Thomson Financial Student Travel Award

Susan A. Shultz
2001 Award Recipient

Comments, as reported in the July-Sept. 2001 RUSA Update

As the recipient of the 2001 BRASS Thomson Financial Student Travel Award, I had the opportunity to experience my first ALA Conference in a unique and special way. The three days I spent in San Francisco immersing myself in the library profession, as well as the California culture, were invaluable. While I attended various conference events, the BRASS functions provided me with the greatest insight into the profession.

Beginning with the Executive Committee Meeting on Saturday morning, I was immediately treated as a member of the business information professional community. I was warmly introduced and personally met many of the members of the Executive Committee. That meeting also exposed me to some of the current issues being discussed by BRASS.

The Sunday morning BRASS Discussion Group focused on the recruitment of business information professionals. Larry Hardesty of Austin College, and the Immediate Past-President of ACRL, opened with his excellent insights on this topic. Stacey Marien, of American University, and Lisa O'Connor, of Kent State University, then presented the results from a survey they conducted on hiring business information professionals. As I listened to the subsequent discussion, it was evident that members of BRASS are dedicated professionals who work collaboratively to accomplish their objectives.

The program on Monday morning was a joint effort between BRASS and GODORT called Tools for Success. The panel consisted of members from academia, the federal government, a state association and a public library. Prior to this meeting I had not realized the many complexities involved in marketing a service. The diversity of the presentations highlighted this quality and I left with many ideas and handouts to file away for future use.

My experience at the ALA Conference concluded with the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception, followed by a BRASS dinner. It was an honor to be among the other award recipients who have made outstanding contributions to the profession through their dedication and hard work. The Awards Ceremony crystallized my perceptions of librarianship. I am fortunate to be entering a profession of concerned, committed and forward-thinking individuals.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to begin my career in librarianship in such a memorable way. I want to thank BRASS and Primark for presenting me with this award. I also want to thank Ryan Womack for guiding me through the process, and the conference. Finally, I'd like to thank Beth Woodard for her nomination and continued support. I eagerly look forward to spending many years in this profession.

Susan A. Shultz
Graduate Assistant, Commerce Library
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign