The theme for this issue of Ticker could most accurately be described as: connecting. Connecting data to storytelling. Connecting with colleagues around the world. Connecting the ‘social’ with ‘entrepreneurship’. Connecting with our institutions and with the other professionals on our campuses. And connecting and sharing tips and tricks with our fellow business librarians. We are already connecting in so many ways every day, with students, faculty, colleagues, and our communities; and all of these connections provide both challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. Hopefully this issue of Ticker will likewise prompt growth, contemplation, and a deeper appreciation for our business librarian colleagues.
In “Data storytelling: Combining data literacy and design thinking for a semester-long course” Terence W. O’Neill describes the design and instruction of a one-credit course, “Data Storytelling,” wherein students participated in learning activities that required them to contextualize statistics through first-person interviews, evaluate information from multiple perspectives, and practice presenting in a storytelling fashion to inform decision making. O’Neill discusses the integration of design thinking and data literacy approaches in his course, what he learned through successive years of teaching the course, and the challenges and successes he saw in the classroom. Student feedback indicated that learning to search for and evaluate the context of statistics was a highly valued skill for students, though it might not be fully addressed elsewhere in their education, so this course is filling a known gap. There may be instances where we can find similar gaps, and ways to address them, on our campuses.
We’re lucky to have two articles in our Conferences section. Jimmy McKee and Ashley Werlinich introduce us to the “ELC (Entrepreneurship and Libraries Conference) International 2022, November 1st & 2nd, 2022”. The ELC, or ‘Entrelib’, Conference is intended to connect librarians who support entrepreneurship anywhere in the world with a particular emphasis on de-centering the global North and capitalism. The 2022 conference featured two days of virtual synchronous workshops, lightning talks, and networking sessions. Workshop topics included library involvement in social entrepreneurship ventures, the ontology of entrepreneurship support in libraries, utilizing UN Sustainable Development Goals in teaching, and using a tool called the Impact Gaps Canvas in research. Lightning talks covered a broad range of topics touching on social entrepreneurship, social media, art entrepreneurship, library makerspaces, accessing capital and more. The virtual format really supported the international emphasis of the conference and allowed for connections across continents.
In “Conference Report: SOUCABL 2023” Nancy Lovas and Amanda Kraft introduce readers to the Spring 2023 Southern University and College Academic Business Librarians Conference, the first conference ‘back’ after their 2020 conference was dramatically interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme for the conference was ‘Expanding Visions’ and in the opening keynote Doug Olsen discussed his journey from working in financial services to growing into a new role as an academic librarian. One of the things that helped Olsen in his transition was building a strong network not only to help bridge the cultural transition, but to participate in the strongly collaborative work of academic libraries. Other presentations at the conference discussed connecting with vendors to develop student workshops, expanding traditional business research instruction to move beyond linear research to address ambiguity and connect information and people in more diverse ways, and reflecting on training the next generation of business librarians. The conference also included a vendor round robin event and lightning talks on librarian support for pitch competitions and promoting popular business collections.
We also have two articles in our Tips sections! In the first, “Q1 and Then Some: Onboarding New Academic Business Librarians” by Sara F. Hess, Maggie Mahoney, Georgette Nicolosi, and Diane Zabel, business librarians at The Pennsylvania State University offer unique insights into onboarding from the perspectives of: a hiring manager, two new business librarians, and one early-career business librarian. The hiring manager discusses some of the unique challenges inherent in onboarding business librarians, starting with a lack of discipline-specific library science courses and the resulting number of new business librarians who may feel unprepared stepping into the role. A checklist of possible onboarding tasks is provided. The new business librarians offer tips and practical advice for fellow new hires including: don’t underestimate your knowledge base, take advantage of learning opportunities, establish both informal and formal mentors, get involved in professional organizations, ask questions, and more. The early-career business librarian discusses further advice for colleagues beyond their onboarding period including staying connected with the wider business librarianship landscape and connecting with colleagues as both a mentor and a mentee as one progresses in their career.
Lastly, in “Advice, Tips, and Encouragement for Academic Business Librarians” Alice Kalinowski shares with us crowdsourced tips from business librarians via BUSLIB-L and BRASS discussion. The article subsequently organizes these tips into broad topic areas covering reference work, collections, outreach/liaison work, and professional development, as well as general tips provided both by the crowdsourced librarians and Alice herself. One of the themes that emerges in this piece is creatively using what’s available in our work, including free resources, professional development opportunities, and especially our colleagues, both at our own and other institutions. The business librarian community is passionate, knowledgeable, and generous in sharing expertise, as the creation of this article attests.
Kelly LaVoice and I would like to thank Karen Chapman and Diane Zabel, the Ticker Editorial Board, and ABLD leadership for trusting us with the care and curation of Ticker moving forward. We look forward to facilitating the continued growth and evolution of the journal through the work of our authors, peer reviewers and editors. We hope this journal will continue to be a point of connection and shared storytelling for business librarians and those interested in related issues, challenges, and solutions.
Ash Faulker, Editor-In-Chief