Quarterly Update

Carol Schuetz, editor



Elizabeth Malafi, Editor

From the BRASS Chair

I’m looking forward to connecting with you and newcomers at ALA Virtual with multiple activities:

  • Two On-demand Programs
    • Follow the money: Help watchdogs, whistleblowers, and our communities find and understand financial trails and organizational relationships.
    • Business Reference in Public Libraries Made Easy: Public Librarians will discover how to build relationships with business schools, create local guides for starting a business and use BRASS business LibGuides to improve business reference skills.
  • Two Discussion Groups
    • BRASS Discussion Group – A wide ranging discussion on business reference, instruction, and collection development.
    • New Business Librarians Discussion Group – A discussion focused on the needs of business librarians in their first five years of service.
  • Two Meetings
    • Committee Expo/All Committees Meeting – We’re still working this out. More details to come!
    • Leadership Council Meeting – Meeting of the BRASS leadership body.
  • Emerald Publishing Preconference
    • EDI: Integrating business education and research
    • Emerald Publishing and RUSA Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) are partnering for an American Library Association Annual pre-conference event. Hosted by Erika Valenti, Emerald North America regional manager, this panel discussion will debate how equity, diversity and inclusion can be integrated into business education research resources and why The Case for Women was created. Panelists include Elissa Sangster, CEO Forté Foundation, Lesley Symons, creator of The Case for Women and Juliet Harrison, Head of Cases Emerald Publishing.
    • This event is Tue, Jun 22, 2021 at 12:00 PM Eastern and is free with registration on Emerald’s website! https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1350094040924112397

I want to congratulate all of our award winners and the committees who worked so hard!

  • Alexander Blend, Librarian at Middle Country Public Library for the BRASS Public Librarian Support Award sponsored by Morningstar
  • Mark Pond, Business Reference Librarian, Spokane Public Library for the BRASS Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship sponsored by Mergent by FTSE Russell
  • Zahra Premji, Research & Learning Librarian, Business, University of Calgary for the BRASS Research Grant Award sponsored by Emerald Publishing
  • Blake Robinson, Business Librarian, Rollins College for the Academic Business Librarianship Travel Awards sponsored by Global Financial Data
  • Rashida C. Scott, Library Assistant, Maricopa County Library District, Fountain Hills, AZ for the BRASS Student Travel Award sponsored by Simply Analytics

We are exploring a new fall virtual conference, which we’re tentatively calling the BRASS Thing. More will be coming as plans develop.

Sunsetting BRASS-L. To keep up to date with all things BRASS, sign up for Connect if you haven’t already!

Thank you to everybody who has continued to contribute to BRASS and your fellow professionals, in large and small ways, during this unusual year.

Julia Martin, BRASS Chair, 2020-2021

BRASS Committee Reports

Business Information Sources Committee
The Business Information Sources Committee hosted a Publishers’ Forum in March. The forum’s theme was pandemic and post-pandemic consumer and industry information and featured speakers from Mintel and IBISWorld.

In June, the committee will meet to select titles for the Outstanding Business Information Sources column published in Reference & User Services Quarterly.

Kendra Spahr, Chair 2020-2021

Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee
The Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee will be meeting early this summer to assess progress on the following projects and wrap up for the year: LibGuides on OER for business education, and publishing for business librarians. Our AACSB accreditation guidelines LibGuide has expanded to include a task force made up of people inside and outside this committee working on support for librarians in understanding and being involved in their school’s AACSB accreditation efforts. This will be an ongoing project. Our Fall and Spring BRASS Symposia were both a great success, with sessions including peer consulting, online tutorials, and online classroom assessment among others. We have also had two great issues of Academic BRASS published this year, with insightful articles on navigating organizations for new librarians, systematic reviews, and hyflex classrooms, along with other interesting and relevant topics. We’ve also completed a LibGuide for new members of our committee, to help new folks feel comfortable and acclimated for a great year ahead! While we don’t have specific programming planned for ALA Annual, many of us look forward to participating in the BRASS activities already scheduled by our wonderful BRASS colleagues.

Penny Scott, Chair 2020-2021

Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee
Our main focus the last few months has been preparing and planning our ALA On Demand Workshop – Business Reference in Public Libraries Made Easy. Just organizing and planning wasn’t enough we also had to schedule a time to record, get together to record each piece – which took longer than we thought – and then edit it all together. We can’t wait until we do in person presentations, far less problematic and difficult.

We would still like to work on sharing out our great resources to the public library at large and will continue to address that.

Trish Hull, Chair 2020-2021

Business Reference Services Discussion Group Steering Committee
The committee is getting ready to wrap up for the year. With the exception of ALA Annual, the final virtual discussion this “year” will be on Friday, June 18th from 1:00-2:30 central. It will be a little bit different from our regular discussions because it will be themed around government documents and resources. Any advance suggestions for questions or resources to be discussed should be forwarded to committee chair (me) no later than Wednesday, June 16th.

Kara Van Abel, Chair 2020-2021

Conference Planning Committee
We’re in the final stages of preparing the Follow the Money program, which will be an on-demand video offered at Annual. The program focuses on how to uncover hard to find information and introduces tips for using public records requests to do so. To provide diverse perspectives on this topic, the presenters have a range of backgrounds including investigative reporting, data reporting, and academic librarianship. We’re editing the final video together now and then finishing up some administrative tasks for the online conference system.

The committee has been working in an unofficial capacity to help organize a BRASS Thing which we have pushed back to October to allow more time for planning and to avoid conflicting with Annual. We are working on confirming speakers and content now. Our tentative plan (subject to change) is to charge a nominal fee which will provide participants access to the vault of recent BRASS webinars and other recorded events as well as approximately 5 hours of new live content that is likely going to focus on business information literacy. A big thanks to everyone who has volunteered to support this on top of their official committee work!

Alice Kalinowski, Chair 2020-2021

Membership Committee
The committee continued planning a new mentoring program for business librarians in cooperation with the New Business Librarians Group. A survey put out by the committee is informing logistics and formatting that will best respond to the needs of all business librarians. We are considering a test run with a small group of participants in Summer 2021 and fully launching the program the following fall.

The Membership Committee is helping to plan the virtual committee expo event at ALA Annual to highlight/introduce the work of all BRASS committees and a virtual social event for the “BRASS Fall Thing” (potentially including the launch of the mentoring program).

Nicole Webber & Sara Hess, Co-Chairs 2020-2021

Public Librarian Support Award Committee
The Public Librarian Support Award sponsored by Morningstar awarded Alex Blend from the Middle Country Public Library. I’ve emailed Fani at Morningstar to see if she would like to attend the virtual ceremony on June 8th.

Michael Shor, Chair 2020-2021

Vendor Relations Committee Report
The last year and a half have been difficult. We would like to thank our long-time loyal sponsors of BRASS awards and activities. While many activities have been put on hold or have been reimagined due to our online environment, we are grateful for our sponsors’ continued support. In particular, many thanks to our award sponsors: Emerald, Global Financial Data, Mergent, Morningstar, and SimplyAnalytics. Additionally, many thanks to Emerald for sponsoring a virtual pre-conference this year prior to Annual. We would also like to thank S&P Capital IQ for their many years of sponsorship of the BRASS Annual Program, Mintel and InfoUSA who have been long-time supporters of BRASS events, and Springshare for hosting the BRASS LibGuides.

We look forward to future BRASS activities that may provide additional opportunities for sponsors in virtual as well as in-person environments.

Louise Feldmann, Chair 2019-2021

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