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Developing E-Business Information Without a Business School
Caltech Engineering and Science librarians describe their experiences exploring, learning and teaching business information research on a campus with minimal business resources and no business program. Caltech faculty, eager to educate sci-tech students in the business management of high technology startups, have created new curriculum with this goal in mind. Brainstorming on ways to meet the information needs of these budding entrepreneurs, two engineering librarians took the initiative to propose integrating business information resources into an innovative e-business class under development by an engineering professor. Our successful proposal challenged us to apply our information skills to a new subject area at Caltech - the fast paced arena of e-business. The result was a highly tailored class and Web site for e-business information resources. This experience, in turn, has provided a springboard for regular instructional sessions on business that address the broader needs of the Caltech community and have aided us in our awareness of other business development activities on campus. This paper also reports on how a team of non-business librarians were able to utilize skills and experience gained primarily in science and engineering and apply them to provide targeted business information resources to clients on a science and engineering campus. It also illustrates the inherent strengths of librarians in surveying, evaluating, organizing and teaching the information infrastructure of a new subject area. In one year, the Caltech Library System has not only acquired new information resources and added more business titles to its collection, it has increased its visibility to different constituencies on campus.