Acting Director of Rutgers’ Dana Library Will Be Honored for Outstanding Service to the Minority Business Community

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Ka-Neng Au reached beyond his business librarian role to develop and teach courses to small business owners.  That outreach will be recognized in Anaheim, California, in June, when Au is presented with the Dun & Bradstreet Award, given to a librarian or library “that has created an innovative service for a minority business community.”  The award, which is sponsored by Dun & Bradstreet, is presented by the Business Reference and Services section of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association. The award includes travel funds to allow Au to accept the honor in person.
“I’m very pleased to have been chosen,” says Au, noting that only one award is given and the winner is selected from nominations submitted from across the country. Au is currently acting director of John Cotton Dana Library, at Rutgers University in Newark, and previously had been business librarian.
Au was nominated for the award by Tendai Ndoro for his “outstanding service” to the small business community in New Jersey and “Essex County in particular.”  According to Ndoro — who is the regional director of the Rutgers-Newark Small Business Development Center –Au has been volunteering his time and expertise teaching small business clients in two key business training programs offered by the center.  He has been teaching one, four-hour module of the 20-hour Business Plan Writing Workshop six times a year for the past four years, primarily working with minority business owners.  He also teaches a segment of a recently developed course, Business Marketing Strategies, Planning and Implementation. The courses help business owners develop business plans and marketing materials using resources at the library as well as on-line materials. They are held in a computer lab so that business owners can get hands-on experience in doing research, he notes.
Over the last four years, Au has taught owners of 332 small businesses, 76% of whom are minorities.
Au was an adjunct in the Rutgers Business School, teaching information technology and e-commerce, from 1997-2001. He became business librarian at Dana Library in 1986, and prior to that was a computer programmer at Rutgers University Libraries on the New Brunswick campus.  Au received his bachelors of arts degree from the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and his masters in library science from Rutgers.