Music Library Survey Response

Students and Faculty of the School of Music,

Thank you so much for taking time to complete our patron survey! The feedback we received is invaluable, and we plan to make good use of it.

We would like to provide answers to some specific questions and concerns that were raised in some of the responses:

Why don’t you have…?

Patrons have lamented that we do not have the following items in our collection. However, we actually do have all of them. Please don’t hesitate to ask us for help finding something. In each of these cases, we have a pretty good idea what may have gone wrong in a catalog search.

Complete recordings of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas – We have recordings of the full cycles by Alfred Brendel & Artur Schnabel. There are also over two dozen complete sets available through the Naxos Music Library.

Choral Scores – We actually have a rather large Choral Music Collection that is separate from the regular stacks (which only contains large scale choral works). This collection is housed in a cabinet in the Listening Room, and the catalog can be found on our homepage under Special Music Collections.

Recent Music Theatre Scores – This one is complicated: We do our best to obtain all musical theater vocal scores and vocal selections when they are published. If you are aware of a score we have not yet obtained, please send us an e-mail or stop by. We can usually obtain a copy and have it ready for use in about a week. However, some musicals are not published or are only offered digitally. In both of these cases, there is simply nothing we can do to legally obtain them. Still, we are able to make suggestions as to how performers might be able to obtain legal copies.

Why aren’t the student employees more knowledgeable about music?

Reference services are available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm by the full time staff (Maurice, Thad, and Rachel) in person, by e-mail, or by phone. Our student employees are not trained for reference work. They are, however, trained to check items in and out, find items based on titles and call numbers, help with the copier, and shelve returned items. Also, because music students have busy schedules, we must hire non-music majors to keep the library open extended hours.

Is there really that much that needs to be done to have three full-time staff members in addition to the student assistants?

Let us answer that by explaining what everyone does.

Maurice is the Music Librarian and manages all activities of the Music Library. Though a great deal of his time is spent providing reference and research assistance to users, he is also responsible for developing the collection (evaluates, selects, weeds, and conducts inventories of the collections), budgeting, selecting gift material, and ensuring the accuracy of online records. He participates with the other subject librarians in collegial decision-making and planning, including active involvement in committees. He also is an instruction librarian for the First-Year Experience program. In short, he’s a busy guy!

Thad is the Music Library Assistant (not technically a librarian, though he will soon have his Library Science degree). His major duties include supervising the student employees (including hiring, scheduling, and training them), making sure the computers and equipment work properly, and keeping the stacks in order. Thad handles more in-person reference questions and issues with circulation, including fines. He also plays an active role on the Library Programming and Marketing Committee.

Rachel is the Music Library Technician. She does all of our in-house processing, cataloging, and reserves, and orders items approved by Maurice. Rachel works three days a week. As an actively performing soprano, she’s perfect for vocal performance questions. She’s also the most knowledgeable about sacred and church music.

I often don’t ask for help because I feel like I would be a nuisance.

Many of you chose this answer when asked what you do when you can’t find something you need in the library. We’re sorry that you’ve felt that way, and we’re going to try to change that. We are often busy at our desks doing some of the tasks listed above while we wait for you to ask for our assistance, so please interrupt us. That is why we are here!

Why does our subscription to RIPM not provide full text?

Currently, our subscription to RIPM is index only, not full text. Because the cost for RIPM’s online resources is rather high, we decided to subscribe to the index only and see if the usage warranted upgrading to full text. At present, our statistics show that usage of RIPM has been rather low. However, the University of Maryland, George Mason University, and the Library of Congress all have full text subscriptions that can be accessed by guest patrons.

Why is the LAMC (Latin American Center for Graduate Studies in Music) so difficult to use? Why are those scores kept separately?

The LAMC is not actually a part of the Music Library. The Music Library owns Latin American materials of library quality (published, good condition, larger items) while the LAMC collection is primarily archival in nature (manuscripts, copies of manuscripts, sheet music, rare materials, etc.) We do host the LAMC catalog on our website as a convenience, and our staff is happy to assist you in finding materials, but the actual collection is owned and managed by the School of Music.

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