Magazine article American Libraries

Mozart and Metadata Mix at the Music Library Association

Magazine article American Libraries

Mozart and Metadata Mix at the Music Library Association

Article excerpt

More than 490 music librarians, archivists, musicologists, vendors, and others with responsibilities for managing music collections met February 23-26 to compare notes at the Music Library Association's 69th annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Especially audible were 60 first-time attendees, who were welcomed with a special reception and paired with musical mentors who conducted them through the conference and gave them a prelude to the organization.

This year's meeting was packed with informational sessions sponsored by MLA's various committees, subcommittees, and special-interest roundtables. Program Chair Ruthann McTyre, music librarian at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, worked hard to schedule at least one half-hour coffee-break slot each day to ensure that attendees could spend some time perusing the booths of the 46 exhibitors. MLAers work very closely with suppliers of CDs, videos, music scores, and other special materials; many of the exhibitor firms are corporate members and long-time supporters of the organization.

From (c) to K.

It was standing room only at the plenary session on "Copyright in the Digital Age: Electronic Reserves, Distance Learning, and Fair Use," which featured sobering perspectives by attorneys Dwayne K. Buttler of Indiana University and Laura N. Gasaway of the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill. MLA members are keenly aware of the constraints of copyright, since music was specifically exempt from the fair-use considerations outlined in Section 108 of the 1976 law.

The exciting possibilities of streaming audio across networks and providing digital music reserves pose new challenges within existing copyright legislation. MLA's Legislation Committee, chaired by Cornell University Music Librarian Lenore Coral, has recently developed a statement on "Digital Transmission of Electronic Reserves," which is available on the committee's Web site at

Equally packed was a session on "Music Reference at the Millennium," Stanley Sadie, editor-in-chief of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, recounted the fascinating history of Grove's dictionaries and offered a preview of the forthcoming second edition of the music dictionary, scheduled to appear in both print and electronic form at the end of 2000.

Another mainstay of music library reference shelves is the Kochel catalog, the sourcebook for the K. numbers used to identify all of Mozart's works. Neal Zaslaw, editor of the forthcoming "Neue Kochel" catalog, explained how his new version will clear up some of the confusing chronologies found in earlier editions.

Make mine metadata

Metadata (information on electronic resources) was the leitmotif for all of the committees, subcommittees, and roundtables dealing with bibliographic control. …

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