ALA e-Course: Business Outreach for the Public Library

February to March 2022

Because of the CLRC’s professional development grant, I was able to take a 4-week class about the tools in embedded business librarianship. I’m currently the Outreach and Digital Services Librarian at the Utica Public Library. Being relatively new to my position, I was seeking out additional instruction that went beyond my MLIS in the realm of outreach.

The instructor for this course, Barbara A. Alvarez, has written a book Embedded Business Librarianship for the Public Librarian. This book was available through my library’s consortium, Mid York Library System.

With the weekly modules, activities, discussions, and supporting textbook, I have expanded my knowledge on how to go beyond basic outreach and really uplift the business community. I have learned about techniques to network and grow relationships with surrounding organizations and to communicate what we have to offer. I particularly appreciated that there was a lot of discussion surrounding what to do as we are coming out of the pandemic. Having a course with relevant information was so helpful.

The biggest takeaway from this class for me was the meaning of the library’s connection to local businesses; it should be relational instead of transactional. The growth of relationships within the business community is an organic and slow process. Thanks to this class, I have ideas to apply to my library’s circumstances and will start cultivating current relationships while seeking out new ones.

Thank you CLRC for this opportunity! I am grateful for the knowledge gained from this course, and will hopefully take other ALA courses in the future. I will endeavor to learn and grow in the realm of librarianship as the library’s offerings and relationships evolve. If anyone would like to reach out to me to discuss this class further, I can be reached at

Brienna Jow

Outreach and Digital Services Librarian, Utica Public Library

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