• LIBR 200: My Information Community of Choice

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    The information community I’ve chosen to study this semester is the community of music libraries in academic settings. As I wrote in my first blog post, the Music Library at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music was vital to my work as I was earning my BA. That particular library offers a wide variety of communication forms to distribute information:


    • Books (scores, opera librettos, dictionaries, volumes on music history, composer biographies, analyses of various works, and technical guides for beginning musicians and composers).
    • Periodicals (magazines, newspapers and music society journals).
    • Audiovisual recordings (CD, LP, cassette, DVD, Blu-Ray, VHS and Laserdisc).
    • The Internet (the collection catalogue, digital audio and video reserves, e-books, online articles and journals, encyclopedias, research guides, and The Music Blog, which offers advertisements and in-depth discussions of various events and items in the collection).
    • Special events (concerts, exhibits).
    • Teaching services (courses, tours, research workshops and teaching workshops).


    The library provides all the professors in the School of Music with the materials they need for their courses, as well as students with any music-related materials they could want, either for research or for fun. And like any good information community, they reach out to many different groups of people. Their tagline is “All the Musics of the World” and one of their most important missions is advancing the field of Ethnomusicology, as evidenced by their Ethnomusicology Archive with its collection of music from every country and every culture. Its walls and website regularly contain advertisements for concerts and exhibits devoted to the music of far-flung times, places and ethnic groups, as well as the familiar Western “canon” of art music.


    I wouldn’t say that the Music Library breaks any economic barriers, since it’s only accessible to professors, students and alumni. But it certainly does all it can to break geographical and cultural barriers by exposing people to music and music-related materials that they otherwise might never have known existed. And since it’s open to all the university’s students, teachers and lovers of music, it definitely fosters a sense of connectedness among like-minded people. If I find a job either with that library or with another music library like it, I think I’ll be happy, and I know I’ll be proud.

    • Jordan, there should be a huge amount of information in this area for you to research. Music libraries are a community and evolving. Please post on a blog of another student.
      Prof. TAsh

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