MLA 2009: Business Resources

Business Resources for the Literature Lover
Shana M Gass, Reference Librarian, Towson University
Ray O’Keefe Cruitt, Business Reference Librarian, Enoch Pratt Free Library
Mandy Hackley, Business Librarian, Salisbury University

Shana Gass

  • presentation site:
  • Company & industry info
  • public vs private – sells stock, files w SEC or not
  • public companies can be bought and made private
  • Business Source Elite (statewide through Sailor) – link to company profiles @ top of page – Datamonitor reports; also article searches
  • Business & Company Resource Center (through Pratt) – company histories, market share, etc. – look at SIC and NAICS industry descriptors (sometimes pretty useless) – better results from advanced search screen
  • B&CRC also has associations – check and see what’s available to non-members on their sites

Mandy Hackley

  • example of someone who is job searching – doesn’t want to apply at places that are tanking
  • start by looking at annual reports, stock reports, company vision
  • – find stock price @ certain date – great historical information – service of Dow Jones (owner of WSJ) — draw lots of charts for you – up to 5 years of data. for example, compare stock price against S&P 500 to see how they track. can get industry info, including top industries of the week.
  • S&P Industry Surveys – detailed industry info – trends, operations, ratios, comparative analysis. mainly books but also an online version (Towson has it online – S&P NetAdvantage)
  • Value Line (popular for investment clubs) – ranks stocks 1-5, maintaining a balance of how many companies of each ranking. includes narrative analysis about company. includes historical data & price/earning ratio.  Have great help pages (Value Line University) that are free for anyone to use.

Ray O’Keefe Cruitt

  • Discussing more of the process.
  • American Factfinder & Reference USA
  • Use American Factfinder to find the right location for a new business.
  • Narrow down to specific stats, but need broad stats to lead you there. Go from country to state to county, even to zipcode for brick & mortar.
  • What industry would this business fall into? Need context.
  • Can pull all kinds of reports out of Factfinder.  can also use the economic census but is only done in years ending in 2 or 7, and data is slow to emerge from surveys.
  • Demographics – American Community Survey (through Factfinder)
  • I missed some of the specifics with the census stuff as it was difficult to follow the slides of screenshots through Factfinder.