Forewarning: This post has nothing to do with basketball. Although, I do know the favorite team of the librarian of the Boston Symphony. Juicy tidbit, I know. March has been…well, up and down. Highs and lows. Lulls and… storms (?). Library-wise, I’ve learned a lot.
1) That preservation (as a class and a concept) is very fascinating and probably should be a requirement for every MLIS program. I don’t know if this is because I’m geared more towards a “special” library, but we want to keep our things! We want to keep our things the way they are AND let people access them. This is a must.
2) Libraries in other countries are vastly different. Granted, this is no surprise, but the question is: should they be? Should there be some sort of international standard? Given the plethora of variables (governments, customs, social norms, digital/technology/internet access, etc.) I don’t think this is a viable option, although it would be nice to think there could be a baseline of sorts. At least a collection of relevant reference and fiction/pleasure reading materials, a computer or two, with reasonable internet (sans dial up, if possible) to access information and the ability to communicate with people who have more resources on hand who can share ’em with you. Promotion of said communication/resources and actual acceptance of these things needs to also happen.
3) Even though libraries sometimes get a bad rap (shocking, I know), the library community is one of the most helpful and giving ones I know of. Everyone is helpful and willing to lend a hand, regardless of where you are or if you’re affiliated with them or not (usually you’re not!). I guess I’ve known this all along, but it’s really sinking in now. This is definitely something that has drawn me in and something that excites me. It’s wonderful knowing you have a responsive community to brainstorm with and an even better feeling when you’re the one helping someone else out.
Well, more concrete things later: the youth, practicing a brass instrument as a form as retaliation and that live music feeling.
Gasp! Shock! THE TERROR! I’m grossly overdue in discussing the MLA conference I attended in Dallas a few weeks ago. But, like most things, better late than never!
February 19, 2012
I’m on the plane back from the MLA (that’s the Music Library Association) annual conference in Dallas (yeehaw!). My first professional conference and my first time in Dallas! I really had no idea what to expect: I took a look at the sessions and talks to see what appealed to me, as well as signed up to receive a mentor and took advantage of the resume/cover letter advisory service. The first event to go to was the first-time attendees’ dinner, where some 40 first-time attendees got a chance to be introduced to the chairs, committees and general MLA-workings (as well as eat some delicious pasta, which I was very thankful for after not eating since 7AM that day!). We also introduced ourselves to each other and got a chance to mingle a bit. After dinner, there was the opening reception in the exhibitor’s hall. It was a little overwhelming: though I had just met 40 people in the same situation as myself, I felt like I didn’t know anyone there. Throughout the whole conference, I made an effort to step out of my somewhat shy shell and really meet as many people as possible. Longstanding MLA members are very friendly though; more than once when I was awkwardly standing alone, they just came up, introduced themselves and asked questions about me!
Throughout the conference, I met a lot of interesting people, almost all who had a job that I would love to have one day! There were music librarians from Library of Congress, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and museums as well as university/college librarians that have a music or arts library. There were informative plenary sessions, presentations and round-table meetings. One thing that really struck me was the complexity of MLA as an organization—it has a constitution, a board of chairs, as well as many committees and subcommittees. This was my first time dealing with an institution like this that wasn’t a school or university I was attending/working for.
I loved meeting fellow library science students who had a passion for music and wanted to be music librarians – just like me! Simmons doesn’t have a music librarianship specialization and I’ve only met a couple of other students who are interested in music librarianship. Now I feel part of a larger community that has similar interests and a place to seek advice. A lot of the library students I met had already earned their master’s in musicology or ethnomusicology, which is something I’m considering after graduating from Simmons (more school?! Am I nuts?!) so it was good to hear what their experience was. And, now I have MLA friends I can look forward to catching up with at the next conference!
I attended some really interesting sessions/presentations and am going to be posting more on them soon! Simmons has spring break next week, so that will give me time to sift through my notes and recall the glory of MLA.