A new partnership is helping East Baton Rouge Parish Library bring the small-business dream to local entrepreneurs.

The library is teaming up with 11 public library systems from around the United States and Canada to determine how libraries can reach out to community entrepreneurs, with a focus on people of color, women, immigrants and veterans.

“The library plays an important role in building businesses and our economy,” said Susan Benton, president and CEO of the Urban Libraries Council, the organization leading the partnership. “This experience will shape current thinking about how libraries can support entrepreneurship and create new opportunities for all community members.”

As a participant in the collaboration, East Baton Rouge Parish Library will create a program to connect its new business librarian to entrepreneurs who will receive access to customized library resources. Coordinator of Reference Services Andrew Tadman and Business Librarian Natalie Denby have been tapped to lead the project.

“We are excited about the opportunity to connect budding entrepreneurs with the library’s excellent resources, whether they are brainstorming or ready to develop a business plan,” Tadman said.