Spring Meeting, 2020

Online through Zoom
Friday, April 17, 2020

Due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are transitioning the NEMLA spring 2020 meeting to an online format via Zoom. We are still working out details and will announce information as it becomes available on the NEMLA listserv and this webpage.

Post-Conference Event: Wikidata Edit-A-Thon
Thursday Night Dinner


Registration is open for the NEMLA Spring 2020 meeting. Since the meeting will be entirely online, registration is free for all attendees. If you previously paid to register for the in-person meeting, NEMLA will provide a full refund.

Please fill out this form to register: https://forms.gle/p6xDSKsZvFx91WMw9

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We are in the process of confirming presenters for the new online meeting format. Presentations and schedule times may change. Please check back for updates.

9:30am – 10:00am: Open meeting [Confirmed]

Since in-person networking isn’t an option, grab your own coffee and bagel, then join the Zoom meeting early to chat with your colleagues online!

10:00am – 10:05am: Welcome and Opening Remarks [Confirmed]

  • Sarah Funke Donovan (NEMLA Chair), Associate Archivist for Digital Assets, Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Tony Fogg, William I. Bernell Artistic Administrator and Director of Tanglewood, Boston Symphony Orchestra [TBD]

10:05am – 10:45amBoston Rock City: A Multi-Library Linked Data Initiative [Confirmed]

  • Christina Linklater, Harvard University
  • Peter Laurence, Harvard University
  • Christine Fernsebner Eslao, Harvard University

On Saturday, April 18th [now postponed], Harvard Library staff will facilitate a public Wikidata edit-a-thon for the Arthur Freedman Collection, an audiovisual archive capturing over four decades of Boston rock music performances. The collection is now fully catalogued and will soon be available to stream online. Harvard Library has already enhanced access and description for this collection by welcoming band members to provide information for finding aids. We now seek to draw on the memories of local music fans to develop a Wikidata presence for the collection.

Three Harvard Library staff members have approached the Arthur Freedman Collection from distinct perspectives, collaborating on a project that will benefit librarianship and Boston rock history. Peter Laurence received the collection, oversaw the creation of metadata, and has reached out to band members for permission to stream their recordings. Christina Linklater is co-curating an exhibition with Peter Laurence, scheduled for 2024 and tentatively titled Boston Rock City. Christine Fernsebner Eslao will speak to her interest in the Freedman collection as material for LD4P (Linked Data for Production), a Mellon-funded project extending far beyond Harvard’s walls, which seeks to enhance library metadata and discovery platforms with linked data, develop new workflows for entity disambiguation, and to expose library collections on the open web. 

10:45am – 11:15am: Lightning Presentations

Microgenres: A Cataloger’s Dilemma [TBD]

  • Leonard Martin, New England Conservatory of Music

This presentation will give a brief overview of microgenres as a cultural phenomenon, and challenges that catalogers and their institutions encounter with acquiring, cataloging, and circulating microgenre sound recordings. Three case-studies will be presented: Chopped and Screwed (Music), Vaporwave, and Ambient music (Electronica). Each case study will provide historical background on respective microgenre; their cultural significance; and issues/lessons-learned from acquiring, cataloging, and circulating each resource.

Expand Your Music Library’s Space (and Extend Your Collections) with Events [Confirmed]

  • Aaron Bittel, Wesleyan University
  • Jennifer Thom Hadley, Wesleyan University

Hosting public events in library spaces is a common outreach strategy. It’s also one way in which music libraries can break out of what we may feel are narrowly defined roles. In this lightning talk, we will discuss two recent public event series organized by Wesleyan’s music library, focusing on how these events were designed to strengthen relationships with our user base, promote music collections and services beyond that base, highlight faculty accomplishments, and change the way that everyone from undergraduate students to library administration thinks about library spaces. We will also suggest some practical considerations for putting on successful events with a relatively small team and modest budget.

11:15am – 12:15pm: NEMLA Business Meeting [Confirmed]

11:45am – 1:30pm: Lunch break [Confirmed]

1:30pm – 3:00pmI Have an MLS, Not an MBA! A Panel Discussion on Management for Music Librarians [Confirmed]

  • Nina Davis-Millis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Paul Engle, Brockton Public Library
  • Ruthann McTyre, Yale University
  • Holly Mockovak, Boston University

Professional librarian job duties often include supervisory responsibilities over professional and paraprofessional staff, student workers, or interns. At the same time, skills for employee management are addressed minimally, if at all, in library school curricula, leaving many librarians feeling ill-prepared to effectively handle the many issues they must tackle. In this session, panelists from diverse managerial backgrounds will share their experience, provide tips and resources for others to improve their skills, and answer all your burning questions! An anonymous submission form for questions will be provided.

2:30pm – 3:30pm: Open discussion on remote work.

3:40pm – 4:20pm: Tours of the BSO and Archives [TBD]

  • Bridget Carr, Director of Archives and Digital Collections, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Bridget Carr, Director of Archives and Digital Collections, will provide attendees with a tour of Symphony Hall and the BSO archival collections, including Henry Higginson’s sword, the BSO’s Grammy awards, a Symphony Hall toilet paper holder, audio-visual materials, program books (documenting BSO activities as well as Boston Music Hall and Symphony Hall events), scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, architectural plans, a BSO-inspired art collection, an autograph and postcard collection, a photograph collection that contains more than 100,000 images, several manuscript collections that document the life and careers of BSO members, and the BSO’s first official portrait (from 1882).

4:20pm – 4:50pm: Concert [TBD]

  • Joel Moerschel, Cellist (retired), Boston Symphony Orchestra

4:50pm – 5:30pm: Closing Reception [Confirmed]

BYOB! Stick around to join the post-meeting conversation.

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Post Conference Event: Boston Rock City Wikidata Edit-A-Thon [Cancelled]

Harvard Library, the Boston Public Library and the New England chapter of the Music Library Association deeply regret that, in an effort to observe social distancing as recommended by Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin Walsh, we are cancelling the event Boston Rock City, planned for April 18th at the main branch of the Boston Public Library. 

Please watch the Harvard Music Library’s social media channels or our website for updates on a rescheduled event.

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Thursday Night Dinner

Due to Governor Baker’s executive order prohibiting on-site consumption of food and beverages in bars and restaurants, the Thursday night pre-meeting dinner has been canceled.

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