B Corp – A New Type of Corporate Structure

by Diane Vautier on June 11, 2012

I recently learned about a new type of eco-friendly business structure call a “B Corp” or Benefit Corporation. This was particularly interesting to me since I lean green. Here’s what I learned.

What’s a B Corporation?

Most business folks are accustomed to the traditional forms of corporations such as the C Corporation, S Corporation or LLC Limited Liability Corporation, all of whose main objective is the maximization of shareholder wealth. Or it has been, until now.

A B Corporation however is a new legal corporate structure that allows a company to consider factors other than strictly shareholder wealth.  B Corporation’s are allowed under the law to consider things such as sustainability, employee benefits or the environment to be part of their legal obligation to shareholders.  In fact, it’s required that a B Corporation create some sort of general benefit for society as well as for its shareholders and to publicly report on their social performance using third-party criteria.  In essence, it’s a corporation with a social conscience.

Where are B Corporations?

At present, eight US states recognize this new legal corporate structure.  Maryland was the first to jump on board in April of 2010 followed quickly by Vermont in May 2010. Washington has been the most recent addition in March of 2012.

  1. Maryland
  2. Vermont
  3. New Jersey
  4. Virginia
  5. Hawaii
  6. California
  7. New York
  8. Washington

Although only eight states currently make the new corporate structure legal, more states are interested in making socially conscience capitalism [click to continue…]

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Libraries and Social Media

by Diane Vautier on May 14, 2012

Is there a connection between social media and public libraries? You bet there is.

Trends show that library usage is down and many libraries are experiencing budget cuts and even closures. Many think we’re losing libraries.

Most libraries are adapting though by changing how library space is used and by being more ‘Barnes&Noble” like. Some libraries now offer coffee and some not only allow food, but sell it themselves in in-house cafes. For example, in January 2008 UNH added Zeke’s Cafe to their Dimond Library.

Libraries have also added new technology like offering eBooks, allowing online accounts for lending renewals, using QR Codes to connect books on display to more detailed online information about the book, and even self check out stations, much like those in grocery stores.

“U.S. libraries of all types continue to make increasing use of social media and Web 2.0 applications and tools to connect with library users and to market programs and services” according to the American Library Association. But they also note that ” a few are not using them at all.”  “In short, there was general, if not complete, consensus that technology is developing rapidly and that libraries and librarians who are slow to adapt put themselves at risk. (A Google search for “social networking libraries” returned 14.8 million responses.)”

I suggest that libraries avoid the risk of falling behind by immediately adopting social media as part of their way of doing business.

Libraries that are already using social media find that Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Flickr, and YouTube are the most useful tools according to a research study conducted by Curtis R. Rodgers, Ed.D at  SC State Library. The same study finds that among other things, libraries use those social media platforms to:

  • Promote General Library Services
  • Market Specific Adult Programs and Services
  • Provide Quick Updates to Users
  • Market Specific Children/Youth Programs and Services
  • Reach New Audience of Potential Users

But change still continues to be a major factor when it comes to adding social media and web 2.0 to the library mix. Shift happens and will continue to drive change, specifically when it comes to content creation and content curation. Librarians would do well to follow the same steps as does small business when it comes to content creation using social media:

  • Find your audience
  • Set your goals
  • Start with the basics and optimize those accounts
  • Build a team
  • Create a Content Map
  • Link accounts – Connect, connect ,connect – your social network

Content curation is where libraries and librarians have a natural advantage because it’s already what they do everyday. Librarians have content curation super powers.  Now that content curation has moved from an in-person resource to an online resource however, librarians are in a unique position to help patrons manage the online information overload, and they can use social media tools to do it. Social media can help libraries become more highly visible and useful to the communities they serve.

If you’d like additional information on this presentation, you can find the slide deck on SlideShare and the full video on Vimeo.

Full video on Vimeo
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How to Make a Book Planter

by Diane Vautier May 12, 2012

How to make a book planter. I made this book planter as a thank you gift for a friend of mine who happens to be a library director.

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Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

by Diane Vautier April 3, 2012

Local search engine optimization is crucial for small businesses. If potential customers can’t find the business, they can’t buy from the business, especially if it’s a brick and mortar business and not an online sales shop. If you’re a small business, being online is no longer an option. Whether you like it or not, it’s […]

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ReStore: The Go-To Resource for Overstock, Closeout and Used Building Material and Home Improvement Supplies

by Diane Vautier January 13, 2012

ReStore, an ingenious idea of Habitat for Humanity, is the go-to resource to find overstock, closeout and used building material items and home improvement supplies. It’s a new gem in Seacoast NH’s eco-friendly, green crown. The newly opened Restore in Newington, NH was orchestrated by the Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity.

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Moss Graffiti – A Unique Tool in a Guerrilla Gardener’s Arsenal

by Diane Vautier January 10, 2012

There are three ways to create Moss Graffiti. You can grow a whole wall of it and then remove the area you don’t want making a reverse design, stencil it on and watch it grow into your design, or paste it on in a ready-made fashion.

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Moss. Grow It, Design It, Use It For Art

by Diane Vautier January 8, 2012

Moss. Gardeners enjoy the softness it adds to shade gardens. Decorators use it to add a hint of green to indoor design, sometimes topping the soil on flower pots, or on the planters themselves. Artists are using moss in a new way, as outdoor green art or moss graffiti.

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Etsy Artist ‘Wannabe’ No More – Welcome Java Jayne

by Diane Vautier January 3, 2012

The true spirit of recycling (well, actually reuse), sustainability, and industrial synergy. I was finally able to change my Twitter profile from “…wanna be Etsy artist…” to official “Etsy artist” with the opening of my Esty Store, Java Jayne.

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Facebook : The New Word of Mouth

by Diane Vautier December 10, 2011

Facebook : The New Word of Mouth

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Choosing Local Green Gifts for the Holidays

by Diane Vautier December 7, 2011

Consider choosing local green gifts. NH is brimming with great ‘green gifts’ ideas that could be the perfect gift for all your eco-friendly loved ones.

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