askBLINC : A Service of Business Librarians in North Carolina and NC LIVE

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askBLINC is a group of librarians that provide library staff across North Carolina with a consultancy service designed to support librarians’ business research needs.

BLINC librarians (Business Librarians in North Carolina), a division of the North Carolina Library Association, will volunteer their time to assist their colleagues in effectively using the business resources provided by NC LIVE, such as SimplyMap, Hoover's Online, Business Source Complete, and Morningstar Investment Research Center.

The askBLINC team members are trained in using NC LIVE business resources and will work to begin compiling frequently asked questions and creating support materials.

How to Use askBLINC:

Library staff across North Carolina can email business resource-related questions to The askBLINC team will respond within one business day, however, it may take more than one day to provide a complete answer.

For questions concerning technical issues, such as logging-in to SimplyMap or technical problems with any database, please contact the NC LIVE Help Desk.

Sample askBLINC Questions:

"I want to start a business.  Where do I start?"

"How do I find information on grants?"

"I'm working on a business plan for a K-8 private school in Philadelphia. I would like to know about the expected tuition costs, what neighborhoods have above-average income, and what neighborhoods are spending the most on education."

"I'm working on starting a company that manufactures and sells green evening wear for women (ex. dresses, including wedding dresses). Right now I'm writing my business plan. What consumer spending data is available? What is the estimated market size? What are the best geographical markets in the Triangle, Triad and Charlotte area?"

"I am working on a Marketing Plan for a hardware store in Greensboro. I think there's a database that will help me research this topic, but I'm not sure where to get this information. I'm thinking the consumer or industrial market may be plumbers, electricians, contractors, etc. But then how do I find out the size and potential of the market? What consumer or industrial market(s) does the organization serve and what is the size and potential of the market? What are the bases for segmentation in that market?"

More Information:

For more information about BLINC, please visit: or download the askBLINC handout (.pdf).  Or you may download the customizable askBLINC handout version (.doc).