Libraries as Business Incubators

Public Libraries as Business Incubators is an article in PC World suggesting that libraries could provide a service to their communities by serving as a connection to resources that small businesses might need and/or provide to other small businesses.  This would allow those with a good business idea to connect up with those who can recognize and support the starting and development of the business with ideas, funding and other resources.

I say take it a step further.  For the same effort, a library can set up a means to connect community talent with individuals and organizations (including businesses) that could use that talent.

One theoretical example:  a community college art student wants to explore a career in visual design.  A small business (a local pizza parlor, for instance) needs to come up with a striking and useful logo, but doesn’t have the resources to hire a professional to design it.  Bringing the two together just might be of benefit to each.

Take this idea and internalize it, as well.  Have the librarians, staff, and volunteers provide overviews of their talents and interests.  This not only gives your library information about what it already has (but may not have been aware of), but it also might offer a means to set up a barter system with community organizations that can provide services that you normally couldn’t afford.  One of your staff could train a group to set up and successfully maintain a Facebook account, while that group could host a community demonstration of something they are able to provide.

There is a flood of talent in the library, as well as in the communities surrounding us.  Tapping into this could be the solution for so many challenges facing us.

found via a Facebook post by Jo Budler

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