Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sunday November 3rd, 2013 Building Your Business at Your Library

Thunder Bay recently wrapped up the 2013 BDC Small Business Week and it was a great success with events hosted by various organizations, including the public library. For every event that we attended or participated in there was an interesting variety of people who naturally saw the fit between the public library and business/economic development and those who expressed surprise at our presence. At the Chamber of Commerce After Business event, I had numerous conversations with people who expressed their love of the library. For every person who indicated having used our business resources/services, I had another chat with someone who had brought  their children in for story times and puppet shows in years past but hadn’t paid us a visit in some time due to their hectic schedules. In each of these conversations, we got to talking about how different public libraries are now (in comparison to ten or even two years ago) and each person went away with a new idea of what the Thunder Bay Public Library could offer them.

As always, we have books and lots of them. Everything from guides on business planning, accessing grant and other funding sources, record keeping, human resource management, leadership and more. Many of these books are available as ebooks too. Other key resources available at the TBPL include media and trade publications accessible through our online databases. Of particular interest to businesses will be CBCA Complete, CPI.Q, Gateway to Northwestern Ontario History, PCensus and InfoCanada.

PCensus provides demographic information and consumer spending for determining market potential, target marketing, site location and more. Targeted to local and regional businesses as well as students or census enthusiasts, this product is available for in-house use at the Brodie and Waverley Resource Libraries. InfoCanada allows you to search businesses across the country by city, postal code, keyword, business size, SIC or NAICS code, and more. Use this powerful tool in your business plan, grant or loan applications, and future business development. InfoCanada is currently available for in-house use at any TBPL branch (remote access will be available in the near future). To access InfoCanada, CBCA Complete, CPI.Q, or the Gateway to Northwestern Ontario History, log in to My Giant Search and click on your selection from the list of databases.

For more information about the variety of business resources, services, information and programs provided by TBPL, check out the Business and Market Research pages of our website (

Jesse Roberts

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