Thanks to about $70,000 in local donations, business databases are back online at the Duke Street Business Center at Lancaster Public Library.
Significant contributions came in from The Forest Path Foundation, A. Lucille (Lucy) Meissner, Brad Rutter and local businesses, the library said in a news release.
In December 2013, the Library System of Lancaster County, a separate organization funded by the Lancaster County commissioners, announced it would not renew the heavily used business databases. The business center, “as well as the business community, job seekers, and nonprofit organizations depend on these essential resources,” the library said in the release.
“The Duke Street Business Center is a critical resource for economic development in Lancaster County. The expertise of the staff and the assortment of information resources are important contributors to the success of emerging and existing entrepreneurs,” said Tom Burgum, vice president of client services, SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon.
SCORE refers “hundreds of clients” each year to the DSBC — for market research, business planning assistance, financial guides and competitive assessments, he added. The DSBC offers library patrons free, on-site and remote access to electronic databases, which provide local entrepreneurs “a significant advantage in their efforts to launch and build their businesses,” Burgum said.
The DSBC is a special library within the Lancaster Public Library and serves the Lancaster County business and nonprofit communities. It is often the first point of contact for someone thinking about starting a business or nonprofit, the release said. Since opening in 2006, the DSBC has had more than 20,000 visitors, about 5,000 of whom received personalized assistance with their business or nonprofit, the release said.
A business reference librarian provides services that include assistance with business plan market research — specifically target market demographics, industry trends and competitors. The DSBC also assists established business owners with researching industry trends, specific companies/competitors or assistance using the databases to compile marketing and sales lead listings, the release said.
The DSBC houses a collection of more than a thousand business and nonprofit books (including start-up guides for specific types of businesses), audiobooks, videos and popular business newspapers and magazines.
Free access to the following databases will be available to Lancaster Public Library cardholders beginning this month:
• AtoZdatabases: Remote access
• Business Insights: In-library use only
• DemographicsNOW: In-library use only
• First Research: Remote access
• Hoovers: Remote access
• Legal Forms: In-library use only
• One Source: Remote access
• ProQuest Entrepreneur: Remote access
Two other business databases, ReferenceUSA and Simply Map, were restored in 2014. Additionally, the following business reference books will be available electronically:
• American Wholesalers and Distributors
• Brands and Their Companies
• Business Plans Handbook
• Encyclopedia of Associations
• Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources
• Market Share Reporter
• Statistics Sources
• Trade Shows Worldwide
The DSBC is on the main floor of the Lancaster Public Library at 125 N. Duke St., Lancaster.