For the last 50 years, the BIC (Business Information Commons) Library has provided machine industry-related business information to researchers and specialists throughout Japan. In 2011, we launched a business support service targeted primarily at public libraries to spread our wealth of information beyond our original users. As a specialized library with low exposure, we realized that getting general business men and women to use this service would best be achieved by providing it through public libraries. Partnering with public libraries allowed people to utilize the BIC Library’s information resources, alerting them to its presence and enticing them to visit.
We drafted an original four-point plan to help familiarize public library members with the services offered by the BIC Library and other specialized libraries.
1) Join the Japan Business Library Association. As public library members make up the bulk of the Association, joining serves to increase awareness of the BIC Library and its services.
2) Plan and host Information Navigator Conferences. The goal of these conferences is to provide opportunities for members of public and special libraries to interact, thereby developing close partnerships between their respective organizations.
3) Host programs for public library members, including courses on learning, recitations, and lectures on how to apply the kind of knowledge we anticipate in the future.
4) Develop and manage the Deep Library Project (https://dlib.jp), a site for locating special libraries offering business support services. Users can cross-search 150 specialized libraries to look for the information they need and where it’s stored.