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The library can dig deeper, for free, than most individuals are able to

One of the great things about going to events such as the World Class New Zealanders Inspire day in Wellington is you never know who you’re going to bump into.

Thus, how many people know that Wellington’s Public City Library has a Business Information Specialist?

What’s more, for those businesses looking for market information, Marilyn Domney is able to provide an hour’s free research (you’ve just got to have a library card!). Given that Marilyn knows how to ‘drive’ different search engines, and that the library’s ponyed up for many in-depth publications which would cost an average person an arm and a leg to access, it’s a remarkably good opportunity to find out stuff.

“There’s a huge amount of material out there from a science and business point of view that Google may or may not be able to access,” Marilyn says. “In particular, getting hold of the full text [as opposed to a summary] is something we often have available through our databases.”

She says a lot of online information is only available to subscribers which Google’s indexer can’t access.

Some of this information (again requiring a library card) is available through the library’s www.mygateway.info site.

Acquiring this information would, otherwise at times, cost thousands of dollars.

“A lot of New Zealand businesses don’t realise the range of reports and figures they can find through the library,” she says. “It’s part of making the library more relevant to different groups of people.”

Marilyn says often she’ll sit down with people, and go through the resources and databases. “Sometimes people don’t know what they want till we stumble across it, and one advantage of being in this role for a while is I know where to look.”

Marilyn recently had a 20-strong group of Wellington fashion designers in for a demonstration of what they could dig down and discover.

“They were blown away. Say some of them were looking to go to Australia; with our resources they could find out a wealth of information.”

As they say, knowledge is strength, and knowing as much as possible about a market before entering it can save a mountain of money and time and pain.

Good on Marilyn for making more people aware of the service.

Some of the topics Marilyn’s been asked to look for outside of the usual business /industry type queries – eco-art, Cultural history of afternoon teas in NZ, ethical jewellery, e-waste, craft beer, pacific health initiatives

And being the good marketer she is, she provided the following information as places to go to find more of the same.

www.wcl.govt.nz home page

www.wcl.govt.nz/business business pages

http://www.wcl.govt.nz/popular/science.html science pages

http://www.wcl.govt.nz/mygateway/dbindex.html a-z of our online resources

http://www.wcl.govt.nz/wc-bin/pressdisplay Current newspapers from around the world with the same layout on the screen as they have in print. Pages are complete with photographs, graphics and even advertisements. It has hundreds of newspapers from 80 countries in 40 languages. It is very up to date, with some newspapers appearing on the database before they are published in their home country. Pages can be printed or emailed. You can browse one newspaper on a particular day or search across many titles going back 60 days.

www.docuticker.com The DocuTicker DocuBase is a daily update of new reports from government agencies, NGOs, think tanks, and other groups. DocuBase offers a hand-picked selection of resources, reports and publications from government agencies, NGOs, think tanks and other public interest organizations.

www.fulltextreports.com Full Text Reports…A top-tier research professional’s hand-picked selection of documents from academe, corporations, government agencies, interest groups, NGOs, professional societies, research institutes, think tanks, trade associations, and more.