Libraries in North Louisiana have collaborated with Launch Network to help strengthen the role public libraries play in nurturing and promoting entrepreneurship in our communities, as well as increasing the visibility of resources offered and teaching the business community how to engage them.
Launch Network will partner with local library systems across the 21-parish North Louisiana region within its footprint. Caddo, Bossier, and Webster parishes have created permanent entrepreneur centers at their main branches to highlight small business support, and, starting in June, Launch Network will provide each library with 10 entrepreneurial-themed books to put into rotation each month in the dedicated entrepreneurial space.
Library cardholders will be able to check out the books available in both print and digital copies whenever they choose and will automatically be given access to the business resources provided within the Launch Network resource platform, including multiple library databases such as Data Axel, Gale Legal Forms, the Small Business Reference Center, and Business Source Complete.
“Libraries are a central point of the entrepreneurial and small business community and are vital to the success of every community, both in North Louisiana and across the country. They have resources that will help small businesses succeed and are looking for more ways to connect entrepreneurs to networks and resources specific to their needs,” said Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) Executive Director, Dave Smith.
Among the many remaining parishes participating in the collaboration are Claiborne, Ouachita, Union, Franklin, DeSoto, and Natchitoches. These parishes will also receive a complete entrepreneurial display to help increase community involvement and awareness of small business resources in their areas. This initiative is designed to leverage the libraries’ ability to create hubs for entrepreneurship by providing free resources specific to the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
“The literal definition of an entrepreneur is to be an ‘undertaker,’ meaning someone who is willing to take on risks. Our mission at Shreve Memorial Library dovetails quite nicely with helping the business community and entrepreneurs, which is why we are proud to partner with Launch Network. Together, we will support our local entrepreneurial community by providing them with the resources, services, and support to launch their new business,” said John Tuggle, Executive Director of the Shreve Memorial Library System.
“We are thrilled to partner with Launch Network in building connections and strengthening our local business community. Libraries offer free and equitable access to a variety of resources that support Launch Network’s mission of helping small businesses across North Louisiana,” said Heather McEntee, Director of Libraries for Bossier Parish.