Book Review: Libraries That Build Business edited by Megan Janicki

Advancing Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Public Libraries


Libraries have a distinctive role to play in the small business ecosystem and can effectively partner to complement existing business services in the community. A nationwide initiative that launched in 2020, Libraries Build Business (LBB) aims to build capacity in libraries offering programming or services to local entrepreneurs and the small business community, prioritizing low-income and underrepresented entrepreneurs. And libraries have already begun to transform communities, with programs ranging from one-on-one business consultations, classes, and workshops to networking and equipment lending, as the many initiatives spotlighted in this book demonstrate. Serving as powerful models of how libraries and their staff can advance innovation and economic growth on any budget and scale, these examples will inspire you to plug into your own community while guiding you through the nuts-and-bolts of making it happen.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is a solid guide for libraries supporting entrepreneurship in their communities, regardless of size, budget, and staffing. Part 1 contains generalized information and considerations with allusions to the case studies in Part 2, which is where the meat of this book lies.

The 26 case study programs are structured the same for ease of reading: an introduction; goals; getting started with key resources, partners, and budget; nuts and bolts including promotion, challenges, and staff responsibilities; and tips and tricks. There’s plenty of variety for library size and program scope included, so any librarian can piece together a program that works for their location. It’s interesting to see the commonalities that pop up between many programs, like which partners libraries often work with.

I appreciated the concise writing for the case studies, which included bullet points and excluded the fluff nonfiction books sometimes have. The formatting and thorough index makes the book easy to read and refer back to as needed.

For the library that wants to support local small businesses and entrepreneurship, this book provides perfect inspiration and practical advice.

1 thought on “Book Review: Libraries That Build Business edited by Megan Janicki”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s