Heidi E. K. Senior
1997 Award Recipient
Comments, as reported in the July/September 1997 RUSA Update
I had a full experience of the conference, arriving on Thursday to attend a Western Europe Specialists Section preconference workshop, signing up for a New Members Round Table mentor to provide me with advice, attending my library school's Alumni Association reunion, and going to events that rounded out my schedule, such as an excellent presentation on "Learning Styles and Library instruction" on Sunday. Of course, as a recipient of the Disclosure Student Travel Award for 1997, 1 took advantage of many BRASS programs.
At the BRASS executive meeting on Saturday morning, I met the leaders of the BRASS organization. That afternoon I attended "Teaching Business on the Web" which was an inspiring look at what libraries can do to make information more accessible to patrons. Marilyn Hankel of the University of New Orleans provided everyone with a bibliography of articles and books related to Web-based user education and business instruction, followed by three fast paced and concise presentations. Roberta Tipton and Ka-Neng Au from Rutgers University discussed a program wherein they consult with faculty to make library research assignments useful. Barbara Butler from Sonora State University presented her outline for a semester-long course in business information research. The strong need for the course is evidenced by the fact that students requested more time to cover the material, and the course fills quickly. The audience also heard Ann Thornton from the New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business library (SIBL), who showed us SIBL's Website and talked about the courses and classroom facilities offered there.
On Monday morning bright and early I attended the BRASS membership meeting, and was treated to a breakfast buffet sponsored by Disclosure, Inc. After a short business meeting, the session moved on to a three-member panel discussion on "Enterprising the Web" which tried to cover a broad in a short amount of time. Craig Summerhill from the Coalition for Networked Information spoke mainly about CNI's electronic equipment and the hardware, software and such that a person would need to set up his or her own independent business on the Web. Next, John Makulowich, vice-president of the Writer's Alliance, Inc., presented the current state of businesses on the Web and his outlook for the future. Howard Rosenbaum of Indiana University SLIS ended the program by exposing some of the changes in the business (and possibly library?) environment that are due to electronic resources.
The highlight of an ALA Conference for BRASS members is of course the Monday night dinner, and the Lichee Gardens restaurant in Chinatown provided memorable feast. As a first-time ALA conference attendee, the highlight of the dinner was being able to talk to so many experienced librarians; socializing that began during dinner continued as a group of us walked down the street to dessert at a little cafe and then latter discussed negotiating with vendors over wine until after midnight. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in Washington, D.C. if not in New Orleans!
- Heidi E.K. Senior