Academic Music Librarians Essay

Academic Music Librarians Essay

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Academic Music Librarians


An academic music librarian is a woman or man, just over 49 years old, well educated, working in an academic or conservatory library. This presents a snapshot of those working in the field of academic music librarianship.
More specifically, the academic music librarian is a woman 10% more of the time than she is a man. The academic music librarian is approximately 49 years of age with two thirds of academic music librarians falling between the ages of 37 and 61 (Lesniaski 1999, 6).
The overwhelming majority of academic music librarians, 99%, have college degrees with a fairly wide variety of actual majors. Of these, 46% have a BA in music and 34% have a BM in music. Of those who earned a BA, most majored in musicology. The distribution of those who earned a BM looks a little different with instrumental performance the dominant major, followed by musicology. 97% also have at least one graduate degree with the large majority, 63%, having either an MA in music or an MM. Here again, the dominant major is musicology. Most of those with an MM are also musicology majors. A further 20% have a doctorate degree in music, 86% of those in musicology (Summary of Data from MLA Survey, 2-5).
94% of academic music librarians also have an MLS. 69% received degrees from ALA accredited institutions, 4% from non-accredited institutions. 13% have a specialization in music librarianship (Summary of Data from MLA Survey, 6-7).

Where Do They Work?
By definition, academic music librarians are employed at academic libraries serving schools of music. Some of the librarians serve in conservatory libraries, which are more specialized. 48% work in institutions termed research libraries. Looking at mu...


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...usic Library Association. MLA-L Archives. (accessed 1 October, 2001).

Papakhian, A. Ralph. “Cataloging.” in Music Librarianship at the Turn of the Century ed. Richard Griscom, 19-28. Music Library Association Technical Reports, No. 27. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2000.

Sibley Music Library Technical Services. . (accessed 1 October, 2001).

Summary of Data from MLA Survey. http://www.music.indiana.edu/tech_s/mla/personm/mladatasummaryfornotes.htm. (accessed 13 September, 2001.

Tice, Beth. “Two Hats, One Heart: Confessions of a Split Position Librarian,” Technicalities, Volume 18 Issue 7 (July/August 1998): 4-6.

Troutman, Leslie. “User Education.” in Music Librarianship at the Turn of the Century ed. Richard Griscom, 58-65. Music Library Association Technical Reports, No. 27. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2000.

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