I recently attended a conference called Beyond the Numbers. This was a free conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. At the heart of the session discussions, were the challenges of finding, understanding and using economic information.
The conference was attended by librarians and other information professionals. Particularly of note, in attendance, was Elon’s very own, and BLINC member, Betty Garrison. We both spent much time together in sessions trying to gather information and knowledge that would be especially useful to our communities of service, right here in North Carolina.
Of particular usefulness was Diego Mendez-Carbajo’s, Illinois Wesleyan University, Teaching with Data Workshop. In it, Diego talked about how FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, can be used in a classroom setting. FRED contains useful information on economic data for national, international,public, and private sources. Not only does it provide data but it depicts where the data came from, which is useful for citations. Using FRED in the classroom, I can teach students how to search their own topic, using the techniques described in this session.
Overall, the conference had good useful help, tools and suggestions, however I would not suggest this conference to a librarian new to the field as the presenters tend to use jargon and as is the case with many government agencies, way too many acronyms, with no description of what they are,
Author: Ian Hertz