Call for 2016 MW Institute, AC Program & Preconference Proposals

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) is now accepting institute, preconference and program proposals for the 2016 Midwinter Meeting in Boston and the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando.

Proposals will be accepted online through 11:59 p.m. Central on May 11, 2015. Faxed, e-mailed or mailed proposals will not be accepted.

Proposals must be submitted to the appropriate section for approval before being entered in the proposal system online (see instructions below for entering approved section proposals). For more information about how to submit a proposal to a RUSA section, please contact the section chair. Section chair contact information can be found in the Section Executive Committee rosters here.

Session topics should showcase emerging trends and examples of driving change in the areas of reference services including but not limited to: marketing library services, advocacy, special populations, collection development, evaluation, readers’ advisory, instruction, business reference, emerging technologies, interlibrary loan and resource sharing, genealogy and historical research and more!

The RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee will review, organize and recommend for final approval to the RUSA Board all submitted section-approved proposals and select sessions based on their relevance to the profession and general interest to conference attendees who work in reference services at the 2015 annual conference.

Instructions for approved section proposal submission: Once your proposal is approved by the section, it should be entered here. Once you’ve logged in, click on “Click here to begin a new Proposal.”  Note that there is an option to propose a tour; all tours must be proposed in this system.

Since this is our first year using it, we’d appreciate any constructive feedback from users about the new program proposal system set up by ALA.

For more information, contact the RUSA office at or (800) 545-2433, ext. 4395.

RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section selects achievement award and grant winners

The Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA has selected the winners of the 2015 achievement awards, research and travel grants that recognize the profession’s most exceptional librarians, libraries and projects involving business reference services today.

The Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award, which consists of a citation and $1,250, is awarded to an individual new to the field of academic business librarianship in order to support attendance to the ALA Annual Conference. Grace Liu, business reference librarian at the University of Maine, was selected as this year’s recipient.

The Emerald Research Grant Award, sponsored by Emerald Group Publishing, consists of one $5,000 grant awarded to an individual or team seeking funding support to conduct research in business librarianship. Jason Dewland, assistant librarian and Cindy Elliott, engineering and innovation librarian, University of Arizona were selected for their study, “Review of Research Methods Employed by Start-Ups,” which will identify networks of new businesses that can be targeted for data collection and to identify the research practices and information needs of new start-up businesses.

The Gale Cengage Learning Excellence in Business Librarianship Award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, offers $3,000 to a librarian providing outstanding business reference services. Peter Z. McKay, business librarian, University of Florida is this year’s winner for his innovative development of online business collection development, instructional resources, service to BRASS and his invaluable contributions to the profession.

The Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, offers $1,250 in travel funds to the ALA Annual Conference and a one year BRASS membership to a student in an accredited MLIS program. Sara F. Hess, MLIS candidate, University of Michigan School of Information, was named as this year’s recipient.

The Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award, sponsored by Morningstar, offers $1,250 to a public librarian providing business reference services so they may attend the ALA Annual Conference. Barbara Alvarez, business liaison librarian, Barrington Area Library (Illinois) was selected for her extensive range of activities in support of the local business community, including one-on-one appointments to assist business professionals and entrepreneurs, podcasts, as well as maintaining a business blog and a SlideShare account with business database tutorials.

“Congratulations to this year’s BRASS award winners. We look forward to celebrating with them in June at the RUSA Awards Reception. I would like to sincerely thank the members of our award committees for their hard work in selecting the winners and to all of our generous sponsors for their support,” said BRASS Chair Todd Hines. “We know that vendors have many options for spending their outreach money and we are extremely appreciative to the BRASS award sponsors: Gale Cengage Learning, Emerald Group Publishing and Morningstar.”

Year’s most Outstanding Business Reference Sources announced by RUSA’s business reference experts

The annual list of the most Outstanding Business Reference Sources was announced by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Book and Media Awards Ceremony at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

Each year, the Business Reference Sources Committee of the Business Reference And Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA selects the outstanding business reference sources published since May of the previous year. This year, the committee reviewed 27 entries; of these, four were designated as “Outstanding,” six were selected as “Notable,” and one was designated as an “Overlooked Treasure,” which signifies that the work has been out for two or more editions, but previously not reviewed by the Committee.

To qualify for the award, the title must meet the conventional definition of reference: a work compiled specifically to supply information on a certain subject or group of subjects in a form that will facilitate its ease of use. With print reference materials being used less heavily in most cases, these works stood out based on their content, quality, and utility. The works are examined for the following: authority and reputation of the publisher, author, or editor; accuracy; appropriate bibliography; organization; comprehensiveness; value of the content; currency; unique addition; ease of use for the intended purpose; quality and accuracy of index; and quality and usefulness of graphics and illustrations. Each year, more electronic reference titles are published. Additional criteria for electronic reference titles are accuracy of links, search features, stability of content and graphic design. Works selected must be suitable for medium to large-size academic and public libraries.

The list includes:


Business Scandals, Corruption, and Reform: An Encyclopedia” by Gary Giroux. (Greenwood 2013)
Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Strategies” Volume 3, edited by Matthew Miskelly. (Gale, 2013)
Gale Business Insights Handbook of Social Media Marketing” Edited by Miranda Herbert Ferrara. (Gale, 2013)
Women and Management: Global Issues and Promising Solutions” Edited by Michele A. Paludi. (Praeger, 2013)


“Dictionary of Advertising and Marketing Concepts” by Arthur Asa Berger. (Left Coast Press, 2013)
Encyclopedia of Emerging Markets” edited by Donna Craft. (Gale, 2013)
Gale Business Insights Handbook of Global Marketing” (Gale, 2013)
Handbook on the Geopolitics of Business” edited by Joseph Mark S. Munoz. (Edward Elgar, 2013)
Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia” edited by Vicki Smith. (Sage, 2013)
The Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment” edited by Pratima Bansal and Andrew J. Hoffman(Oxford University Press, 2012)

Overlooked Treasure

Research Starters—Business” (EBSCO Publishing, 2008)

The Outstanding Business Reference Sources list is produced by the BRASS Reference Resources Committee. Contributing members include Ed Hahn, selections editor; Susan Hurst, chair; Jordan Nielsen nominations coordinator; Naomi Lederer; Glenn McGuigan; Anthony Raymond; Penny Scott; and Susan Sweeney.

BRASS Best of the Best Business Websites selected by business reference experts

The 5th annual Best of the Best Business Websites list was announced at the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Book and Media Awards Ceremony at the American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting.

The list made its debut in 2009 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and in Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), RUSA’s research journal, and recognizes three websites highly relevant to information professionals involved in providing business reference services. The Best of the Best Business Websites are nominated and selected by the members of the BRASS Education Committee, based on the quality of content, ease of use, and technical execution. BRASS, the Business Reference and Services Section of RUSA, promotes professional development for business librarians. The theme for 2015 winners, Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs, is aligned with the topic of the upcoming RUSA BRASS preconference at the ALA Annual Conference in June 2015.

The 2015 list includes:

Patent Lens

Patent Lens is a freely available online resource that provides tools to help individuals understand worldwide patent systems. Patent Lens is an initiative of Cambia, a non-profit institute that aims to promote change and innovation through transparency of patents and other intellectual property resources. The Patent Lens website offers an open access patent search tool for over 27 million granted patents and over 38 million patent applications. Search criteria include key words, dates, jurisdictions, inventors, owners, classifications, and more. Patent Lens also provides patent tutorials, which use jargon-free language to explain how to read patents, apply for patents, and the rights for those who file patent applications. Patent Lens includes links to patent laws for countries around the world, as well as links to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) database of international patent applications. Patent Lens is an excellent resource for entrepreneurs and businesses in the US and worldwide. It is important to note that Cambia has announced that Patent Lens will soon be migrating to a new web address,

Intellectual Property Basics

Intellectual Property Basics is a freely available series of short videos, designed by Law Professor Bryce Pilz at the University of Michigan, that highlight key concepts all entrepreneurs and start-ups should know about intellectual property. The series is hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan and sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Each video is approximately three to five minutes long, focusing on issues including patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secrets, and more. The videos are designed for an audience unfamiliar with the scope and legal issues related to intellectual property, making it appropriate for a wide range of business owners. Pilz uses interesting real life examples to highlight the importance of understanding patent rights and laws. These videos are an excellent resource for academic, business, and public audiences.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office

The United States Patent and Trademark Office website provides a variety of freely available intellectual property resources to assist anyone interested in learning more about patents and trademark law in the United States. The USPTO offers tools to search for granted patents and registered trademarks, as well as pending applications. Additional resources include FAQs, full-text of legal documents, and an Electronic Business Center, which provides personalized assistance for applicants with submissions and other related inquires, and resources for parents, teachers and children to encourage innovation and creativity. This website is a one of the first stops to learn more about intellectual property in the United States.

The BRASS Best of the Best Business Websites selection committee consists of the members of the BRASS Education Committee including Natasha Arguello (University of Texas at San Antonio), Leticia Camacho (Brigham Young University), Kim Bloedel (University of Iowa), Ashley Faulkner (Texas A&M University), Penny Huffman (Penn State University), Hiromi Kubo (California State University, Fresno), Kelly LaVoice (Cornell University), Peter McKay (University of Florida), Tom Ottaviano (Cornell University), Lee Pike (University of Alabama), Susan Schreiner (Pittsburg State University), Christina Sheley (Indiana University), Eimmy Solis (New York University), and Desirae Zingarelli-Sweet (James Madison University). Nominations and voting were organized by Kelly LaVoice and Susan Schreiner.

Visit the RUSA website to view previous recipients of the BRASS Best of the Best Business Websites Award and learn more about BRASS at