Your Public Library – A Wealth of Business Information

As many of you know, Halton’s Small Business Centre partners with Halton’s local libraries to present our series of small business seminars.  The easy access and location of  libraries lets us deliver our services to Halton’s local communities.

In addition to the small business seminars, did you know that your local library offers many services to support small business owners and operators?  Among these services are free online databases, accessible 24/7 from your home, office, or any branch of a public library.

Information includes current and historical articles from magazines, industry specific journals, newspapers and reference books. Looking for company information for a competitive analysis? At Oakville Public Library, for example, Business Source Premier gives you access to Datamonitor Reports: a series of company, industry and country profiles. Canadian Business Online provides directory information on more than 1.5 million Canadian businesses, primarily in the wholesale, retail and manufacturing sectors. It’s great for market research and sales prospecting.

There are also downloadable audio-books and e-books. For example, Safari Books Online offers an online collection of over 450 technical eBooks from the world’s top IT publishers including O’Reilly Media, Pearson Technology and John Wiley (“For Dummies” series).  You’ll find titles like Sams Teach Yourself Web Services in 24 Hours and Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery.

To access the databases:

  1. Go the Online Databases section of your public library website
    1. Burlington http://www.bpl.on.ca/internet/internetres.htm
    2. Halton Hills http://www.hhpl.on.ca/Online.asp
    3. Milton http://www.mpl.on.ca/internet_links.php
    4. Oakville http://www.opl.on.ca/research/databases
  2. Select a database
  3. Enter your full library barcode number and PIN when prompted

The next time you attend a small business seminar at your local library, arrive a little early and spend some time in the business section. Or pay a virtual visit. You will be pleasantly surprised at the knowledge to be gained! And the best part? It’s free!

What’s your favourite business resource? Tell us about it. At the end of the month we’ll submit all entries into a draw for a chance to win a voucher for our upcoming Bridges to Better Business” event (value $50.)

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