Message from the Chair
MLA Conference Dinner
Secretary/Treasurer’s Report
Fall 2019 Meeting Minutes
Spring Meeting Preview
Seeking Nominations/Committee Members
Noteworthy News
NEMLA Officers
Publication Information

Message from the Chair

December 2019,

Greetings from snowy Boston! I hope that you are able to stay cozy and warm and maybe even enjoy a snow day or two as we say farewell to Fall and dive (ski?) straight into Winter.

Speaking of Fall, we had a fantastic meeting at Manchester City Library in Manchester, NH on Friday, October 18, 2019. From its massive wrought-iron gates to its soaring rotunda dome, the early 20th-century building lent an impressive backdrop to the proceedings. The sessions covered a range of topics, including Puerto Rican protest music, Northeastern University’s recording studios, NEMLA’s working group for creating an online music librarianship course, and the Josten Library’s development of a 360 degree orientation tour. The sessions were followed by two performances that mixed music with tech, acrobatics, dance, acting, and a great deal of humor. Thanks so much to the Program Committee for organizing such an excellent event!

If you missed the Fall meeting, or are simply counting down the days till you can see your NEMLA colleagues again, please mark your calendars for April 17, 2020 at the Boston Symphony Orchestra! More details will be forthcoming, so please keep your eye out for further announcements. And for those attending MLA’s meeting in Norfolk, VA, please see below for another opportunity to socialize with the NEMLA crowd.

I would also like to remind any and all members to renew their membership via the MLA website, if you haven’t already done so. Don’t miss out on staying connected with your New England colleagues!

If you have any trouble renewing your membership, please email our Secretary-Treasurer, Brendan Higgins ( bhiggins AT berklee DOT edu ). 

Finally, I would like to provide an update on the NEMLA Donation Match Challenge. In April, Marci Cohen (previous Chair) issued a call for donations to MLA’s Paraprofessional/Public Librarian Travel Fund Endowment Campaign, promising a match from NEMLA of up to $500. I am pleased to report that we received $300 in donations, and will be submitting the NEMLA match of $300 to MLA soon. Thank you for your generosity!

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Funke Donovan, Chair, New England Music Library Association
Associate Archivist for Digital Assets, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Chapter Dinner at Norfolk Meeting

Are you attending the MLA annual meeting in Norfolk, VA? In lieu of a chapter meeting, we’ll have a chapter dinner on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7:00pm at Brick Anchor Brew-House, 241 Granby Street. This brew-pub with a steampunk vibe has vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options and can accommodate our need for separate checks. It is about a 5-minute walk from the host hotel. Either meet us in the Hilton lobby at 6:45pm to walk there with the group or meet us at the restaurant for a 7:00pm reservation. RSVP by Thursday, Feb. 20 to Sarah Funke Donovan, .

NEMLA Secretary-Treasurer’s Report – December, 2019 

Submitted by Brendan Higgins, NEMLA Secretary-Treasurer


Thanks to all who have renewed their memberships through registration transition in July.  We currently have 52 active members, who have officially registered through the MLA website.  If you have any questions about the status of your membership or the current process, please email Brendan Higgins at

Fall Meeting

There were 26 registered attendees for the fall meeting, including one student. There were 5 first-time attendees.

Fall Meeting Income

25 regular registrations: $496.00

1 student registration: $8.00

Total: $481.12 (minus Paypal fees)

Fall Meeting Expenses

Performer Honoraria: $100.00

Food: $533.06

Total: $633.06 (net loss $151.94)

Fall 2019 Meeting Minutes 

Submitted by Memory Apata

On Friday, October 18th, 2019, the NEMLA membership held its annual fall meeting at the Manchester City Library in Manchester, New Hampshire. The membership was greeted by the library’s staff who pointed out the building’s historic architecture, including the gorgeous auditorium in which the meeting was held. Library staff have dubbed the building “the jewel in the crown of the Queen City,” and noted its special collections in music, art, and genealogy. 

Following this welcome, the meeting commenced with a presentation by new member, Adaliz Cruz, titled “Music: The Weapon of Choice.” Cruz traced musical protest movements in Puerto Rico surrounding the #RickyRenuncia campaign of Summer 2019, during which citizens called for the resignation of several top government officials. Adaliz showed that protests against corruption were exhibited at every level of Puerto Rican musical heritage. She presented a smorgasbord of Puerto Rican musical styles involved in the movement including salsa, reggaeton, pop, bomba, danza, bolero, and many others. She concluded the presentation with a call to librarians to collect Puerto Rican music to preserve its cultural history. 

After the lunch break, committee meetings were held and openings for each committee were determined. For those interested in future service on NEMLA committees, please see the call for nominees later in this newsletter. 

The afternoon’s program included three lightning sessions of around ten minutes each. The first was given by Debra Mandel of Northeastern University, who showcased her library’s new recording studio. For an update on the progress of this new addition, please see her announcement in the Noteworthy News section of this newsletter. Next on the agenda was the announcement of a new NEMLA education initiative, presented by Liz Berndt-Morris of Harvard and Memory Apata of Dartmouth. They shared that NEMLA is exploring opportunities to partner with library schools in New England to ensure an annual course offering in music librarianship. The last lightning session was given by Marlene Wong of Smith College. Her enlightening session showed how an academic library with tricky architecture can overcome low visibility on campus through accessibility improvements including better signage and digital mapping. 

With the presentations finished, the stage was set for two performers working between the disciplines of music and circus. Neil Parsons showcased novel interpretations of musical scores, incorporating moments of humor, movement, and audience interaction. His rendition of an excerpt from Cardew’s Treatise was particularly notable for its use of trombone as dance partner. Lastly, Christiana Rose, a graduate student in the Dartmouth Digital Musics program, presented two original compositions for acrobat and electronics. Her pieces used motion tracking technologies to coordinate sonic cues as she tumbled, balanced, and inverted. The performance was followed by a short reception in the library. 

Video recordings of the meeting’s proceedings are available on the NEMLA YouTube channel: 

Spring Meeting Preview

The 2020 NEMLA Spring Meeting will take place Friday, April 17, 2020 at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As part of the meeting, 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).

More details will be announced on the NEMLA listserv and website in the coming months. If you have any questions about the meeting, please contact Lisa Wollenberg (Lwollenbe at

Call for Proposals

The NEMLA Program Committee is currently accepting proposals for our spring meeting at the Boston Symphony Orchestra on Friday, April 17, 2020. We welcome submissions for lightning round and full-length presentations or panels explaining and raising awareness of your recent projects, research, initiatives, etc., relating to music and to the profession of music librarianship—anything you think would benefit Chapter members and their constituencies.

Regular presentations should be 30–35 minutes in length. Lightning round presentations should be 8-12 minutes in length. 

Proposals must include:

  • Name(s) and affiliation(s) of presenters/panelists
  • Contact information (e-mail and telephone number)
  • Title of presentation/panel
  • Type of presentation/panel (full-length presentation, panel, or lightning round)
  • An abstract of 100-300 words
  • List of any equipment required beyond a computer, Internet access, projector, and speakers

Please send proposals via e-mail to the Program Committee Chair, Lisa Wollenberg (Lwollenbe at In your submission e-mail, please use the subject line: “NEMLA Spring 2020 Proposal.”

The proposal deadline is Friday, January 31, 2020. Accepted presenters will be notified of their status by Friday, February 21, 2020.

NEMLA Program Committee
Lisa Wollenberg (Chair)
Rebecca McCallum
Zoë Rath

Call for Nominations

Dear NEMLA membership, 

We are now accepting nominations for the following officer positions on the NEMLA Board:


  • Performs the duties of the Chair in the latter’s absence. 
  • Serves as Chair of the Program Committee.
  • Also serves as an ex-officio member of the Education & Outreach Committee. 
  • The term of office shall be one year after which the Vice-Chair shall succeed to the office of Chair and then Past-Chair, meaning a commitment of three years.  


  • Acts as liaison to relevant professional organizations in New England (such as the New England Library Association (NELA),the six state library associations, the New England chapter of ACRL (ACRL/NEC), and the New England chapter of the American Musicological Society) primarily to promote information exchange and outreach. 
  • Also serves as Chair of the Education & Outreach Committee. 
  • The term of office shall be two years.

Members must be in good standing and current with their dues. Nominations are welcome through January 21, 2020.

If you would like to nominate a fellow NEMLA member for one of these positions (self-nominations are welcome) or if you have any questions, please contact the Nominating Committee members:

Marci Cohen, nominating committee chair (
Adaliz Cruz,
Michael Rogan, ​
Chris Schiff,

Noteworthy News

Northeastern University Library’s Recording Studio Launches New Live Streaming Service

Digital Media and Video Coordinator Antonio Banrey introduces Petrina Danardatu

On November 21, Northeastern’s newly inaugurated recording studio streamed its first live concert. Performers included talented guitarist and songwriter Petrina Danardatu, a first-year Journalism and English student, who celebrated International Education Week with a 30-minute “Songs of Love” concert. Her soulful set included tunes by Sam Cooke, Daniel Johnston, Lana Del Ray and two originals. The video was viewable live on the library’s Facebook page, and archived in the digital repository.

Three staff successfully and smoothly engineered the session using three video cameras.

Watch it here:  

More Recording Studio music performances will be scheduled in the new year. 

Submitted by Debra Mandel, Director, Recording Studios, Northeastern University Library, d.mandel AT northeastern DOT edu, 617-373-4902

NEMLA Officers

Sarah Funke Donovan
Associate Archivist for Digital Assets
Boston Symphony Orchestra
301 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
sdonovan at
(617) 638-9452
Lisa Wollenberg
Public Services Librarian
Allen Library
University of Hartford
200 Bloomfield Ave
West Hartford, CT 06117
lwollenbe at
Office: (860) 768-4840
Past Chair:
Marci Cohen
Assistant Head
Music Library
Boston University
771 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
mcohen2 at
(617) 353-3707
Brendan Higgins
Faculty Liaison and Outreach Librarian
Berklee College of Music
1140 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02215
bhiggins at
Higgins headshot
Patricia (Tish) Brennan
Associate Professor/Head of Reference
James P. Adams Library
Rhode Island College
600 Mt Pleasant Ave
Providence, RI 02908
pbrennan at 456-2810
Newsletter Editor:
Memory Apata
Music & Performing Arts Librarian
Paddock Music Library
Dartmouth College
Hopkins Center, HB 6245 Hanover, NH 03755
memory.r.apata at
(603) 646-3234
NEMLA Archivist:
Emily Levine
Reference Librarian
Public Library of Brookline
361 Washington St
Brookline, MA 02445
elevine at
(617) 730-2370
Website Editor:
Liz Berndt-Morris
Music Reference and Research
Services Librarian
Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library
Harvard University
3 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
eaberndtmorris at
(617) 998-5310

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

Inquiries concerning subscription, membership and change of address should be directed to:
Brendan Higgins

Membership year runs July 1st to June 30th.
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.