[Fall eCourses] Learn and lead: Essential skills for front line library staff!


Each ecourse registration is $130 for RUSA members; $175 for ALA members; $210 for non-ALA members; $100 for student members and retired members. 

[LAST CHANCE!] “Introduction to Instructional Design for Librarians”  begins October 3. Participants will learn to use the Instructional Design Process and apply it effectively to library instruction which includes: identifying instructional problems, learner analysis, task analysis, defining instructional objectives, sequencing content, identifying instructional strategies, message design, instructional delivery, and evaluation instruments. This course is taught by Carla James, PhD candidate Instructional Design & Technology-Old Dominion University. More information can be foundhere.

[LAST CHANCE!] “Research Methods Bootcamp,” begins onOctober 3.  This ecourse is taught by Sharon Radcliff, business librarian at CSU East Bay. Radcliff has over twelve years of experience helping students and faculty with their research questions and has taught several business related courses for Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Librarians and/or library staff in public, school, academic and/or special libraries that perform or teach empirical research will benefit from this ecourse. More information can be found here.

[LAST CHANCE!] Beginning on October 3, is RUSA’s reoccurring ecourse “Interlibrary Loan 101.” This ecourse is taught by RUSA ILL experts Megan Gaffney, Tina Baich, Cindy Kristof, Collette Mak, and will be separated into four separate modules that cover the ILL process from both the borrowing and lending perspectives, copyright law and licensing impacts on ILL, and ILL resources and systems. This ecourse will cover both policies and procedures recently adopted in the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States. Those new to the field of ILL working in public or academic libraries will especially benefit from this ecourse. More information can be found here.

[SPACES LEFT!] The new “Write, Speak, Design: Communication Skills for Library Professionals,” ecourse begins on October 10. Taught by RUSA member, Andy Spackman, participants will refine their abilities to create effective professional documents and oral presentations. Assignments and activities are designed to help participants prepare for real-life situations in the library. This ecourse will help all library staff members to develop the essential communication skills they need to be effective in their work and to achieve their career goals. More information can be found here.

A RUSA reoccurring favorite, beginning October 31, “Business Reference 101”, this four week course is taught by business reference expert, Celia Ross, librarian at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. This ecourse is designed for academic, special or public librarians and other researchers and library staff who have a basic understanding of some business resources but who do not work with them often enough to build expertise. The ecourse will provide students with a framework for understanding the business reference process as well as an overview of business reference sources specific to each of the course modules. More information can be found here.

Beginning October 31, “Genealogy 101”, a five week ecourse, will be offered by Matt Rutherford is Curator of Genealogy and Local History at the Newberry Library in Chicago. The course will outline basic sources and strategies, centered on a single case study. Topics covered include the U.S. Census, vital records, immigration research, military research and a variety of other basic genealogy sources. Students will also receive instruction in reference desk strategies and tools for further professional development. The course will cover archival material, print reference tools and online sources. More information can be found here.

Also beginning October 31, “Reference Interview 101,” one of RUSA’s most popular continuing education courses. Taught by reference expert and one of RUSA’s past presidents, David Tyckoson, has 30 years of experience in academic libraries. He is currently the Associate Dean at the Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno. Reference Interview is a comprehensive course focusing on the methods of evaluating reference service, behavioral aspects of reference service, and the different types of questions that can be used to help patrons identify what they need. This ecourse is tailored for support staff, library technicians, newly hired reference librarians, and those librarians who want to brush up on their interview skills. More information can be found here.

Year’s most Outstanding Business Reference Sources announced by RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)

BOSTON—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 BRASS selects the outstanding business reference sources published since May of the previous year. This year, the committee reviewed 20 entries; of these, two were designated as “Outstanding,” seven were selected as “Notable,” and one was designated as a “Significant New Edition.”

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:


Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Big Data. Edited by David Lee Kuo Cheun. London: Academic Press, 2015.


Dictionary of Corporate Social Responsibility : CSR, Sustainability, Ethics and Governance. Samuel O. Idowu, editor-in-chief ; Nicholas Capaldi, Matthias S. Fifka, Liangrong Zu, René Schmidpeter, co-editors. Springer International Publishing, 2015.


The Oxford Handbook of Gender in Organizations. Edited by Savita Kumra, Ruth Simpson, and Ronald J. Burke. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014.

The Encyclopedia of the Industrial Revolution in World History. Edited by Kenneth E. Hendrickson III. Rowan & Littlefield.

Disaster Recovery, Crisis Response, and Business Continuity: A Management Desk Reference. By Jamie Watters. Apress, 2013.

Guide to Reference in Business and Economics.  Edited by Steven W. Sowards and Elisabeth Leonard. Chicago: American Library Association, 2014.

Handbook of Emerging Multinational Corporations.  Edited by Mehmet Demirbag and Attila Yaprak.  Cheltanham, UK and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015.

The Oxford Handbook of Management Theorists. Edited by Morgen Witzel and Malcolm Warner.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

The Investment Assets Handbook: A Definitive Practical Guide to Asset Classes. By Yoram Lustig. Harriman House Ltd., 2014.

Significant New Edition

Gower handbook of project management, 5th ed. Edited by Rodney Turner. Gower Publishing, Inc.

The Outstanding Business Reference Sources is produced by the BRASS Reference Resources Committee. Contributing members include Jordan Nielsen, selections editor; Ed Hahn, chair; Naomi Lederer nominations coordinator; Erin Wachowicz; Anthony Raymond; Glenn McGuigan; Valerie Freeman; and Suzanne Freeman.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about the association at www.ala.org/rusa.

BRASS 2016 Preconference: We want to hear from you!

The Chair of the BRASS Education Committee and the Preconference Planning Team invite you to take a short, 2-minute survey regarding what content YOU would like to see in the BRASS 2016 Preconference: “Business Data for Librarians.” The purpose of the survey is to help tailor the program to your interests. Participation is voluntary and open to all.

Survey Link: https://tamu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_benFP4s1Q0dLaGF

Questions, comments, or concerns may be directed to Ashley E. Faulkner (aefaulkner@library.tamu.edu), Chair, BRASS Education Committee.

Thank you in advance for your input!


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.”