I have a confession: I’m an accidental business librarian. My background is in art history, but like many public librarians, I was placed in a department that needed staff, and that department was business services. I grew to love business reference and helping entrepreneurs with business planning and research. I even got the opportunity to create and grow the Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRIC) at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
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Together with American Express, our library branch celebrates Small Business Saturday® by hosting a craft fair where local artisans can sell handmade goods, such as jewelry, pottery and handmade cards. The fair draws at least 100 visitors to the library and gives local entrepreneurs a chance to share their work at a low cost.
Working with our local high school honor society and student council, we provided two hours of childcare to enable parents to shop locally without their children on Small Business Saturday. Relying on volunteers helped us carry out an event on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when staffing can be tricky.
We showed the newly released-to-DVD movie "Finding Dory" with popcorn and hot chocolate followed by a craft: “countdown to Christmas” paper chains.
As a Neighborhood Champion for Small Business Saturday®, Tamarack District Library organized a scavenger hunt showcasing local businesses and incorporating Shop Small® swag.
The event was held in collaboration with 19 small businesses, including restaurants, retail shops, an artist studio and a grocery store. Participants had a week to visit the businesses, pick up a Small Business Saturday card that the library created for them, and return to the library to collect a prize.