Business Librarians are awesome!

This month the ladies of the Network of Entrepreneurial Women visited the Schaumburg Public Library for a wonderful presentation of business resources.


We gathered in one of the large meeting rooms, which are available for organizations and business use by reservation. There are also smaller discussion rooms accommodating 5 to 8 people for small business meetings.


The Schaumburg Public Library is the second largest library in the state, after the Harold Washington Library and the Chicago Public Library’s 81 satellites.


Business Liaison Librarian Patricia Smolin had selected a few fun titles for us to peruse. She is very engaged in networking to keep a pulse on what small business owners and local entrepreneurs need as resources to enhance their business.

books pulled

She began her presentation by assigning each of the attendees a Dewey Decimal system category, including 700s for The Arts, 332 for Financial economics, 300 for social sciences, 921s for biographies, 610s for Medicine and health, and 005 for Computer science and information.


Our focus that day was on the 650s, however, pertaining to business resources.


Patricia oversees library resources and programming for Personal Finance & Investing, Jobs & Career and Small Business. She guided us through several resources the Schaumburg Public Library has available to patrons, including: Business Articles and Research, Business Directories, Company Research, Market Research, Industry Surveys and Small Business.


In addition to walking us through the online databases, Patricia also recommended 3 print titles that would be of use to business owners. “I put a lot of value in print,” she said. “What is online may be faster, but it might not be better.” Her recommended print resources include: the American Salaries and Wages Survey for salaries by position (updated every 2 years); Redbook, an annual publication on advertising media, and Best Customers, which offers demographics on consumer demand and generational categories.


As we toured the various sections of the library I encountered a blast from the past with my former employer’s business resource poster on prominent display. I still have the Almanacs I contributed to almost 2 decades ago.


Patrons have access to all databases and resources on-site when they visit the library. By connecting your laptop to the library’s wi-fi, you can access the databases SPL is subscribed to. The library has a large computer assistance center that loans out laptops and offers classes.


Those holding a Schaumburg Library card as their home library can also remotely access the resources their tax payers pay for. Library visitors with a library membership in good standing can check out books as a reciprocal borrower but must return them to the Schaumburg library. Alternatively, they can ask for the check-out through interlibrary loan with their home library.


Businesses with a local establishment in Schaumburg are able to apply for a business library card. Home libraries we represented included: Elmhurst, Evanston, Hyde Park, Indian Trails, Saint Charles and Wheaton. Patricia stressed that patrons should bring up a resource they need with their home library. Librarians are actively looking for ways to serve the community, and making your needs known is the best way to do so.


She stressed however, that librarians can only direct you to resources, but not provide legal, personal, or medical advice (all have been asked of her!). Patricia does rely heavily on her network of professionals to refer any concerns patrons have to such professionals.


The library includes a large teen room with their own section of meeting rooms in which no adults are allowed. The teen room also has a green room with a digital production studio that is open to local businesses by reservation.


Children over 8 can be unaccompanied in the KidsZone. This area is monitored and adults without children cannot roam freely in that section.


The library also hosts book discussions through the fiction department. It also has a vast selection of CDs, DVDs, sheet music and other media.


There was a plethora of international resources in all areas, since the library actively engages with the international community. The library hosts English as a Second Language assistance and citizenship classes that are always full.


I am eager to cross-reference SPL’s resources with what my local library has to offer, and know that the Skokie Public Library also has a treasure trove of resources. Harold Washington’s business section is vast as well. Go find out what your library has to offer!

Language section

Photos courtesy


NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.