BRASS Notes, Spring 2009

Elizabeth Stephan, Editor

Message from the Chair

Denver was cold but this did not deter most of our members from enjoying the city, the restaurants and the various nearby attractions.

There were several firsts at this meeting—the first RUSA Social for all members and the first time that all the sections were invited to present at the RUSA Book & Media Awards. For BRASS we had Lee Pasackow presenting the Outstanding Business Reference Sources and Paul Brothers presenting a selection of free Web sites chosen from the listed maintained by the Education Committee.

The Discussion group arranged a conversation titled “Evolving Revolving Reference” which included changing reference and outreach models.

The Business Sources Committee arranged a presentation that turned into a lively debate between EBSCO, Gale Cengage, Sage, and BRASS members.

The other big discussion at Midwinter was the possibility of future BRASS winter meetings being held electronically. As we are all “budget challenged” at this time and as our support is cut further this is becoming more and more of a possibility. Later in the Spring I will be asking for member input to help us make the decision. Business Reference in Public Libraries conducted their business electronically this year and our Awards committees have done so for several years. So we have already taken our first steps.

The last thing I would like to remind people of is that in the forthcoming elections we have BRASS members running for office—notably as President of RUSA and as ALA councilor. So look for the names, Bobray Bordelon and Diana Wu.

Rita Moss, BRASS Chair

Discussion Group: Evolving Revolving Reference

The BRASS Discussion Group met on Sunday, January 25, 2009  with more than sixty participants attending. The meeting began with the BRASS business meeting and then moved on to a discussion of current reference models and other issues. Detailed discussion notes will be available soon on the BRASS Web site. The initial topic for the Annual meeting in Chicago will be on the impact of the current economic crisis on business reference. This meeting with be held on Sunday, July 12, 2009.

Louise Feldmann, Chair

Publisher’s Forum: The Future Directions of Business Information

The BRASS Publishers’ Open Forum hosted seventy librarians to an informative session on “The Future Directions of Business Information” January 26, 2009 in Denver. The three expert panelists were: Sam Brooks, Sr. VP, Sales & Marketing, EBSCO Publishing; David Forman, Business Publisher, Gale Cengage and Rolf Janke, VP & Publisher, SAGE Reference. All agreed that electronic was outpacing print and Google is a competitive threat. Future budget decreases was of concern to both librarians and publishers. The Business Reference Sources Committee’s column: “Outstanding Business Reference Sources: The 2008 Selection of Recent Titles” appeared in the RUSQ Winter 2008 issue.

Lee Pasackow, Chair Business Reference Sources Committee

Committee Reports

Business Reference in Public Libraries

Planning for the Business Reference in Public Libraries Forum is underway. The topic is “Resources and Strategies for Job Hunting and Career Changes.” We have a speaker from Illinois WorkNet lined up and are in the process of identifying representatives from two libraries with strong career information services that would like to be on the panel. Two Public Libraries Briefcase articles have been written and were added to the BRASS Web site in January. Tera Moon, Southfield Public Library, wrote “Market Research @ Your Public Library.” Julie Raynor, High Point Public Library wrote “Top Ten Best Business Reference Sources for the Non-Business Librarian.”

Rhonda Kleiman, Chair

Education Committee

The BRASS Education Committee continues to see success with the Business Reference 101 Preconference. There were sixty registered participants for the Annual Conference in Anaheim. Feedback was positive. Plans are underway for the Preconference in Chicago this summer titled “Mastering Business Acumen (MBA) in a Day: Business Concepts for Library Reference.” A decision was made to alter the name of the Core Competencies to Selected Core Resources. This better clarifies the scope and mission of this online resource. Work proceeds on this entity as well as the Best of the Best Business Web sites (Free Resources) [slight name change to this online source as well]. This year marked the first time that BRASS was asked to participate in the RUSA Book & Media Awards Reception. Our committee came up with three websites from the 250-plus from the Best of the Best Business Web Sites and selected those to be mentioned as winners at this reception. In conclusion, the Education Committee has been asked to participate in work related to the Emerging Leaders Project. Members look forward to working with these new and upcoming leaders in business librarianship.

Paul Brothers, Chair

Membership Committee

The BRASS Membership Committee began discussions for the New Members’ Reception for Chicago. We are currently looking for a restaurant to host the reception. InfoUSA has graciously agreed to sponsor the event this year.

Announcements about the reception will be sent out to appropriate listservs in June. The committee will also try to send out letters again this spring to invite new BRASS members to the reception and to welcome them to our section.

Amia Baker, Chair BRASS Membership Committee

BRASS Publications Committee

The Publications Committee is assisting with a new project to collect online tutorials on how to use business databases. If you have any good ones, please share with Baseema Krkoska. Members of publications are reviewing the new BRASS Web site to help with organization and corrections. We need your feedback about what BRASS members need to find quickly, such as forms, our professional tools, or upcoming BRASS meetings at ALA conferences. And our committee needs your cooperation for inclusion in the BRASS Membership Directory—make sure your ALA communications profile is set right to be included (avoid the setting “Official communications only”). Finally, let us know about articles or books you have published or posted on the web. Carol Smith maintains the BRASS Publications Members List and we hope to update this for 2008-09.

Van Houson, Chair