Kristin McDonough, SILS Alumna, Leads Effort That Brings in $100,000 Grant and Money Matters IMLS Grant

June 15, 2014

Kristin McDonoughAs director of the Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) at The New York Public Library (NYPL), School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumna, Kristin McDonough (MSLS '70) spearheaded NYPL's partnership with the Brooklyn and Queens library systems for a social enterprise awarded a total $100,000 from the NYC Economic Development Corporation's THRIVE competition. The tri-library partnership garnered the funding first to pilot and then to execute "Blueprint for Your Business Future," an educational and advisory program to teach established immigrant business owners critical succession planning skills.

At the METRO consortium's Annual Conference 2014, McDonough and two colleagues from the partnering public library systems presented the practical lessons learned over the year's collaboration to develop a viable business plan for the venture which they pitched to investors to earn second place in the competition.

She also served as Principal Investigator on an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant to launch Money Matters, "a series of workshops and e-learning modules created to help New York Public Library staff, other libraries, and not for profit organizations understand key personal finance concepts, subject matter content and available unbiased, research-based resources to better assist patrons of all ages, abilities, and cultural backgrounds with money management inquiries." McDonough demonstrated the project at IMLS's annual conference WebWise in February of 2014. The full curriculum is available, free of cost, at moneymatterspro.nypl.org.

McDonough's commitment to pushing financial education for both library patrons and staff  beyond the business research library into neighborhood branches is articulated in an op-ed she contributed to the April 2014 issue of College and Research Libraries News. The op-ed can be accessed at http://crln.acrl.org/content/75/4/194.full.

McDonough is director of The New York Public Library Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL), created  in 1996 to help New Yorkers launch and expand small businesses. The initiatives that SIBL has launched over the past 18 years to achieve this mission include its virtual New York Small Business Resource Center, (smallbiz.nypl.org) developed with a Department of Commerce TOP grant and the New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition, funded by Citi Foundation and now in its fifth year. In addition to the Blueprint project described above, in 2013 SIBL launched the Immigrant Business Connection, a Web site portal for immigrant startups. 

SIBL currently houses two additional specialized service centers. Job Search Central, opened in 2009, provides entry to executive level job seekers with free access to, and hands-on training in, 200+ premier commercial online resources with data on companies, industry and markets for job leads. Job Search Central also offers after-work seminars, one on one career coaching and networking events, and services tailored to recent college graduates and the 50+ career transitioner. Financial Education Central offers information resources,  a dozen hands on classes, and one on one advisory services on all aspects of personal finances, including investments, financial planning, debt reduction, tax and Medicare.

Before opening SIBL, McDonough spent 25 years at the City University of New York (CUNY) in a variety of roles including assistant dean of the School of Education and Educational Services and the chief librarian at Baruch College, site of CUNY’s doctoral business program where she opened its award-winning Newman Library. McDonough is active in the Financial Women’s Association of New York, serving as its president in 2008-2009. She is currently vice president of Butterflies USA, the not-for-profit advocacy and fund-raising arm of Butterflies, a Delhi-based programme for street and working children.