Message from the Chair
Spring 2018 Election Ballot
Spring 2018 Meeting Information
NEMLA Officers
Publication Information

Message from the Chair

Dear NEMLA members,

Happy new year!

It is a pleasure to greet you in my last newsletter column as Chair. My term of office seems to have just started; in fact, it’s hard to believe spring is almost upon us!

It was wonderful to see many you at MLA in Portland a few weeks ago. For those who missed our annual chapter dinner, we had twenty-five members in attendance for an evening of fun and fellowship at The Picnic House PDX, a restaurant which allowed us a glimpse inside Portland’s bustling food scene. Marci and I attended the Chapter Chairs’ meeting at MLA, where we discussed issues facing our chapter directly with the MLA board. We were pleased to hear that we are eligible to apply for chapter grants again this year to assist with NEMLA’s increasing palette of outreach initiatives. If you have an outreach idea you would like the board to consider funding with a chapter grant, please let me know.

I hope that many of you will be able to join us for NEMLA’s spring meeting, which is just around the corner on Friday, March 23 at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. If you are new to our organization and have not attended a meeting before, please consider applying for a First-Time Attendees Program, which covers costs of lunch and travel expenses to attend the meeting. The program committee — chaired by Marci Cohen with members Carolyn Johnson, Jenée Force, & Sara White, and site host, Alan Karass, with his NEC staff – have created a rousing day of events. We will hear a reprise of Robert Cunningham and Andrea Cawelti’s presentation given in Portland on cataloging binders collections (which I was fortunate enough to attend, and I am delighted to hear a recap), about the trials and tribulations of migrating to a new ILS system, and a session focused on interviews compiled by Robert Dumm. After the presentations, we will tour NEC’s new Blumenthal Family Library and its Student Life and Performance Center, which will be followed by a special concert of compositions from two NEC doctoral candidates, Nima Janmohammadi and Cody Forrest. More details about registration can be found below. As always, our spring meeting will also include our annual business meeting. A call for agenda topics will be announced in the coming weeks. Please let me know if you would like something added to the meeting’s agenda.

Voting for open board positions will commence on February 25, 2018. Positions on this year’s slate include Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect and Member-At-Large. There are multiple candidates for each open position (biographies below). Members in good standing will receive an e-mail ballot to vote in the upcoming days. If your membership has lapsed, please renew your membership now in order to vote. I am especially grateful to our nominating committee (chair: Laura Stokes; members: Suzanne Eggleston Lovejoy; Maria Jane Loizou) for their hard work of putting together a qualified slate of candidates as well as the members who have volunteered their time and efforts to run for office! As you are aware, these efforts allow NEMLA to continue running smoothly, so I encourage you to vote for the newest additions to NEMLA’s ever-revolving board.

With that, I look forward to seeing many of you at our spring meeting! It has been a joy to serve NEMLA for the last two years as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect and now Chair, and it has been exciting to be a part of promoting music librarianship both locally in New England and as a representative of our chapter nationally. Marci Cohen will become your next Chair at the spring meeting, and I look forward to her leadership over the following year.

Respectfully submitted,

Jared Rex, Chair, New England Music Library Association

Music Librarian, College of the Holy Cross

Spring 2018 Election Ballot

Spring 2018 Election Ballot

Elections for two positions on NEMLA’s board will begin on February 25, 2018. On that day, all NEMLA members in good standing will receive an email message inviting them to vote. Many thanks to our candidates for running, and to the Nominating Committee for their hard work in assembling this slate.

Candidates for Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect

Sarah Funke Donovan

Sarah Funke Donovan would be thrilled to serve NEMLA in the capacity of Vice-Chair/Chair Elect. She has been a NEMLA member since 2012, and has previously served a term as NEMLA Secretary-Treasurer from 2013-2015. During that time, she effected the organization’s inaugural use of EventBrite to manage meeting registrations and payments. Her experience also includes work for other professional associations: as a member of New England Archivists, she served on the program committee for NEA’s Spring 2016 meeting in Portland, Maine.

Sarah currently works as the Associate Archivist for Digital Asset Management at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. From 2012-2016, she managed grant-funded digital content projects for the BSO Archives, and in 2017, was promoted to her current position in order to implement and manage the organization’s first digital asset management system. When she’s not letting her 20-month-old experiment with alternative tuning techniques on her old banjo, she brings her family to outdoor concerts or holds ukelele sing-alongs.

Ruthann McTyre

Ruthann McTyre is the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Director of the Gilmore Music Library at Yale University.  She came to Yale in August 2013 from the University of Iowa, where she was head of the Rita Benton Music Library for 13 years.  Prior to that appointment, she worked at Baylor University, UNC Chapel Hill, and Southern Methodist University.  She holds an undergraduate degree in Music Education, a master’s degree in voice,both from SMU, and her Library Science degree is from the University of North Texas.  Ruthann has been an active member of the Music Library Association since 1988 and had the privilege of serving as President 2009-2011.  Chapter involvement in other parts of the country has most recently included Midwest Chapter Chair, program chair (As Chair-Elect), and hosting Midwest at UIowa.  Her favorite assignment at the national meetings was facilitating the Hot Topics sessions for several years.

Candidates for Member-at-Large

Elizabeth Berndt-Morris

Liz Berndt-Morris is the Music Reference and Research Librarian at the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library. In this role she serves as a liaison to the Music Department and coordinates research, teaching, and learning services and initiatives for the Music Library.

Prior to Harvard University, she was the Curator of Music at Boston Public Library in the Arts Department working mostly with special collections, and Music Reference and Collections Librarian at Central Michigan University where she earned a master’s degree in music education. She also holds a MLS degree with a specialization certificate in music librarianship from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from the University of Kentucky.

Patricia B. M. “Tish” Brennan

Tish is currently Head of Reference and Research Support, Coordinator of Library Instruction (James P. Adams Library) and liaison to the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Rhode Island College. She keeps out of trouble by singing with Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra and dancing with the Modern Jazz Dance Studio tap ensemble. Tish holds an AB in Music from Brown University and an MSLS from Columbia University. She has been a member of NEMLA from 1976–1997 and 2000–present, and has served as editor of the Directory of Music Libraries and Collections in New England and on the Instruction Committee.

Having had two hats to wear—music librarian and general reference/instruction—for a good part of her career, she is very interested in the Outreach responsibilities of the NEMLA Member-at-Large.  She holds memberships in NELA, RILA, ACRL/NEC, and other local library organizations and would welcome the opportunity to reach out and promote NEMLA to our New England library colleagues.  Collaborating with the Vice-Chair and the Programming Committee as part of the Education role of the Member-at-Large would be an exciting challenge to tackle as well.

Sara White

Sara White moved to New Haven, Connecticut from Lansing, Michigan, where she was the library assistant in the Fine Arts Library at Michigan State University. She studied music performance at Michigan State University before receiving her MLS from Wayne State University. After moving to New Haven, Sara became the Reference and Adult Services Librarian for the West Haven Public Library. She quickly became involved with the Connecticut Library Association and New England Music Library Association. She currently serves on the Programming Committee for NEMLA, the Development Committee for MLA, and is the Chair of the Reference and Adult Services section of the CLA. In her free time, Sara loves playing her bassoon in her community orchestra, teaching bassoon lessons, scrapbooking, and hiking with her husband and their pug.

Spring 2018 Meeting Information

Register here!

We are pleased to announce the registration information for our Spring 2018 meeting.  Early Bird registration will be $18 for regular members and $9 for student and retired members. Please register by Thursday, March 15 to receive the Early Bird rate. Registrations from March 16 through 23 (including walk-ins) will be $20 and $10, respectively. Early bird registration ends Thursday, March 15.

Our spring meeting will take place on Friday, March 23 at New England Conservatory in Boston, MA at Pierce Hall, 241 St. Botolph St. The day will feature sessions on the archival collection of interviews with piano luminaries conducted by Robert Dumm, how to work with binders’ volumes, and a panel discussion on ILS and discovery layer migration. The event will also include a business meeting, a tour of the newly opened Blumenthal Family Library and Student Life and Performance Center (SLPC), a concert and a closing reception.

Thursday Dinner

All attendees are invited to a pre-conference group dinner on Thursday night, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. at Five Horses Tavern, 535 Columbus Ave. The restaurant includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu options. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Marci Cohen ( by Thursday, March 15.

Meeting Program

9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Registration; coffee and pastries

9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Opening Remarks – Jared Rex, NEMLA Chair; Tom Novak, NEC Interim President, Provost, and Dean

10:00 – 10:40 a.m. “Bound for Glory: Cataloging Bound Sheet Music as Collections” (Robert Cunningham, Boston Public Library; Andrea Cawelti, Harvard University)

10:40 – 11:20 a.m. “Pianists Speak: The Interviews of Robert Dumm, 1959-2008” (Jean Wald, Stetson University)

11:20 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Business meeting

11:50 a.m. – 1:20 p.m. Lunch on your own

1:20 – 2:40 p.m. “Migrating to a New ILS and Discovery Layer: Perspectives from the Trenches” (Patricia (Tish) Brennan, Rhode Island College; Andrea Cawelti, Harvard University; Rebecca McCallum, Wesleyan University; Alec McLane, Wesleyan University; Michael Rogan, Tufts University)

2:40 – 3:25 p.m. Tours of the Blumenthal Family Library and the SLPC

3:30 – 4:15 p.m. Concert:

Setar Improvisation / Nima Janmohammadi, DMA Candidate

Ciaccona (2015) for violin alone / Cody Forrest, DMA Candidate
Chu Chun Jean Huang, violin

Invocation (2017) for String Quartet / Cody Forrest, DMA Candidate
Chu Chun Jean Huang and Shuxiang Yang, violins
Daniel Orsen, viola
Joseph Gotoff, cello

4:15 – 5:30 p.m. Reception


NEC has a standing special rate at the Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116. Enter the corporate/promotion code NEC when making reservations online or on the phone. Full details, including a link to the hotel website, are on the NEC website. NEC also has a list of additional hotels nearby or accessible via public transit.


Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation. NEC has public transit and driving directions to campus. NEC is 0.8 mi. from Amtrak’s Back Bay Station. South Station, with Amtrak, MBTA, and intercity bus service is 2 miles away. Gainsborough Garage at 10 Gainsborough St. is the closest parking; additional parking information is available here.

NEC/Boston Information

Here is a campus map of NEC. The library website is here. The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau has more information about the city.

First-Time Attendees

If this is your first NEMLA meeting, we welcome you to apply for our First-Time Attendees Program. This grant covers registration, lunch, and travel expenses. Both current members and non-members are eligible, so long as they have not attended a meeting before. The deadline to apply for funding through this program is March 9, 2018. Please apply here. Also note that funding is regrettably not available for all first-time attendees, but we do strive to accommodate as many as we can on a first come, first served basis.

To encourage new involvement in NEMLA, if you bring a first-time attendee to the meeting, you will receive free registration. To take advantage of this offer, email Marci Cohen ( by March 9 with the subject line “NEMLA first-time attendee referral.” Include your name and affiliation and the name of the first-time attendee you are hosting. The new attendee must also register for the First-Time Attendee Program, but this does not have to be done simultaneously.

Welcoming First-Time Attendees

Would you like to help a first-time attendee feel more welcome at their first meeting? We are looking for hosts to aid newcomers in getting to know our organization and its members. The time commitment is very low. You will be paired with a first-time attendee to either introduce them to people during the registration/coffee period in the morning or have them accompany you to lunch. (You are not responsible for paying for their lunch.) Our board members did this at our fall meeting, and it was so successful that we are happy to roll out the opportunity to all our returning attendees. Please email Marci Cohen ( by Monday, March 19 to volunteer.

NEMLA Officers

Jared Rex
Music Librarian
Fenwick Music Library
College of the Holy Cross
1 College Street
Worcester, MA 01610
jrex at
(508) 793-2295

Marci Cohen
Assistant Head
Music Library
Boston University
771 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
mcohen2 at
(617) 353-3707

Past Chair:
Laura Stokes
Performing Arts Librarian
Orwig Music Library
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
laura_stokes at
(401) 863-3999

Alan Karass
Director of Libraries
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-5018
alan.karass at
(617) 585-1247

Jonathan Manton
Music Librarian for Access Services
Irving S. Gilmore Music Library
Yale University
120 High Street
PO Box 208240
New Haven, CT 06520
jonathan.manton at
(203) 432-5549

Newsletter Editor:
Memory Apata
Music & Performing Arts Librarian
Dartmouth College
Paddock Music Library
Hopkins Center, HB 6245 Hanover, NH 03755
memory.r.apata at
(603) 646-3120

NEMLA Archivist:
Sofia Becerra-Licha
Stan Getz Library
Berklee College of Music
1140 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215
sbecerralicha at
Office: (617)747-8001

Web Page Editor:
Sarah Hunter
Electronic Inventory Manager
Mugar Library
Boston University
771 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
shunter at
Office: (617) 353-5810

Publication Information:

New England Quarter Notes is published quarterly in September, December, March/April and June/July.
Back issues may be accessed from:

Address all correspondence concerning editorial matters to:
Memory Apata
memory.r.apata at

Inquiries concerning subscription, membership and change of address should be directed to:
Alan Karass
alan.karass at

Membership year runs September to August.
Regular Personal Membership:$12.00
Student and Retired Membership:$6.00
Institutional Membership$16.00

Return to the New England Music Library Association home page.