Butler Business Librarian Teresa Williams, who teaches information-literacy sessions for many Lacy School of Business courses, wanted to find a way to provide more in-depth instruction on the business resources students should be using for their information needs.
“I was aware of workshops taught at other universities, but those focused mainly on teaching students how to use subscription research databases,” she said. “The library subscribes to those types of databases for business research, but they are expensive and can be accessed only by current Butler students, faculty, and staff.”
So Williams developed a workshop to teach Butler students how to find and use alternative business information resources that are reliable, free, and publicly accessible—information resources students can use while at Butler and later as they move into their professional careers.
On March 16, the Association of College and Research Libraries—the primary professional association for most U.S. librarians working in higher education—recognized her with the Innovation in College Librarianship Award. The prize is given annually to members who have demonstrated a capacity for innovation in their work with undergraduates, instructors, and/or the library community.
In recognizing Williams’ work, Award Chair Eric A. Kidwell, who is Director of the Library, Professor, and Title IX Coordinator at Huntington College, said librarians working on information-literacy programs are most often focused on teaching students about resources for their academic work while they’re in school. But the vast majority of those resources are subscription resources that will no longer be accessible once the students cease being students.
“What impressed the committee about Williams’ submission was the focus on teaching students about research resources available to them post-graduation as they transition into their careers and into their communities,” he said.
Williams developed her Business Research Workshop in 2014, then conducted a pilot program for the Butler Business Consulting Group interns and staff. It grew from there. Since then, she has taught the workshop for over 100 participants, including undergrads, MBA students, faculty and staff.
The workshop is free, and anyone from Butler can attend. Resources discussed in the workshop include government search portals, trade sites, advanced Google tools, and public library offerings for the business community.
Participants who complete the workshop receive a Certificate of Completion, and she said many students include the accomplishment on their resumes and apply the information learned during their business internships.
Williams has been at Butler for 11 years as Business Librarian and liaison to the Lacy School of Business. Prior to that, she worked for the Carmel Clay Public Library, the IU School of Medicine, and PriceWaterhouse. She earned her Bachelor’s in Business and a Master of Library Science from Indiana University, and a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University.
“Teresa’s Business Research Workshop is distinctive because it focuses on helping students make the transition from using the expensive subscription databases they use in their coursework to freely available resources they can use as they enter the workforce,” said Julie Miller, Butler’s Dean of Libraries. “I am delighted the selection committee recognized this project as a model for other academic libraries.”