MLA Newsletter
Music Library Association No.186 Jul-Aug 2016
News & Notes

Submitted by Jim Soe Nyun

I'd like to draw your attention to the Training section of the Metadata for Music Resources (MMR), a place on the MLA website where you can find opportunities for training in various aspects of metadata. These opportunities might be webinars, meetings, videos, classes, or anything else that you can use to learn more about various aspects of metadata.

One of the long-term goals of the MMR site is to allow parts of the site to be open to contributions from you, our dear readers. If you have access to the Metadata Training blog, you can post your announcement directly and it will feed directly to the Training page. Alternately, you can send the text of your training opportunity to me at and we'll post it for you. The announcement can be about training hosted by your organization, or about other training opportunities that you think would be relevant.

As an extra incentive, we'll be doing a brief demo of the site at MLA, so this could be a terrific chance for your announcement to get even more exposure in front of a live audience.

screen capture of metadata for music resources page

scanned image of music from the Musicians Birthday Book
From "The Music of the Poets: A Musician's Birthday Book"; British Library digital collections, Flickr Commons

Submitted by Lisa Shiota

The final version of the March 2016 Cincinnati Board meeting minutes, and a draft of the June Middleton Board meeting minutes are now available online. An updated Index to Board Policies is also posted--follow the link at the top of the page. As always, many thanks to Ray Heigemeir for posting these to the website.

Submitted by Matt Snyder

At its spring 2016 meeting, the MLA Board approved the creation by the Archives and Special Collections Committee of the Working Group on Archival Description of Music Materials. The Working Group is chaired by Elizabeth Surles, Archivist at the Institute of Jazz Studies/Rutgers University, and John Bewley, Associate Librarian Archivist at the University at Buffalo/SUNY.

The charge of the Working Group is to consider current archival description practices for music scores (manuscript, print, and born-digital) held by a wide range of repositories. Its ultimate goal is to create an MLA-endorsed guide to best practices for the archival description of music materials that can serve as a supplement to DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard, 2nd ed.). The Group intends to present the results of its work at the 2018 MLA conference.

News & Notes, continued

Submitted by Jim Farrington

In one of my last duties as Convention Manager, I wanted to let you all know that the Board has approved our budget proposal that keeps the registration rates the same as the 2016 rates in Cincinnati:

Early members $240
Early member 1st 3-years; paraprofessional/non-salaried/part-time; retired members $190
Early non-members $340
Reduced for work at meeting $140
Regular members $340
Regular non-members $440
Regular students $80
Single day $115
Accompanying person $115

Our hotel rate before, during, and immediately following the convention (for those of you mixing in some vacation time in the land of Mickey) is $185/night for single or double.

Submitted by Mark McKnight

As stated in the Association's Administrative Handbook: "All chapters may apply for funding from the national organization. They should apply to the chapter liaison (Vice-President/Past President) by the publicized deadline. The chapter liaison will present the applications to the Board of Directors for consideration. When grants of support are made to a chapter, the excess of the grant over the amount expended need not be reimbursed to the national organization but may be used by the chapter for projects of a similar nature. The chapter must provide a written report to the Board on how the entire grant was used."

Proposals that support the Goals of the MLA Strategic Plan will be given preference. Proposals for projects engaging other organizations (such as workshops or presentations) will receive special consideration.


Please note, according to the Fiscal Policies Handbook: "Chapter grants must be in round numbers in increments of no less than $50."

For FY2015-2016, the Board approved a chapter grant of $600 to the SEMLA Chapter to support the work of Chapter Oral History Project.

Further information and application materials may be found on the Chapter Grants page of the MLA website.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Submitted by Paula Hickner and Janelle West

The renewal "grace period" for MLA membership expired at the end of July. If you haven't renewed yet, this means you will no longer be able to access the MLA online directory; instead, when you log in you will be taken directly to the "Renew Your Membership" page. You may also see an interruption in the delivery of your copy of Notes.

Atlantic, California, Greater New York, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest chapter members may now renew/ join chapter membership at the same time.

Don't forget! You can donate to MLA when you renew. Click here to read about MLA's funds!

If you haven't done so, please take a few minutes to renew your membership in MLA. Membership rates and categories for 2016-2017 are as follows:

News & Notes, continued

  U.S. non-U.S.
Regular members $130 $140
Institutional members $165 $175
Student members $65 $75
Retired members $95 $105
Sustaining members $260 $280
Corporate patrons $780 $790
Corporate members $480 $490
Paraprofessional/Non-salaried/Part-time members $75 $85

If you need help logging in, or if you have any questions, please contact the MLA Business Office.

Excerpted from submissions by Casey Mullin and Michael Rogan

After the 2015 Music Library Association meeting in Denver, when MLA members expressed concern about the discontinuance of the FirstSearch service, MLA President Michael Rogan and MOUG Chair Bruce Evans established the Joint MLA-MOUG OCLC Search and Discovery Task Force with the following charge:

"Investigate OCLC's WorldCat Discovery Services to determine if it will be sufficient to meet the needs of music users. If the Task Force determines that WorldCat Discovery Services is not sufficient, it will recommend a course of action to petition OCLC to continue to provide the FirstSearch interface for WorldCat after December 31, 2015. It will also recommend a course of action to petition OCLC for specific improvements to WorldCat Discovery Services to meet the needs of music users."

The Joint MLA/MOUG OCLC Search and Discovery Task Force submitted its report, with cover letter, to both Boards in May 2016. The report was then sent to select OCLC management staff, including CEO Skip Prichard.

The report includes recommendations based on the checklist assembled by Rebecca Belford in her article, "Evaluating Library Discovery Tools through a Music Lens," Library Resources&Technical Services 58, no. 1 (January 2014): 49-72, These recommendations are specific to WorldCat Discovery Services and address areas of functionality that are critical to music users.

A response from Mary Sauer-Games, Vice President, Global Product Management, states the following:

"The OCLC Search and Discovery Task Force Report is particularly timely, given the recent announcement that we will build a new version of FirstSearch. That new version will deliver the full-featured WorldCat searching valued by many FirstSearch users, including expert searchers in the music library community. Your recommendations will be helpful as we move forward with that product, as well as enhancements to search features in WorldCat Discovery."

We are encouraged by this response and hope that it, like the decision regarding a renewed life for FirstSearch, reflects a growing awareness of all users' needs. MLA and MOUG will continue to advocate for these improvements and work in cooperation with OCLC toward solutions that work for the music community. The MOUG Board will meet with OCLC staff during its August Board meeting to discuss the recommendations.

Please don't hesitate to contact Michael or Casey with any questions or comments. As Casey very well stated, "we owe the Task Force our immense gratitude for successfully fulfilling their charge and producing such an excellent and thorough report, which will provide a framework for seeking these improvements for years to come."

News & Notes, continued


The New England Chapter of MLA is accepting proposals for the fall meeting at Bennington College in Bennington, VT on October 14, 2016.

Presentations should be 35--40 minutes in length. Please indicate if additional time is requested, subject to approval. Proposals must include:

  • Name(s) and affiliation(s) of presenters
  • Contact info (e-mail and phone number)
  • Title of presentation/panel
  • An abstract of 100-300 words
  • Additional equipment required beyond a computer, Internet access, projector, and speakers

Please send proposals to Jared Rex. The proposal deadline is August 21, 2016. Accepted presenters will be notified of their status by September 9, 2016.

The Texas Chapter of MLA is accepting proposals for the annual meeting at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene TX, October 7-8, 2016. The deadline is Monday, August 29. Questions may be directed to Maristella Feustle.

Submitted by Jennifer Vaughn

The New York State-Ontario Chapter of MLA has a new website! Please use the new site to join or renew membership in NYSO, to access back issues of newsletters, past programs and meeting minutes, and to find information on our upcoming Fall Meeting in Toronto.

Big thanks go out to MLA's Web Manager, Katie Buehner, for her enormous help with the transition! I hadn't updated the (old) NYSO site for

a while, and when I tried to update a couple small things, found that it had met the same fate as Copyright for Music Librarians (which has since been relaunched). I couldn't log onto the server to update the HTML, and a lot of links were broken. Katie quickly put a new template for our chapter together, and I migrated everything over to the new site with help from Beth Kelly at Cornell. Katie fixed navigation and menu issues very quickly, and even found some nice images for us to use. YourMembership, the new content management system, is much simpler and friendlier than hand-coding, and NYSO's web site looks like it's joined the 21st century at last.

I'd been wanting to update the look of the website for a while, but never had time. So this was kind of an unexpected opportunity, and it was pretty painless. Other chapters should consider making the transition and integrating with the MLA web platform!

Submitted by Reed David

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the 2017 meeting of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of MLA will be held in Anchorage! This will be the northernmost meeting of any portion of MLA ever held, surpassing the mark set by the Mountain-Plains chapter's meeting in Edmonton in 2015. The chapter has not chosen dates for it yet, but it will probably be some time in July. All of you are invited; if you have never visited Anchorage (or Alaska, for that matter) but have been looking for a reason to do so, here you go!

advertisement inviting readers to buy something at the MLA shop on cafe press

News & Notes, continued

Submitted by Michelle Hahn

In the fall of 2012, the Membership Committee of the Music Library Association conducted the first of a series of surveys of student members, recent graduates and new professionals to garner information about their status in the field, their connection to the organization, and their perceptions about the role of MLA in music librarianship. Ninety-two people responded to that first survey. Though 80% of participants agreed to be included in future surveys, 26 stuck with us throughout the series.

A full report of the first survey can be found in MLA Newsletter no. 173. A number of great insights came from that initial survey, particularly in the ideas put forth by members for the benefits they would like to see as part of MLA membership.

All of the possible change scenarios (number of areas where a change could occur X number of participants) were examined throughout the set of surveys. The second and third surveys saw both positive and negative changes in perception of what MLA has to offer its members. In particular, mentoring saw a negative change over the course of the surveys, while areas such as professional development, organizational responsiveness, and conferences saw a dip in round two but recovered in round 3. Only career services maintained a highly positive perception throughout the 3 surveys.

The most important benefits of MLA membership became evident as they emerged throughout the responses. By far the greatest perceived benefits of participation in MLA were networking with peers, career resources, opportunities for professional

development/involvement, training, and mentoring. It is also important to note that MLA-L was mentioned quite often as a boon to the organization. Respondents believed that MLA could also affect the profession the most with the following contributions: developing and maintaining standards of practice, producing scholarly output (presentations, publications, etc. by members), and most importantly, advocacy and representing the interests of music collections and their champions.

The responses we obtained from participants brought to light some areas for improvement as well as ideas of ways we can increase our efforts and provide greater benefits to our members and the profession. We will be developing initiatives to bolster membership, working with other committees to enhance the member experience, and leading efforts to turn those ideas into reality. Though there were some issues of which we were aware, we learned of many unexpected perceptions of the organization and hope to utilize that enlightenment in a constructive way.

The complete report is available from the Board meeting agendas and supporting documents page of the MLA website.

Submitted by Joe Clark and Jonathan Sauceda

MLA members have been invited to participate in the 2016 MLA Survey of Personnel Characteristics, which builds on previous surveys in 1997 and 2009. The survey was sent via email directly to registered members of the organization. If you feel that you should have received the survey based on your membership but haven't, please contact Jonathan Sauceda or Joe Clark.