libraries have already begun to transform communities. “Libraries that Build Business: Advancing Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Public Libraries,” published by ALA Editions in collaboration with ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, details programs ranging from one-on-one business consultations, classes, and workshops to networking and equipment lending. Serving as powerful models of how libraries and their staff can advance innovation and economic growth on any budget and scale, the examples in this collection edited by Megan Janicki will inspire public libraries to plug into their own communities while guiding them through the nuts-and-bolts of making it happen. Readers will learn:
- the value to libraries of getting involved in entrepreneurship development;
- how libraries are integrating equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) into their efforts, working to create more inclusive business communities and, in turn, cultivate a vision for justice in communities across the country;
- vivid case studies of more than two dozen programs representing a cross-section of urban, suburban, and rural libraries, such as Entrepreneurship Academy, a training program; a 6-month business incubator targeting the formerly incarcerated; empowering street vendors, a consulting service with local business experts; and a makerspace for business;
- best practices related to budgeting, partnerships, staff, outreach, evaluation, sustainability, and other core components; and
- information about additional resources to support their work.
Janicki is the project manager of the Libraries Build Business initiative with the Public Policy and Advocacy office at the American Library Association. Prior to her work with ALA, Megan worked in a variety of adult education, workforce development, and social service roles in Washington, DC. She holds a master of education degree in learning, diversity, and urban studies. The American Library Association's Public Policy and Advocacy office was established in 1945 to represent libraries on Capitol Hill. Read more about its nearly 75 years of history here.
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