Bend, Ore. – December, 4, 2019: If you own or are looking to start a business in Central Oregon, there’s a good chance you know Liisa Sjoblom, a community librarian whose work focuses on supporting the business community, nonprofits and those seeking employment. Liisa helps customers with business planning by researching market and industry data. She also assists nonprofits with information on grant opportunities and individuals who are looking to update their resumes.
We sat down with Liisa for a brief Q&A to learn more about how the library is helping small businesses.
EDCO: What resources do you have available for small businesses?
Liisa: The Deschutes Public Library offers a suite of online Small Business Resources that can help with all aspects of your business including industry research, consumer demographics and information about competitors. Access to this information is through the library’s business research site.
EDCO: Are there any costs associated with using these resources?
Liisa: No. All resources and services are free to use. Most resources are available 24/7 from home or office with the use of your library card.
EDCO: How can someone learn more about using the resources?
Liisa: Through the library’s Book-a-Librarian Service. You can set up a time with a librarian to learn how to use any of the resources. You can also request information for your particular business endeavor. We can pull data and push it out electronically to you and then meet to discuss the findings. We also provide referral services to the business support network in Central Oregon.
EDCO: Tell us about the newly launched business newsletter?
Liisa: The first quarterly edition of Business News went out to subscribers in October. It is for anyone interested in small business development in the region. It features business resources and services available at your library and beyond. Find out about new books and online resources from the library plus other information about library partners and featured websites.
EDCO: How has your partnership with EDCO helped you in your role with the library?
Liisa: Networking and referrals are the most important piece of my work with EDCO. The ability to network with business owners and entrepreneurs at PubTalk, the Bend Venture Conference and other EDCO sponsored events have been invaluable. I’m constantly making connections and talking with people about what the library can offer at these events. I make referrals to EDCO with people that I work with and in turn, I receive referrals from EDCO for their clients. I also make liberal use of the Central Oregon Community information they compile annually.
EDCO: Any final thoughts about providing support to the small business community?
Liisa: I like helping people fulfill their dreams as they start planning their new business ventures. It’s exciting to hear about what people are planning and then see those businesses succeed. It’s all about connecting people with the information that will make them successful.
Other Library News:
Growing for the Future
The library is preparing for its centennial celebration in 2020. As the population in Deschutes County continues to grow, the library invites local residents to join in on a series of forums scheduled throughout the county. Here, residents will have the opportunity to be a part of interactive discussions with the library architects regarding future renovation, expansion and enhancement plans for the local libraries. Provide thoughts and insight into your library needs including space, collections, programmings, and services. A list of scheduled forums can be found here.