In the beginning, I started taking one-on-one tech appointments with the mindset that these would be patrons who need to learn basic computer or Internet skills. Additionally, three to four times a year, I would meet with my colleague to plan our tech classes. These classes cover a variety of tech related topics for groups of 12-20. Registration is limited to town residents for the most part. Roughly half the classes are taught by my coworker and myself while the others are by hired teachers. In general, the teachers teach repetitive classes (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), while my colleague and I teach whatever hot topic we can think of (e.g. Personal Digital Archiving is a favorite class that I’ve taught).
However, things have changed. I’m not sure when, how, or what set people off, but suddenly small business owners started asking for me. The initial requests were usually something general like how to use social media. I’d direct them on how to create their profile, describe how the service works, etc. Then I’d want to check on a couple other things like their website, what is the email address — is it professional?, what is your marketing like? In writing this down, I realize that I may be my own cause of bringing in more complex projects to work on.
A list of some of the types of small business projects I’ve worked on/advised:
- Social media and web critique for an import boutique
- Social media, email, logo, and website help for a non-profit
- Social media and website assistance for multiple people in the finance sector
- Website point person for professional artists/craftsmen
- Video for professional spokesperson
- Email marketing for finance group
- Photoshop techniques for a professional artist
Next month I will be attending a couple SCORE workshops for small business owners. My goal in attending is to learn of more resources/techniques for advising the patrons I see. This is all an unexpected development for me. I was prepared to do small things like how to use email (and believe me, I do teach a lot of people basic things!). Librarianship seems to not be such a straight path. It looks like I can change, turn, and continue to develop in not only who I am, but as well as how I can be of assistance to my community.