Selected Libraries To Publish a “Guidebook” For All Libraries to Help Small Businesses Based on their Learnings
Laramie County Library System will receive $145,000 from the American Library Association (ALA) to build capacity and expand their programming to small businesses and entrepreneurs from low-income and underrepresented groups. Laramie County Library System is one of 13 public libraries around the country to receive this funding from Libraries Build Business, an initiative of the American Library Association funded by Google.org. Google.org has invested $2 million to begin the initiative. This grant – made as part of the tech company’s Grow with Google initiative to create opportunity to all – will also create learning resources for any library to support entrepreneurs in its community.
Laramie County Library System’s Executive Director Carey Hartmann said, “Laramie County Library System is excited to continue building our Library 2 Business services. The Libraries Build Business Grant gives us the opportunity to further develop our program, to ensure our communities know about it, and to continue our work of sharing our business resource expertise with other libraries in the state. Libraries have so much to offer entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing small businesses, and the role libraries play in the economic health of a community will be in the spotlight as this project progresses.”
The Libraries Build Business grant will help Laramie County Library System build a robust program called Wyoming Libraries to Business (WL2B) that connects women-owned and rural businesses to critical resources for business growth and development. WL2B will expand outreach services in Laramie County by providing one-on-one consultations with business owners in the library’s rural branches, install a space for video production and marketing photography in the Cheyenne library, and eventually expand its service-model to libraries across the state.
“We’re proud to work with the American Library Association to bring this program to life. With the COVID-19 crisis, there has never been a more critical time to support our small businesses and ensure they can survive and thrive well into the future,” said Jacquelline Fuller, president of Google.org. “Libraries are the gathering places of many communities, and increasingly they are learning centers for entrepreneurs. Their role is vital in our collective effort to support small business leaders and entrepreneurs who need it most.”
“ALA is thrilled to support and work collaboratively with Laramie County Library System and the entire LBB cohort,” said ALA Associate Executive Director, Kathi Kromer. “We are impressed by the innovation and institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion Laramie County Library System has demonstrated in developing their small business offerings.”
The Libraries Build Business grant will assist Laramie County Library System in expanding its existing resources and impacting a larger community of women-owned and rural businesses. The funding will allow Laramie County Library System to install extensive technology and grow its resources, programming, and consultations, so that any business owner, entrepreneur, or job seeker can access the information and resources needed to make their business dream a reality and positively contribute to the vitality of Laramie County’s economy.
This project is one more avenue with which Laramie County Library System will continue working towards its mission to “serve the people of Laramie County by encouraging and supporting lifelong learning and adventure.” More information on this project will be made available as it progresses.