Monday, February 13, 2012

First Post-

This is my fourth week on the job now as music librarian intern at Musselman Library, and I've learned a lot so far. I've been given quite a bit of reading (I had forgotten that librarians were into that), including the funny title So You Want to Be a Librarian but it's all been very informative and helpful.

At this point, I have done research within Muscat and Worldcat, as well as Choice Reviews and to put together bibliographies on music wellness/injury prevention books we have here in the library, and books we should add to our collection since NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) is interested in our collection on this topic. I have also done a bibliography on music chronologies our library has, in addition to chronologies of 20th century, and chronologies of contextual topics such as art in order to help out my music history class with our research paper that is supposed to connect a composition from 1912-1913 to a historical event or any new developments in non-music fields at that time. Unfortunately for both these bibliographies, RefWorks wasn't working for me so I put them in MLA form myself, but I don't mind since that's how I've always done bibliographies.

In addition to making the bibliography, I did a Information Literacy Session with my class on Thursday on how to conduct research for the paper (keywords, subject headings, the different databases), but also how to try to come up with a thesis. So I prepared a concept map connecting my two topics, Picasso's cubist newspaper clipping collages of 1912 to Schoernberg's atonal vocal work Pierrot Lunaire and how both were very radical and avant-garde for their time. I had been at such an info session for my first year seminar and didn't think concept maps were that useful, but after this assignment, I realized that they really do organize your ideas and connections in a visual way and give you better keyword searches. Also in the session, I showed the class how to find primary resources such as original manuscripts and interviews with the composer (which I had only learned how to find myself the day before). Tim helped me a lot already in the research for this paper, and it gave me a headstart on my paper which I'm not used to since I'm usually a take-it-one-day-at-a-time kind of student (I have to be when taking six courses!). I feel like I learned more from this project than just what to teach my class; it helped my research skills as well. Teaching the class also gave me public speaking experience, of which I always need improvement.

A week or two ago, after giving me a lot of reading on the subject, Lina taught me how to do music cataloging. Or she tried to at least. It is a very confusing system with a lot of codes and rules with exceptions. It made me appreciate librarians who catalog so much more. It also made me realize that Muscat isn't an entity on its own; cataloging librarians must enter all the information seen there. I hope I won't have to catalog anytime soon, but if I have to, I at least know the basics and I have good resources to turn to as well. This weekend I was in New York City on a music career immersion trip and we visited the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts, which has a seemingly endless collection but only a small fraction of it can be found in an online catalog. I kept thinking, "they should get on that." I find catalogs really helpful for the public, so I'm appreciative that all our library sources are available through the online databases.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!


  1. Hi Bridget. I'm glad to hear you learned so much while doing the information literacy session with your class. Teaching something to someone else is a great way to really get to know a topic or idea. Will you be doing additional instruction sessions with Tim this semester?

  2. I'm not sure Jess. It's possible. We're mostly trying to get our library's resources out to the public/campus and we might start a radio series playing music from the collection. I receive tasks on a weekly basis, so I'm not sure if we'll do a research presentation again. I'll let you know. It was a great experience though and I feel like it helped me with my own research habits as well.

  3. I love the radio series idea. That would be really cool!