Baker Library | Bloomberg Center

Baker News

may 2006

We create and manage the information and knowledge sharing experience in which Harvard Business School exchanges and uses information and knowledge assets.

Top Story

Researching Career Choices Made by Women

A new initiative to integrate Baker's information resources into the Harvard Business School curriculum has born its first fruit with professor Myra Hart's spring program New Path: Setting New Professional Directions.

The six-day program gave seventeen HBS alumnae "an immersion in everything you need to know to re-enter the professional work force, a combination of deep dive into yourself, a look at who you are and understanding what is really satisfying to you," Hart said. "What's the best utilization of your skills that will really make you happy and actualized?"

Hart said her team worked with Baker staff in defining the elements needed to incorporate in the program, strategies for communicating with the program's participants about various School offerings, and providing resources for participants to do hands-on work.

The work on New Path was just the start for the Curriculum Services Group, which was formed to find innovative ways to integrate Baker's considerable information resources into HBS curricula, and thus is part of Baker Library's mission to support the teaching and learning experience at HBS. This group of business information subject experts, who also have an education background, began their work by taking a systematic look at how courses and cases are developed at HBS and identifying programmatic ways to proactively engage in these processes.

The group's first tasks are to:

  • "Map" the HBS course and case development processes in order to identify key points where Baker's information resources could enrich the learning opportunity.
  • Inventory course and case development related work already underway in various Baker departments as illustrative of the range of possibilities that could be more broadly applied across HBS.
  • Launch several pilot projects to test collaborative approaches and identify models that will apply in similar situations.

New Path resulted as one of the group's first pilot projects--an opportunity to work with the faculty and program staff to leverage Baker's resources and information research expertise, said Elizabeth Bibby, Director, Curriculum Services.

Other pilot projects include:

  • Executive Education: collaborating on the development of the new OPM group, working with Professor Lynda Applegate.
  • MBA: collaborating with Professor Nabil El Hage and his Research Associate, Chris Payton, in the development of a new EC half course, "Active Investing in Illiquid Assets."
  • MBA: collaborating with Professors Kash Rangan and Senior Lecturer Michael Chu on revising a new EC half course, "Business Approaches to Serving the Bottom-of-the-Pyramid."

Each project has a slightly different focus on the interplay of research, teaching, and creating and sharing new knowledge (e.g., through cases, articles, conferences, etc.), said Deb Wallace, Managing Director, Curriculum and Information Research. "Cross-functional teams of Baker staff with different capabilities have been brought together to work on each of these projects. At the same time, we are engaged in an action research project to test our hypothesis that the teaching and learning experience at HBS can be enriched through a collaboration with faculty to leverage Baker resources and expertise."

Contact: Deb Wallace

Spotlight on Historical Collections

Funny Business at Baker Library

From '50s fender fins and pin stripes to modern cell phones and IPOs, Charles Preston has seen it all--and shared his amusement along the way. And now he's sharing his collection of more than 200 cartoons with users of all stripes.

As the Wall Street Journal's cartoon editor, Preston has steered the paper's "Pepper ... and Salt" cartoon section for more than fifty years. He has recently donated his unique collection to Baker Library's Historical Collections. An exhibition is in the offing in the Library lobby, and all cartoons in the collection are available for researchers who may be interested in everything from business and economics to fashion and popular culture through the decades.

"I've looked at more cartoons than anyone in the history of mankind," observes Preston, who took up his post at the Journal in the spring of 1950 after working his way through Columbia University as a jokesmith for radio, cartoonists, and Broadway shows. These days, the Journal has five available cartoon slots each week for which Preston typically fields around a thousand cartoons. He will continue to update the collection at Baker. Approximately eighty artists are represented in the collection, making for a wide variety of styles and comic viewpoints.

A quick gander at the collection's Web site reveals the extraordinary sophistication and cultural value contained within the economical limits of simple illustrations and punchlines. From the time "Pepper ... and Salt" first poked gentle fun at beleaguered businessmen and cigar-smoking CEOs in the 1950s, to present-day two-income spouses and inline-skating managers, the cartoon has been a perennial and popular element of the industry bible.

"The purpose of "Pepper ... and Salt" is to provide a bit of seasoning amidst the important, serious and influential essays and commentaries," Preston told Baker. "This cartoon condiment is not merely a clown's turn. Readers working through the thickets of animadversions on Sarbanes-Oxley, OSHA regulations or Texas gerrymandering welcomed a change of pace. The cartoons in the collection quickly reveal a direct connection to subjects and themes right off page one. 'Pepper ... and Salt' [has] covered the same stories, but with humor and often irreverence."

Users may access the Web site to get a flavor of the collection, and come in to Historical Collections' de Gaspé Beaubien Reading Room to browse the full cartoon collection.

Contact: Historical Collections

New Services and Products

WRDS Conference Coming to HBS

Harvard Business School, Harvard University, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania are co-hosting a WRDS Users Meeting for faculty, doctoral students, and other registered WRDS researchers June 13-14. The WRDS team is developing an agenda that will include split sessions to accommodate the interests of both new and experienced users. Registered WRDS users can learn more by visiting:

Contact: Sarah Eriksen, 617-495-6374.

Information Mine

ISI Emerging Markets

What's in it? Covers emerging market countries in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa and the Middle East. News articles, company profiles, industry profiles, analyst reports, index market data, and legal information are available in this database. Information comes from leading publications and data sources in native languages and in English.

Who has access? HU faculty, researchers, students, and authorized Harvard Library visitors.

Where is it? Access through the database page on Baker's Web site, or here.

Research example: Find an analysis of the media industry in India

Research Tip

Creating a List of Potential Employers

Baker Library subscribes to several databases that can create customized lists of companies based on industry, size, and location-ideal for helping find job leads.

  • CareerSearch contains information on over one million public and private U.S. companies. The database features a deep structure of industry categories and geographic locations so that a targeted list may be created within a particular zip code or area code and by a narrow industry sector.
  • Orbis is a global database containing information on 12 million companies. In addition to targeting companies by industry, location, and size (i.e., number of employees or revenue), the interface allows for searching on a variety of financial variables for public U.S. companies and some private international firms.
  • In addition to providing comprehensive profiles of over 700,000 companies worldwide, OneSource has a "Find" function that allows you to screen for companies by industry, size, and location.

All databases are available to authorized users from the Baker Library Web site.

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