Building Business Know-How through Data Literacy

Click to view an auto-captioned version of this recording in Zoom.

Discover the power of Census data to help your community's entrepreneurs plan and grow their businesses. In addition to demographic data, the U.S. Census Bureau collects information about American businesses, providing opportunities to use data to build business plans, compare industries and locations, investigate workforce characteristics, research local labor market indicators, and assess the economic health of your community. Learn how libraries collaborate with economic development agencies, community groups, and individuals to foster workforce development and promote informed business planning and decision-making.

Originally presented June 16, 2021.

This webinar—the second of six—is presented as part of the Census Data Literacy project, an initiative of PLA in partnership with ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, which aims to build data literacy skills among library staff with the overall goal of promoting awareness and use of Census data in their communities. These webinars will be facilitated by Karen Brown, manager, ACRL Consulting Services.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the information needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs in their community;
  • Discover Census data sources to help entrepreneurs with business planning, investment, and decision-making;
  • Develop strategies to support the data needs of low income and/or underrepresented entrepreneurs to start and grow small businesses; and
  • Understand examples of effective library programs that foster data literacy and workforce development.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar is intended for public library administrators and public services and outreach librarians interested in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.


Julie BrophyJulie Brophy is the manager of adult and community engagement at Baltimore County Public Library in Maryland, where she provides leadership on services and events for adults, cultivates strategic partnerships and collaborations to better meet the community’s needs, and looks for opportunities to connect in the community through mobile engagement and outreach. Julie has worked in public, academic, and government libraries during her career in New York, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, and Maryland.

Darrin ConroyDarrin Conroy has been the library director for the New York Small Business Development Center (SBDC) since 2002. He leads a staff of four other librarians and his primary responsibilities include custom research services, acquisitions, statistical compilation and reporting, and listserv management.

Adam GrundyAdam Grundy began his career at the U.S. Census Bureau in 2009 and currently works in the Data User and Trade Outreach Branch in the Economic Management Division, where he has taken several leadership roles. He developed an online calendar for the ECON Directorate, participated in several key stakeholder meetings for developing the Census Business Builder data platform, and served as a member of the outreach team for the U.S. Census Bureau. Adam has written several articles for the America Counts series for and continues to look for new and interesting ways to share ECON data products with the public.

Madeleine IldefonsoMadeleine Ildefonso, managing librarian, oversees the Office of Civics and Community Services at the Los Angeles (CA) Public Library (LAPL). She has worked in six LAPL locations over fifteen years as a children's librarian, a branch manager, and now as a project manager for system-wide initiatives like the New Americans Initiative. Madeleine is interested in connecting library users with engaging and meaningful services and programs to empower their decisions and support their success and resilience.

Merida KippConfederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes member, Merida Kipp has a Masters in Library and Information Science, a Masters in Information Technology and Administrative Management, and BS in Computer Science. As the library administrator of the Yakama Nation Library (Toppenish, WA) she seeks out grant funding, oversees the library collection, and implements programming. She advocates and seeks solutions to provide opportunities for the surrounding community to move beyond the digital divide and achievement gap.



This on-demand webinar is free and available 24/7 for your viewing convenience.

How to Register

No registration is required.

Tech Requirements

To playback this archived webinar you should have either the latest version of Flash running on your computer, or use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.

Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, CEUs, or certificates of attendance/completion/participation for its on-demand webinars and cannot verify participation.


If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).