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Beyond the Books

Take advantage of the business resources your local library has to offer.

Not just good for reminiscing about your childhood story time, your local library has a wealth of information to help startup entrepreneurs. "There are a lot of wonderful programs available for [entrepreneurs] at public libraries," says Leslie Burger, president of the American Library Association. Some examples of amenities: SCORE volunteers providing counseling sessions to help develop business plans, as well as publication collections and software available for use by businesses.

Burger also cites programs like JerseyClicks, which has funded the licensing of proprietary databases for use by state businesses, a service that's normally too expensive for a startup on a budget. To find out what's available both nationally and locally, go to the ALA website.

Also check out The New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library for programs and ideas. Ask your local library officials to consider providing more business support services, says Burger. "Libraries are very relevant and important to the kinds of competitive issues that [entrepreneurs] may be dealing with," she explains. "Libraries are there to help [and] support the business community."

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This article was originally published in the November 2006 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Beyond the Books.

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