His Business is Booming, with Much Thanks to Franklin Public Library

By J.D. O’Gara
Issue Date: 
January, 2018
Article Body: 

Making use of his local library wasn’t a hard sell for Franklin resident Mikael Pyrtel. The entrepreneur’s mother is a retired librarian.
“Originally, I came to the Franklin Public Library for the history,” says Pyrtel, originally of Illinois, who serves as an advisor/consultant for businesses and nonprofits in such areas as international trade and investment, marketing, country risk analysis and commercial diplomacy. “I walked in, and I was amazed. It was beautiful. It was splendid, so I kept doing my work, and I started using the library, and the more I used the library as a business incubator, good things started to happen.”
As he began his research, Pyrtel began to become inspired.
“Ideas that I didn’t have before started to come up,” he says. “Even someone like me, who I would call a heavy user of the library, a business power user, started using it more, which I thought was impossible.” New ideas led him to an epiphany that his company name needed to change – to Pyrtel Global (www.pyrtelglobal.com).
Pyrtel credits the library for creating “created a space that encourages exploration, creativity and connectivity, and I really tapped into that. I started using the library as a second office.”
He started using the library as a second office.
“One of the most important relationships that I have here, and probably for any business user, is with the reference librarian,” says Pyrtel, whose graduate degree from George Mason University is in international commerce and policy, concentrating on global business and development. Pyrtel has found himself skyping Franklin Public Library’s reference librarian, Vicky, while overseas in Southeast Asia on more than one occasion.
“The relationship with the reference librarian for a business user is as important as your relationship with your accountant, lawyer, marketing team, finance team – they absolutely have to be. The more you use the reference team, the greater the value to your organization. I’m proof of concept,” says Pyrtel.
The FPL reference team has helped Pyrtel access a variety of databases and research that would be costly and time consuming to do from the ground up.
“I encourage businesses to use the resources as the library as a competitive advantage,” says Pyrtel, “To purchase all of these subscriptions that the library already has is going to run you tens of thousands of dollars, probably.”
Pyrtel adds that the reference librarians also save a wealth of time in focusing research.
“Most people never know where to begin. Your reference librarian is your CIO, your Chief Information Officer at large. They’re a guide into this maze of information and databases,” says Pyrtel. “The reference team here (at FPL) lowers the cost of doing business and has helped me save my clients thousands of hours, and dollars, no exaggeration. If someone on your team is billing $100, $200, $220 an hour, as a manager, you want them working on the highest value projects. The sooner you can get basic research questions answered, which database to look at, in some cases forming a relationship with the reference team, helps you strengthen your relationship with your client.”
Pyrtel says he believes that entrepreneurs and small business owners making use of library resources makes sense during this time of economic transition. “This public institution has always played a role in that,” he says. “I think, regardless of the stage of your business, Franklin Public Library can be an asset to your organization. Maybe it’s training – employers are always trying to keep their teams’ skills sharp – and we’re already paying for it. I think the return on investment for businesses would not be minimal.”