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Small Business Information in the Portland Metro Area


Public libraries can be an excellent starting place for researching small business matters and we have two in the metro area with not only excellent business book collections and databases, but expert librarian assistance too.

Librarians who specialize in BizRef are at the Beaverton City Library and the Multnomah County Library. The Central Library, in downtown Portland, has the largest collection but both Beaverton and Central have librarian specialists. (Few Multnomah County branch libraries have librarians except for Children’s librarians. They do have trained reference assistants, but for full business reference librarian service, try Central or Beaverton.) All the Multnomah County Libraries and most of the Washington County public libraries have remote access database services and books through their respective online catalogs and web pages. You will need a library card to use these databases remotely.

Note: In case you were wondering, which only about 3 of you are, but you count! Multnomah County has what could be called a “Unified” public library system. All the public libraries, what we know of as the Central Library and the branches (Belmont, Midland, Rockwood, Hollywood, etc.), within the county are part of a single system, the Multnomah County Library, under the authority of the Multnomah County Commissioners.

This is not the case in Washington County, which does not have a library system unified under the authority of the Washington County Commissioners. So, the Forest Grove Libraries are managed independently, separate from Beaverton City, which is separate from Hillsboro, and onward. They are usually under the authority of the city’s Mayor or City Manager or City Council. But Washington County, bless its heart, does have an umbrella organization, the Washington County Cooperative Library Service, that provides circulation, catalog, database, and other services to all these member city/town library systems so you have an awful lot of the benefits of a unified system.

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One response to “Small Business Information in the Portland Metro Area”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can’t come in to a library but ready to get started? Like many libraries, Multnomah County Library provides a lot of online business-related resources and opportunties to ask questions virtually. See:

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