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Music librarians flock to Atlanta


Fellow music librarians navigate MARTA. Pictured: Scott Stone (UC Irvine), Manuel Erviti (UC Berkeley), Janelle West and Andrew Justice (University of North Texas).

Stanford music librarians  Jerry McBride, Mimi Tashiro, Nancy Lorimer, Jon Manton, Jihong Zhang, and Ray Heigemeir (that’s me) were in attendance at the 83rd annual meeting of the Music Library Association in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of February.  A total of 403 attendees from the US, Canada and select other countries spent the better part of a week learning, discussing, debating, and celebrating the changing landscape of music librarianship.

My own conference experience included sessions on cloud-based shared digital audio streaming, case studies in copyright litigation, the dire state of audio preservation and the momentum of the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan, analyses of patron listening habits, Sacred harp singing practices in the South, dissection of common curricula in graduate research courses, reference refreshers on theater and dance resources, and the complex scoring history of Gone With the Wind. A real grab bag of topics, for sure. I also had the opportunity to present a session about our new SUL web presence, how it was designed based on user needs, and lessons I learned as a part of that working group.  Our new site was much admired (no surprise there!)

The view from the balcony of the Fox Theater in Atlanta.I had some time to enjoy the city of Atlanta, whisking around on MARTA, with a visit to the Renzo Piano-designed High Museum of Art, and by taking in an evening performance of the Alton Brown Show at the historic Fox Theater.  The 5000-seat Fox is a jaw-dropping venue styled in what I’d call “High Turkish Bordello,” complete with a sea of Turkish carpets, hanging lamps, turrets, mosaic inlay, and even a starry night sky. Next year’s conference takes us to Denver, the Mile-High City.