Partner Name: UNH Business & Economics Librarian, Wendy Pothier 
Industry: Information & Research 
Location: Durham, NH

Tell us about the work of a Business & Economics Librarian– What is your mission? 

Wendy Pothier

As one of the subject librarians at UNH Library, I support the educational and research activities of the students, faculty, and staff of the University of New Hampshire while also serving New Hampshire residents as part of our research mission. Much of my work is in support of Paul College of Business and Economics and related programs and centers.  

Day to day this means I help people understand types of business data and information, ways it is packaged (datasets, reports, articles, etc.) and how to navigate access to it. Business research is complex because of its often proprietary nature so I am frequently working to help folks know what data is available through UNH, through online searching via the web, and or requires purchase—and even, what doesn’t exist!  

Business data and information can have a high price tag and I want to help everyone understand what is accessible to them and how. When it comes to data, there is a big difference between what individuals and companies can access and afford.  

How do you help support New Hampshire businesses? 

Many NH business owners are looking for market research in three area:  competitor, consumer, and industry information. Market research is very important to developing a business plan and UNH Library subscribes to specialized research tools that can help with this research.  

One area that it particularly useful to business owners is being able to narrow down competitor and industry data to a regional level. We can help provide access to reports that detail how an industry is performing specifically in New Hampshire or create a list of competitor companies with specific criteria including size, revenue, and location. Much of this data requires access through subscription and isn’t freely available on the internet, so access through a public university is a great option for small business owners.  

How do you partner with the NH Small Business Development Center? 

The SBDC advisors are fantastic! I work closely with them to understand and navigate the many resources for data and information we have access to at UNH. These range from: 

  • business news and magazines, which provide useful articles full of data or are helpful tell the story of what’s going on in an industry, company, or community.  

  • business research databases, which provide detailed reports on topics from SWOT analyses, industry reports, company profiles, key trends & insights, and help create lists of potential clients or investors.  

  • trade and research journals, which provide industry specific insights and research data. 

Through the SBDC, I help business owners understand what data they can access and how, including understanding the costs behind data access. For example, economic census data is free and relatively easy to navigate after a quick orientation and can be very powerful for small business owners seeking to understand the business environment of a community. Other resources might require a subscription and we can help business owners have access points to that data that are important to developing their business plans. I can also teach business owners about what types of business data may be available only by visiting campus or working with the SBDC. 

Tell us more about how business owners can engage with the UNH Library? 

As part of a public university, the UNH Library is open to all! In addition to working on market or other business research with their SBDC advisors, anyone is welcome to come to campus and access our resources including computer workstations. Most of our business research materials (ebooks, databases, articles, and more) are available for use when you visit campus.  There are four libraries on campus where all are welcome to conduct research. Check out our UNH Library hours and locations and information on directions and parking.  

SBDC advisors work with Wendy to help business clients identify market research data. As you can see, Wendy and the UNH Library are valuable resources! 

The UNH library service has been an invaluable resource for our clients.   The librarians have an enormous role to play also in accessing information and by using the UNH library our clients can tap important information and data they need to make informed decisions for their business.  
- Andrea O’Brien, Business Advisor 

Wendy Pothier, UNH Librarian, is an amazing resource for the NH SBDC and our clients. She is so knowledgeable about all the business platforms and services that are offered through UNH. She will meet with the business advisor and client to guide us through the process of how best to get data and information that will help the business with their growth plans. We are so fortunate to have Wendy working with the NH SBDC every step of the way! 
- Julie Glosner, Southern Regional Director 

The UNH Library is a wonderful resource for our small business clients. The UNH Library has access to research data bases that our small business clients would otherwise not be able to utilize, such as IBISWorld and Data Axle by Reference Solutions.  These resources are powerful tools that can help small businesses gain valuable insight into existing businesses and industry trends. 
- Ed Miles, Seacoast Regional Director