BRASS Committee Reports

BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee
The Business Reference in Academic Libraries committee met on Saturday, June 28th.

The committee had organized the forum for 2014 and solicited feedback from those present.

The committee discussed ways to become more active during years when it does not organize forums. Several ideas were mentioned, including creating a way to share instructional material and surveying members about their reference working environment (information commons, research appointments, etc.). Other members shared future topics of discussion, including better integration into the curriculum, how to use APA to cite sources for business as a possible project, and for the committee to share outreach methods.

Ann Fiegen also brought up the possible involvement of Emerald as a sponsor of a preconference event next year.

Charles Allan, 2012-2014 Chair

BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee
Briefcase Articles:

The next Briefcase Article will be “Consumer Research” by Terry Zarsky, anticipated publication in 3rd quarter. Analysis of usage data indicates that responses to recent articles has been good, and the articles are getting good exposure. The committee will also go back and check previous articles for update/rewrite possibilities. There was discussion of seeking articles with a more positive approach.

Recruitment Efforts:

Committee members will check with state organizations and perhaps develop a database of business sections in local organizations. Other strategies were discussed, such as advertising briefcase articles, or cross-promotion with organizations like SLA and PLA.

Looking Toward ALA Annual 2015:

Every other year the BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee does a major program, and 2015 will be the next. The committee is looking into various forms of support (naming rights, crowdfunding, honorariums, and so on) and beginning to consider speakers and organizations that might want to be involved. It is also the time to research scheduling and communication.

The chair will contact members about a virtual committee meeting sometime in August.

Ed Rossman, 2014-2015 Chair

BRASS Program Planning Committee
BRASS Conference Program Planning Committee: BRASS 2014 Program

Mad Men: The Business of Advertising

About 150 attendees were at the program and heard from 2 knowledgeable speakers:

  • Dale Skarl, Search Engine Marketing Manager for MGM Resorts International

Summary notes were posted to ALA Connect at:

Committee members: Andy Spackman (BRASS Chair), Ilana Barnes, Mark Bieraugel, Bobray Bordelon, Greg Fleming, Patrick Griffis, Elizabeth Malafi

We would like to thank S&P Capital IQ for their continued support of BRASS by providing a continental breakfast.

Patricia Kenly, 2013-2014 Chair

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee
The committee met virtually on June 5, 2014 and identified eleven titles that will appear in the Winter RUSQ column of Outstanding Business Resources. Of the eleven titles, four were identified as outstanding, six as notable, and one as an overlooked treasure. The titles will be presented at the Midwinter RUSA Awards meeting.

At the ALA Annual Conference, the committee met and discussed various items including:

  • Susan Hurst will be rotating off as chair and being replaced by Ed Hahn
  • The previous issue with Harvard Business Review (HBR) restricting access to 500 of their most popular articles was discussed, HBR will continue to restrict access but is open to suggestions on this matter, one thing suggested was for better communication with BRASS and HBR so business librarians can prepare and help their faculty plan for their course work.
  • The committee was asked by the BRASS executive committee to consider a proposal to purchase Robert Berkman’s “Best of the Business Web” email alert; The committee recommended that the BRASS Executive Committee not purchase this.

At the ALA Annual Conference the committee presented the Publishers Forum titled “Hitting the Jackpot, Sources for Local and Regional Business Information”. The presenters were from Data Planet, Euromonitor, Proquest, and Alteryx. There were 55 people attending the forum.

Ed Hahn, 2014-2016 Chair

BRASS Discussion Group Committee
The BRASS Discussion Group hosted their annual discussion at the ALA annual conference in Las Vegas on Sunday, June 29, 2014. The conference room was filled to capacity with over 80 people attending the proceedings.

The discussion kicked-off with outgoing President Andy Spackman hosting the annual BRASS membership meeting, which was followed by individual announcements. The discussion this year centered on best practices for managing student and faculty requests for information consultations. A wide variety of practices and strategies were covered for dealing with drop-in advanced referrals.

The second part of the discussion focused on the ACRL’s new n literacy standards and their impact on business instruction. Ann Fiegen encouraged participants to reach out to the committee writing the standards to ensure that business librarians have a say in the final product.

As of July 1, 2014 Emily Treptow from Michigan State University is the new BRASS Discussion Chair, we look forward to her leadership over the next year.

Jason Dewland, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Education Committee
At our annual meeting in Las Vegas we had an opportunity to say good-bye and a big thank you for valuable contributions to Louise Feldman, Jared Hoppenfeld, and Rhonda Kleiman, whose terms ended this year. We were also excited to welcome Kelly LaVoice from Cornell University, Desirae Sweet from James Madison University, and Ashley Faulkner from Texas A&M.

The largest event of the year for the BRASS Education Committee is the annual preconference. The 2014 RUSA BRASS preconference “How Business Librarians Support Entrepreneurs” was very successful. Helen Kula from the University of Toronto, together with Chris Kim and Hyun-Duck Chung from the University of Toronto / MaRS Discovery District delivered a dynamic interactive workshop on market research. Posie Aagaard from the University of Texas at San Antonio offered practical approaches to licensing e-resources for entrepreneurial uses. Her presentation was complemented by a vendor’s perspective from Matt Dunie, CEO of Data-Planet. Jared Hoppenfeld from Texas A&M and Elizabeth Malafi from Middle County Public Library discussed best practices for engaging with entrepreneurs in public and academic libraries.

46 people registered and 45 attended, representing 14 public and 29 academic libraries, as well as one state library and the Library of Congress Science, Technology and Business Division. Five participants and three presenters hailed from Canada, and we also had a librarian from Trinidad and Tobago, making this event truly international. We received very positive feedback from the participants who appreciated the timely topic and opportunities for networking. Andy Spackman, the past BRASS Chair, dropped by to present us with a RUSA voucher for one free registration for the next year’s preconference. The lucky winner was Michelle Kowalsky from Rowan University.

Now we are getting busy planning the next year’s preconference Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright which will focus on commercializing IP, patent searching, IP licensing to third parties, and other issues of interest to entrepreneurs. If you have any good speakers on these topics in mind, let us know!

We will be migrating BRASS Business Guides LibGuides v.2.0 platform, with Peter McKay from the University of Florida in charge of this effort. The new Business Reference Essentials guide with tips for new business librarians is now featured on the BRASS website Comments and suggestions are welcome!

Natasha Arguello, 2012-2015 Chair

BRASS Membership Committee
Thanks to all who attended the BRASS Membership Reception sponsored by InfoGroup—the event was great.

The membership committee reminds members you are not automatically added to the BRASS Facebook page or brass-l. You must “like” or subscribe through ALA connect. It’s a great way to stay connected with BRASS events! See the website for more information:

BRASS met new business librarians at the RUSA 101—if you are a fairly new business librarian looking for tips and ideas, we have a networking group for you. The New Business Librarians Discussion Group. Contact Greta Wood ( to participate.

Kelly Janousek, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Vendor Relations Committee
Vendor relations remain strong; our vendors continue to be very supportive. Current vendor support comes from InfoGroup, S&P Capital IQ, Springshare, Gale, Morningstar, Emerald and Business Expert Press. InfoGroup hosted a wonderful member reception in Las Vegas for us. Our award sponsors are greatly appreciated by the membership. Emerald has expressed interest in sponsoring another preconference workshop in San Francisco. BRASS is working to

develop a program for that. The Vendor Relations committee is also working on a partnership with new vendor, details hopefully to follow.

Chris LeBeau, 2013-2015 Chair

BRASS Publications and Communications Committee

  • The committee encourages BRASS members to promote their tutorials, Libguides, and cool finds on Twitter using the hashtag #bizref throughout the year.
  • The committee is exploring new projects and activities
  • Congrats to Carol for being selected as the RUSA Update editor! John Gottfried will be our new BRASS Notes editor
  • Thanks to all members and chairs who provided input on the official ALA BRASS events schedule

Chad Boeninger, 2013-2015 Chair

BRASS Emerald Research Award Committee
Ilana Stonebraker accepted the BRASS Emerald Research Award on behalf of herself and Tao Zheng. Committee Chair, Elizabeth Stephan, and Emerald representative Eileen Breen were on hand to help present the grant. BRASS would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to Emerald for their continued support of research related to research librarianship!

Elizabeth Stephan, 2013-2014 chair

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee
Unfortunately, the Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award was not given this year. The committee has worked on updating the criteria for the award and preparing for our fall nomination campaign. Please be thinking about what deserving public librarian you will nominate this fall — perhaps yourself! The award, sponsored by Morningstar, offers $1,250 in travel funds for ALA’s annual conference to a public librarian who provides business reference services.

Karen Chapman, 2013-2014 Chair