Richland County Library Main Branch Building

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Richland Library


Congrats to our friends at Richland Library for being chosen as the 
2017 Winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service


Contact RL
Richland Library

Richland Library - Main
1431 Assembly Street 
Columbia, SC 29201
Local 803-799-9084

Richland Library - Sandhill
763 Fashion Drive
Columbia, SC 29229
Local 803-699-9230

Sunday: 2:00 pm-6:00 pm 
Monday Thursday: 9:00 am-9:00 pm 
Friday - Saturday: 9:00 am-6:00 pm


Learn. Create. Share.   

At Richland Library (RL), our mission is to improve the quality of life for everyone who interacts with us. We believe that continuous, customized learning for all ages is the foundation for a strong economy and high quality of life. 

Our libraries are community hubs that match the needs of each unique area we serve in Richland County. Walking through the doors of any of our 12 locations opens up a whole new world of opportunities for people of all ages to learn, create and share together.


Business Databases Available from the Richland Library

Richland Library has many online databases that can help you create business plans, marketing plans, and competitive analyses; they can also help you with estimating the size of the market, and with financing.  You must have a Richland Library card to access these resources.  If you live outside Richland County, anyone can obtain a Richland Library card for $65 per year, which is less than $.75 a day.



ReferenceUSA has the information you may need for market sizing and developing your business plan. Find addresses, telephone numbers, SIC codes, number of employees, sales volume data, and other information for millions of public and private United States and Canadian businesses. Filter searches by proximity and put your results on a map for easy visualization and navigation.


The U.S. Businesses database contains a total of 45 million businesses, including 15 million verified and 30 million unverified businesses that are updated monthly. It is the only business database that is enhanced with more than 24 million phone calls per year, providing you with the most accurate data possible.


Business Insights: Essentials

Business Insights: Essentials brings together in a single database company profiles, company brand information, rankings, investment reports, company histories, chronologies, and periodicals.


Business Plans Handbook

A collection of actual business plans compiled by entrepreneurs seeking funding for small businesses throughout North America. Model your business using one of these especially selected business plans.


Business Source Premier

This is the industry's most used business research database, providing the full text for more than 2,100 journals. Business Source® Premier provides indexing, abstracts and full text back to 1965. Learn about competitive businesses.


Mergent Archives

Mergent Archives allows you to access a vast collection of corporate and industry related documents, covering more than 100 countries and industries. It includes a wealth of historical business data.


  • Access more than 85 years of Annual Reports for companies across the globe through Mergent Archives' historical annual report collection dating back to as early as 1925.
  • Access detailed analysis and forecasts on two dozen major global industry sectors from Textiles to Aviation for the North American, European, Asia Pacific, and Latin American regions. Mergent Archives offers you our entire collection of these semi-annually released Industry Reports.

Plunkett Research Online

Provides industry-specific research portals for market research, industry analysis, statistics, and company profiles.  Access data for your business plan.  Research business trends and opportunities.


Regional Business News

Regional Business News provides full text for nearly 100 regional U.S. and Canadian business publications (including titles from Crain Communications).


Small Business Reference Center

This resource offers a wide variety of information on small business and entrepreneurial subject areas, common business types, a help and advice section, and provides information on how to create business plans that lead to successful funding

Business topics include accounting, buying a business, employees, expanding a business, financing a business, legal issues, management and leadership topics, marketing and public relations, operations, planning and starting a business, sales, starting and managing a nonprofit, and selling a business.  This database contains industry information by small business type, for example, automobile dealers and repair, bakeries, bars and nightclubs, beauty salons and day spas, etc.

Small Business Resource Center

Small Business Resource Center covers all major areas of starting and operating a business, including accounting, finance, human resources, management, marketing, tax and more.



Richland Library offers hundreds of resources to assist you with starting and running your successful business. Check out these business scenarios that we've put together to help you determine ways that you can leverage the library's free resources to take your business research to the next level. 

Leveraging Business Databases

Typical Queries

  • I am considering opening a bakery on Assembly Street in Columba but I don’t know for sure how many bakeries are within a two mile radius.  I need this information for the business plan.  Find the answer using the ReferenceUSA database.
  • I need a business plan template for a bicycle shop.  Find the answer using the Business Plans Handbook database.
  • I need to create a marketing plan for my high-end dental business.  What is the distribution of income for households in the Chapin area?  From the answer, I will determine the size of the market.  How many dental offices are within the Chapin area?  From the answer and the addresses, I will determine if there is an unmet need.  What are the addresses of the households that have the highest income?  This will identify the households that I will target with a direct-mail campaign.  Find the answers using the ReferenceUSA database.
  • I want to learn all I can about my prime competitor, Moluf's.  One way to do this is to read all relevant published articles over the last five years.  Find the answer using the Business Source Premier, Mergent Archives, and Plunkett Research Online databases.
  • I need all the information I can get about a brand of shoe, “Red Wing”, that I am considering taking on.  What are their sales?  What are customers saying about the product?  Who do they target?  An Internet search reveals the name of the manufacturer, but is the manufacturer related in any way to a larger well-established company?  Find the answers in the Business Insights: Essentials database.
  • How big is the pet supply industry?  Find the answer in the Plunkett Research Online database.
  • I am new to owning a business.  I need a quick primer on accounting.  Find the answer in the Small Business Reference Center and Small Business Resource Center databases.
  • What information to I need to keep for taxes?  Find the answer in the Small Business Resource Center database.
  • I need to better understand how to run a beauty salon business.  Find the answer in the Small Business Reference Center database.