Back in 2007, my coworker Jan Herd and I decided to develop a class specifically for business researchers. Our very first class was in October 2007.
While we included some general information about doing research at the Library and a detailed overview of the Library’s online catalog, we wanted to feature specific guidance on business topics. Knowing that many business researchers were going to be particularly interested in the Library’s subscription databases, we made sure to leave time to go over those databases as well.
While we had an idea who might attend the class, based on those who already use the Library, we weren’t sure how successful this class would be. However, over the past 5 years we have had over 200 people attend these classes! Most people who attend are local – university students, business people, professors, graduate students, and general researchers, but many have come from all over the United States, with even a few from other countries. The variety of languages spoken has been just as broad and includes German, French, Korean, Italian, Chinese, and Spanish.
The information needs are pretty much what we see at the reference desk and via Ask a Librarian. Most often there are questions from those starting a business or from those researching companies and industries.
We offer this class on the first Wednesday of every month at noon and it lasts about one hour – although it has gone longer, depending on what questions have been asked.
If you live in or visit the D.C. area and are here on the first Wednesday of the month, consider this an invitation to join us. You can sign up for this class or the other class we offer, Search Engines for Business Research, on the Business Reference Section’s homepage.