Ola 2009 Building Bridges To Business


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Ontario Library Association SuperConference 2009
Building Bridges to Business
Barrie Public Library
Ann Andrusyszyn and Anne Dorsey

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  • Ola 2009 Building Bridges To Business

    1. 1. Building Bridges to Business OLA SuperConference Friday January 30, 2009 Session #1316 Ann Andrusyszyn – Manager of Fundraising, Marketing & Communications Anne Dorsey – Business Librarian
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Why </li></ul><ul><li>What </li></ul><ul><li>How </li></ul><ul><li>Do It </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat, Repeat, Repeat </li></ul><ul><li>Ten tips </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why Make Business Connections? <ul><li>Show value – more than recreational </li></ul><ul><li>Do the give before the ask </li></ul><ul><li>Raise awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Help reach municipal goals </li></ul><ul><li>Positioning in the community </li></ul><ul><li>Social capital </li></ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul>
    4. 4. What do businesses want? <ul><li>Products and services that help them work more effectively & efficiently </li></ul><ul><li>Kept abreast of news/trends in their sector </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant, reliable and accurate information </li></ul><ul><li>Save time </li></ul><ul><li>Higher profile </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate social responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Community involvement </li></ul>
    5. 5. What can libraries provide? <ul><li>A bridge between information, technology and business users </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized collections and reference </li></ul><ul><li>Access to business/market databases </li></ul><ul><li>User education </li></ul><ul><li>Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Networking opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Resources for making informed decisions </li></ul>
    6. 6. How To <ul><li>Target </li></ul><ul><li>SWOT </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Do It! </li></ul>
    7. 7. TARGET Identification of Business Connections <ul><li>What does your library want to achieve? </li></ul><ul><li>Then identify targets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business directories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Top business lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business associations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networking groups </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Research! Research! Research! <ul><li>Local newspapers and business publications </li></ul><ul><li>National newspapers, periodicals </li></ul><ul><li>Business databases </li></ul><ul><li>Chamber of Commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Business Centres </li></ul><ul><li>Career centres </li></ul><ul><li>Local business network groups </li></ul><ul><li>Economic Development Office </li></ul>
    9. 9. SWOT <ul><li>Strengths </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare a list of your strongest “selling” features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a list of major achievements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State how this is different from similar organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain the distinctions </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Assets of Public Libraries <ul><li>Widely available </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>High credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Neutrality </li></ul><ul><li>Broad range of informative services and support </li></ul><ul><li>Economic reach </li></ul><ul><li>Social capital </li></ul><ul><li>Early adopters of information technology </li></ul><ul><li>Experience in partnerships – natural partners </li></ul><ul><li>Robust networks – gateway to world libraries; with government & community organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Local and networked information resources </li></ul>
    11. 11. SWOT <ul><li>Weaknesses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote the librarian vs. promote the library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geographically remote from businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No clearly defined mission statement, goals or objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of awareness – the notion that libraries are for kids and seniors </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. SWOT <ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know who you serve – understand the demographics of your community, particularly the business community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand how you fit into the picture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic downturn=library upturn </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Libraries: Key to Economic Growth <ul><li>Study released by the Urban Institute </li></ul><ul><li>4 key areas including – small business resources and programs lower barriers to market entry </li></ul><ul><li>Local economies in rapid transition as move from manufacturing and service industries to information and idea industries </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy is to keep a vibrant base of small businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Mix residential, commercial & cultural activities to make creative cities – a la Richard Florida </li></ul><ul><li>A paradigm shift – from passive recreational reading and research to active economic development agent </li></ul>
    14. 14. SWOT <ul><li>Threats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of management and/or board support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stereotype </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No need – all that is needed is on my computer (negators) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No or low budget </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Previous negative experience </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. STRATEGY <ul><li>Board and staff buy-in </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Develop deep understanding of the businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Build relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Sustain relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach/In-reach </li></ul><ul><li>Business materials </li></ul><ul><li>Take Aways </li></ul><ul><li>Displays </li></ul><ul><li>Your story </li></ul><ul><li>Business Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Embedded in community </li></ul>
    16. 16. Outreach and In-reach Synergy <ul><li>Make others aware of business resources </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight collections, including electronic </li></ul><ul><li>Create relationships with business professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Future funding resources </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach should lead to in-reach </li></ul>
    17. 17. Tell Your Business Story <ul><li>Shape messages that resonate </li></ul><ul><li>Never underestimate the WOW factor </li></ul><ul><li>Need several infomercials in your kit </li></ul><ul><li>Tell a success story </li></ul><ul><li>Need a tagline! </li></ul>
    18. 18. Do it! <ul><li>Get out the door and get started </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low hanging fruit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Join Chamber </li></ul><ul><li>Attend events </li></ul>
    19. 19. Do it <ul><li>Book-talk at networking events </li></ul><ul><li>Look for ways to demonstrate the databases outside the library </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated business pages in the library newsletter – consider a “theme approach” </li></ul><ul><li>Write articles and book reviews for local business publications </li></ul>
    20. 20. Building the Relationships <ul><li>It takes time and effort to develop </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not a quick fix or source of funding – two way street with realistic expectations </li></ul><ul><li>What are the main challenges your business faces and HOW can the library help? </li></ul><ul><li>What changes or additions in resources/programs would assist your business? </li></ul><ul><li>Deposits/withdrawals </li></ul>
    21. 21. Sustaining the Relationships <ul><li>Thank you ALWAYS </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up – report back -updates </li></ul><ul><li>Re-introduce yourself </li></ul><ul><li>No one-off attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Go back and ask again if another opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on helping businesses get what they want </li></ul><ul><li>Create a one stop shopping experience </li></ul>
    22. 22. Sell! Sell! Sell! Your Library <ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><li>Internet access </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting space </li></ul><ul><li>Business reference sources </li></ul><ul><li>Research database </li></ul><ul><li>Search Expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Talk benefits, not features </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it current </li></ul>
    23. 23. Best Practices <ul><li>Know your resources – particularly business databases </li></ul><ul><li>Promote resources not typically considered part of library </li></ul><ul><li>Remember in-house training for staff </li></ul><ul><li>Clear guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Program proposal & evaluation forms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Embrace virtual services that deliver info to user’s desktop etc. – streamline </li></ul><ul><li>One size does not fit all </li></ul><ul><li>Connect with other business librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Dear Reader business reads </li></ul><ul><li>Listen! Listen! Listen! </li></ul>
    24. 24. Very Important! <ul><li>Barrie Public Library provides programming to enrich the knowledge and experience of our customers, and cannot be seen to support any one business over another. To this end, we ask that you agree that you not promote your own business or product and do not recruit clients. Please sign the following statement. </li></ul><ul><li>I agree that in providing information to the customers of Barrie Public Library for this library sponsored programme, I will not promote my own business interest or recruit clients. I may make some mention of my company in introducing myself and my qualifications, but I will not solicit business in any way. </li></ul><ul><li>Date: ____________ Signature: ______________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Staff signature: ______________________________ </li></ul>
    25. 25. Top of mind ….. <ul><li>It’s not a Google world </li></ul><ul><li>Economic Downturn = Library Upturn </li></ul><ul><li>They don’t know what they don’t know </li></ul><ul><li>Business needs – not library needs </li></ul><ul><li>Tipping Point </li></ul><ul><li>Need to reclaim our roles as an information source </li></ul><ul><li>Never underestimate the power of using your library’s name </li></ul><ul><li>Expand your walls </li></ul>
    26. 26. Evaluation <ul><li>Evidence Based Librarianship </li></ul><ul><li>Business impact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what changed for the business? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Library impact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsorships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Donations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased usage </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>Peer recognition of success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requests from other libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite to sit on Boards/Committees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Invitations to speak </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion sought </li></ul>
    28. 28. Repeat …… <ul><li>… as necessary! </li></ul><ul><li>As often as possible </li></ul>
    29. 29. Top Ten Tips You Can Start Now! <ul><li>Learn the lingo </li></ul><ul><li>Create pathfinders </li></ul><ul><li>Create bibliographies </li></ul><ul><li>Infomercial </li></ul><ul><li>Value story - impact </li></ul><ul><li>Booktalk! Book Review </li></ul><ul><li>Connect! Network! Follow-up! </li></ul><ul><li>Join Chamber, BIA </li></ul><ul><li>Offer tours (such a misnomer since it’s really an info session) </li></ul><ul><li>Best foot forward </li></ul>
    30. 30. Thank you for your time <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Comments? </li></ul><ul><li>Ann Andrusyszyn </li></ul><ul><li>(705) 728-1010 ext. 7040 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Anne Dorsey </li></ul><ul><li>(705) 728-101 ext. 7014 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>