Hi! I’m Mary Ellen Bates, founder and principal of Bates Information Services Inc. and a long-time info geek. After 15 years managing corporate information centers and specialized libraries, I started my business in 1991 with the intent of providing high-end research and analysis services to strategic decision-makers. Projects have ranged from the market for second-hand Blackhawk helicopters to the safety of biotech manufacturing processes, background on hedge fund managers, and trends in Australian wines.
I also write, teach and speak frequently about issues in the information industry. I have keynoted at conferences around the world and am an engaging, effective and frequently-requested speaker. I have written seven books on various aspects of the information industry, as well as a number of white papers and ebooks sponsored by information companies for lead generation.
Since 2006, I have also offered coaching services for both new and long-time solopreneurs, after having served as an informal mentor for many fellow infopreneurs. My seventh book, The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Making a Living Doing What You Love, truly came from my heart. Everything in the book was based on my experiences and those of the hundreds of entrepreneurs I have coached and worked with over the years. My approach is to assume that there is always a way you can make a living doing what you love. As long as you are willing to move beyond your comfort zone on a regular basis, then you too can be a successful, happy, reluctant entrepreneur.
I believe in the value of community and the importance of giving back to the people and organizations that have supported me over the years. I have twice served as the president of the Association of Independent Information Professionals, have been on the board of directors for the Special Libraries Association, and have served on committees and task forces for a number of professional associations and non-profits. I have been given several professional awards, including AIIP’s Sue Rugge Memorial Award for mentoring (twice) and the President’s Award, the John Jacob Astor Award in Library and Information Science, and SLA’s Professional Award, and I am a Fellow of SLA.
I earned a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of California at Santa Barbara. In my spare time, I’m an amateur photographer, a dedicated hiker and a beekeeper. My two dogs and I live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder, Colorado.