spring Meeting, 2021

Friday, May 7, 2021 from 10 am – 4:15 pm.

All times are in Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4).

Registration link: https://forms.gle/59cw3MVt7Vz2faTm8

10:00 am – 10:15 am: Opening Remarks

10:15 am – 11:00 am: Developing a Music Librarianship Course Centered on Theory and Praxis in Critical Librarianship, Social Justice, and Diversity Work

  • Memory Apata, Dartmouth College
  • Liz Berndt-Morris, Harvard University
  • Anna E. Kijas, Tufts University

Building on the efforts begun by NEMLA members in 2018, the Music Librarianship Course working group has been developing a syllabus for a course that is centered around the principles of critical music librarianship with a particular focus on social justice and antiracist practices. This working group applied and received an MLA Chapter Grant for FY21 that will support a planning stage that will enable a Music Librarianship Course working group of the New England Music Library Association (NEMLA) chapter, with feedback from the Music Library Association (MLA) and the wider library community, to develop an accredited online music librarianship course and explore scenarios for delivery and implementation of the content. This initiative will address the barrier to access for credit-bearing courses in music librarianship for Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) students attending programs without a specific specialization in music librarianship, as well as center approaches and praxis for diversity and social justice work.

In this presentation, members of the Music Librarianship Course working group will provide an overview of the work completed thus far on the development of this course and how the chapter grant funding is being used to support our work. We will share insight into the principles and outcomes guiding the creation of the syllabus and most recently, the collaboration with a consultant whose efforts will focus on instructional design elements and who will interrogate the course content from a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. We will also provide an opportunity for feedback from colleagues who will be present at the chapter meeting.

11:00 am – 11:15 am: Break

11:15 am – 12:00 pm: Boston Rock City: A Linked Data Initiative

  •  Christina Linklater, Harvard University
  • Peter Laurence, Harvard University
  • Christine Fernsebner Eslao, Harvard Library
  • Kate Mancey, Harvard University

The subject of our project is the Arthur Freedman Collection, an audiovisual archive capturing over four decades of Boston rock music performances. Beginning in the late 1970s, Arthur Freedman (born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1957) attended and recorded countless shows, maintaining an enormous archive in his home. In 2012, Arthur Freedman donated his collection to Harvard Library. It is now fully catalogued and will soon be available to stream online.

Harvard Library has enhanced access and description for this collection by welcoming band members to provide setlists, personnel listings and posters that can be used to develop the finding aids. We now seek to draw on the expertise of local music fans to develop a Wikidata presence for the collection that can be used to synthesize its data into a resource of equal interest to scholars and fans. With this initiative, we are testing ways in which Wikidata and other structured data repositories can be used to cultivate and capture community knowledge.

This work is being conducted by three Harvard Library staff members who approach the Arthur Freedman Collection from three distinct perspectives, reaching across our normal boundaries to collaborate on a project that will benefit librarianship and Boston rock history. Peter Laurence (Librarian for Recorded Sound and Media, Loeb Music Library) received the collection, created the finding aid, and has reached out to band members for permission to stream their recordings.

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm: Business Meeting

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm: Lunch

1:15 pm – 2:00 pm: Teen Music Maker Showdown

  • Ritse Adefolalu, Boston Public Library, Lower Mills Branch

This year, the Boston Public Library held a statewide youth music contest called the Teen Music Maker Showdown. The project was conceived and co-organized by Ritse Adefolalu, Children’s Librarian at BPL Lower Mills Branch, and originally sprung from a conversation he had started with a local hip hop artist on Twitter. This direct message chat soon grew into a partnership between the library and several community organizations and educators. Pursuing cooperation with the library’s Communications Department from the project’s outset allowed Adefolalu and his co-organizers to implement a strong marketing campaign across print news, radio, and social media outlets. The contest itself was one month long, and featured 3 main events: a kickoff livestream, a private Zoom workshop with professional musicians, and a livestreamed awards ceremony on Twitch, a platform popular with the target audience. The project team used a combination of licensed and free software to design a musically themed graphical layout for the livestreams. Despite the obstacles of remote programming, the contest drew a total of 75 submissions from 39 teenagers across Greater Boston, and the Awards Ceremony had over 100 live viewers.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Lightning Talks

Reframing the Music Classroom: Incorporating Anti-Racist Practices and BIPOC Voices: Collaborative Practices

  • Debra Mandel, Northeastern University

This presentation focuses on a FY’2021 grant project awarded by Northeastern’s College of Art, Media and Design“to support research on social justice and anti-racism.” Written by Northeastern Assistant Professor of Music, Francesca Inglese, “this project aims to shift music studies at Northeastern by providing the tools to center voices of BIPOC in our research and our classrooms…”  $5000 was awarded to hire two student researchers and a guest speaker to talk about anti-racism in music.

Working alongside Francesca Inglese and myself were two student researchers, Rose-Laura Meus and Avery Kelly, who created subject guides to gather scholarship by BIPOC in Music’s various music sub-disciplines and recommend readings and multimedia to “aid music faculty in the creation of an anti-racist music pedagogy.” In addition, Rose and Avery created a bi-weekly newsletter to spotlight relevant readings and media presentations.

This talk will highlight the project team’s approaches, processes and accomplishments and the different perspectives each member brought to the virtual table. Perhaps this project can serve as a model for music librarians looking to systematically study and showcase resources to support research on social justice and anti-racism and build more inclusive collections. The value of librarians teaming up with faculty and students outside the classroom to discover and share resources and voices on these topics cannot be overstated.

 Musical Political Parody in Presidential Elections

  •   Emily Spitz, former 2019 Library of Congress Librarian in Residence and participant in developing a music instruction audiobook for patrons of the National Library Service for the Print Disabled.

Scandal, intrigue, and malfeasance are integral to the American political landscape. Since the days of our founding fathers, musical political parodies express the diverse opinions of the electorate and inject humor and opposing perspectives during presidential elections. Tracing the evolution of political musical parody from 18th century broadsheets and convention asides to the conflicting opinions of today’s internet stars, this presentation examines the role of musical political parody in American culture.

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm: Break

2:45 pm – 3:30 pm: Beginning the Journey Towards Inclusive and Anti-Racist Metadata and Description

NEMLA Technical Services Committee

  •  Anne Adams, Harvard University
  • Andrea Cawelti, Harvard University
  • Jennifer Hadley, Wesleyan University
  • Rebecca McCallum, Wesleyan University
  • Hannah Spence, New England Conservatory

The panel will present a series of lightning talks on initiatives within the Music Library Association and the various institutions represented, addressing issues of diversity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism in metadata.  Many of our institutions are at the beginning stages of this work; we are hoping this session will foster discussion and input from other NEMLA attendees. In addition to a broad overview of issues surrounding bias in metadata, and pointers to some of the many resources available on the subject, panelists will present on a specific process involving Minstrel music and shows, and on a discrete initiative within the MLA-CMC related to gender, as well as a few other institution-specific projects.  There will be an opportunity for discussion and questions at the end of the panel.

3:30 pm – 4:15 pm: Listening Party

  •  Peter Laurence, Harvard University