Message from the Chair
Proposed By-laws Amendments
Spring 2021 Ballot
Spring 2021 Meeting Information
Secretary/Treasurer’s Report
Noteworthy News
>> includes: Orwig Music Library
— Carolyn Johnson — Avery Boddie
— Ray Schmidt — Wellesley job posting
— “Protect the Pack”
NEMLA Officers
Publication Information

photo by Olga Subach –

Message from the Chair

Greetings, NEMLA!

In the last few weeks, it seems that each new day has marked a one-year anniversary of a different COVID-caused upheaval. It’s been one year (or more) since many of us attended an in-person concert, closed our libraries, started working from home, were furloughed or laid off, held our first all-virtual meetings and instruction sessions, and much more. For many, 2020 was the most turbulent and challenging year of our lives. But amid the turbulence, we have all grown a great deal. NEMLA has also grown, and I would like to reflect on some of our chapter accomplishments over the past year.

First, we held two incredibly successful virtual meetings, and have a third on the way. Our spring 2020 meeting was one of the first all-virtual library conferences during the pandemic, and I think we set a fantastic precedent! I’m proud to have been a part of it, and grateful to the many committee members, board members, presenters, and attendees who have made all these virtual meetings possible. Thank you!

Second, we received a chapter grant from MLA to design and implement a Music Librarianship course, as many New England library students don’t have access to music librarianship coursework through their own institution. Our working group has already started drafting a syllabus, hired a course design consultant, and are moving closer to making that course a reality.

Finally, we are taking real steps to creating more equity, inclusion, and diversity in NEMLA and the music librarianship profession. After collecting survey data and holding several open discussions with NEMLA membership, the board has approved language to amend the by-laws in order to add an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Justice (EDIJ) officer and corresponding EDIJ committee to the organization. (See amendments below.) If these amendments are approved by the NEMLA membership, that officer and committee can get to work tackling the inequities and systemic oppression that have excluded and continue to exclude too many people from our organization, profession, and institutions. I hope you all take the time to review the amendments, then bring your questions and concerns to the upcoming business meeting discussion.

Although the challenges of the last year were certainly not what I expected for my first term as chapter chair, I have learned a great deal (as have we all), and I’m incredibly grateful to my colleagues from NEMLA and the University of Hartford for their support along the way. I am also very much looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish in 2021!

Lisa Wollenberg

Proposed By-laws Amendments

The following are proposed amendments to the NEMLA by-laws, as approved by the executive board. There will be time to discuss these amendments during the upcoming NEMLA business meeting at our May 7 conference. Ballots for voting on the amendments, including any revisions made during the meeting discussion, will be distributed soon after, and the amendments will be made official if they pass a two-thirds vote.

[Note: Existing by-laws text is plain, additions are highlighted in yellow, and deleted text is in red/struck out.]

Addition under Article IV. Officers:

  • There shall be an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Justice (EDIJ) Officer who shall be responsible for leading the chapter’s EDIJ efforts. The EDIJ Officer shall also serve as Chair of the EDIJ Committee. The term of office shall be two years.

Amendment and addition under Article VIII.A. Committees:

  • The Standing Committees shall be the Nominating Committee, the Program Committee, the Instruction Committee, the Publications Committee, the Technical Services Committee, and the Education & Outreach Committee, and the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Justice (EDIJ) Committee. Except when otherwise specified, committee chairs and members may serve no more than two consecutive terms. Service as a member does not preclude subsequent service as chair for two additional terms. Members may be reappointed after being off a committee for one year.
    • [A through F unchanged]
    • G) Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Justice (EDIJ) Committee
      • The EDIJ Committee shall be chaired by the EDIJ Officer, and shall consist of at least two other members. Committee members should represent a diversity of identities and perspectives. Efforts should be made to include people from groups not well represented elsewhere in the NEMLA structure (Board, committees).
      • The committee shall lead efforts in EDIJ issues, including but not limited to:
        • Within NEMLA and the music librarianship profession, identifying and supporting efforts to dismantle barriers to the participation and advancement of members from historically underrepresented groups.
        • Supporting other NEMLA committees in their efforts to dismantle barriers to equity, diversity, inclusivity, and justice in each committee’s subject area.
        • Liaising with organizations beyond NEMLA to support broader EDIJ efforts affecting music and libraries.

Spring 2021 Ballot

The Nominating Committee is pleased to present the slate of candidates for this year’s election: 

Vice Chair/Chair Elect

Terry Simpkin 
is currently Director of Discovery & Access Services at Middlebury College in Vermont, overseeing the areas of Collections Management, Interlibrary Loan, Circulation/Reserves, and Systems.  In addition, he is a co-owner of Flourish Music Metadata Solutions (, a music contract-cataloging business, and has worked as a music cataloger in both the academic and contract-cataloging environments for almost 25 years.  He currently serves on the NEMLA Program Committee, and in the past, has served as a member and/or chair of several Music Library Association committees, including the Authorities Subcommittee, Bibliographic Control Committee, Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee, and the Task Force for the 2011-2020 MLA Strategic Plan.  He has served as President of the Vermont Consortium for Academic Libraries (VCAL) and as a member of the Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST) Executive Committee. Terry has an M.M. from Westminster Choir College in Organ Performance, and is an avid ragtime/novelty piano player and rock and roll drummer.

Memory Apata 
is the Music and Performing Arts Librarian at Dartmouth College and would be honored to serve the NEMLA community as Vice Chair/Chair Elect. She has a B.A. in Vocal Performance and German from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Masters in Library and Information Science from Simmons University. Memory served as Newsletter Editor for NEMLA from 2017 through 2020. She was a 2018 recipient of the Kevin Freeman Award and the Bibliothek & Information Deutschland Grant. She has presented her professional contributions at the conferences of NEMLA, MLA, and IAML. In 2020, she won the MLA Best of Chapters Award for her paper, “Social Justice Dialogue in the Music Library: Adapting the Brave Space Model for Outreach Events.” Her book chapter on the same topic appears in Scholarship in the Sandbox (ACRL, 2019). Along with co-writers Anna Kijas of Tufts and Liz Berndt-Morris of Harvard, she is currently working on the NEMLA Music Librarianship Education Task Force to develop an online course in music librarianship. Outside of academia, Memory maintains an active musical life, performing jazz, opera, and musical theater.


Carol Lubkowski 
is the Music Librarian at Wellesley College; previously, she was the Public Services Librarian at the University of Hartford’s Allen Library.  She would be honored to serve NEMLA as Secretary/Treasurer.  Carol received her BA in music from Wesleyan University, her MM in music composition from The Boston Conservatory, and her MLS from Indiana University. Carol is currently the coordinator for MLA’s Contemporary Music Interest Group.  At MLA 2016, she and Misti Shaw presented “How Much of BML4 is Available Online? Some Genre/Format Preliminary Findings”. At the 2020 New Music Gathering, Carol, Tom Bickley, Greg MacAyeal, and Lingwei Qiu presented “Getting Your Music into Libraries: How and Why”.  Carol has also published four reviews in Notes.  Her interests are the music of living women composers, feminist punk, and the future of audio recordings in libraries.

Anne Adams is the Senior Music Cataloger for music materials at Harvard University’s Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library. Dr. Adams is chair of NEMLA’s Technical Services committee, and heads the Vocabulary Maintenance Task Group as part of MLA’s Cataloging and Metadata Committee Vocabularies Subcommittee.  She has worked on NEMLA’s and MOUG’s program committees and has served as a member of the CMC Encoding Standards subcommittee and the BIBFRAME taskforce.  A former assistant professor of voice at St. Olaf College, she holds a DMA in voice and a master’s in music theory from the University of Michigan and undergraduate degrees in voice and German studies from Oberlin College and Conservatory, in addition to an MLIS from Simmons College. Dr. Adams is also a freelance translator (German to English) and voice teacher, and has three kidlings at various stages of done-ness.

Submitted by Sarah Funke Donovan, Chair of the Nominating Committee

Spring 2021 Meeting Information

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

The New England Music Library meeting this spring is scheduled to take place virtually on Friday, May 7, 2021 from 10 am – 4:15 pm.

Registration link:

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 Dunlap, 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

NEMLA Secretary/Treasurer’s Report


Thanks to all who have renewed their memberships this year. As we often do, NEMLA received a slight bump in membership following the MLA conference. We currently have 75 active members, including nine new members. 

Renewal season will begin in June/July, so be on the lookout for the calls to renew for the 2021-22 year. If you have any questions about the current status of your membership or the renewal process, please email Brendan Higgins at

Submitted by Brendan Higgins, NEMLA Secretary-Treasurer

Noteworthy News

Orwig Music Library

The Orwig Music Library at Brown University will be undergoing a major systems renovation in Summer 2021, and thus will remain closed to the public.  (The music library closed at the start of the pandemic and has been closed ever since.)  Current projected reopening is September 2021. –– submitted by Laura Stokes, Performing Arts Librarian, Orwig Music Library, Brown University

Carolyn Johnson Retiring

Carolyn Johnson will be retiring as Connecticut College’s Music Librarian as of July 1, 2021.  She began as a part time librarian in August 1985, eventually moving to full time.  Her last day in the Greer Music Library is June 30, just short of 36 years! 

Here are a few highlights from her career:  

  • cataloging Connecticut College’s Historical Sheet Music Collection and the L. Mae Stephenson MacIntosh Sheet Music Collection (approx. 3,000 titles)
  • initiating a project that led to a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation to digitize titles in the public domain from the Historic Sheet Music and MacIntosh collections and post them in the Digital Commons repository. (Note: Each year additional titles are digitized as they fall into public domain.)
  • building a collection of sheet music by Jesse Greer
  • managing the “refresh” of the Greer Music Library in 2005
  • and, perhaps most importantly, fostering a wonderful relationship with the Music Department and students (Tip: putting goodies out during exam times and Halloween helped!)
Avery Boddie New Music and Media Program Head at the Lewis Music Library

Avery Boddie is the new Music and Media Program Head and head of Lewis Music Library at MIT libraries, supporting the intersection of Music and technology and Media.  He comes most recently from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was the Music and Dance Librarian. 

He’s excited about returning to the East Coast, and Boston in particular, not only because MIT is his dream job and he loves Boston’s culture and history, but he’s also a longtime fan of the New England Patriots.  His favorite types of music include disco, 70’s and 80’s funk (Chic, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Gloria Gaynor, Sylvester, Chaka Khan), and 90’s hip hop, and he likes to run every day, bake, and is currently learning German on Duolingo.  Welcome, Avery!

Ray Schmidt Retiring

Ray Schmidt, Assistant Director for Discovery Services at Wellesley College, is retiring in June 2021. Prior to his time at Wellesley, he was the music cataloger for the MIT Libraries (1995-2007). At Wellesley, his responsibilities have included music cataloging as well as supporting public services at the Music Library. As a member of the Music Library Association, he served on the Bibliographic Control Committee’s Authorities Subcommittee, the Content Standards Subcommittee of the Cataloging and Metadata Committee, and the RDA Music Implementation Task Force. 

Job Posting: Cataloging/Metadata Librarian at Wellesley College

Wellesley College seeks a knowledgeable, forward-looking, team-oriented Cataloging & Metadata Librarian to support user discovery of library resources at Wellesley College and beyond.  The Cataloging & Metadata Librarian makes the Library’s collections accessible through the description and intellectual organization of these collections, following current standards and best practices for cataloging and metadata. Music cataloging experience preferred.

A full position description with instructions for applying can be found here:
Submitted by Ray Schmidt, Wellesley College.

Northeastern University Library’s Recording Studios’ Staff and Students Record “Protect the Pack

This past winter, full-time staff members, co-ops, and student employees of the Northeastern University Library Recording Studios joined their collective musical powers to record “Protect the Pack,” a song inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic. The entire project from songwriting to final mixes were produced virtually. The Recording Studios have been closed since March 13, 2020.

In addition to spreading the word about the importance of face masks and physical distancing to keep the campus community safe, the recording also serves as an example of the type of audio recording capability and support available to Northeastern students, faculty, and staff who need to make recordings while in quarantine.

Cover art of “Protect the Pack” by The Snell Family Band

The group, which calls itself The Snell Family Band includes full-time  Studios’ supervisor Jonathan Iannone,  co-op Chris de Pierro, and part-timers Ben DeUrso, Patrick Sayers, Jared Zimiroski, Isaac Schutz, and Craig Short. The Band began the project in late November 2020 and completed the initial recordings before the December break. Final mix and updates were completed by the end of February 2021, with cover art and credits by Antonio Banrey, the Recordings Studios’ Digital Media and Video Coordinator The group also recorded a video on Zoom about the creation and recording process.

 A link to both “Protect the Pack” and the Zoom video, The Making of Protect the Pack” can be found in the Studios’ Showcase:

During this past year, The Recording Studios has hosted a number of online workshops and one-on-one editing sessions, helping students, faculty, and staff create and edit high-quality audio and video recordings in their homes. Recordings of these workshops are available in the Digital Media Toolkit.

Submitted by Debra H. Mandel, Director, Northeastern University Library Recording Studios

NEMLA Officers

Lisa Wollenberg
Public Services Librarian
Allen Library
University of Hartford
200 Bloomfield Ave
West Hartford, CT 06117
lwollenbe at
Office: (860) 768-4840
Sandi-Jo Malmon
Librarian for Collection Development
Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library
Harvard University
3 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
smalmon at
(617) 998-5415
Malmon Headshot
Past Chair:
Sarah Funke Donovan
Associate Archivist for Digital Assets
Boston Symphony Orchestra
301 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
sdonovan at
(617) 638-9452
Brendan Higgins
Faculty Liaison and Outreach Librarian
Berklee College of Music
1140 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02215
bhiggins at
Higgins headshot
Allison Estell
Associate Director for Access & Organization
Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons
Wentworth Institute of Technology
550 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
estella at
(617) 989-4746
Estell Headshot
Newsletter Editor:
Jennifer Hadley
Library Assistant
Music Library and World Music Archives
Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT 06457
jthom at
(860) 685-3897
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:
Jennifer Hadley

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.