For immediate release | September 18, 2012

Making sense of business reference

CHICAGO—In times of recession, the library is more critical than ever for people who want to start a business and need to do research, and academic and public libraries are at the heart of a growing need to research business questions. Celia Ross, an “accidental business reference librarian by trade,” explains how to provide quality reference help in her new book “Making Sense of Business Reference: A Guide for Librarians and Research Professionals,” published by ALA Editions. She uses specific examples to address business reference issues from research and marketing to finance—for business people, students, and even business faculty. A detailed bibliography functions as both a standing reference for desk use as well as a collection development aid for building a core business collection. Honing in on fundamentals, her practical guide:

  • Explains how to conduct the reference interview, with tips for helping clients help themselves;
  • Identifies important business resources, both free and fee-based;
  • Offers chapters devoted to industry and market information, small-business needs, international business research, investing and the stock market and marketing and demographics.

Ross has worked in business reference in a variety of settings, from a small venture capital firm to a global consulting firm and in public and academic libraries. Along the way, she learned many of the skills and techniques she describes in this book. She is past chair of the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of ALA’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and teaches an online course through RUSA on business librarianship. She has presented at conferences and written journal articles and book chapters on business reference. Currently she is a librarian at the University of Michigan’s Kresge Business Administration Library.

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Related Links

"Making Sense of Business Reference: A Guide for Librarians and Research Professionals"

"ALA Guide to Economics & Business Reference"

"Small Business and the Public Library: Strategies for a Successful Partnership"


Jill Davis

Marketing Manager

ALA Editions

1-800-545-2433 ext. 5418