Start Your Market Investigation at the Library!

The Chester County Library has long supported small business owners and entrepreneurs by providing access to top-notch, authoritative information needed to help them succeed. Most of the Chester County Library’s business resources can be accessed from home with a free Library card through the online Business and Career Center.

Sam Bardarik, Business and Career Librarian and SCORE Volunteer, helps her clients find targeted resources for their specific needs. She meets with clients one-on-one to explain the databases, review catalogs and other resources that are important to the clients’ research objectives. “Owners and entrepreneurs are often surprised by the breadth and usefulness of the resources we offer,” says Bardarik.

The Library offers business and technical skill-building opportunities, often in conjunction with community partners like SCORE, to support business planning, social media, marketing, financial stability and more.

The Role of Market Research
Business owners want to deeply understand the competitive environment and target customers prior to making costly, significant product or service decisions. Data-based choices are key to the development of business, marketing and operational strategies before the official launch.

Reference Solutions (formerly ReferenceUSA) is the No. 1 resource used to identify demographics and spending habits of key customers, build competitive profiles, inform marketing strategies, and determine ideal neighborhoods and locations to open a new business. “It’s a massive database that can focus down to the street level,” Bardarik explains. Reference Solutions compiles all that information into easy-to-interpret charts, tables, and graphs which can be incorporated into an entrepreneur’s business plan.

Other databases, like Statista and Gale Business Insights: Essentials, provide powerful search capabilities and are easy to use. Users can spend less time hunting for answers to their questions and more time on their market analysis and action plans.

References and Training
Other courses cover cybersecurity skills and related programming languages such as Python and Linux.

For nonprofit leaders, the Chester County Library provides visitors with free public access to grant maker directories and grant funders with the Funding Information Network, an international network of libraries, community foundations, and other nonprofit agencies.

The Library orders books, e-books, and audiobooks on all critical small business topics. Print books and audiobooks can be placed on hold for pickup at any Chester County Library location.Print and digital magazines can be borrowed or accessed with The Flipster app. All the best titles are available: Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Inc., and Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Kiplinger’s and Money.

Most of the Chester County Library’s business resources can be accessed from home with a free Library card through the online Business and Career Center. Stay in touch with Business Center updates on LinkedIn or by signing up for the Business Bulletin newsletter.

SCORE Chester and Delaware Counties is proud to partner with the Chester County Library system, where many local SCORE business workshops were held in-person prior to COVID and are now hosted virtually. Popular topics such as How to Start and Operate a Small Business, Customers and Competitors: Getting the Inside Data and business planning have been featured year after year.

SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer business experts, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. Since 1954, SCORE has provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs nationwide. SCORE Chester and Delaware Counties has been operating since 1985, with 100 dedicated volunteers today who provide confidential mentoring at no charge and offer business seminars, workshops and webinars to benefit the community. SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Olympic Book Suggestions for Kids

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Games are officially here, starting tonight with the Opening Ceremonies and Parade of Nations – taking place just one day shy of the originally scheduled date in 2020. A few sports such as soccer, rowing, archery, and softball have already started competing, and we wish Team USA all of the best!

Children’s books about the Olympics are really helpful when teaching your kids what the games are all about and how important they are when promoting unity and sportsmanship. Here are a few suggestions:
G is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet by Brad Herzog
How to Train with a T.Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals by Michael Phelps
What Are The Summer Olympics? by Gail Herman
Flying High: The Story Of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles by Michelle Meadows
A Picture Book of Jesse Owens by David A. Adler
Long-Armed Ludy and the First Women’s Olympics by Jean L. S. Patrick

Take a Stroll and Read at Exton Park

Since 1985, people in the United States have celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote building strong, vibrant, and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation, and to recognize the more than 160,000 full-time park and recreation professionals — along with hundreds of thousands of part-time and seasonal workers and volunteers — that maintain our country’s local, state and community parks.

Join us in the great outdoors to celebrate Park and Recreation Month at our StoryWalk® in Exton Park, a ½ mile paved walkway surrounding two playgrounds and a picnic area. The StoryWalk® project consists of 20 reading stations, each featuring a page in a children’s storybook, which promotes health and literacy in young children by encouraging exercise and reading. Their are even some fun interactive activities along the way that you can access with your cellphone along the way. The book currently featured is Ruby’s Birds by Mya Thompson and the StoryWalk® is changed twice a year in the spring and fall.

Follow us on our NEW LinkedIn Page

The Chester County Library Business and Career Center helps small business owners and job applicants succeed with top-notch, authoritative information. Our LinkedIn page places free tools, news, and assistance at your fingertips. Follow us for:

  • upcoming library programs (Resume Writing, LinkedIn, Entrepreneurship Panels, and more)
  • new and highlighted library resources (personalized research and resume consultations, Business Plans Handbook, consumer and industry data, current books and magazines, and more)
  • events and offers from local organizations (SCORE, PA CareerLink/United Way Financial Stability Center, chambers, Small Business Development Centers, and more)
  • timely news and articles from big names in business and careers (Harvard Business Review, Philadelphia Business Journal, The Muse, Inc, and more)

For more information, email Sam Bardarik, Business and Career Librarian, at or schedule a virtual appointment at

Share With Pride

Happy Pride Month!‍🏳‍🌈 Here are some book suggestions to celebrate.

1) Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color by Gilbert Baker, memoir of the late activist who designed the original rainbow Pride flag. Baker chronicles his beginnings as a repressed child of the 1950s and closeted war veteran, and his foray into gay liberation activism, which led to the now iconic flag’s creation.

2) We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation provides a rich visual history of LGBTQ pride, from the underground communities and post-Stonewall Pride protests, to AIDS activism and the present generation of activists continuing to fight for their rights and liberties.

3) Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States by Samantha Allen takes readers across numerous, tight-knit LGBTQ communities in the American South. Allen interviews many queer Southerners about their identities and experiences, providing intersections of race, class and religious spirituality often unseen in mainstream perceptions of the community.

4) Everything You Want to Know About Trans (But Were Afraid to Ask) by Brynne Tannehill serves as a primer for anyone curious about the increasingly visible, often misunderstood transgender community. A trans woman herself, Tannehill dispels misconceptions and myths surrounding trans, non-binary and gender-nonconforming people, while also answering questions often considered uncomfortable or difficult.

5) Queer Love in Color by Jamal Jordan is a photo book that provides a rich tapestry of American LGBTQ couples and families across cultures, races, ethnicities and age groups. Jordan includes interviews with each of his subjects, showing the many forms love in the LGBTQ community can take.

6) The Shared Heart: Portraits and Stories Celebrating Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Young People by Adam Mastoon is a candid photo collection illustrating the various experiences of homosexual and bisexual people in their late teens and early twenties. Each of the youth featured in Mastoon’s collection relay their own stories of coming out and self-acceptance of their sexual identities.

Adult Summer Reading Program

The Adult Summer Reading Program, Tails & Tales, is designed for adults age 18 & up to encourage life-long reading habits and runs from June 7, 2021 to August 15, 2021.

Read and/or complete as many activities as you are able using the Bingo card provided at the library Reference Desk. Enter the name of the book, magazine, music CD, or activity (program, museum, park, trail, etc.) on the corresponding numbered line. Please use book titles only once. Except for # 1 and # 22, every other “Reading” square can be completed with any format you prefer — read a print book, an eBook, or listen to an audiobook! Books should be at the adult or young adult reading level. For each square you mark off, your odds of winning a general prize will increase. Get BINGO (5 squares in a row, column, or diagonal) and you will be entered in the Grand Prize drawing. Each participant may earn only one Grand Prize entry.

Can’t come to the library right away to pick up the handouts? You can print out the Bingo card and the Book Review Form at home! You can also fill out the Book Review Form online here if you like.

Need ideas for books to read or listen to? Ask a librarian for a Personalized Reading Suggestion or check out NoveList Plus, our online Reader’s Advisory resource. Check out the Flipster e-magazine resource on your computer or mobile device to help complete your Bingo card activities.

Return your Bingo Card to the Chester County Library or Henrietta Hankin Branch between August 16th and August 28th. Library staff will stamp and count squares completed. Prize winners will be drawn on Monday, August 30th and will be notified by email or phone call.

Registration is required. Click here to sign up!

The Adult Reading Programs are made possible by generous donations from the Friends of the Chester County Library and the Friends of the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library.

Didgeridoo Down Under – A Virtual, Australian-Themed Family Program

Kids, teens and adults, join us on Wednesday, June 16 at 6:00pm for a virtual Didgeridoo Down Under Show. This event is a high-energy, Australian-themed show that combines music, culture, comedy, storytelling and audience movement/participation. The didgeridoo has been played by Aboriginal Australians for at least 1,500 years and is known for its otherworldly sound. But this show is about much more than music. It’s interactive, educational, motivational and super fun! You’ll learn about Aussie culture, animals and more, all while moving & grooving to the pulsing rhythms of the didge!

Registration is required. To register for this special event, please click here. Registration will close two hours prior to the event’s scheduled start time. A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants two hours before the program starts. Make sure to check the email address you registered with to receive the link. You do not need a Zoom account to attend the virtual program.

Children’s Book Bundles Available

The Youth Services Department staff members at the Chester County Library and Henrietta Hankin Branch Library are happy to put together a bundle of books (6-12 titles) for your child. This will be a collection of books we think your child may like – a bundle of surprises! You will be notified when your book bundle is ready for pick up.

Request a children’s Book Bundle for pick up at Chester County Library

Request a children’s Book Bundle for pick up at Henrietta Hankin Branch Library

If you want to request specific titles, please continue to use the library catalog at to place holds.

Need help placing holds? Instructions can be found here:

Lundale Farm – A Legacy for the Future

Join the Chester County Ag Council and Lundale Farm in a discussion on the future of farming. Lundale Farm, a nonprofit organization with 520 acres under preservation, seeks not only to preserve land, but also to empower for-profit farmers in regenerative farming practices that benefit the region’s environment, economy, agricultural heritage, health, education and nutrition. An extension of the Farm’s founding legacy, it serves as a model for local food production and forest stewardship on preserved property, enhancing learning as well as the ecology, health, and diversity of the community. Partnering with each of the nine farmers, the Farm strives to provide educational opportunities for youth, college students studying sustainable agriculture, and the community through our farm tours.

Now in its fourth year, the Forestry Committee of Lundale Farm is actively working to implement the Sustainable Forestry Management Plan. Learn about our sustainable forestry management plan, and the research and experiences that are guiding the farm’s forested areas into the future.

Registration is required. Registration will close 2 hours prior to the scheduled start time of the event. A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants 2 hours before the program starts. Make sure to check the email address you registered with to receive the link. You do not need a Zoom account to attend the virtual program.

Pratichāyā: A daughter’s loving tribute to the life of her father

Join the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library for a virtual Meet-the-Author event on Monday, May 24th at 7:00 p.m., as we welcome Mamatha Prabhakar, author of Pratichāyā.

Pratichāyā, is a Sanskrit word for ‘Reflection.’ The book is a tribute to her father K.G. Prabhakar that captures his life’s journey in short stories that span 75 years from his boyhood in India to adulthood. The twists and turns in his life and events that had a profound impact on him are presented in this heartfelt work that brings alive the charm of Indian culture and lifestyle of simple folks and the values and lessons they imparted.

This special presentation is part of our celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month. Come to learn more about East Indian culture and values. Ms. Prabhakar sees her book as “a view into the life of a struggling middle-class man in India (mid-century) who struggled and worked hard to uplift himself and his family without compromising on his values and integrity. Many such unsung ‘heroes’ have had their trials and tribulations and ensured that future generations benefit and learn from their experiences.” The book particularly focuses on the people and culture of the Mysore region of southern India. The author will talk about how the culture there has changed over the years.

The author will also discuss what she experienced in the process of writing her book. She will offer tips to “would be” writers and share the lessons she learned in bridging the gap between storytelling and the written word. Joining her in the presentation will be her son, Samarth Nair, a tenth-grader at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, who helped edit the book. He will discuss the challenges of understanding the Indian concepts from the book and translating the language and content for a western audience.

Mamatha Prabhakar is a mother, an engineer, a wife and an author. Mamatha lives with her family outside Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. She works for a large multinational imaging and electronics company as a leader in their information technology team. Mamatha has always had the urge to write stories, and Pratichāyā is her first book. She is currently working on her second book, a collection fiction and non-fiction stories.

To register for this special event, please visit