My Business Philosophy as an African American Entrepreneurial Librarian

1. How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

I am a writer, librarian, artist, and change agent. Through these three professional mediums I sat down and thought about what I could do differently as a creative individual and what services I knew without a doubt that I could offer people on a global perspective. I believe my passion in each one of these areas is how the idea of bookista media group formed.

2. What was your mission at the outset?

My mission at the beginning of this journey was to only offer an art library in a physical space, then it migrated into a graduate-student project, and has since been repurposed as an independent African American digital art library for the global community. Then I started to see that there are not many minority women-owned businesses that offer creative services in areas of publishing, design, special librarianship, and genealogy. I decided that it made more sense if I changed directions and create a bigger platform.

3. How many employees?

At this juncture, I am the only employee. I specifically use the word “we” when I discuss my company, because there are countless individuals that that have helped me in areas of mentoring, coaching, etc. I will employ at least 2 people in the next few 1-2 years. In addition, we intend to create a fellowship program for African American women that are interested in creative arts, art librarianship, and activism.

4. What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?

bookista media group is a creative multimedia production company, producing digital media and writing projects. We provide creative and research consulting, specialize in archiving history, genealogy curation, building digital repositories, creating online academic courses and designing personal library spaces.

5. How do you advertise your business?

I believe this facet of being an entrepreneur is ever-changing. I have built a brand that lasts by writing profusely, creating projects, and being involved in professional development in all areas of my business – which makes me an expert at what I do.

By the same token, my identity and brand go hand in hand. I have taken on the belief that sharing who I am without fear is a part of success and a part of my professional -entrepreneurial narrative.

6. How do you advertise your product/service?

Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Blogging, Email Campaigns, List-serves, Word of Mouth

7. What is unique about your business as a start-up company?

Bookista media group is an African-American Woman-Owned business in Jefferson City, Missouri. All of our work is designed in-house at our studio. We build and design virtual and physical libraries and repositories. In like manner, we offer genealogy curation services to clients interested in learning about how to research their family history virtually or in a physical setting. Equally important, our company founder is an accredited entrepreneurial librarian and is passionate about helping others.

8. What made you choose this type of business?

I have always been an entrepreneur. I believe having time to think about what I wanted to do is what made me develop the idea for a company such as this one and where to take it in the future. Creating meaningful work that will impact society through literacy, history, the arts, and academia is very important to me. Moreover, as an entrepreneurial librarian – I know that I am one of a few African American women that own a business and still are an asset to/in the profession at large.

9. Does your company help the community where it is located?

I am a big about collaborating with others. My start as an artist and writer began in my home state of Texas. As a global thinker and world traveler, I believe that the word community encompasses having and establishing a worldwide platform-brand. Where I live now, through community and professional leadership, I am an elected board member of the Jefferson City Cultural Arts Commission in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Also, I write scholarly articles as a librarian about creating African American library arts programming in academic and special libraries. I serve on several committees as a professional entrepreneurial librarian with the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Society for American Archivists Independent Section.

10. To what do you attribute your success?

In my early twenties, I remember when I started my first company as a poet and poetry curator. I self-published my work, had a venue to host, and went so far as to buy emblems to put on my car to let the world know that I was in business and serious about it.

That moment in my life pushed me to publish one of the first successful literary art magazines online and in print in the south, obtain a literary arts degree and a terminal degree, as well as build and design an online art library, and now set up my own company. I attribute all of this to drive, passion, and the want to have a legacy.

11. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Understand that it is okay to not be understood by the general populous; this is what make you unique. Know your worth and always have a mentor – regardless of your age.

12. Is there is anything else you would like to share with our audience?

Yes, support African American Women-Owned Businesses and Libraries. Visit my web platform 365 daily here:

kYmberly Keeton is a native Texan, a nationally published writer, a solo art librarian, creative-mixologist and genealogy curator. Keeton is the Founder and Chief Thought Eradicator of bookista media group, a creative multimedia production company. She now lives in the Midwest with her dog, Roxy Blue, and spends her time reading books, writing hooks, and designing the next…

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