Byline: The BizInfo Librarians at the Douglas County Libraries
One year ago, Douglas County Libraries launched a service called BizInfo as a way to support the business research needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses in Douglas County. “This initiative is one of the ways that Douglas County Libraries is demonstrating its commitment to adding value to our communities in measurable ways,” says Rochelle Logan, Associate Director of Douglas County Libraries and the project lead.
The BizInfo program was first introduced in late 2008 at the three largest libraries - Highlands Ranch, Parker, and at the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock. Over this past year the professional BizInfo librarians at these three libraries have responded to research questions from over 100 patrons in the areas of market research, industry trends, competitive intelligence and marketing lists. “The research support we provided covers the gamut from providing resources for starting up a new business, writing a business plan, researching growth potential for various markets, looking at current industry trends, and finding information about the competition in an industry,” according to Colbe Galston and Lynn Sigman, BizInfo librarians at the Parker Library.
As the BizInfo service enters its second year, it is being expanded to serve the Castle Pines, Lone Tree and Roxborough communities. Amy Long, BizInfo librarian at the new Castle Pines Library states “The Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce is very enthusiastic about our BizInfo service, and the many resources we have that support the business community here in Castle Pines.”
Tina Poliseo, BizInfo librarian at the Highlands Ranch Library suggests: “If you are interested in our BizInfo service, just stop by one of our libraries or contact us by submitting an online inquiry using the BizInfo icon located on our Douglas County Libraries web site at http://www.douglascountylibraries.org.” Mary Knott, also of the Highlands Ranch Library says, “Our librarians rely on a wealth of resources, including an extensive collection of business books, periodicals, and subscription online databases.” The online databases are available at each Library or can be accessed from a home or business location using a Douglas County Libraries card.
In addition, the professional librarians also collaborate with other business support groups to bring business training programs to the libraries. Working together with the Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Councils, and Small Business Development Centers, the following free training programs are examples of those planned at one or more of the libraries in 2010: Business Start-Up Basics, Business Plan Basics, Franchising, and Marketing Fundamentals. Contact Douglas County Libraries at 303-791-7323 or check the Library web site for details of the date and time for these programs.
At the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock, Patricia Van Eysden is the BizInfo librarian who takes the lead in arranging these training sessions and seminars. One of the sessions she set up in 2009 was a franchise investment seminar, facilitated by M. Stacy Swift of FranNet Colorado. According to Swift, “The franchise investment seminars we have held at the Philip S. Miller Library this year have been a tremendous success. The location is great, and the support from the Library staff has been terrific. In fact, the CertaPro Painters franchise that was purchased earlier this year in Castle Rock was a direct result of a franchise investment seminar held at the Philip S. Miller Library! We are looking forward to continuing the seminars in 2010.”
If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner in Douglas County, you are encouraged to get in touch with a BizInfo librarian at your local Douglas County Library.