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Jumpstart your Job search with

Whether you are a recent graduate or an experienced professional, if you are looking for a job in today’s market, you may need some tips or advice on the job search process. Naperville Public Library offers an excellent resource with our online subscription to, which you can access with your library card at no cost. was cofounded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman, a computer instructor and author with a strong background in media arts and design, and her husband Bruce Heavin. It is an online collection of instructional videos that can help anyone learn software, creative and business skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Its courses and video tutorials are presented by recognized industry experts. The trainers are well-prepared, informative and engaging. A wide variety of subjects are covered, including the various aspects of finding a job.

A “Learning Path” called “Become a Successful Job Hunter” was added in September 2017. It consists of 11 video courses in 13 hours of video tutorials. You can “maximize your job search efforts with expert advice from career coaches and business professionals. Whether you're a college graduate or student looking ahead, learn how to craft a career plan, write a resume, search for a job, and nail the interview. You'll also get a primer for professional life with courses on business acumen and how to start your job off right.” These courses range from 15 minutes to over an hour, but the authors break down their courses into a series of lessons between 5 and 10 minutes long. Screenshots, illustrations and animations are presented to illustrate the instruction. You can pause, rewind or fast forward each tutorial session. Exercises are provided for practical use.

Topics covered in other courses include learning basic job skills, transitioning out of your job, finding a remote job, job hunting online, and the new rules of work. And of course, you can update your computer, software and business skills by viewing any of the many other videos available in this valuable online resource. Get started now with!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 9:15am

Advantages of the NaperLaunch Coworking Space

Demand for coworking space has continued to rise dramatically in 2017 and is forecast to do so again in 2018. An online search for trends in coworking will return dozens of articles expounding on the subject, all indicating that in many places around the world, the number of facilities and the amount of office space devoted to coworking has doubled in 2017 and the expectation is that such facilities will continue to expand in number and size in 2018.

One trend that remains somewhat unique is finding coworking space in a public library. While there are examples of this public space increasing as well, there are still only a small percentage of public libraries offering a space that is rich in amenities and conducive to the support of startup entrepreneurs.

Free Work Space

At Naperville Public Library, a coworking space was opened in 2015 as part of NaperLaunch, a business startup services center at the library’s downtown location, the Nichols Library. Over the past 2.5 years, the space has served thousands of “coworkers”, new entrepreneurs and local workers who have found an office space to meet their needs. At NPL, this facility is connected to an impressive array of supporting services and programs that have helped quite a few business startups in Naperville and surrounding communities.

Since using this space is free of charge, it is a welcome solution for many startups facing the challenge of earmarking their already thinly stretched capital for office space instead of growing a customer base that generates needed revenue.

Networking and Collaboration

Additionally, the space at NPL offers opportunities for networking and collaboration between the various users of the space. A new entrepreneur’s visibility is thus increased just as new business operations are starting up and market awareness is perhaps the greatest need.

The program offering at NaperLaunch is a rich mix of presentation, instruction and participatory events. Meetups, roundtables and small business workshops are available every week and cover all aspects of starting up and running a business in Illinois. Mentoring services are also available.

Through these events, NaperLaunch members meet and associate with other entrepreneurial-minded individuals and build a strong startup community.

Office Equipment and Technology

The library’s Tech Buffet that is located nearby also offers access to state of the art technologies that can be used to create marketing videos and other marketing materials such as buttons, fliers and etched glass give-aways (as examples), and 3D-printed prototypes of products. Access to standard office equipment is also available, such as printers, fax transmissions (outbound), copiers and scanners. The use of only some of these services incurs any costs, and when it does, it is minimal.

Free Wi-Fi

With free Wi-Fi and in-table access to power and USB charging capabilities, the coworking space accommodates the use of portable electronic devices, such as tablets, laptops and telephones. Coworkers are in a pooled office environment, so telephones may be used in the room. Otherwise, most workers are tuned into their own music sources, heads down and working privately.

The coworking space at NaperLaunch has proven to be a good solution for many coworkers in the area. Come on by and take advantage the convenient location!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 9:00am

It’s Never Too Late to Launch a Startup

That’s the idea behind guest writer Thomas Knauff’s new article in online magazine.  And although Mr. Knauff is in his sixties and has logged 21 years between his first and latest startup ventures, his ideas are valuable to entrepreneurs of all ages.  Here are his main points:

 1. Seek out investors who know your industry

“We looked for partners who would make their investment decisions based on industry drivers and our longer-term growth prospects, and not the short-term pressures of a VC or PE fund investment cycle.”  If your investors are not knowledgeable about your industry, you may get blindsided or undercut by differing expectations and time horizons.

2. Embrace the nuance of your company’s finances

“Without finance, nothing else matters because the resources won’t be there to make it happen.”  Hard to say it any better than this!  Take the time to really understand the financial details.

3. Learn everything about your sales operation

“Everything that happens in a company depends on someone selling something.”  It’s critical to understand the sales cycle and the factors driving your customers’ purchase decisions.

4. Do something that reflects your personal values and motivations

“Deep commitments can keep you going during the toughest days.”  Most entrepreneurs have lots of tough days!

5. Become a student of the organizational dynamic, that is, how people behave and react to one another

“The organizational dynamic is pivotal to the success of every entrepreneurial venture; many leaders cast it aside as something to attend to later...and most investors think it’s fluff because they can’t calculate its value relative to EBITDA.”  However, anyone who has looked at a newspaper or tuned in to the news recently has been struck by how many organizations are struggling with cultural issues, sexism, and inter-generational forces.  Don’t wait to address these issues!

Monday, January 22, 2018 - 8:30am

4 Invaluable Business Startup Services at NaperLaunch

Hidden away at Naperville Public Library are services and resources that may prove invaluable to a startup entrepreneur. Here are four key services that can be found at NaperLaunch, our business startup services center and coworking space.

Guidance and Mentoring

Library reference staff can guide startup entrepreneurs to the vast array of library resources that respond to specific needs. They can also give instruction on the use of online resources. Of course, guidance can also be obtained from books on every subject pertaining to business startup. Library staff is also familiar with government resources and websites. Since the library business services staff knows and understands these materials, they can easily guide people quickly to the right resources.

The library partners with SCORE, a volunteer organization of experienced business leaders that provide mentoring. Libraries may also offer access to resources that list business advisers in the areas of accounting, legal structure, marketing, developing a web presence, SEO, and many other subjects pertinent to startup and general business management. The online resources such as AtoZ Databases, Mergent Intellect, and others can provide contact information for adviser or membership organizations.

Market Research

The online resources are authoritative sources of information that far exceed the depth, quality and relevancy of search results generally available in web searches. Databases such as Plunkett Research Online, LexisNexis, Business Insights and DemographicsNow offer much more information about markets, consumers, competitors, suppliers and industry trends than can be found in a web search. This is because the data available in these databases comes from research companies that sell the data in these formats and don’t make it available in the open web.

Entrepreneurs can literally develop all the information necessary for a startup’s strategic marketing plan right from the library’s databases and print resources.

Business Planning

Many entrepreneurs who come to the library for guidance have never even seen a business plan, let alone written one. Through several different resources at the library, entrepreneurs have access to previously written plans in every type of business imaginable which can be a helpful guide or template for writing a plan.

The Gale Small Business Builder software, available at NaperLaunch, can be used to create a business plan ‘to take to the bank’. This is a top of the line software application that was, in fact, developed by a local entrepreneur in Naperville.

Such tools are indispensable for the new startup that is seeking to gain new partners, senior level employees or investors.

Workshops and Meetups

Meeting in a session with other entrepreneurs and listening to a presentation from a subject expert is another great way to gain meaningful insights into the startup and business management processes. Getting acquainted in less formal sessions with fellow startups creates a community of support as well as learning.

Such events often enhance learning because other entrepreneurs are on hand to help the new startups decipher what is being presented. Another side benefit may be the opportunity to connect with a local SCORE mentor, as these workshops are frequently sponsored by the SCORE chapter.

These four key services only scratch the surface of what is available at NaperLaunch. The coworking space nurtures an environment of networking and collaboration with other entrepreneurs. New startups should not overlook the extensive and free resources at NaperLaunch when seeking guidance and assistance along the entrepreneurial path.


Adapted from a previous LinkedIn article.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 8:00am

The most effective way to find a new job

We have all heard the old saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” It is amazing to discover the extent to which this is true.

In a recent LinkedIn global survey, almost 80% of respondents consider professional networking to be important to career success. In fact, in 2016 70% of people were hired at a company where they had a connection.

Unfortunately, networking behaviors don’t always match these positive attitudes. Almost 40% of LinkedIn survey respondents find it hard to keep in touch with their network. The major reason: lack of time.

A more detailed study conducted in 2016 by Lou Adler reveals exactly which job search methods resulted in a successful hire. Networking is by far the most effective, especially for those not actively searching for a new job.

Now may be the time to invest in your professional connections. On November 15 at Nichols Library, Cathy Giacobbe from the Naperville Community Career Center will give a workshop on networking and personal branding for job seekers. The presentation will provide strategies and guidance on job search networking to develop new opportunities to get around the online application black hole. If you would like to hear more, please join us. You will find the information here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 9:15am