BRASS Committee Reports

BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee
Charles Allan participated in a conference call with the BRASS committee and shared the research competencies committee’s progress in writing rough drafts of research competencies and creating an annotated bibliography. The committee has a rough research competencies draft of seven points with subcategories that cover key components of information literacy, database searching techniques, framing research questions and specific research questions related to business information research skills.

The Research Committee is continuing to incorporate members’ inputs on the content and wording of the competencies. Delivery of the competencies may prove to be a multi-year process as surveys from faculty and businesses are gathered. Several members of the task force have suggested further enhancements to the document to expand and refine content.

Charles Allan, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee
A small group of Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee met at Mid-Winter and finalized our Forum topic for Annual. The forum is entitled Business Librarian’s Reference Shelf. Speakers are to be determined.

Elizabeth Malafi, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Program Planning Committee


BRASS 2013 Program: Investment Success! Building & Managing Your Retirement Portfolio

Monday, July 1, 2013
8:30-10:00 A.M.
Good personal investment education is important for librarians and library staff. We are an occupational group that is rarely able to access top financial advice. In this program, investment professionals will demystify the process and help us understand essential principles and how to apply them to make better decisions to meet our retirement goals. The presentation will include a discussion of the common mistakes investors make, why we make them, and how to avoid them.


  • CHARLES ROTBLUT, CFA, Vice President, AAII
    Charles Rotblut is a vice president of the American Association of Individual Investors. He is the editor of the AAII Journal. He authors the weekly AAII Investor Update e-newsletter and his commentary is published on both Seeking Alpha and
  • JEREMY GLASER, Morningstar Markets Editor
    Jeremy Glaser is markets editor for, responsible for directing all stock market coverage for Morningstar’s website for individual investors. Prior to assuming his current role in 2009, he was a senior equity analyst for Morningstar, covering the leisure, hospitality, and gaming sectors. He joined Morningstar in 2006. Glaser holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago

Peter McKay, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee
The Business Reference Sources Committee (BRSC) held a virtual meeting through Collaborate on January 7, 2013.

One of the main announcements was the RUSQ column on Outstanding Business Reference sources has now been published: “Outstanding Business Reference Sources 2012”. (2012). Reference & User Services Quarterly, 52(2), 154-157.

We also discussed the list of nominated titles and business sources. Ed Hahn is in charge of this subcommittee and announced that so far twenty-six items have been nominated. We are still seeking additional nominations; however, as some items are removed from the list as we narrow it down.

Penny Scott is leading the subcommittee for organizing the 2013 Publishers’ forum at ALA. A committee discussion was held to finalize ideas for the forum and to start getting details solidified. Penny has also offered to document the timeline and steps necessary to organize the Publishers’ Forum and post them on the BRSC Wiki as well as on the BRSC RUSA webpage along with possible topics discussed during the virtual meeting. The one that seemed to get the most attention was looking at Discovery Layer services and how this has affected specialized sources of business information such as financial data and market research reports. Penny is working on this.

Susan Hurst, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS 25th Anniversary Planning Committee
Plans are underway for the BRASS 25th Anniversary Party to be held on Monday, July 1st, at ALA Annual 2013 in Chicago. Keep your calendars open for this fabulous event. Stay tuned for details to come over the coming months.

Louise Feldmann, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Discussion Group Steering Committee
Jason Dewland led a discussion on entrepreneurship support in libraries. BRASS attendees described library programs and offered supporting resources for entrepreneurship. Public libraries offer a number of programs and resources for local entrepreneurs. The Chamber of Commerce meets at the Middle Country Public Library in New York. Some libraries offer entrepreneur centers including maker spaces, the Chicago Public Library received a $250,000 maker space grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS). Many libraries offer help with launching and marketing new businesses to those creating new tech products by providing resources, referrals to small business counselors, and hosting networking events.

Academic libraries are evolving as they are being asked to help support universities that are increasingly reaching out into their communities. Universities expanding their efforts to help new business ventures with business incubators and expanding their role with helping faculty get new products patented and brought to market. In academic libraries the importance of distinguishing between student assignments and entrepreneurial projects when using library databases is addressed by educating students about licensing limitations of academic library databases.

Jason Dewland, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Education Committee
Best of the Best Business Websites Winners
Since 2009, every fall the BRASS Education Committee has been selecting the top three Best of the Best Business Websites a business librarian can’t live without. Take a look at the previous winners. This year, the three winners are:

  1. The World Bank Data, which provides freely-available data for over 214 countries and economies, including time series for world development indicators from 1960 to 2011. We want to thank the World Bank for making this information freely available.
  2. Doing Business, a collaboration between the World Bank and The International Finance Corporation (IFC) which provides objective measures of business regulations for local firms in 185 economies.
  3. Occupational Outlook Handbook, an online portal created and maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics which features hundreds of occupational profiles with detailed information on work environment, required education, expected pay, trends and employment projections, along with additional data. This is an indispensable source of career information for students and professionals.

On behalf of the BRASS Education Committee, Mary Martin announced the winners at the RUSA Book and Media Awards on January 27th, 2013, at ALA Midwinter in Seattle.

Since 2009, the three winners have been reviewed in the winter issue of the Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ).

BRASS Webinars
The BRASS Education Committee submitted a proposal to the BRASS Executive Committee to amend the submission and approval process for RUSA webinars in order to elevate BRASS’ profile. First, we would like to highlight BRASS sponsorship for those webinars where presenters are BRASS members or recruited by BRASS. As an additional benefit to BRASS members and to attract new members, we also proposed discounts for such webinars for BRASS members, as well as group, series and recording rates. The BRASS Executive Committee approved our proposal, and now we are awaiting RUSA’s decision.

Interested in doing a webinar, or know someone whose business research expertise will be appreciated by colleagues? Let us know!

Natasha Arguello, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Membership Committee
Don’t you LIKE us? Please become a “friend” of BRASS Facebook page. See pictures and events. You can Like Us on Facebook.

Kelly Janousek, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Nominating Committee
The BRASS Nominating Committee submitted the 2013 Ballot nominees this past September. Thanks to Mary Gilles and Elizabeth Stephan for all of their help in getting this great list of nominees together. The BRASS 2013 Ballot will include for Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Todd Hines and Peter Z. McKay; and for Member-at-Large: Chad Boeninger and Elizabeth Malafi. BRASS member Anthony (Tony) Lin will be a candidate on the RUSA-level ballot for Secretary.

Celia Ross, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Vendor Relations Committee
The BRASS Vendor Relations Committee has been continuing to assist the BRASS 25th Anniversary Planning Committee by reaching out to new vendors and working with longtime partners to help secure funding for the celebration event planned for 2013 in Chicago. Confirmed sponsors so far are Gale Cengage, S&P Capital IQ, Morningstar, Annual Reviews, Emerald, SimplyMap, and PrivCo. We are also close to confirming sponsorship by Mintel, Mergent, ReportLinker and possibly EIU. Committee members include Paul Brothers and Lydia LaFaro.

Celia Ross, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Publications and Communications Committee
The BRASS Publications and Communications committee held their midwinter virtual meeting in early January. The committee’s primary objective for the coming semester is to continue improving the quality, accuracy and timeliness of BRASS web pages. Toward this end, the committee will contact many of the other BRASS groups and committees for advice and feedback. The Publications and Communication Committee will also begin plans for a new collection of Guidelines and Style Guide for BRASS Web pages and communications.

John Gottfried, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee
The committee for the Morningstar Public Librarianship Award is now reviewing nominations. The award winner will be selected soon and announced in the upcoming month. A public librarian who has performed outstanding business reference service and who requires financial assistance to attend the conference will be selected. The award winner will receive $1,000 in travel funds for ALA’s Annual Conference.

Melissa Jeter, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Gale-Cenage learning Student Travel Award Committee
The application deadline for the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award was January 31st. A winner is expected to be announced soon.

Todd M. Hines, 2012-2013 Chair