Yesterday 20 public, academic, and special librarians gathered here at UNCG to celebrate the 10th anniversary of BLINC: Business Librarianship in North Carolina and to hold our 40th or so free workshop. (That page is missing a few recent events.) We held our initial gathering at Greensboro in March 2003, so yesterday’s workshop symbolizes the successful kick-off of our next 10 years.
Two first-time attendees joined us: a local independent librarian who discovered us through LinkedIn, and the new business librarian from one of the UNC campuses.
Mary Scanlon from Wake Forest University, our able leader, guided the workshop as we worked through our agenda:
- networking and updates on personal accomplishments;
- enjoying BLINC birthday cake;
- Continuing to discuss NC LIVE’s contract and options for company directories (as NC LIVE’s request);
- Choosing BLINC’s programs at the NCLA conference this fall;
- Planning our workshops for North Carolina’s Small Business Development Centers, in conjunction with NC LIVE.
For the conference, we decided to provide a suite of workshops centered on helping smaller libraries provide research support for their local small businesses, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs. In addition we will offer a workshop on “Grant Seeking for Libraries” and will bring in an ALA rep to promote the Smart Investing @ Your Library program.
The discussion of NC LIVE’s company directory situation and possible options got a little heavy. The NC LIVE Resources Advisory Committee had recently received a nuanced and detailed analysis of various products from a BLINC task force, but returned to us with a request to prioritize our needs regardless of the type of library involved. And after a significant discussion we accomplished that, deciding we had to prioritize our priorities in two categories:
- Domestic directory
- International directory
- Residential listings
- Company profiles
(There was some discussion if residential listings, popular at many public libraries, was really a business content type. We also noted that other NC LIVE databases like Business Source Complete and Morningstar provide useful company profiles.)
- Powerful yet user-friendly interface + accurate & current data (a tie)
- Good download options
Sorry for the lack of details regarding the particular company directories we compared and discussed.
Our next workshop will be our first in most everyone’s favorite hip mountain city, Asheville, in May. Betty Clementson from WCU will be hosting us at her school’s Asheville branch. Hopefully some of us can get together the night before for some food and drink! Here’s to the next 10 years of fellowship, learning, and service through BLINC.