Most people don’t realise that if you have a public library card you can access lots of web (aka electronic) resources and that you can actually do a bunch of research right from your home computer. So, here comes the first tip I will offer – get a public library card!
Actually, if you are doing your own secondary market research you may need to start to collect library cards because your public library will have very different resources than your local academic research library, so you may want to see if you can get a guest or community card from your local college or university library as well.
Keep in mind that there are different levels of access to library resources depending on your affiliation with that institution. For example, see this guide for people unaffiliated with UBC for descriptions and costs on how to access UBC resources. For example, student, staff & faculty get full access because they are seen as the intended users of the licensed resources, while community users get limited access to resources, and guest users (in-person visitors) actually have a little more access. At UBC, guest users can use many of UBC’s business databases but you need to actually visit the library in Kelowna, Robson Square or the Point Grey campus in-person. For example, if you can make it to any of the aforementioned campuses you can have access to this list of databases.
If you are close by an academic library it is well worth the trip to visit in-person. Check out the BC Business Support Directory to find your local academic library. However, if it is books you are after, keep in mind we also have a great inter-library loan system2 in BC and you can use your academic library card to borrow books directly from UBC. Here is some more information on the UBC program - http://www.library.ubc.ca/home/ill.html.
Okay, that is probably enough library talk for now! Please don’t hesitate to comment or contact me directly if you have any questions.
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo double the computers, double the fun! created by lauren_pressley on April 20, 2006 available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.Last viewed on Oct 18, 2010.