May 2008

The Library of Congress’s Business Research Center

The web site for the largest library in the world is a well designed, supremely useful resource for online researchers. Their Business Reference Services pages, in particular, are worth a visit. These provide suggestions for those starting their own businesses, researching market segmentation and demographics, or researching industries. What I like most is that their librarians provide research abc strategies xyz - they don't just give you a list of resources and wish you good luck. For example, in their Industry Research guide, they write: “Piecing together information from article searches in trade magazines or local papers as well as information gleaned from government agencies that might regulate the industry will be important.” Your local libraries, whether public or academic, will likely have the titles suggested on these Resource guides.a quick search on their online catalogs will tell you whether they do or not.

About ninety Internet Resources subject guides, with links to relevant sites, cover topics such as:

  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Demographics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Exporting/Importing
  • Investing
  • Legal Resources
  • Real Estate
  • Technology Trends

If you are ever faced with a business-related research task and find yourself wondering where to begin, start at the Library of Congress’s Business Research Center. And if you actually can't find what you're looking for, you can take advantage of their “Ask a Librarian” service, where you will get free research assistance within five business days.

Reviewer: Kirstie Harless, FIDM Library Staff Member, S.F.