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Past BLINC workshops

  • BLINC workshops are free and open to all
  • Networking, sharing, and peer-mentoring are important aspects of each workshop

January 2024: In person/Virtual workshop Using Data Tools to Support Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs: Social Explorer and the Census. Elon University

October 2023: BLINC @ NCLA 2023 including a BLINC dinner sponsored by SimplyAnalytics and a happy hour sponsored by ProQuest

August 2023: Durham Public Library

May 2023: professional leadership panel; networking as a vital soft skill. Brewery social afterwards. Hybrid, Greensboro Public Library.

February 2023: virtual workshop on sustainability, social enterprise, and environmental/social/governance (ESG) investing & data. 

December 2022: un-workshop at Elon University (we chose to focus on instruction, databases, professional writing)

October 2022: co-working spaces in public libraries; evidence synthesis institute; introducing new students to local industrial history; NC small business/entrepreneurship ecosystem partnerships. Hybrid, at UNC Chapel Hill

August 2022: DataAxle tips and tricks featuring Bill Carlson, Customer Success Manager (virtual); discussion with NC LIVE on its resource selection process, and BLINC feedback on business databases, at Wake Forest University

April 2022: virtual workshop: Vertical IQ demo; Census Data for Business program by Kelly Karres, U.S. Census Bureau; Boundaries in the workplace--a facilitated conversation

January 2022: virtual: NC IDEA & Ice House Entrepreneurship Program; Start-Up Funding Primer for Librarians

November 2021: virtual workshop hosted by NC LIVE on the topic "Make it Your Business: NC LIVE Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs"

July 2021: virtual workshop hosted by NC LIVE on the topic "Business Librarianship: It's Not That Scary!"

July 2021: Virtual workshop: we watched two presentations from the ELC 2020 conference and discussed them: "Crowdsourcing your Library's Business Toolbox by Mark Pond" and "Primary research for entrepreneurs by Sara Heimann & Summer Krstevska"

March 2021: virtual workshop: updates from NC LIVE business databases featuring their customer service representations: ProQuest (Jo-Anne Hogan) and DataAxle (Bill Carlson); NCLA conference planning

December 2020: virtual workshop: embedded librarianship from the author of Embedded Business Librarianship for Public Librarians, Barbara Alverez; Discussion of economic trends in community re: COVID, resources, needs related to pandemic

August 2020: virtual: Danielle Colbert-Lewis on "Supporting the Changing Practices of Undergraduate Business Teaching at North Carolina Central University" (part of a new Ithaka S+R study); a discussion and crowd-authored resource guide for alternatives to SimplyAnalytics

July 2020: 2nd BLINC/CABAL combined workshop on Critical Issues in Business Librarianship (virtual)

June 2020: BLINC members (Angel Truesdale, Morgan Ritchie-Baum & Deanna Day) featured in GRS HELP Webinar: Librarians respond to Coronavirus: Critical Resources for Business and Government

June 2020: Online workshop in collaboration with NCLA's Government Resources Section (GRS) including two guest speakers focused on updates to and an in-depth look at the Economic Census

May 2020: Spring virtual workshop via Zoom with a focus on creating graphics and videos, virtual programming and marketing, resources for researching COVID-19 impact, and professional development

February 2020: Winter workshop at Elon University with a focus on financial literacy support, financial resources and professional development

January 2020: Online webinar with NJLibsGrowBiz on community engagement, featuring outreach work of the Greensboro (NC) Public Library

October 2019: NCLA biennial conference in Winston-Salem: BLINC provide four programs, a vendor-sponsored fancy dinner, and a vendor-sponsored happy hour at a brewery.

August 2019 (Boone): Summer workshop at ASU. Collection development (reference and circulating books), teaching business research in social science classes, advanced SimplyAnalytics, and updates on free and subscription data sources.

March 2019 (RTP): Focus on libraries supporting social entrepreneurship: what S.E. is, nature of researching and benchmarking nonprofits, outreach to, instruction for, social science data tools. 

January 2019: Online workshop with NJLibsGrowBiz on embedded community engagement, featuring the outreach and consulting work of the High Point (NC) Public Library.

December 2018 (Charlotte): at UNCC. Selling ourselves as librarians and information professionals, and outreach for introverts. New business info teaching and training techniques. New business resources and report from ReferenceUSA users conference.

August 2018 (Elon): Discussions with out-of-state VIPs from ReferenceUSA and ProQuest/ABI-INFORM on the nature of their content acquisition, licensing issues, and quality control. 

July 2018 (Richmond, VA): a special workshop in partnership with CABAL on instruction and databases.

May 2018 (Greensboro): in collaboration with the NCLA Governemnt Resources section, a hands-on workshop on Census data (both demographics and business/industry data).

March 2018 (Durham): At the Durham County Library makerspace in Northgate Mall. A focus on community engagement, including library support of job hunting and economic development.

December 2017 (Greensboro): NCLA 2017 recap and evaluations; BLINC strategic planning for 2017-2019.

October 2017 (Winston-Salem): NCLA conference! Six BLINC-sponsored programs, plus our dinner at Hutch and Harris sponsored by SimplyAnalytics.

August 2017 (Burlington): At Alamance County Community College. Rob Ross, Executive Director, NC LIVE, discussed news and updates for the NC LIVE 2018-2020 subscriptions. In the afternoon, we had local and remote training on the new SimplyAnalytics platform.

March 2017 (Winston-Salem): meeting at the Small Business Center in the Forsyth Tech space in the Innovation Quarter.

December 2016 (Greensboro): at UNCG. At the request of NC LIVE, we once again discussed, debated, and ranked our recommendations for NC LIVE business content for its 2018-2020 package of subscriptions. A few weeks later, we submitted our final recommendations to NC LIVE. At this workshop, we also began planning our many NCLA 2017 conference programs as well as our vendor-sponsored dinner.

August 2016 (High Point): At the High Point Public Library. We reviewed the AccessNC portal with Tammy Lester of the NC Dept. of Commerce. After lunch, had a workshop on seeking out and writing grants to support our libraries.

May 2016 (King’s Mountain): We learned about the innovative Downtown King’s Mountain Success Project (Main Street Project), in which the library does door to door to promote library services to main street businesses, and has already many embedded library success stories.

February 2016 (Charlotte): At the public library downtown.

December 2015 (Greensboro): We met in a UNCG library computer classroom. Member updates. A workshop on teaching and training best practices for business, entrepreneurship, and data visualization. NC LIVE updates from Heather. ProQuest ABI-INFORM searching and browsing tricks; how to quickly get to the industry reports.

October 2015 (Winston-Salem): NCLA conference! Many BLINC programs plus our vendor-sponsored dinner at Jeffery Adams.

Summer 2015 (?): can’t find minutes for this one

April 2015 (Elon): 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 outcomes for effective training planning, design, and assessment.

January 2015 (Winston-Salem): 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.

August 2014 (Elon): 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.

June 2014 (Winston-Salem): 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 supporting/partnering with businesses as well.

March 2014 (Morrisville): We continued our 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.

January 2014 (Burlington): 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 needs of interest. The business meeting recapped NCLA, presented strategies to reach out to new members, and discussed outreach to the SBDC network.

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

August 2013 (Greensboro): 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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).

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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