University Libraries Names Karen MacDonald New Business Librarian
Karen MacDonald has been hired as the new business librarian for University Libraries. MacDonald will also serve as director of professional development in the Business and Finance division of the Special Libraries Association.
Over the years, MacDonald has taught international marketing and general business for introductory business courses. At Texas A&M and Georgia State, MacDonald taught bibliographic courses as a librarian, which she will continue to teach here at Kent State.
“I’ve done bibliographic instruction, where you go into someone else’s classroom, usually just for one night, and you talk about library resources and how they might relate to what they’re studying in that course or what kind of special project they’re working on,” MacDonald says.
One specific area MacDonald wishes to make a top priority in her new position is entrepreneurship. She says the study of entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular on college campuses, so she hopes to work more with entrepreneurs, helping them with projects such as writing a business plan, conducting research and searching library databases.
MacDonald hopes to assist entrepreneur students in identifying markets or businesses that would be interested in their service or product. She had the pleasure of assisting a young entrepreneur in the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation Incubator to locate industry reports, understand the structure of her industry and track down good, quality marketing data.
MacDonald will make an effort to assist faculty and students in the College of Business Administration at Kent State. She says a lot of the business students and faculty members are unaware that the library can be a source for business information.
“When I show students and faculty certain databases, it’s like amazing to see the look on their faces,” MacDonald says. “I like doing that; just making them aware of things that would really, really help them that they didn’t even know existed. You can’t Google it if you don’t know what you’re looking for.”
MacDonald uses and directs her consults to free government databases, such as Business Source Complete, for scholarly articles and trade journals related to business. She also provides students with access to other databases, as well as access to free government information. At the Kent Student Center, MacDonald helps with Blackstone LaunchPad by providing students with information they need to make their business idea prosper.
MacDonald also plans to reach out to the community by visiting places such as small business development centers and rotary clubs, where she will offer her assistance and business knowledge to anyone who needs her help and expertise.
“I’ll work with anyone who asks me a question,” she says. “That could be student entrepreneurs, whether it’s for a project or a nonacademic project, and it doesn’t have to be limited to the College of Business Administration. Entrepreneurs are people in other professions who get a good idea.”
To contact MacDonald for assistance, patrons are welcome to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For in-person meetings, her office hours are Wednesday, 10-11 a.m. and Thursday, 3-4 p.m. MacDonald can also be reached at other times by appointment.