Saturday, September 7, 2013

What's a Business Center, anyway?

Robert T. Bolo, Jr. Business Center
When you hear "business center" what comes to mind? My mind immediately goes to the business centers you see in airport terminals or hotels. These places are used by "business people" to print, fax, scan, make use the wireless internet, or simply use an electrical outlet to charge their phone while they are traveling. Generally self-serve and unstaffed, these locations bear little resemblance to the GDL Business Center in Grand Blanc.

"Business Center" is somewhat of a misnomer. While we do offer all the amenities listed above that you might find in a hotel or airport terminal, we are so much more. Not only are we staffed 5 days each week, but the business librarian will spend considerable time with you locating the correct information. 
So what types of information are available?
Information and assistance in the Business Center can be grouped into 3 categories:
Small Business Assistance, Personal Finance, and Career/job Search. 
We partnered with the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC) earlier this year and were certified as a Business Resource Center. This has brought together the business center's print and online resources, with the business start-up expertise of SBTDC. Together, GDL and SBTDC can effectively help you bring your business ideas to fruition. Take a free class with SBTDC to get started, then make an appointment with the business librarian to complete the market and industry research needed for an accurate business plan.

The Business Center is also well-equipped with print and online resources to assist you as you plan a family budget, learn about stock, bond, and mutual fund investing, or research a specific investment. Morningstar Research Center, the ValueLine Investment Survey, and Mergent Archives' industry reports and stock information are all available to you from your home computer with a valid library card.

Are you a beginner investor? Knowing where to start is difficult, but we've got you covered! Check out Morningstar's Investing For the Long Run publication then head over to GDL's Personal Finance page for more information. You'll notice that we have included information from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on our site. FINRA is an excellent, unbiased resource for financial information; they regulate the industry and don't sell financial products to consumers. Before you invest a cent read as much as possible! Knowing some investing basics will also facilitate a better conversation with a financial advisor should you choose to use one.

Public libraries are on the front lines of this poor job market. Our computers are in high demand, and people rely on our internet connection and Microsoft Office applications to navigate through their job search process. We support you and will do what we can to help you along the way. Need some help formatting with Microsoft Word? Not sure how to submit and online application or resume? Not sure if you need a cover letter (hint: you probably do)? Along with 1-on-1 help, the business center also stocks many resume, cover letter, and interview materials so you are well-prepared for your next opportunity.

Genesee District Library has been a consistent provider of trusted information for decades. Not been to one of our 19 branches lately? Not sure if you have your library card still? No problem, just stop by one of our locations today to get a card or renew your account.

 Libraries aren't just about books anymore. GDL has numerous seminars, reading clubs, and children's activities scheduled throughout the year posted to our events calendar.

As always, let us know what you're looking for and we will do our best to find it. Librarians love a challenge, so bring on your questions!

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