Thursday, August 23, 2012

Public library services to small businesses: A dream for the Anglo-Caribbean?

Just had to post about the Bradely Collins'  American Libraries article on public library services to small businesses (Collins, 2012). It is an important article that captures my dream and vision for the island public libraries of the Caribbean. After reading the article, I have itemised the services, resources and other ways that libraries can facilitate the development of small and medium businesses. You can read the entire article for yourself via the referenced URL at the end. In the mean time, I provide you with a summary of the most salient points.

 Business library services to include are, but are not limited to
  • business resource workshops or seminars (outside resource personnel can be invited to present)
  • librarian attending business functions and connecting with business interest groups in order to identify needs and how the library can partner with them to meet the needs
  • market research assistance
  • business networking opportunities

Resources would include, but are not limited to:
  • online business databases
  • pathfinders for business resources 
  • pathfinders outlining steps involved in business start-up
  • business and career collections - dedicated section to these
  • access to trade journals that fit local demographic
  • computer access
  • books and multimedia on creating and running a business
  • sample business plans and other business templates
  • databases on community demographic information and industry trends

Facilities would include, but are not limited to:
  • fax and copier services
  • computers with Internet access
  • providing meeting places for business interest groups
  • spaces for meeting and training

With respect to the English speaking Caribbean region, I perhaps should undertake an Anglo-Caribbean study or survey some time in the future to see how many if any public libraries are actually offering any of these business library services to their populations. It would be useful to discover how well Caribbean public public libraries fare in this area. On a more personal note, I am dreaming to see the day when a Caribbean public library will develop a section or department specific towards Business, Science and Technological Innovation, with the mission of developing and managing specialised collections for business development and scientific and technological innovation.


Collins, B. (2012, July/August). How public libraries are a boon to small business. American Libraries
vol. 43, 28-31. Retrieved August 23, 2012 from

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