Business center to be added to library

August 7, 2017 by  

Donna Pittman, the director of the Champaign Public Library, attended a focus group for female business owners and minorities recently, and came back to Champaign with some ideas to implement.

She heard that people might like to open a small business, but do not have the money to rent an office. She proposed a business center be added to the library, and the Champaign City Council recently approved the measure.

Pittman saw such a center at the Naperville Public Library, which she describes as the “most viable and successful program” to help small businesses get started. The Naperville Library houses ‘Naper Launch’, a co-working space (an area that many business people share) where a business librarian is available to help. Events focused on business matters are held there. Pittman followed the Naperville lead in developing the model for Champaign.

She proposed what she calls the ‘Business Launch Center’, which would go into the extant computer room after the computers are moved. The room would then be transformed into a space for meetings, collaboration, or discussion. Among other amenities, the room would have a touchscreen that connects to the website for the Bridge Incubator. Using the screen, viewers could see lessons on how to start a business.

Efforts like this often involve officials working with a newsletter printing company, which can create an informative letter for the business community and business students.