Co-working has recently become a popular trend as a way for entrepreneurs to share an office with other like-minded individuals. Some entrepreneurs use co-working to get out of their home office one or two days a week, while others use it to save money on office space.
A big benefit of co-working is that it provides an environment that is conducive to success. Imagine yourself in a room of other entrepreneurs who are hustling and struggling and pursuing ambitious goals just like you. Being in such an environment is a positive and uplifting experience. Needless to say, you may find someone to bounce ideas off of or even identify new clients or partners.
But is the idea of a co-working novel? According to this recent article, it’s not. Libraries have provided co-working environments for 2,000 years dating back to ancient Egypt. Since that time, the self-employed have gone to their local libraries to work, network with others, and access valuable resources. All for free.
[gn_pullquote align=”right”]Small business librarians are often highly knowledgeable individuals who can not only help you find the resources you are looking for but can also at times act as a mentor.[/gn_pullquote]
While the library may seem like an archaic place filled with outdated books, most library systems have all the modern day resources including internet access, online research databases, and up-to-date reference materials. Many libraries have business centers dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, which sometimes have librarians on staff who specialize in small business.
Research databases are yet another invaluable resource you can access at your local library. Databases, for instance Reference USA, contain business research that cannot be found on the internet through a Google or Yahoo search. Databases can only be accessed by individuals who have log in credentials. The libraries that license these databases provide their members with the same access that large corporations pay tons of money for. Using databases is a key resource for conducting market research and can help you find out detailed information on target customers including their buying habits and even their contact information.
For more information or to find out what resources are available, call your local library and schedule an appointment to meet with a librarian. Your local library is there to help you; take advantage of it!