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TIA: Tennessee Inventors Association in Knoxville Tenn and Oak Ridge TN
Oak Ridge and Knoxville, TN  

July 2009 Meeting with Tom Whisman, Knox County Library

Meeting Date: 
July 17, 2009

Tom Whisman, the Business Reference Manager at the Knox County Public Library, gave an informative presentation at the July meeting.  Tom started his presentation by briefly talking about the new Knox County Library building.  Currently, plans are being made, but nothing is finalized yet.

The Knox County Library has 1-hour free parking at the Locust Street Garage for those wishing to visit the downtown library branch.

The Knox County Public Library is available free to Knox County residents who have a Library Card.  Cards can be obtained by visiting any library branch.  For those outside Knox County, there is a $25 per year fee to obtain a library card.

Tom discussed several on-line resources that are available through the Knox County Library website or the Internet

The Thomas Register is available on-line.  This resource is a source of industrial manufacturers.

The Sweets Network is available on-line.  Sweets provides information on building materials, products, and manufacturers. 

County Business Patterns are available on-line.  Using census data, business data relating to county, metro areas, and ZIP codes can be searched.

The US Census Bureau maintains a wealth of information to help in putting together a market analysis and for determining the health of particular industries.

A Trade Show directory is available on-line.  The directory is searchable by location, type, and date.  Trade shows are invaluable for getting a feel for an industry and marketing products and inventions.

The Tennessee Electronic Library is available on-line through the Library by clicking on Reference Databases.  A link to Gale PowerSearch (includes Tennessee Electronic Library databases) will be near the top of the page under All Subjects.  You will need to enter your library card to access the Tennessee Electronic Library.  Once you enter your number, you will be able to access magazines to search for specific articles.

ReferenceUSA is a fee-based database that is available through the Library by clicking on Reference Databases and then clicking on the Business link.  You will need to enter your library card to access ReferenceUSA.  The database provides US business and residential directory information that is useful for business profiles and personnel, customer mailing lists, market research.

Plunkett Research is a fee-based database that is available through the Library by clicking on Reference Databases and then clicking on the Business link.  You will need to enter your library card to access the Plunkett Research database.  The Plunkett Research database provides industry-specific research portals for important business sectors. Within each industry portal you'll find market research and charts, a glossary of industry terms, profiles of companies, company contacts for downloading, and industry associations and organizations.

Tom was asked about resources on funding and obtaining money for startup companies.  He said that the Library does not have any on-line resources, but the Library does have books that may be useful.  He suggested visiting the Library to review those books and possibly speaking with Katherine Moira of the Foundation Center at the Library.  Information on the Foundation Center can be found on the Library website by clicking on Subject Guides on the left sidebar menu and then clicking on the Organizations, foundations, charities, and fund raising link.

After Tom Whisman's presentation, Tom Kulaga lead an open discussion about the future activities of the TIA. 

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