Business Librarian and Business Owner: An Exciting Dichotomy

By Sharontina H. RSS Wed, July 29, 2020

I’m sure there are many people who are multi-passionate and find joy both in their careers and in the hobbies that bridge the gap between a simple smirk and a big ear-to-ear smile.

A headshot of Sharontina Huzzy a BRIC Librarian

Business Librarian Sharontina V. Huzzy

I could also assume it’s true that as library workers, it’s often hard to see ourselves as patrons, especially when we’re working. What happens when you are the librarian providing subject specific services, but also a part of the exact group that your department provides those specialized services to? It’s an interesting dichotomy to say the least, but a unique perspective that I wanted to share with you all. I am a new Business Librarian in the Business Resource and Innovation Center and a new business owner; two different worlds with two very different perspectives as it relates to business information, access, and thinking. 

I became a Business Librarian in February 2020, a mere month before the world was rocked by the global pandemic, drastically changing how I would experience becoming a librarian and how I would provide services to patrons who sought business information. In the midst of learning the ropes of being a librarian virtually, my best friend and I decided to finally launch our plant-based beauty and personal care business… in the middle of the pandemic. Seemingly foolish to some, we knew exactly what we were signing up for. Juggling the cross between providing objective business services and resources to entrepreneurs (like myself) as a librarian, and being the entrepreneur having to wear multiple hats to oversee our business was an adjustment. It allowed me to see both ends of the spectrum and greatly influenced how I approached providing information to entrepreneurs in a way that would be more relatable, applicable, and relevant to their needs.

During research appointments, I find myself wanting to "hold their hands", as a fellow entrepreneur who understands the arduous process of business ownership, but the librarian in me remembers that in that role I am to be objective and equip them with the resources to be able to navigate the process independently, with our assistance. It’s an interesting balance, but I understand that maintaining that balance benefits both the patron, as they learn tools to access information to build their businesses, and myself as the professional, helping them to gain this access.

Both journeys have been rewarding and exciting thus far, and I plan to document their trajectory in a blog series that will capture my sentiments as a Business Librarian and a business owner in Philadelphia. I hope that you will tune in and please feel free to leave any thoughts, questions, or advice in the comments.

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