Library Support for Side Hustlers

**I'm currently working on a library workshop to show side hustlers what kind of support they can receive from their local library. I thought I'd share some of my thoughts here.**

The topic I’m writing on at work is the intersection of the library and the user community--most specifically, the side hustle community. I’m trying to put together a series of guides, workshops, videos, etc. that will help people who are creating side businesses to get them off the ground.

What is a side hustle?
"A side hustle is a business you run in your free time that allows you the flexibility to pursue what you're most interested in. It’s a chance to delve into food, travel, fashion, or whatever you’re passionate about whilst keeping your day job." ( Side hustlers are people looking to add some income from something they are passionate about, and, with our focus on lifelong learning, libraries are uniquely positioned to help.

Why would we do this? What is the need?
I think that there is a need because of stagnant income levels which drive people to need multiple sources of revenue. I also think that automation is gradually taking away jobs in many economic sectors. Corporations are also cutting back on labor to provide more value for their shareholders. All of this is pushing labor out of the market, and triggering a need for more creative streams of revenue.

Why are libraries uniquely positioned to help with this?
Libraries are the original sharing economies. We pool our resources to provide educational and cultural material to better our society. Libraries can be publicly funded, and they are located throughout the country. This means that there is a pretty good distribution of resources. Libraries are also committed to lifelong learning, which is a core component of the side hustle.

How can libraries support this movement?
We can provide books and articles, of course. In addition to that, however, we can provide workshops, working space, technology, instruction, referrals, connections, and more. Our library has supporting collections for small business, careers, grants, scholarships, intellectual property, and continuing education or tutoring. We have a makerspace, an adult learning center, a technology center, and training software that can help people learn new skills. We also have staff members with specialized knowledge who can help patrons navigate the entrepreneurial waters. We also have access to a variety of databases which can help the patrons with demographics and market research.

What are some additional resources?
There are any number of websites and articles devoted to side hustles. Among those are:

There are some helpful books, as well:
The economy of you : discover your inner entrepreneur and recession-proof your life, by Kimberly Palmer
The mocha manual to turning your passion into profit : how to find and grow your side hustle in any economy, by Kimberly Seals-Allers
Born for this : how to find the work you were meant to do, by Chris Guillebeau

How does your library support side hustlers? Are you a side hustler who finds help at your local library? Share in the comments below.


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