Highlights from 2011-2012

Library Music Portal

This year was the second full year of the music pilot project. One of the things I now do every August is sit down and write not one, but two annual reports and it is quite interesting to see how each year I can do just a little bit more cutting and pasting from one to the other thanks to our growing joint activities and achievements.

So what have we done well in the spirit of working together this year? There is of course the user education and research skills programme, accessible from the Cambridge Libraries Gateway and from Cambridge University Library Training, where we offer a wide range of tours and training sessions on different levels and specifically made to measure for studying and researching music at Cambridge. We have also developed a joint Library Music Portal pointing to pages that will tell you all you may need to know about our music collections.

This year we held our first extensive joint music survey with very positive and useful feedback. In addition to this there were smaller user surveys, linking directly to planned projects, such as identifying areas for focussed cataloguing at the University Library, which would link in with current teaching and research at the Faculty.

We have also been very busy exploring how the teams best work together. We have all learned a lot from organising work shadowing between the Music Department and Pendlebury Library, and some of our readers may have been surprised to see very familiar faces at “the other side”.

Title page of James Coward, ‘Romah Waltz’ UL classmark: A1876.312. From the exhibition Light fantastic: music and the Crystal Palace

On the people front we have had a very successful year in working with volunteers and providing work experience placements, the latter both for students and professionals. It is always fascinating and refreshing to see how different people bring different skills and interact with what we do in their own unique ways. As for volunteers, the work on our historical and archival music collections and of course on MusiCB3 just wouldn’t be the same without them.

In each location, we have received some lovely donations: from music archives at the UL to CD collections at the Faculty and we would like to thank all our donors once again for their generosity.

IAML(Uk & Irl) Excellence Award 2012

We have organised several exhibitions at the University Library Music Collections and small displays at the Pendlebury, with the Music Collectors theme featuring strongly in the context of the UL’s Shelf Lives exhibition.

Annual reports also come with a fair amount of statistics. At the Music Department, accessions, cataloguing, binding and fetching statistics for printed music are all looking good and steady. As far as the Faculty is concerned, borrowing is still going strong. It was a close competition between the dongle for the Pendlebury microfilm reader and the headphones as our “most borrowed items”. It may seem rather odd, but to us it is really useful to know and it means we are right in continuing to invest in this sort of equipment. As far as collections are concerned, in the Faculty top 10 there is a good balance between AV and print, again indicating that different areas of the collections all deserve developing further.

All this hard work has paid off with us being given a IAML excellence award.

Plans for the future? There are many, so keep reading MusiCB3!


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