BOSTON—The Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center (KBLIC) at the Boston Public Library (BPL) is offering a wide range of free, remote services, classes, and events to assist small businesses, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and job seekers throughout the Commonwealth. Founded 90 years ago on May 7, 1930, KBLIC was the first public business library in the U.S. to be built as a gift of a businessman and the second library in the country to be built specifically as a public business library. While the 5,000 square-foot facility on the lower level of the Central Library’s Johnson Building is currently closed for in-person service, KBLIC staff have innovated ways to continue delivering personalized business and career-assistance services, events and classes, and other resources.
“The impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and workers has been difficult, if not devastating. As we continue to contend with the global pandemic and begin to move towards recovery, many of our patrons need support to bolster their businesses, job-seeking activities, and technological skills,” said BPL President David Leonard. “We are determined to provide that support remotely for as long as necessary. I am proud of the innovation and dedication our staff have shown in transforming services to make them not only remotely accessible, but also responsive to the specific business, employment, and career challenges our patrons are facing.”
KBLIC’s personalized, one-on-one services include:
- SCORE small business mentoring: Patrons who need help starting, growing, or navigating a small business can request a one-on-one remote mentoring session via www.score.org/find-mentor.
- Small business legal consultation: Patrons can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a 30-minute phone consultation with Goodwin Procter on select topics such as corporations and other entities, intellectual property, contract law, and debt/loans.
- Resume, cover letter, and job search assistance: Job seekers can email their resumes and cover letters to email@example.com for a free review by a KBLIC librarian, or they can call 339-215-3866 to schedule an appointment for job search help.
- Business research assistance: Business owners and entrepreneurs can email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a one-on-one consultation (telephone or video conference) with a KBLIC librarian for help investigating such topics as customer discovery and development, industry information, and competitor assessment.
KBLIC’s online events and classes include:
- General Assembly Boston classes: Starting on June 19, remote workshops on such topics as building and leading effective teams, email marketing, and coaching skills are available through a partnership between the BPL and General Assembly Boston.
- Job-seeking series: Starting on June 23, classes and a drop-in group in this series aim to help patrons excel at virtual and video interviewing, resume and cover-letter writing, and job searching.
- Electronic business resources virtual drop-in: Every Thursday through August 22, patrons can meet virtually with KBLIC staff to get help using the Library’s electronic resources, which range from major newspaper and magazine archives to career transition and business analysis tools to online courses and more.
- Coffee with KBLIC series: Every other Monday from June 22 to August 17, this virtual, informal gathering allows entrepreneurs and creative professionals to share experiences and learn from one another. Patrons can tweet #CoffeeWithKBLIC to ask questions for possible coverage in upcoming installments. In the context of COVID-19, topics will include managing work-life balance; supporting local businesses, entrepreneurs, and communities; and researching nonprofits, charitable causes, and other resources to help your community.
- 2020 Let’s Break it Down series: On June 24, the next workshop in this series from the BPL and General Assembly Boston will break down the field of data science. Patrons will learn what data scientists do, the types of problems they solve, and how they pinpoint powerful business predictions. They will also explore key tools and processes for analyzing, visualizing, and modeling data.
For more details about these and other KBLIC remote programs, patrons are invited to visit bpl.org/events and click the “Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center Classes” checkbox under the Event Types filter menu. Additional classes and events are being developed to provide coaching on podcasting, grant seeking, business pitching, professional presence, and personal finance. Patrons are encouraged to check bpl.org/events frequently for new listings.
All of the above services, classes, events, and resources are available for free with a BPL card. Individuals who do not have a BPL card are encouraged to get one at www.bpl.org/ecard. In some cases, a computer with internet access and a specific application may also be required.