BRASS Committee Reports

Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee
A new article has been posted to the Public Libraries Briefcase: “Help! I’m not a Business Librarian,” by Sal DiVincenzo

Other ideas for articles:

  • Terry Zarsky: Description/case study of the opening of a new high-tech library center, library21c (
  • Article or presentation about building a Local Business Contact List at the city-county-state levels
  • Julia Herrington: considering an article on “Libraries in Boomtowns”
  • Updating past Public Library Briefcases: committee divided the workload for a dead link check
  • Topic for 2015 ALA Annual Convention Program:
  • Panel about Revenue Streams for Libraries (would include naming rights, sponsorships, crowd funding, grants and other non-levy type revenue sources)
  • Midwinter: committee will meet virtually sometime in January.

Ed Rossman, 2014-2015 Chair


Business Reference Services Discussion Group
To date, the BRASS Discussion Group has hosted two virtual discussions during the fall semester:

On September 19, 2014, a virtual discussion was held which centered on collections. This topic was chosen based on responses to a survey sent out earlier to all BRASS members. Several resources were discussed including HBR, WRDS, Thomson Reuters Eikon and other Thomson resources, Investext (Mergent vs. Thomson), Bloomberg, and MSCI ESG Research. The recording is available on ALA Connect.

On October 24, 2014, an instruction-themed virtual discussion took place. We discussed faculty outreach, strategies for one-shot and embedded instruction, business information literacy, and assessment. During the meeting, many people shared links to instructional resources. These links are available in the chat transcript posted on ALA Connect.

The discussions held so far involved around forty participants each. Thank you to the committee members who have helped coordinate these discussions. The next virtual discussion of the BRASS Discussion Group will take place on November 21, 2014 with a topic to be determined.

Emily Treptow 2014-2016 Chair

Business Reference Resources Committee
The latest column on outstanding reference resources will be appearing in the next issue of the Reference and User Services Quarterly. There will be eleven resources reviewed for this issue.

The committee also approved of a topic for the publishers forum for the next ALA annual conference next June in San Francisco. The forum will be on Financial Literacy and will be titled Money Smart – Sources for Promoting Financial Literacy to your community.

Ed Hahn, 2014-2015 Chair

Education Committee
The BRASS Education Committee is up to a great start this year. We’ve been busy working on a number of projects:

  • Migration to the new LibGuide 2.0 platform led by Peter McKay is completed. Last year’s effort was focused on combining the Selected Core Resources and Best of the Best Business Websites guides into single topical guides []. Now all members are reviewing and updating their guides to take full advantage of new functionality. The plans for November include a virtual meeting to further discuss style guidelines and come up with a process for editorial review.
  • The preconference working group, including Natasha Arguello, Christina Sheley, Ashley Faulkner, Desirae Sweet, and Susan Schreiner will coordinate the 2015 RUSA BRASS preconference in San Francisco. We are trying a new half-day format and a new topic on intellectual property for entrepreneurs. We have been able to recruit excellent presenters who will discuss IP challenges faced by entrepreneurs, patent and trademark searching, and best practices in business librarians’ collaboration with the campus technology transfer office.
  • Nominating and voting for three Best of the Best Business Websites which will be announced at the RUSA Book and Media Award Ceremony at the ALA Midwinter is also under way. Our theme for selecting the best business website aligns with the upcoming 2015 Preconference “Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs.” The working group which includes Susan Schreiner, Kelly LaVoice, and Penny Huffman continues developing a marketing plan to raise the profile of the award. To see the previous winners, please visit

Natasha Arguello, 2012-2015 Chair

Program Planning Committee
BRASS 2015 ALA Annual Program!

Mark your calendars:

Monday, June 29, 2015, 8:30-10:00 AM

“Not Elsewhere Classified”: Researching New and Niche Industries

How do librarians teach business students and entrepreneurs the research techniques for a budding industry or market? How do we help our clients get ahead of an emerging industry or a new idea? Learn from experts about how to locate and evaluate information on leading-edge industries, assess markets, and lead your clients in making strategic decisions when their business crosses traditional NAICS code boundaries or is part of a new field.


Laura Young, Co-Owner of Bizologie (and another speaker, to be announced)

Laura is a Research Analyst for Austin Ventures, a 30-year-old venture capital firm with $3.9 billion of assets under management. She received her MSIS from the University of Texas and her BA from Metropolitan State College of Denver. Before pursuing a career in the private sector, she provided research and instruction services for the University of Texas Libraries. The other speaker will be associated with new ventures also.

Diane Campbell, 2014-2015 Chair

Publications and Communications Committee
The Publications and Communications Committee will be putting together a preliminary draft of the BRASS ALA Annual 2015 Schedule of Events in March. The P&C Committee will be soliciting committee chairs for their program and meeting information. This draft version will not have as much information as the final version, but will be a means to notify BRASS members well in advance of ALA Annual about the types of programming available. The preliminary draft schedule should make it easier in piecing together the final schedule in May/early June.

Chad Boeninger, 2014-2015 Chair

Vendor Relations
Business Expert Press’s three year support for a BRASS travel award has come to an end. RUSA will fund the award for one year while we try to find another sponsor for next year. The Vendor Relations Committee also made a proposal to Gale to retain our awards and were successful.

Chris LeBeau, 2014-2015 Chair

Gale Cengage Learning Excellence in Business Librarianship Award
The BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship committee continues to solicit nominations through December 14th, 2014. The award recognizes a business librarian who has made a significant contribution to our field. Take a look around you (or in the mirror!) and if this sounds like you or someone you know, then please take a look at this page for more information on how to submit a nomination:

Celia Ross, 2014-2015 Chair

Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award Committee
Sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, this $1,250 monetary prize is given to a student enrolled in an ALA accredited master’s degree program to fund travel to and attendance at the ALA Annual Conference and a one-year membership in the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA. Candidates for the award should have demonstrated interest in a career in business librarianship and the potential to be a leader in the profession, as evidenced by activities that may include (but are not limited to) coursework, internships, jobs, special projects, and publications. Applicants may download the form here:nomination form (PDF format). Deadline for all nominations is February 8, 2015.

Michael Oppenheim, 2014-2015 Chair

Emerald Research Award Committee
The Emerald Research Award Committee is currently seeking nominations for the $5000 award described below. Please let colleagues know about the award. Feel free to distribute the announcement below to your local listservs:

Are you a librarian in need of funding for a business research project?

The Emerald Research Grant Award, sponsored by Emerald Group Publishing Limited offers one award of $5,000 and a citation to an individual or team seeking support to conduct research in business librarianship. The awards will be presented at the RUSA Awards Ceremony at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. Recipients will be required to attend the RUSA Awards Ceremony.

Candidates must submit a detailed proposal outlining their proposed research project; methodology, scope and timetable; how this project fits into the existing literature; and projected outcomes, including a statement outlining how this research will benefit the library profession. Proposals will be reviewed for thoroughness; potential to positively impact the library profession; and potential to provide a useful addition to the existing library literature. Proposals will be accepted from both individual researchers and those working collaboratively. At least one member of a collaborative team must be a member of ALA.

The recipient(s) may be asked to present their findings at a public BRASS event within two years of receiving the award (at the discretion of the BRASS Executive Committee). The recipient will also be required to acknowledge the Emerald Research Grant when publishing or presenting their research. The deadline for proposals is December 14, 2014. Proposals can be sent to:

Leticia Camacho, 2014-2015 Chair

Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee
Do you know a public librarian who has performed outstanding business reference service and whose attendance at the ALA Annual Conference is not fully funded by their institution? Please nominate your colleague for the Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award! The recipient will receive $1250 in travel funds to attend the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. If you meet the qualifications, please don’t hesitate to nominate yourself! The deadline for nominations is December 14, 2014. For details, see

Karen Chapman, 2014-2015 Chair

Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award Committee
You may not recognize this committee—that’s because it’s undergone a name change while we look for another vendor sponsor. However, the charge is still the same! We are looking for a new academic business librarian to give a $1250 grant to travel to ALA. Please nominate yourself or a new business librarian at:

Julia A. Martin, 2014-2015 Chair