The papers included in this conference issue are based on presentations (including posters) delivered at the virtual spring 2022 Academic Business Library Directors (ABLD) Annual Meeting. Angela Horne (UCLA) and Laura Walesby (Michigan State University) served as co-planners. While this year’s conference did not have a formal theme, many of the presentations were about transitions.
Ash Faulkner and Greg Fleming analyzed annual reports submitted by ABLD members. In their summary article, the authors noted the following trends: the growth of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in libraries and business schools; transformative agreements with publishers; the launch of new library programs and services; transitions to new integrated library systems; a significant number of leadership changes (both in libraries and business schools); and the continued growth of online and hybrid online programs in business schools. The long tail of COVID-19 is reflected in staffing shortages (due to resignations, retirements, and hiring freezes) and flat or reduced budgets for collections. The news was not gloomy for all ABLD institutions, as some reported that hiring freezes had been lifted and some members described fully renovated or reconfigured spaces. However, several members were anxious about the post-pandemic workplace, voicing concern about inequities relating to hybrid work schedules to worries about implications for libraries if foot traffic does not return to pre-pandemic levels. The meeting provided an opportunity for ABLD members to gain a global perspective on many of these same issues. Our international partners (Kitty Delaney, Liliana Luchi, and Nikolaus Berger) prepared similar year-in-review reports. As Laura Walesby noted in her introduction to these reports, these colleagues faced similar challenges.
Other contributors to this issue highlight innovative programs and expanded roles for academic business librarians. In “Storytime at the Business Library!,” Ilana Stonebraker describes how her business library partnered with the education library on campus to develop a display of business-themed children’s books and a storytime event. Carol Doyle reports on the multiple ways that the Northwestern University Library supports doctoral students in business. Kelly LaVoice writes about Vanderbilt University’s highly successful approach to supporting data literacy through the Walker Management Library’s workshop series on Tableau for graduate business students. Anna Milholland explains how business librarians are well equipped to play an important role in the accreditation process given their expertise in bibliometrics. Ryan Splenda’s article on collaborating with faculty on the development of a research information management system is the perfect companion article to Anna’s case study.
Finally, in terms of transitions, I would like to use this space to note some important changes relating to Ticker. Karen Chapman (who has been an exemplary Managing Editor) and I will be stepping down from our respective roles effective December 31, 2022. I am thrilled to announce that Ash Faulker (The Ohio State University) will assume the role of Editor-in-Chief and that Kelly LaVoice (Vanderbilt University) will assume the role of Managing Editor in January 2023. It has been my privilege to serve as Editor-in-Chief since 2017 and to work with Karen (who graciously continued with the journal post-retirement). I would also like to express my gratitude to the many authors who contributed articles during my tenure, to librarians who served as peer reviewers, to the hard-working members of the Ticker Editorial Board, and to the ABLD leadership. I know that Ticker will be in good hands. It will be exciting for me to watch the journal’s growth and development in future issues.