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Music librarians go to ... Hogwarts?

August 8, 2016
Ray Heigemeir

Mimi Tashiro and Ray Heigemeir travelled to Seattle on August 5-6, 2016, to join colleagues at the Music Library Association West Coast Joint Chapter Meeting. Over 50 music librarians and library school students, from Anchorage to San Diego and everywhere in between, gathered at the University of Washington for Day 1 of the conference. 

Suzzallo Library, University of Washington
Suzzallo Library, University of Washington. The reading room is often referred to as the "Harry Potter Room."

Presentations included an analysis of contemporary music performance trends and implications for developing score collections; and sponsoring performances and exhibits in unexpected places to promote the library as community resource.  Judy Tsou, Head of the Music Library and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Washington, showed off materials from the Crawford Rare Music Collection and Archives; and an "unconference" allowed for some wide-ranging discussions of issues of the day. A social hour at the School of Music gave everyone a chance to unwind and relax and of course do lots of networking. Music librarians are known for the strength of their professional ties with colleagues around the country, and "left coasters" are certainly no exception!

 Seattle Central Library
Seattle Central Library's award-winning building, designed by Rem Koolhaas and associates, built in 2004.

Day 2 of the conference took place at the Seattle Central Library in downtown Seattle, a stunning, modern (and apparently extremely popular) building that provided visual interest at every turn. Music librarians presented work-in-progress in a lightning round, including a brief tour of SUL's Rare Music Materials Spotlight exhibit. A session on new approaches to individualized instruction was followed with a view from the field by Emily Cabaniss, Seattle Opera's very first music librarian. The day concluded with optional tours of the Seattle Opera and the Experience Music Project.