Where would you turn if you wanted information about starting a business? If you’re like most people these days, you’d start with Google.
But small business owners around the Northwest are discovering they can save time and get more credible results by turning to an old institution with 21st-century expertise – the library. With web publishing open to most of the population, knowledgeable reference librarians are becoming ever more vital to help small business owners zero in on sources they can trust.
Librarians hold master’s degrees in library and information studies.
Today’s librarian master’s programs include studies in Internet and database information science.
Mark Laska of Oak Harbor opened The BBQ Joint after moving to Whidbey
Island from the East Coast. “In starting a business,” he said. “I have found Sno-Isle’s business resources absolutely invaluable.”
In Island County Sno-Isle Libraries’ reference librarians assist small business owners online, in person and by telephone. These personal, confidential services save local business people time and anxiety, because the librarians are familiar with local laws and market data and where to find the most credible information.
BusinessDecision, a new electronic resource available to Sno-Isle Libraries cardholders, provides in-depth demographic reports and datamapping previously available only to large businesses that could pay thousands of dollars. Several other business-related “eResources” are available through Sno-Isle Libraries, including Business Source Premier and the full text of the Harvard Business Review.
The Sno-Isle Libraries serves more than 600,000 residents in Snohomish and Island counties. On Whidbey, it has libraries in Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Freeland, Langley and Clinton.