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On Thursday, August 2nd, BLINC (Business Librarianship in N. Carolina) held its quarterly workshop in ZSR. BLINC is a state-wide professional association comprised of business librarians in public, academic and special libraries. We’re a section of NCLA.

Among the group of roughly 20 who attended was Jill Robinson Morris, Asst. Director of NCLive, Mark Stewart, Director, Small Business Center, Halifax Community College, and a Chinese librarian who’s participating in an exchange program at App State for 3 months.

In the morning, Lauren Pressley led a session on instructional design. She tailored it to suit both the public librarians who teach lots of single session classes with adults as well as the academic librarians who teach single session and semester long classes to college students. Her session was much appreciated. During the morning session, our Chinese guest spent time speaking with Thomas Dowling and Barry Davis; he’s on his university’s tech team and wanted to speak with fellow technology librarians.

At lunch, I had a chance to talk with Mark Stewart and learn about the Small Business Development Centers. Mark teaches hundreds of workshops and individually counsels many hundreds of small business owners and entrepreneurs. The SBDCs have resource centers and subscribe to databases. This network of support for economic development is distributed state-wide and located on community college campuses.

Following lunch at Shorty’s, we met with three representatives of Mergent which is now providing customer service for the Hoover’s Online database. They came to solicit our feedback on the beta version of some upcoming revisions. A lively session provided the trio with a long list of suggestions.

Dan Maynard of Campbell University updated us on a pilot program he initiated with the Small Business Development Centers. He’s been reaching out to the centers in the belief that business librarians could support the SBDC counselors who work with small business owners and entrepreneurs. In future, it’s possible that BLINC members might conduct training on NCLive databases for the SBDC counselors. It was Dan’s outreach that led Mark Stewart to attend our meeting.

It was a productive meeting that stimulated numerous conversations about potential initiatives. Our next workshop will take place in November.