A recent article sings the praise of SCORE North Cook and Lake Counties and Mentor Mark Lieberman for their ongoing relationship with local public libraries as a means to market SCORE services, attract new clients, interface with the public, and share their wealth of resources for small business owners. SCORE North Cook and Lake Counties Mentors Alan Blitz and Jim Axelrad have championed working with public libraries across their territory. This article featuring SCORE was published in the Illinois Library Association quarterly newsletter and sent to over 3,000 subscribers in addition to being posted to their website.
"Public libraries have much to offer entrepreneurs in the communities we serve. We offer our patrons access to a wealth of business intelligence, from statistics to analyses, and everything in between. We can certainly show our business patrons how to use these databases and where that information comes from, but one piece is missing: synthesis and strategy, and how entrepreneurs can act on the information they find. Librarians, even those with MBAs, are not consultants nor mentors. Filling this void for many libraries is SCORE (www.score.org), a resource partner for the Small Business Administration. Founded in 1964 as the Service Corps of Retired Executives, it is the nation’s largest network of volunteer business mentors, with 10,000 volunteers serving all 50 U.S. states and territories.
As a brand-new business librarian charged with engaging our local business community in Chicago’s North Shore suburbs, I had a general idea of the value proposition my library presented to entrepreneurs. Indeed, the availability of crucial information for business formation and growth — so-called business intelligence — available in business resources prompted me to pursue an MBA after library school to engage in this work. Upon starting at Wilmette Public Library, my predecessor introduced me to Mark Lieberman, a retired IT entrepreneur and mentor with SCORE whose mentoring motto is “together, we can.”
Read the full article here.