Browse Our Categories



Making Sense of Business Reference: A Guide for Librarians and Research Professionals
Celia Ross
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1084-9
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $54.00
Email Friend
  Order Options:  
  Add To Cart  
  Add To Wish List  
Named a 2013 Outstanding Business Reference Source by the BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee of RUSA

This title is also available for purchase as an e-book or as a print/e-book bundle.

200 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1084-9
Year Published: 2013
AP Categories: A, C, I

Read a sample of the book now!

In times of recession, the library is more critical than ever for those 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. An “accidental business reference librarian by trade,” Ross explains how to provide quality reference help on issues from marketing to finance--for business people, students, and even business faculty. Honing in on fundamentals, this 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
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. Including numerous illustrative case studies, Making Sense of Business Reference takes the guesswork out of doing business.
Table of Contents


1 The Business Reference Question
2 The Business Reference Resource (aka the Business Reference Database)
3 Company Research
4 Industry Research
5 Company Finance
6 Investment Research
7 Consumer Research and Marketing/Advertising
8 Business (and Other) Statistics
9 International Business
10 Small Business
11 Other Handy Business Reference Resources and Tips
12 Business Reference Wrap-Up

Appendix: Stumpers

About the Author

Celia 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. She received the 2014 Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship.

"An excellent refresher or primer, depending on one's background. It is highly recommended for frontline professionals in public and academic environments … this resource should be required reading for library and information science students. Those who read it will gain not only competence, but also confidence. "
--Public Libraries

"This is an excellent manual … It will be valuable for business researchers in any field and librarians in every type of library."

"Scoped with just the right amount, and type, of practical guidance to help new business librarians to quickly develop a working knowledge base in this specialty area … it reads as if you have an expert coach in business reference helping you each step of the way. "
--Academic BRASS

"Even the most experienced business librarian will appreciate and benefit from the strategies and tips found in this work. This book is also useful no matter the type of library, and librarians in public libraries and academic libraries will find the advice useful and to the point."
--Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship

"A practical, hands-on guide to business reference for readers who function as librarians, professionals, and researchers … will make an excellent addition to any business collection, reference collection, or business/finance collection at an academic library (community college or four-year college/university) and public library."
--Reference Reviews

"The book begins with an excellent chapter on techniques for conducting business reference interviews. It should be mandatory reading for everyone starting out in the field and is a useful review for everyone else … I highly recommend this book to academic and public librarians who regularly work with business-related questions."
--Public Services Quarterly

"As a practicing business librarian, I found all resources mentioned to be extremely relevant. (Many of them I use regularly.) … This book provides web addresses, database names, research strategies, tips and ideas that any librarian will find relevant and useful. I highly recommend it for any librarian, business or otherwise."
--Australian Library Journal

"Providing direct answers and resources, as well as search strategies and a variety of helpful hints, this book is a must-have for any information professional needing to navigate through the complex world of business databases, governmental resources, and the Internet."

  Also of interest:  
Guide to Reference in Business and Economics
Item Number:  978-0-8389-1234-8
This book will help connect librarians and researchers to the most relevant sources of information on business and economics.
Price: $70.00
Fundamentals of Reference
Item Number:  978-0-8389-1087-0
The all-in-one “Reference reference” you’ve been waiting for, this invaluable book offers a concise introduction to reference sources and services for a variety of readers.
Price: $54.00
Small Business and the Public Library: Strategies for a Successful Partnership
Item Number:  978-0-8389-0993-5
Aligning with recent news stories on difficult economic times, Small Business and the Public Library targets libraries endeavoring to assist users entering or already involved in the small business community.
Price: $57.00