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Depository Spotlight: University of South Carolina
Aiken’s Gregg Graniteville Library

The Gregg Graniteville Library of the University of South Carolina, Aiken is being honored as the latest Depository Library Spotlight for their work in connecting business entrepreneurs with Government information. They are the first depository library in South Carolina to receive this recognition.

Founded in 1961, the University of South Carolina, Aiken is a liberal arts institution with 3,200 students in undergraduate and graduate programs.

Aiken is a small community with a population of 30,258. Those who are interested in developing a small business in this area have very few free or low cost options when it comes to finding information and data necessary for the creation of a new business.

In 1986 the staff at the Gregg Graniteville Library began to explore the possibility of becoming a depository library. However, there were no available openings in the 3rd district. Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina Columbia gave up their senatorial depository status, and Congressman Floyd Spence simultaneously nominated Thomas Cooper for the 2nd district representative depository. Senator Strom Thurmond nominated University of South Carolina, Aiken for the vacated senatorial depository designation on August 7th, 1989.

The current Depository Coordinator at the Gregg Graniteville Library is Kathy Karn-Carmichael. Kathy arrived at the library in May 2011 and quickly set off on a project with Kari Weaver, Information Literacy Coordinator, to provide information to entrepreneurs. Kari and Kathy teamed up with the South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to offer a workshop called Business Research 101 on April 22, 2014. Capacity for this workshop was reached on the same day it was announced!

Workshop participants were introduced to resources through the South Carolina State Library along with United States Government websites. Some of the sources covered included Business Source Premiere, Lexis Nexis, the Federal Reserve, USA.gov, South Carolina Bureau of Labor Statistics information, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and data, American FactFinder, and Business USA.gov. The first workshop was two hours, but has been expanded to two and a half hours, which provides sufficient time to administer a survey enabling instructors to tailor the content based on the specific needs of those attending. The workshop then concludes with an assessment survey to determine if the content provided matched the participants’ research needs.

In addition, the library began offering private consultations to SBDC clients who were in need of very specific information. Information provided includes demographic, specific industry and marketing, and South Carolina or Federal Government documents. Since beginning the partnership, Kari and Kathy have met individually with more than a dozen entrepreneurs and continue to provide consultations as the need arises.

At the University of South Carolina, Aiken it is clear that Gregg Graniteville Library faculty are actively involved with the ongoing development of the local community. The driving force for the creation of this partnership was the desire to match the specialized expertise of librarians to entrepreneurs who would benefit from that knowledge. Staff at the Gregg Graniteville Library have gone above and beyond in their work of helping the public find and make use of Federal Government information. The library exemplifies the spirit of “Keeping America Informed” and keeps true to the mission of disseminating Federal information to the local community.


 
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