Tecumseh District Library provides access to database on area businesses

By DEB WUETHRICHTecumseh District Library is one of the recipient libraries in Lenawee County that will be able to provide library cardholders with access to two new research databases by the end of October.The South Central Michigan — Regional Entrepreneurial Collaborative (SCM-REC) recently announced that a grant for $100,000 would provide two powerful business tools, BusinessDecision and ReferenceUSA research data bases, to libraries in Hillsdale, Jackson and Lenawee Counties. The products will now be accessible to over 274,000 people in three counties.“These products take the guess work out of most business decisions,” said Christine Quinn, President of South Central Michigan Works! and the SCM-REC grant administrator. The grant allows for both products to be added to the libraries for a period of three years and will be available for use at the libraries at no cost to the patron. The databases may be used remotely from home, school or work using a participating library card for authentication.TDL Director Gayle Hazelbaker said staff would be taking part in a training session for the BusinessDecision database program on Oct. 20, and the program would be available to users soon after.“It’s a tool for economic development and covers all kinds of exciting information on demographics and things businesses like to see for really detailed knowledge of the community so businesses can tailor their services to the community they wish to succeed in,” said Hazelbaker. The database includes information such as quarterly demographic profiles, site maps, information such as home values, per capita income, and population statistics.“This could be huge for local business, and I’m hoping to partner with the Tecumseh Economic Development Department because I think they’ll find this useful as well,” Hazelbaker said. “One cool thing I like about it is a section on retail expenditures where people can see how much money is spent on food, or computer hardware, or entertainment each year. The possibilities are endless for utilizing this information to target your business. As a librarian, I find facts such as these fascinating.”The staff will attend the ReferenceUSA training early in November.“Once we do that, we will be in a position to help people use the system,” she said.Hazelbaker also made an announcement that the Friends of the Library have allocated $3,000 for her to start an Advantage Plan with the library’s downloadable materials.“We belong to the Woodlands Cooperative with 49 other libraries, and we all pool money to make the downloadable program possible,” she said. “Some exciting things are happening, like now when you have a Kindle, you can get a lot of free material you couldn’t get before, now that the licensing has been loosened.” Hazelbaker said in the past, a TDL patron might have a lengthy waiting period for a popular item because it’s shared throughout the cooperative, but with the special Advantage Plan, she will be able to set aside an area just for Tecumseh users.“That way, the chances are greater that the book will be there, even popular ones, or you won’t have to wait as long because this area would be just for Tecumseh users,” she said.“I’m so thrilled and so grateful to the Friends for their foresight in donating funds for this, and I think it’s just going to be huge for people to be able to access these materials,” she said.For those who have — or may receive, with Christmas coming — a Kindle or other book device, the library is hosting a special class called eReaders 101 on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. The class will help those considering the purchase of an eReader as well as teach patrons how to use one to download materials.Hazelbaker said there are always new reasons that make it an advantage to hold a library card. “For instance, tickets for our evening with author Jonathan Rand are totally gone, all 570 of them, and they went to our cardholders,” she said. “This was sponsored by the Friends, too and we’re very excited about that. I think these things just add value to being a card holder at your local library.”

Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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