At each level of service – nationally, regionally, on campus, and within the libraries – my service choices reflect the same emphases that are driving my scholarship.  Specifically, I have made particular effort to participate in groups that foster innovation in libraries and/or promote the education and professional development of music librarians.

I was particularly honored and excited this past year to be elected to the Board of Directors for the Music Library Association (MLA), a term that continues into early 2012. In this capacity, I’ve gained a much greater insight into how the organization operates and what some of the difficult decisions that drive actions are.  I have spent the first year serving as Assistant Parliamentarian and will continue as Parliamentarian following our annual meeting in February.

In 2007, I applied for and was appointed MLA’s Placement Officer.  This position, a special officer of MLA, serves as a liaison between potential employers and jobseekers.  The bulk of the work was devoted to following leads about music library positions, talking with employers about the services available within the Placement Service, preparing job ads for the Placement Service site ( and sharing information about the jobs with the MLA membership more directly through the MLA listserv and in individual conversations.  At MLA’s annual meeting, I would staff the Placement Service Desk, supply copies of job advertisements and handouts, coordinate the scheduling of the interview room, give a brief presentation on the Placement Service for the New Members Forum, and speak with individual jobseekers and employers about their specific needs.  I completed this appointment at the end of 2010, and spent quite a bit of time in the last year migrating content from a previous MLA site to a new site with a content management system and revising the position’s manual, including adding completely new information related to the new content management system.  This position provided me with a wonderful way to learn more about MLA’s membership and the job-search process.

In my first year at BGSU (2006-2007), I completed the fourth and last year of a term on national MLA’s Preservation Committee, for which I served as webmaster.  During that final year, and the next year (when I was no longer officially on the committee), I worked with MLA’s webmaster and assistant webmaster to create an extensive wiki-based web site for the committee.  This project piloted the distributed model for MLA committees to have their own easily editable web spaces, and working with MLA’s webmasters, I developed instructions for members of the Preservation Committee and for other committees wishing to create web space.  I helped to edit web content provided by Preservation Committee members for formatting and instructed other committee members on how to use the wiki.

Because of my experience with web applications, I was asked to serve on MLA’s Web Advisory Committee beginning in 2007.  This group met for the first time at MLA’s annual meeting in 2008 and began the process of making ongoing suggestions for MLA’s website.

In the Midwest Chapter of the Music Library Association (MLA), I served on the program committee for the annual meeting in 2007 and am a member of the Technology, Archives, Preservation, & Sound (TAPS) Committee.  This committee recently began a project of creating a repository of library instruction videos for common music resources.  These videos are generic in nature – that is, not making reference to any particular institution’s holdings – and are ideally suited for embedding in LibGuides.  Thus far, videos are planned for thematic catalogs, a commonly used guide to historical sets and collected works, song indexes, and works lists from the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, all of which have particular barriers to use and understanding for entry-level users.  The creation of the videos has been divided among individual committee members with the completed videos housed on servers at DePauw University.  I see these videos being very useful for training staff, reaching out to patrons reluctant to ask for personal help, and supplementing instruction for online students, such as those taking my research methods class.

At the University level, I am in my third year of serving on the Information Technology Committee (ITC) and the second year of a term on the Faculty Development Committee.  Both of these groups have given me greater insight into BGSU and helped me understand better some of our local practices.  A project of which I am particularly proud was coordinating the creation of a communication strategy that we implemented for ITC’s 2010 Technology Survey; an earlier iteration of the survey resulted in fewer than 100 responses, while last year’s survey had more than 2000 respondses (though, admittedly, the inclusion of a prize drawing at the conclusion of the recent iteration had something to do with that boost!).

Within the libraries, I have had the privilege of serving on several search committees as well as on the Faculty Merit Committee, as Secretary to the Faculty, and as the special collections representative to the Innovative Subgroup.  Each of these opportunities has helped me to understand the philosophy of our organization and to work closely with people from outside my unit and department to form relationships that have been quite helpful.

While service work takes time away from everyday duties in the library, it gives me perspective on my day-to-day tasks as a music librarian and improves my knowledge of the field.

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