Wow, I am listening to the recording that the Tanglewood Music Center performed this summer [of the Reich] and it’s great. Two things really strike me: obviously the musicianship and the great care and coordination it took to rehearse/perform this piece, but also the audio quality of the recording. I’m not sure how well known it is, but TMC has other programs than just instrumental and vocal. There are conducting fellows, composing fellows, audio fellows, a publications fellow, librarian fellows and piano technician fellows. It’s great because it’s very inclusive of all the things a major symphony orchestra needs to function at a high level. While the music and musicians are clearly the focus, many other things go on so a successful rehearsal or great concert can be had.
This summer was wonderful. I learned a huge amount, met fantastic musicians and listen to great music almost constantly. What more could you ask for? (Perhaps some air conditioning once in a while…) Not only did this summer cement my career path, but it will stick out as one of my best summers in my life, hands down. Hopefully, being at Tanglewood in some capacity will continue for a long, long time.
In my last post, I began with “Hiatus, over!” Well, as you can see, it continued into the new year. But, since we all escaped the Mayan apocalypse, I’m here, I’m a musician, I’m a library student and I’m writing!
Not too much has changed; I finished my penultimate semester and am now ready to tackle my last class: music librarianship. How fitting! Since starting at the music library at Boston University (a timely change from the law library) I’m learning more and more about music: how it’s cataloged, how students search for it, how they use it, how librarians can make it easier to find and all those kinds of good things. I’ve also [finally] gotten my horn cleaned (by the illustrious and fabulous Ken Pope, no less), so I’m hoping to start back up and take some lessons. I’m also gearing up to go to MLA San Jose! I’ll be meeting with fellow MLSG members, as well as some summer friends from Interlochen! I think it’s going to be a great opportunity and really round out my spring of music. Musical spring? Either way, on y va!
This is the BYSO library I’ve been organizing and cataologing!Alas, I’ve only done about one and a half shelves, but it’s going! I won’t be able to get that much further (I leave for Interlochen June 11!), but I’m hoping that post-Interlochen, I will have an abundance of ideas and way to tackle it even more effectively. For me, the most difficult part is not being able to throw things away. In general, it is hard for me to throw things away, but this is a case of seeing everything we have and seeing what’s in good condition, what we should keep just to have, etc. Anyways, hope to have a great after photo one of these days!
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.