BLINC Workshops: 2003-present

March 2003 (Greensboro): "At 10:00am, we began the first of hopefully many great BLINC meetings with 14 business professionals attending. What a great start!" (from the minutes). Introducing ourselves; our specialties. What this group could do. Sharing favorite research tools. BLINC's next steps? Let's meet quarterly for workshops, sharing, etc. Communicating through Blackboard.

July 2003 (Winston-Salem): Discussion of if BLINC should become a section of NCLA. Round robin reports on recent conferences and training events, including new vendor products and library service programs. Trying to figure out NC LIVE's database selection process, and how BLINC can suggest databases to increase libraries' role in economic development. Vendor presentation on ReferenceUSA.

October 2003 (Elon): discussion of NC KNOWS launch. Ranking BLINC's goals. Presentation on NC SLA; discussion of opportunities to work together. Unanimous decision to ask NCLA to take us as a section. Beginning of our discussion on NC LIVE resources; too much existing overlap; other content areas that need to be considered. Sharing business resources.

January 2004 (Greensboro): training on state demographic resources by Michele Haslett. Drafting recommendations on business databases for NC LIVE. Finishing up the BLINC by-laws and other organizational details as we prepare to join NCLA as a section. Update on business support for NC Knows.

May 2004 (Burlington): Updates on our NCLA section transition. Resource sharing and discussion.

August 2004 (Chapel Hill): Gale Group presentation by its national manager of business content; presentation and discussion by the IRS' service to small business and the self-employed.

February 2005 (RTP): GIS research tools and strategies; NCLA conference planning; Carolina Consortium & business databases

May 2005 (Winston-Salem): WSSU professor presentation on faculty expectations of librarians. Discussion of providing business research training around the state. Vendor presentation from Standard & Poor's.

August 2005 (Cullowhee): presentation and discussion on regional development; NCLA conference planning; discussion of NC LIVE new databases

November 2005 (Wilmington): recap of BLINC activities at the NCLA conference. Preview of new NC LIVE line-up. 2-year strategic planning for BLINC; SWOT analysis of BLINC.

February 2006 (Raleigh): Ebsco presentation on developments in Business Source Premier. Discussion of the Carolina Consortium. Demonstration of Euromonitor Global Market Information Database.

May 2006 (Greensboro): Morningstar demonstration; ReferenceUSA update; vendor presentation by Business Decision. Resource sharing and discussion.

August 2006 (Charlotte): ? [Can't find the minutes]

November 2006 (Durham): CCH vendor presentation. More resource sharing. Planning our first fee-based workshop.

February 2007 (Shelby): joint workshop and networking with the Community & Junior College Libraries section of NCLA.

May 2007 (Boone): review of our NCLA conference plans, including our first preconference. Presentations from SCORE, Small Business Technology Development Center, and ASU's Center for Entrepreneurship, with discussion.

November 2007 (Greensboro): ReferenceUSA vendor presentation. Discussion of NC LIVE databases with the NC LIVE executive director. Planning our Entrepreneurship Summit involvement.

February 2008 (Winston-Salem): Real estate data through American FactFinder/Census. Sources for demographic projections. NCLA update and goals. Supporting the NC Entrepreneurship Summit.

April 2008 (Burlington): IBIS vendor presentation; NC LIVE feedback on trials; review of our involvement with the Entrepreneurial Summit in Greensboro and the Small Business Expo in Raleigh.

July 2008 (Raleigh): Ebsco vendor presentations. Discussion of how we market our business resources to patron groups. ALA conference recap.

Special workshop:
September 2008 (RTP): Business Intelligence on a Budget, a joint workshop with NC-SLA

Special workshop:
September 2008 (Greensboro): Business Collection Development

November 2008 (Raleigh): Review of our special fall workshops. Research project overview: analysis of chat reference questions from NCSU. Discussion of staff training programs. SimplyMap vendor demonstration.

February 2009 (Greensboro): BLINC programming at the NCLA conference. BLINC moving from using Blackboard to a Google Group for communication. Discussion of libraries' budget issues. Overview of EDIS from the NC Dept. of Commerce.

May 2009 (Raleigh): ReferenceUSA update; preview of BRASS events at ALA next month; discussion with the Business Consultant, NC Dept of Commerce, Business Services Division. NCLA conference planning. Overview of the financial literacy grants awarded to Durham County and Greensboro Public. Update on EDIS content, NC Dept. of Commerce. Library programming on job hunting.

Special Workshop
May 2009 (Greensboro): Business Collection Development, part 2

August 2009 (Burlington): NCLA conference planning. Gale Group presentation on Career Transitions. Update on our Update on Business Research Support Initiative. Discussion about BLINC helping NC LIVE with business questions (becomes AskBLINC).

Special workshop:
August 2009 (Elon): hands-on training on SimplyMap, Mintel, Euromonitor,, and other resources.

December 2009 (Durham): all about nonprofits -- researching them, serving their needs, etc.; social networking/Web 2.0 training

March 2010 (Charlotte): Economic Census training from the local US Dept. of Commerce office. Web 2.0 training and discussion.

May 2010 (High Point): Best practices in teaching business research skills. Instructional design/active learning, outreach to faculty, Outreach to business community. Best practices in helping non-business librarians answer business questions. Economic Census follow-up (case study). The new NC LIVE business portal.

August 2010 (Elon): Services and resources for supporting job hunters; breakout sessions for public and academic libraries. More Web 2.0 training and discussion. Follow-up on best practices in teaching and training. Presentation on NC LIVE's Job and Career Accelerator Demonstration. Vendor update on ReferenceUSA (new mapping function).

November 2010 (Raleigh): innovative or entrepreneurial business librarianship programs and proposals; techniques for teaching business research, part 2: using the NC LIVE business portal; instructional tech tool kit. Promoting our AskBLINC/NCLA service.

January 2011 (Winston-Salem): BLINC's NC LIVE recommendations for 2012-14. Brainstorming BLINC programs for the NCLA conference.

May 2011 (Wilmington): research & support for small businesses and entrepreneurship: hands-on training of research tools and strategies, and discussion of library service activities.

August 2011 (Boone): Round-robin sharing of database searching tips, hidden gems of NC LIVE business databases, and new useful web resources (everyone supplied at least one example from any category). Plus hands-on training in the new American FactFinder interface; and a brainstorming session lead by the upcoming officers on BLINC's next projects.

August 2012 (WInston Salem):  Instructional design, Hoover's Intellect, a regional economic update for the Forsyth area, and discussions of successes in partnering with regional economic development in Harnett county.

November 2012 (Elon): Talked about partnerships and support with the regional SBDCs and other economic development groups. Reviewed previous workshops and planned upcoming workshop topics and events. Discussed recent concerns with NC Live's Mergent access. Started discussing NCLA Biennial plans.

January 2013 (Greensboro): We celebrated the 10th anniversary of BLINC, discussing how we started, reviewing our past accomplishments, and looking forward to where we are going. We discussed regional economic development topics, and organized our presentation plans for NCLA Biennial.

May 2013 (WCU Asheville satellite campus): Finalized NCLA plans, heard a great presentation about regional economic development in the Western region and Asheville area, and discussed how libraries can better partner with organizations, and libraries' challenges in resource planning.

August 2013 (Greensboro, NC): Our major workshop topic was LinkedIn, including how to register, set up a profile, optimize profiles, add specialized information, and connect with others. In addition, NCLA Biennial announced to be the biggest ever, and we discussed election planning. We saw demonstrations of the Plunkett database, the BrowZine service, and the NC Live Connect alpha test. We also shared personal favorite tools such as LiveBinders, Symbaloo, and the Small business center network resource page at

October, 2013: NCLA Biennial in Winston-Salem, NC included a record number of BLINC-sponsored presentations.

January, 2014 (Burlington, NC): A vendor presentation from BizMiner showed the service's data-oriented reports. In the afternoon we received training and orientation on the RAC process and discussed and shared a variety of resources and needsof interest. The business meeting recapped NCLA, presented strategies to reach out to new members, and discussed outreach to the SBDC network.

March, 2014 (Morrisville, NC): We continued out RAC discussions and analyses of needs around the state. NCknows shared their plans to build a list of business librarian contacts for chat referrals. Communication platforms were also shared, with training on the Wiggio group.

June, 2014 (Winston-Salem, NC): Attendees learned about a new outreach/embedding model for public business librarians being piloted in Wayne County with increased embedding at the small business center and field outreach visiting the businesses as well. Ryan from the N. C. Rural Economic Development Center trained us on their support systems and strategies for suporting/partnering with businesses as well.

August, 2014 (Elon, NC): After the business-intensive sessions of the previous year, this was a training-intensive set of workshops. We hosted a morning workshop from Michael Vaughn, instructional technologist from Elon on instructional design. The afternoon workshop was on Proquest business resources from our ProQuest liaison, Beth Reiten.

January, 2015 (Winston-Salem, NC): We had a training on the offerings of the local Small Business Center as well as the statewide SBC system, training program, webinars, and other online and in-person educational offerings. In the afternoon was a workshop on ABI/Inform tips and tricks, such as browsing for resource types and specialty links, and using the Data & Reports section for statistical materials. A tour of the FlyWheel co-working space closed the day.

April, 2015 (Elon, NC): We discussed a smaller set of Biennial presentations this time, because we had so many sessions last Biennium. Then, the morning workshop topic was an introduction to GIS data, with an orientation to and training on a variety of free, freemium, and subscription tools for working with geospatial data. We also had a workshop on developing learning oucomes for effective training planning, design, and assessment.