by April Kessler, Texas Chapter, Business & Finance and Academic Divisions
It is easy for us to get bogged down in the day-to-day activities and not really plan for the future. That takes time and energy that most of don’t have the luxury of these days. The SLA Annual Conference gives me the opportunity and incentive to make that time. It’s a time for me to re-energize and to make plans for new services and new approaches.
This conference was even more special to me because I was honored to receive the Achievement in Academic Business Librarianship Award for 2011 from the Business & Finance Division and College & University Business Section. The award recognizes the accomplishments of librarians who are new to the field of academic business librarianship with 3-7 years experience in an academic library position.
I have the privilege of working with the research faculty, staff, and 6,000 students at the highly ranked McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Serving this large group of users as the only business librarian can be challenging. We have a huge number of undergraduate students and our executive MBA students are in evening, weekend, and Dallas and Houston programs. To improve services I’ve been creating popular online tutorials that demonstrate how to best utilize the library’s business resources. The videos are available for the public on the UTBusinessLibrarian’s YouTube Channel. I also worked closely with the instruction librarians here at UT to create an interactive business research tutorial to help the undergraduates get a better understanding of the research basics for their Business Communication writing class.
I’m looking forward to implementing some of the new things I learned in Philadelphia at SLA 2011. This year I saw creative ideas for instruction, resources for looking into emerging markets, and innovative ways to collaborate with faculty. I also did a little primary research of my own on the best Philly Cheesesteaks. Although, 2 sandwich shops does not a scientific study make, my vote for best cheesesteak goes to Jim’s wiz wit.
Thank you B&F and SLA for this amazing award and for another great conference!
April is the Business Librarian for the University of Texas Libraries. As a solo librarian she supports the research needs of 193 faculty members, 4,300 undergraduates, and over 1600 graduate students at the McCombs School of Business. April has introduced many innovative ways to provide instruction and research help to her user population including very popular and useful online tutorials. April was chosen to participate in ACRL’s highly selective Immersion Program for instruction librarians in 2010 and is currently the president-elect for SLA’s Texas Chapter.