BRASS Committee Reports

BRASS 25th Anniversary Planning Committee
The BRASS 25th Anniversary Dinner was held at Fulton’s-on-the-River in Chicago on Monday, July 1, 2013 with 150 BRASS members attending. Many thanks to the event grand sponsor, Gale Cengage Learning, and to the other sponsors: S&P Capital IQ, ReportLinker, Morningstar, Annual Reviews, EBSCO, Mintel, PrivCo, SimplyMap, Mergent, and Emerald. The event committee chair would also like to thank the planning committee members for their tremendous work putting this event together (Mark Andersen, Bobray Bordelon, Irwin Faye, Michael Oppenheim, and Celia Ross)! Thank you everyone for a great evening!

Louise Feldmann, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee
The Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee met on Saturday, June 29 at McCormick Place. Twenty people were in attendance, ranging from new librarians to veteran business librarians. New business librarian Nicole Spoor took excellent minutes of the meeting.

After welcoming everyone and giving personal introductions, we discussed the following items: possible topics for future BRASS forums, publishing opportunities in the BRASS newsletter, an update on the status of the Core Competencies Task Force and a discussion of our committee’s duties and mission with BRASS executive representative Celia Ross.

Possible topics for future BRASS Forum discussions included local economies, entrepreneurship, business instruction, presentation of award-winning research papers and working with faculty. The purpose of the discussion was to get people thinking about emerging issues in business librarianship and to refine ideas into possible forum topics. Committee chair Charles Allan reminded everyone that the BRASS Newsletter is open to receiving new submissions on varying topics. Participants were urged to submit a brief article.

Charles Allan and several members of the joint BRASS/CUBL Core Competencies Task Force were present and informed the meeting attendees of their work and its current status. The Task Force currently has seven main points and covers material that students should know when they graduate. The competencies might be a bridge between us and AACSB standards (the relationship is too vague and we would like to fix that). The next step in the evolution of the competencies is to survey faculty, students and employers.

Celia Ross came for the last segment of the meeting to get our take on how our committee fits into the BRASS architecture. Members present cited the committee’s attention to addressing a wide variety of issues facing business librarians in universities.

Charles Allan, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee
The Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee hosted a discussion at ALA Annual —Business Programming in Public Libraries. This spirited discussion included business programming ideas and advice from librarians around the country. The feedback for the program was excellent.

The committee met after the program and discussed the forum, state of business reference in our libraries and what’s to come. New Public Libraries Briefcases will be released by the end of the year.

Elizabeth Malafi, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Program Planning Committee
BRASS_1The BRASS Program, “Investment Success! Building & Managing Your Retirement Portfolio,” took place on July 1, 2013 at McCormick Place. Approximately 130 people turned out to hear our two speakers.

Charles Rotblut, Vice President of the American Association for Individual Investors (AAII) and editor of the AAII Journal, titled his presentation, “Smart Investing: Seeking Reward While Reducing Risk.” He emphasized that “the optimal strategy is not one that maximizes return, but rather one that helps you stick to your long-term investing plan and achieve your goals.” He discussed common cognitive errors investors make including loss aversion, overconfidence, confirmation bias, recency bias, and hindsight bias. A chart from an article in the October 2012 AAII Journal shows that the average equity mutual fund investor underperformed a simple buy and hold strategy using a Standard & Poor’s 500 index fund or ETF by more than 4% per year. The reason: individual mutual fund investors “buy high” and “sell low”, i.e., they buy funds that have already gone up in price and sell funds after they have gone down. Mr. Rotblut advises a three step process. 1) Understand the role your mind plays; 2) Use the power of the written word to your advantage by writing down your investment strategy, stating your buy and sell rules; he said that his favorite investing tool is a spiral notebook. 3) Determine your long-term allocation strategy and stick to It.

Jeremy Glaser is the Morningstar Markets Editor. His presentation was titled, “Investing Well at Every Life Stage.” He focused primarily on Pre-Retirees, people in their 50s and 60s, who are strategizing about retirement, and Retirees, people in their 60s and 70s, who are already retired. Pre-retirees should continue to save aggressively for retirement, gradually reduce risk in their portfolio, pay off debt, including “good” debt like mortgage debt if you intend to stay in your home, assess retirement readiness by looking at income needs, withdrawal rates, and portfolio sustainability, develop a Social Security and retirement date strategy, and formulate a long-term care and estate plan. Retirees (60s, 70s, and beyond) should continue to reduce risk in their investment portfolio, segment portfolio by time horizon, liquidate investments in a tax-efficient manner, and regularly revisit their withdrawal rate to make sure it is sustainable.

Audio recordings were made of both presentations. The Powerpoint slides and audio will be made available exclusively to BRASS members for the first six months. Check the BRASS website under the “Presentations” category.

 BRASS_2 Morningstar distributed a free book, Investing for the Long Run: Strategies and Solutions to Help You Shape Up Your Finances. The book contains sound advice for investors of all ages. The book may be freely downloaded as a PDF: .


Peter McKay, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee
The Business Reference Sources Committee (BRSC) met twice online during May and June to discuss nominated titles for the Best Business References Sources. Selecting these titles is one of the major charges of the BRSC. With an abbreviated one hour meeting schedule in Chicago at ALA, the committee decided that we wanted to do this before we met in person in order to give the titles the time and consideration they deserved. The winning titles will be reviewed in the winter edition of the RUSQ and also announced at the Midwinter Book and Media Awards Reception in Philadelphia on Sunday, January 26, 2014. Many thanks to Ed Hahn, Nominating Coordinator, for his work in getting titles nominated and then leading the online meetings to determine which titles would be selected. Thanks also go to Becky Smith, Column Editor, who will be compiling the reviews of the winning titles and submitting the column to RUSQ for publication. Finally thanks to the committee as a whole for their efforts in nominating and discussing the titles and then reviewing those selected for the column.

The BRSC also sponsors the Publishers’ Forum at ALA each year. This year forum was titled, “Finding Business Information in a Googlized World: The Future of Business Research and Discovery Layers.” This was a timely topic, focusing on the impact of discovery services on locating business information and data. This is especially important since most of the discovery platforms tend to be focused on articles and do not pulling out the types of data that business researchers seek. Our speakers included Gilad Gal, Director of Product Management for Discovery and Delivery Solutions Ex Libris Ltd.; John Law, Vice President of Discovery Solutions, ProQuest/Serials Solutions; Sam Brooks, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, EBSCO Publishing; and Suzanne Kemperman, Director, Business Development & Publisher Relations, OCLC. We had approximately eighty persons in attendance and the evaluations returned after the session were quite positive. Thanks in particular go to Penny Scott who chaired the Forum sub-committee, as well as the other committee members who made it the success it was.

Susan Hurst, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Discussion Group Committee
The BRASS Discussion Group hosted their annual discussion at the ALA annual conference in Chicago on Sunday, June 30, 2013. The discussion kicked-off with outgoing BRASS Chair Ann Fiegen hosting the annual BRASS membership meeting. After the membership meeting Kelly Janousek led a short discussion about what online conference software members were using and what were the strengths and weaknesses. This was followed by a call to follow and use the #bizref for BRASS related tweets.

The two scheduled areas for discussion were: 1) increasing significance of commercialization on campuses; 2) tools for finding information about online businesses. The commercialization efforts have been occurring primarily on large research campuses and smaller institutions haven’t been affected by this trend. Among the larger institutions there has been limited cooperation between the commercialization groups and libraries. While there has been limited cooperation between libraries and the campus commercialization groups, the majority of the interactions that libraries have in the process has occurred early on with the researchers.

The conversation about online business research focused on different tools that are available for free and on a subscription basis. A list of resources is being compiled in a Google Doc.

In June, there was the first open online discussion forum hosted by the discussion group and facilitated by Kelly Janousek and Jason Dewland. The first half of the discussion focused on how libraries are working with entrepreneurs. The second part of the discussion was about big data and the different areas librarians and researchers are finding it and tools to manage it. The final 10 minutes was a review of the changes made by Harvard Business Review. A recording of the discussion can be found here.

In the fall, the BRASS discussion group will host additional two to four online discussions. Dates, times, and topics are to be determined.

Jason Dewland, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Education Committee
The BRASS Education Committee is happy to report that the 2013 BRASS Preconference, “Business Reference 101: Core Competencies for Business Librarianship” was a success. Forty-five librarians from academic, public, and special libraries across the nation attended this preconference at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on June 28, 2013. Chris LeBeau from the University of Missouri-Kansas-City and Rhonda Kleiman from the Library System of Lancaster County discussed core resources for business reference; Leticia Camacho from Brigham Young University covered selecting and evaluating business resources; and Jared Howland, also from Brigham Young University, addressed licensing of business electronic resources. On behalf of the organizers, I’d like to thank our presenters for volunteering countless hours and keeping the audience engaged. Next year’s preconference will be on supporting entrepreneurs.

On Saturday, June 29th, we held our annual Education Committee meeting for the first time in the new 4:30-5:30 PM slot. We said goodbye to John Juricek from University of Southern California and Mary Martin from Claremont Colleges whose term ended, as well as Chad Boeninger who left to chair the BRASS Publications Committee. Thank you all for your service! We were also excited to welcome incoming members who were able to attend our meeting: Tom Ottaviano from Cornell, Christina Sheley from Indiana University, and Hiromi Kubo from California State University, Fresno.

The BRASS Education Committee worked hard on recruiting presenters for the RUSA webinars. Thanks to Peter McKay, Jennifer Boettcher will be offering a free online webinar on industry research this fall. If you missed last year’s preconference, “MBA (Mastering Business Acumen) in a Day,” Elisabeth Leonard will be presenting a webinar on Management, Chris LeBeau on Finance, Todd Hines on Accounting, and Andy Spackman on Marketing. Keep an eye out for announcements!
We are looking forward to a busy year ahead of us. One of the major projects we’ll be working on is creating a new set of BRASS LibGuides which combines both the Best of the Best Business Websites and Selected Core Resources. Another important project is fleshing out Business Reference Essentials LibGuide which will serve as a start-up guide for a new business librarian and refresher for the rest of us.

photo caption: Chris LeBeau is discussing core business resources

Natasha Arguello, 2012-2013 Chair
University of Texas at San Antonio



BRASS Membership Committee
Don’t you LIKE us? Please become a “friend” of BRASS Facebook page. See pictures and events. Committee chairs this is your opportunity to publicize your events and previews of your speakers. You can LIKE US Facebook.

Kelly Janousek, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Vendor Relations Committee
The BRASS Vendor Relations Committee had a very successful year. Close to $30,000 was raised for the BRASS 25th Anniversary event. The Committee also received approval at Annual to explore the possibility of developing a “Virtual Expo” site which would serve as a clearinghouse of sorts for BRASS members to explore various business database vendors. Thanks go to committee members Paul Brothers and Lydia LaFaro for all of their great work and welcome to Chris LeBeau who will be serving as the new Chair!

Celia Ross, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Publications and Communications Committee
The BRASS Publications and Communications Committee met at ALA Annual, discussing several projects for the coming year. First, a representative from the BRASS Section Review Committee covered some of the basic questions and procedures the committee will undertake this year in the committee review process. We then heard reports from several of our members on their specific areas of responsibility. We spent considerable time discussing a variety of plans and possibilities for a revision and restructuring of the BRASS Web site. We hope to contact representatives of a number of BRASS committees to obtain input and suggestions for these revisions. We also decided, due to positive reaction, to continue producing the BRASS Events Schedule to help our members keep up with BRASS-related activities at ALA Annual. Finally, we met incoming chair of BRASS Andy Spackman, and incoming chair of the Publications and Communications Committee Chad Boeninger, and we look forward to working with both of them this year.

John Gottfried, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Section Review Committee
This is the year for the review/evaluation of the committees that comprise the BRASS section of RUSA. If you are a committee chair, you should soon be contacted by a BRASS member asking permission to be included on the agenda of your committee’s meeting at the ALA annual conference in June. More information to follow soon. Thank you in advance.

Paul Brothers, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee
Salvatore DiVincenzo was recognized at this year’s RUSA Awards reception as the recipient of the Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award. DiVincenzo is the business librarian at Middle Country Public Library in Long Island, New York. The award, sponsored by Morningstar, offers $1,000 in travel funds for ALA’s Annual Conference to a business librarian from a public library.

Congratulations, Salvatore!

Melissa Jeter, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Excellence in Business Librarianship Award Committee
Michael R. Oppenheim was recognized at the RUSA Awards ceremony during the ALA Annual conference in Chicago as the 2013 recipient of the Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship. This award ($3,000 and a citation) is for his outstanding contributions to the field of business librarianship. Quoting from the citation: “Through publication, service in professional organizations, mentoring, and sharing of subject expertise, Michael has contributed significantly to the professional growth of colleagues throughout their careers”.

Michael R. Oppenheim is the business librarian’s librarian—as an author, officer, mentor, and expert.

Congratulations, Michael!

We thank Gale Cengage Learning for the generous support of this award.

The committee members: Mark Andersen; Karen J. Chapman; Patricia E. Kenly

Patricia Kenly, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award Committee
Kelly LaVoice, graduate student of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University and current business librarian intern at the University of Pennsylvania’s Lippincott Business Library, was recognized at the RUSA Award reception as the 2013 BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award recipient. The award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning and the BRASS, offers $1,000 and a one year membership to BRASS to an outstanding MLIS student to fund travel to the ALA Annual Conference.

Todd M. Hines, 2012-2013 Chair


BRASS Business Expert Press Award Committee
Annette Buckley, Business Research Librarian at UC-Irvine and this year’s recipient of the Business Expert Press Award, was recognized at the RUSA Awards reception at ALA Annual. The award, sponsored by Business Expert Press, is given to a librarian who is new to the field of academic business librarianship, in order to support his or her attendance to the ALA Annual Conference. Congratulations to Annette who also serves as our BRASS Webmaster—A BIG THANK you from your BRASS colleagues!

Paul Brothers, 2012-2013 Chair


BRASS Emerald Research Award Committee
Jennifer Boettcher, Business and Economics Reference Librarian at Georgetown University Library, was the recipient of this year’s Emerald Research Award and was recognized at the RUSA Awards reception. The award is sponsored by Emerald Group Publishing and is for for ALA members seeking support in conducting research in business librarianship. Jennifer’s research interests are in government sources and industry research.

Congratulations, Jennifer!

Christy Goodnight, 2012-2013 chair
Mark your calendars for …..BRASS 2014 PROGRAM
Mad Men: The Business of Advertising, Monday, June 30, 2014; 8:30-10:00 AM

Many companies spend millions on advertising their brands and products, yet the data can be hard to find. Specialized sources, available at many large libraries, focus on these statistics. The information they contain can be used by business students, researchers, or the general public. In addition, media planning, a component of a company’s marketing plan, will be covered. Entrepreneurs need information on placing ads (and on how much it costs); reference librarians assisting these users will also find the content of the program very useful.

Speakers: Wendy Diamond, Business and Economics Librarian at California State University, Chico. Ms. Diamond has been a featured speaker at two prior BRASS annual programs (2001 and 2008) on marketing. She is the co-author of Marketing Information: A Strategic Guide for Business and Finance Libraries (2004).

The other speaker will be either from an advertising agency in Las Vegas—about what their clients (ad buyers) need, or a professor from UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.

Patricia Kenly, 2013-2014 Chair