Grand County libraries: Your libraries help businesses help themselves
July 11, 2008
Your library is in the business of helping business.A recent business-contact session conducted by the Grand County Library District at the Granby Library makes it clear that your library is more than just a place to check-out books it’s also a veritable gold mine of business information in the form of books, digital data and on-line resources.Not only that, your library can be a place to rent space for business functions. It can also be a place for continuing education.Stephanie Ralph, the new Branch Librarian at the Granby Library, said the libraries are full of great business resources. What she offers in Granby is an example of what’s offered at all the Grand County Libraries.To address the needs of the business community we have a rapidly growing selection of books, she said. We try to cover a large number of books that come out on the New York Times best seller list, she said. The New York Times best seller list started out with just a small number of business books, and then they discovered that they were so popular that they were always on the top and there was no room for anyone else. And so they created their own list. And so now the New York Times bestseller list has just an enormous range of really good books, Ralph said. So if you don’t know that list, check it out and you’ll find that many of those titles are on our shelves.Grand BEDA (the Grand County Business and Economic Development Association) has established a great relationship with the library for training and business skills.We’ve developed a wonderful partnership with BEDA, she said. There are classes that we are running with BEDA.CMC (Colorado Mountain College), which has been helping BEDA put these business-assistance classes together, has let us know that our participants in these classes will be issued with a CMC certificate of participation.BEDA is also helping us with some finances to extend our business book collection, and we have the proposed book list for review, she said. I tried to find titles that would interest a wide range of different groups.There are titles on what it means to try and open up a business in a small town and how to set up and start and run small businesses. There are also stories of how businesses grew and how they failed.In serving the business community, Ralph said the library district wants comments. We really relish input. So come and tell if there’s something that you’d like to add to that list.People in business will also find the online databases available through he libraries very helpful.It’s called Business Premier. Go to gcld.org. You can find your way to Business Source Premier and it will allow you to access up-to-date information on journals, books, articles, she said, adding that it offers an extremely comprehensive data base.It includes trade publications, magazines, newspapers academic articles, books, industry profiles, company profiles and more.It’s really worth checking this out, but you do need a library card, she said. Wireless connectivity that’s available at all five libraries is also extremely valuable to the business community.We get people running businesses whose business is actually their laptop, who use the system, Ralph said. It’s just an incredible resource. In Granby, for instance, the library has seen 577 hours of wireless use for the year. The computers that are available for free use in the libraries are also a great business resource. A person can walk in and get on the web quickly to check out business information or to take advantage of the machines and their excellent connectivity. In the Granby Library so fare for the year there has been 6,261 hours of computer use.In considering those numbers figure in the fact that the Granby Library, for example, had 32,825 people walk through its doors from January through May. I though that statistic is absolutely amazing, Ralph said. That is a number that is growing. What does it mean to Granby?It means that the library in Granby, as in other towns, is one of the most heavily used amenities. It means the libraries draw people to town who may also shop or conduct other business while visiting the library. The libraries are retail and service magnets that pull people to town.Obviously, that’s good for business.And who knows, one of those people might even by a house, Ralph said.Another great benefit of the libraries for the business community is the fact that library meeting space in Granby, Fraser and Kremmling can be leased for business use at no charge. The Grand County Libraries are great for business by being an information resource, a location for Internet connectivity, a magnet for customers and as places that can be used at no charge for business meetings.