Through my scholarship, I have striven to explore innovations for libraries and document the nature of music librarianship while applying what I learn to my day-to-day experiences here at BGSU.

My research efforts in this last year have been largely devoted to an investigation into the training, qualification, background, and demographics of employees working in music libraries.  With Mark A. Puente, Director of Diversity Programs for the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), I conducted the MLA Survey of Personnel Characteristics in early 2009.  This research project replicated the 1997 study conducted by the Working Group Surveying Music Library Personnel Characteristics of the Music Library Association (MLA) with some revisions to the original instrument to address the needs for clarification and additional study articulated by the working group.  We have written an article in which we analyze the data to ascertain the degree to which this personnel profile has changed in the last decade and to test theories about how the profession has evolved since the original study, and this article has been accepted and scheduled to appear in MLA’s quarterly journal Notes in June 2011.  Simultaneously, we are studying the current demographic make-up of the profession and comparing it to the results of the original survey in order to ascertain trends in representation of ethnic minorities in music and fine arts librarianship while comparing these numbers to national trends in the library and information profession and to representation of traditionally underrepresented ethnic minority groups in the constituencies we serve.  This summary will appear in the September 2011 issue of Notes. We presented preliminary results at the 2010 national meeting of MLA in March and have posted a comprehensive report including raw data and background documentation on the MLA site. The project has been endorsed by MLA’s Career Development and Services Committee and approved by MLA’s Board.

Since coming to BGSU, I have also spent quite a bit of time working on the HueTunes project with Gwen Evans.  This project arose from an interest in providing non-textual methods for tagging and retrieving music from the online catalog.  The rationale behind the project is explained extensively in the article, “Moody Blues: The Social Web, Tagging, and Non-Textual Discovery Tools for Music.”  The practical process began in a brainstorming session with Gwen and Matt Davis, a faculty member in the School of Art, when we came to realize that while the Sound Recordings Archives hold great treasures for students in graphic art who can learn from the album art, textual browsing of cataloged recordings does not give them the access that is useful.  This basic idea was followed by application development by former LITS student assistant Jared Contrascere.  After much tweaking and revising, Gwen and I presented a paper on the project at the 2007 meeting of the Midwest Chapter of the Music Library Association (MW MLA).  That presentation and further demonstrations at BGSU’s 2007 Arts Extravaganza prompted stimulating feedback and led to additional revisions with the application.  We then reorganized and polished the paper, which was published in Haworth Press’s peer-reviewed Music Reference Services Quarterly and won the best-of volume award for that title in 2008.  We presented a poster session on the application at the joint meeting of Online Audiovisual Catalogers and the Music OCLC Users Group in September 2008 and again collected more feedback that will help shape the project.  Our next stages will involve further development of the application, collection of data from users, and creating ways to use it to improve service for our patrons.  The entire project has been a wonderful opportunity to explore the ways that users from different disciplines and learning styles approach finding information and music in particular.

Another major scholarship project in which I participated is the compilation of several chapters for the 4th edition of the A Basic Music Library.  This ALA publication is a core list of music materials compiled so that libraries with no music specialist can gather a basic collection of scores, recordings, or DVDs on music topics.  In particular, I worked on the chapters on Children’s Music, Solo Oboe Music, and Pop (Mainstream and New Age), with the Mainstream responsibilities shared with Grover Baker for the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University. The project involved updating the lists in the 3rd edition of A Basic Music Library (1997), as well as adding OCLC numbers and expanding each section to include multiple formats in one list (former editions typically only included scores for classical works and only recordings for popular works).  Working on these sections provided a helpful opportunity for reviewing our own collections as well.  It is due sometime in the summer of 2011.

These last three years have been busy ones for presentations as well.  In addition to the ones already noted on my vita, I will present a poster session on library sleevefacing with Liz Tousey at the 2011 MLA annual meeting.  All of these have contributed in one way or another to my daily work, and I am grateful for the opportunity to attend conferences and share what I learn daily here at BGSU.

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