John Gottfried, Editor


Message from the BRASS Chair

BRASS elections are coming up soon. Be on the lookout for the official ALA election emails. Once again we have a great group of candidates:

  • BRASS Vice-Chair / Chair Elect: Louise Feldmann and Michael Oppenheim
  • BRASS Member-at-Large: Jared Hoppenfeld and Penny Scott

There are also several BRASS members on the ballot for RUSA elections:

  • RUSA Vice-President / President-Elect:   Celia Ross
  • RUSA Director-at-Large: Jennifer Boettcher
  • Division Councilor: Sarah Hammill

Todd Hines
BRASS Chair 2014-2015

Call for BRASS Volunteers!

Calling all BRASS volunteers. Please considering serving our wonderful BRASS section. Committee positions will start after ALA Annual 2015 (San Francisco) and are generally for a two-year term. I hope you all will begin considering to serve on a committee again, or perhaps for the first time.

Here’s how to volunteer:

  • Visit to review the BRASS committees;
  • Go to and login to the ALA website;
  • Select RUSA from the dropdown menu;
  • Fill out the initial form about yourself and your current ALA responsibilities;
  • Select RUSA_BRASS from the second drop down menu;
  • Indicate which committees you would like to help with.

You do not have to commit to traveling to conferences in order to volunteer. While some committees must meet in-person, many have virtual assignments, and some do all their work online. Most committee assignments last two years (there are exceptions) and begin and end after ALA Annual conference.

I’m looking forward to working with all of you in BRASS.

Best regards,

Paul Brother
BRASS Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect

Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee

The BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee recently conducted a virtual Midwinter conference meeting. The committee discussed the upcoming program at ALA annual. Charles Allan, the committee chair and editor of the BRASS newsletter, solicited submissions for the newsletter from those present. We also discussed program ideas for the 2016 conference.

Charles Allan, 2014-2015 Chair

Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee

The Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee Meeting was held Jan. 26, 2015 at 2:00pm ET. Among items discussed were:

  1. New Additions to the Public Librarians Briefcase.
  2. Details on this summers’ Forum, about new revenue streams for libraries, to be held Saturday, June 27, 1 – 230pm. The panel includes Deborah Doyle, current Development Director of the Friends of San Francisco Public Library, John Trischitti III, Director, Midland County Public Libraries and the Texas Library Association 2014 Librarian of the Year, and Jan Busa, Jan Busa, Management Analyst II, who set up the San Mateo Public Library passport Assistance Center. Ed Rossman, chair of the committee, will moderate. One more panelist is expected to speak on crowdfunding.
  3. Solutions to the problems faced by the IRS not issuing the quantities of paper tax forms they’ve done in the past.
  4. SmartMoney Week programming.

Ed Rossman, 2014-2015 Chair

Business Reference Services Discussion Group

The BRASS Discussion Group hosted a virtual discussion on November 21, 2014. Topics focused on providing support for entrepreneurs and small business development. Makerspaces were also discussed. The recording is available on ALA Connect. The BRASS Midwinter All Member Committee Meeting and Discussion Group took place on February 1, 2015. There were about 20 people present, and we had a lively discussion about vendor and resource updates.

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 February 20, 2015. We will be discussing faculty liaison work and e-book strategies.

Emily Treptow 2014-2016 Chair

Education Committee

The BRASS Education Committee has been busy working on several projects:

  • Editorial review of the new BRASS Business Guides is on the way. The estimated completion time is April 15th. The goal is to have an editorial team of at least two editors to work with a guide’s author to ensure currency and quality of the BRASS content.
  • We are about to start advertising the new RUSA BRASS preconference “Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs” at ALA Annual ( Event Code RUS3). Take full advantage of the Early Bird rates before March 14th! Only $129 for RUSA members! Register here (
  • 2014 Best of the Best Business Websites were announced at the RUSA Book and Media Award Ceremony at the ALA Midwinter by Kelly LaVoice. The winners are Patent Lens, Intellectual Property Basics, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office See the official press-release for more information:

Natasha Arguello, 2012-2015 Chair

Program Planning Committee
BRASS 2015 ALA Annual Program

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

A continental breakfast will be sponsored by S&P Capital IQ from 8 to 8:30 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 | Founding Partner + CEO | Bizologie

Business Research Simplified

Laura Young is a seasoned expert in business research and competitive intelligence. Combining seven years leading the research department at Austin Ventures, four years coordinating the Reference and Information desk at the University of Texas Perry Casteneda Library and seven years honing her customer service expertise as a Walt Disney World Guest Services Supervisor, Laura can tackle any research project, in any industry, with grace and speed. She has performed Due Diligence analysis for HomeAway, RetailMeNot, MapMyFitness, Magnablend, Bazaarvoice, Silvercar, Spredfast, Food on the Table, Delta Rigging & Tools, among many others. She is a highly sought after speaker on emerging research trends and regularly presents for Texas Library Association, Special Libraries Association, and American Library Association.

When she’s not digging for the next important piece of data, Laura can be found relaxing with her Basset Hound and PBGV rescues, catching up on the latest episodes of Mad Men, or culling design ideas from local architectural tours.

Amelia Kassel | President + Owner | MarketingBase

Research is your first step

Amelia Kassel is president and owner of MarketingBase, a global business research firm since 1982, specializing in industry, company and competitive and market intelligence research. Amelia holds a master’s degree in library science (UCLA) and combines expertise about the Internet and electronic databases with knowledge of business and marketing strategies. A recognized author and international speaker, Amelia conducts seminars for associations and conferences and gives workshops onsite for companies and organizations. She is also known for her successful one-on-one email-based Mentor Program in which she trains business searchers how to conduct research and aspiring independent information professionals how to develop to successfully develop and grow their businesses.

Diane Campbell, 2014-2015 Chair

Publications and Communications Committee

The Publications and Communications committee will be meeting shortly after the BRASS Chairs meeting. 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 via a Google web form, as we did last year. 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

The Committee worked with Todd Hines to arrange for the annual breakfast sponsorship with S&P Capital IQ at the 2015 ALA Annual.

Chris LeBeau, 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. At this writing, the committee is still accepting applications through Sunday, February 8, 2015. Watch for RUSA to announce the 2015 award recipient in March!

Michael Oppenheim, 2014-2015 Chair

Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee

The award committee was pleased to receive several nominations of public librarians providing excellent business reference support for their communities. The committee selected Barbara Alvarez, Business Liaison Librarian at the Barrington Area Library in Barrington, Illinois, as this year’s recipient of the BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award. Ms. Alvarez works with business persons in her area both individually and in partnership with a number of local organizations, offering training in business research, job seeking, and creating podcasts and websites. We are delighted that she will be present to participate in BRASS activities at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Karen Chapman, 2014-2015 Chair

Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award Committee

Grace Liu, Business Reference Librarian at University of Maine, is the recipient of the RUSA BRASS Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award. Ms. Liu’s background in industry has allowed her to leverage a recent education in librarianship to help her constituents. Projects in her first year as a business librarian include library instruction to classes and local small business, design of a library 101 class for first year business students, development of an embedded library service model, and creation of a student advisory committee. We wish Ms. Liu all the best in her new career and hope that this travel grant for the ALA annual meeting will help her to enhance the development of her career and to further contribute to the profession of business librarianship.

Julia A. Martin, 2014-2015 Chair