Thursday, March 8, 2012


Here's a word of warning about doing library outreach to the business community.  Well, not so much a warning but rather a tip.  Something to be aware of.

Here it is: After a certain period of doing outreach to the business community (about five years in my case), you might start wondering why, if the library's business resources are met with such universal appeal and acclaim, why are there still large swaths of the business community that don't know about the power and versatility of our resources?  I think I have an answer, or at least a partial answer.  Competition.

If I show the commercial lenders at one bank in town our market research database, allowing them to save time and money when it comes time to performing due diligence in making a business loan, that information spreads like wildfire... right up to the doors of that particular bank.  Once the news makes its rounds within an single institution, there is no incentive for Bank ABC to share their newfound competitive edge with Bank XYZ.  In fact, there is a distinct disincentive working against the sharing of this information.

I say this just as a matter of encouragement.  If you put out a blog post explaining how to gain access to some fabulous resource, don't be surprised if it isn't shared widely.  Sometimes that's the sign that you're putting out really, really valuable information.