Most people know that a public library is a free resource for books. It can be a terrific resource for bootstrapping businesses for several reasons.
- First and foremost you should be borrowing business books from your library rather than buying them. Many public libraries lend e-books if you own a Kindle or similar device. And, many libraries participate in exchange networks so that you can borrow books not available locally and have them shipped to your town library.
- Second, city libraries often subscribe to useful online sources of data for market research that are only available for very expensive subscriptions. If you need cheap market research data go first to your library!
- Third, librarians live to help people with their information questions. Some are specifically business librarians who specialize in helping people just like you! Many business owners ask a wide variety of questions of their local librarians, so you would not likely be the first to ask. If there is a law school nearby, chances are a legal librarian can help you minimize the expensive time you spend asking questions of your lawyer.
- The space in libraries often has the best internet in town, as well as cheap or free meeting rooms. And some offer a complete business center with printers, scanners, 3D printers and other expensive office machines that are available for nominal expense.
- Some libraries may even run programs or regularly bring in experts to help business owners.
Do you have your local library card? If not, why not get one this week?