My #Library Outreach Idea to Local Businesses

I read a great article about businesses starting their own libraries of business books in the office and it spurned a thought that I wanted to share with anyone in a community with a large number of businesses. It’s pretty simple and I’m not sure it requires an entire blog post dedicated to it, but I need to write something here anyway and I want to write this idea down before I forget it. Basically the idea is circulating business book bins. (Self-explanatory! That might be all you need to read here. But if you want more, please continue)

So, you know how libraries circulate those subject specific boxes for schools when the school is doing a big research topic on something like reptiles? Well… What if we did the same thing, but for local businesses? These bins, or boxes, or bags, would be filled with books and resources for businesses big and small to circulate to employees. Each bin could have a different subject in it such as marketing, leadership, management, etc… In fact, we could even have bins for folks who are starting up their own businesses that could be filled with books about start-ups that could include things like NOLO Guides and books on business plans and models. *Thus the library could be the source for renewed entrepreneurship in America, eventually saving the American Way and Dream, the American economy, and in fact, America itself!!

Anyway, I think it would work something like this. The library would put together these various bins and send letters to local businesses advertising this new service listing the various business topics. Each bin would have a collection of books on a specific topic, but only the bin would need to be barcoded because they’re checking out that subject collection in total. There would be a list of materials with a checklist included in the bin to ensure they all get returned. The business would call the library and request a specific topic bin and the library could drop it off. I would love to have the business determine the length of the checkout (which leads to another blog post on check-out lengths later) so they could ensure that they have enough time to have each of their employees read the material. This would be important because businesses of different sizes can have any number of employees and it would take differing amounts of time to circulate the materials throughout the business. At the pre-determined due-date the library would pick up the bin of books. And that’s it. Super easy.

Of course, we might have to make someone from the business come to the library to get the bin instead of going there. I understand those kinds of time constraints. But! I think that, by going to the business, we have the opportunity for a new kind of outreach like we do in schools where we can have a stronger presence in their organization. When we go to the business we can do a small presentation to the staff on other resources that the library has to help them with their jobs. This would almost be exactly the same thing as a school visit but for adults!

Ok… Here’s the part where you tell me what you think… And go!

*Alright, maybe I get a little carried away. But I still believe that libraries are one of the most important institutions in the United States and do actually have the power to vastly improve the state of the country.

Purchases from The Library Advocate Support Library Advocacy Projects