More Than Just Books

My “Book A Librarian” Experience

I have always been a fan of libraries. The public library was where the junior high version of myself went to read dark, macabre stories about murder and torrid love affairs, at a time when most of my peers were reading Judy Blume novels.

Fast-forward a couple of decades; my love of public libraries hasn’t waned and I still read mystery novels. But libraries have evolved into more than just the home of the Dewey Decimal System. The Deschutes Public Library system is a hub of business information that is very useful to business startups, marketers, and anyone with consumer data and research needs. I had the opportunity to experience the Deschutes Public Library’s (DPL) “Book A Librarian” program recently, and thoroughly recommend scheduling an hour with one of the district’s many well-qualified librarians.

I met with Community Librarian Liisa Sjoblom at the East Bend Library across from The Forum shopping center. Before the meeting, I filled out a short form about what specifically I wanted to research. I was interested in consumer data related to my husband’s fly-fishing guide service.

“If it’s a research type of request, we are ready to help,” Sjoblom relayed in an email before our meeting.

At the meeting, the efficient and cheery Sjoblom presented me with a stack of reports and demographic information specific to consumers with an expressed interest in fishing in Oregon. She explained that the information came from a variety of resources—ReferenceUSA; DemographicsNow; and First Research Industry Reports. The material Sjoblom supplied was neatly organized and in-depth. Sjoblom included industry reports for which companies traditionally pay a king’s ransom to help gauge their next marketing moves and product launches. Our hour together flew by and I walked away with a data-centric, sophisticated knowledge of future target markets. Another “Book A Librarian” bonus is the research parameters are not limited to the state of Oregon. The resources available to the DPL encompass the demographics throughout the United States. In addition, Sjoblom also highlighted the program’s access to the best non-profit resources.

The free Book A Librarian program is offered at any of the DPL branches and is an excellent community resource. Any DPL cardholder can also access the research resources online, either from their own home or the library. I will certainly continue to use the local library for all my mystery novel needs, as well as for any future business information.

Sjoblom included industry reports for which companies traditionally pay a king’s ransom to help gauge their next marketing moves and product launches.

DeschutesLibrary.org/services/Book-a-Librarian