Cover image for Information brokering : a how-to-do-it manual
Information brokering : a how-to-do-it manual
Mason, Florence M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Neal-Schuman, [1998]

Physical Description:
xi, 144 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD9999.I493 U6655 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



The explosion in information resources and technology has created a wealth of opportunities for information brokers - individuals skilled in locating, organizing and managing information. This guide outlines the steps needed to get started, from self-assessment tools to tax information.

Author Notes

Florence Mason is owner and principal of F. Mason and Associates, a consulting firm in Dallas
Chris Dobson is president and founder of F1 Services, Inc., an information brokering firm, based in Dallas

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

This how-to addresses those wanting "to build businesses that provide and manage information." The first part covers what information brokering is, how to acquire the skills to become an information broker, and how to develop a strategy for delivering the product. The second provides guidance on running a small business, including information on taxes, the home office, basic record-keeping, and the like. The third part discusses how to find and serve a clientele, including marketing techniques and guidance in operating ethically. The bibliographies include general references and others on special aspects of running a business. As librarians who made the transition to consulting and information brokering, Mason and Dobson know what they write about.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Part I The Information-Brokering Business
Chapter 1 Becoming an Information Brokerp. 3
Backgroundp. 3
The Pros and Cons of Information Brokeringp. 4
Identifying and Acquiring the Right Skillsp. 5
Sourcesp. 11
Chapter 2 Developing Your Service Delivery Strategyp. 13
What Information Brokers Dop. 13
Research Servicesp. 14
Providing Nonresearch Servicesp. 21
Competitive Intelligencep. 22
Personal/Public-Records Research, Investigatorsp. 24
Sourcesp. 24
Part 2 Your Own Business
Chapter 3 Starting Your Own Firmp. 29
Preparing a Business Planp. 29
Forming the Business Structurep. 32
Registering the Business Namep. 34
Establishing Your Business Credentialsp. 35
Establishing a Business Locationp. 36
Establishing a Home-based Officep. 37
Tax Exemptions and the Home Officep. 38
Leased Space Alternativep. 39
Furnishing Your Officep. 39
Information Technology Supportp. 41
Establishing Mail and Delivery Servicesp. 42
Sourcesp. 43
Chapter 4 Managing Your Practicep. 45
Professional Servicesp. 45
Hiring Employeesp. 47
Basic Record Keepingp. 49
Records Retentionp. 50
Insurancep. 50
Disclaimers and Liability Limitationsp. 52
Sourcesp. 53
Chapter 5 Billing for Servicesp. 55
How Much Can You Earn as an Information Broker?p. 55
Considering the Geographic Marketp. 58
How to Price Your Servicesp. 59
Sourcesp. 64
Part III Finding and Serving Your Clients
Chapter 6 Working with Clientsp. 67
Interviewing and Negotiating with Clientsp. 67
Communicating with Clientsp. 68
Client Proposalsp. 72
Collecting Paymentp. 74
Some Practice Scenariosp. 75
Sourcesp. 77
Chapter 7 Marketing Your Businessp. 79
Defining the Product/Servicep. 80
Production Ingredientsp. 80
Target Marketp. 84
Competitionp. 84
Pricing Your Productp. 85
Promoting Your Productp. 87
Print Mediap. 87
Meeting Your Target Marketp. 90
Direct Mailp. 92
Directory Listingsp. 93
The World Wide Webp. 94
Following Throughp. 97
Setting an Imagep. 97
Review and Revisep. 99
Sourcesp. 100
Chapter 8 The Responsible Brokerp. 101
Codes of Ethics and Conductp. 101
A Decision-making Guidep. 102
Getting and Keeping Secretsp. 102
Acting Responsiblyp. 103
Acting Competentlyp. 104
Matching Client Expectationsp. 105
Operating an Ethical Organizationp. 105
Maintaining an Independent Attitudep. 106
Guarding Intellectual Propertyp. 107
Upholding Licenses and Agreementsp. 107
Maintaining Relationships with Public Institutionsp. 108
Emerging Issuesp. 109
A Checklist of Ethical Concernsp. 110
Sourcesp. 113
A. Selected Online Database Servicesp. 115
B. Sources of Business Start-Up Informationp. 119
C. Sample Nondisclosure Agreementp. 125
D. Codes of Ethicsp. 127
American Library Association Code of Ethicsp. 127
American Society for Information Science Professional Guidelinesp. 128
Association of Independent Information Professionals Code of Ethical Business Practicep. 129
ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conductp. 130
Basic Business Reference Sourcesp. 133
Additional Resourcesp. 135
Indexp. 141
About the Authorsp. 145