Beyond the Library
Meredith Music Publications has just published a book about performance librarians: “Insights and Essays on the Music Performance Library,” edited by Russ Girsberger and Laurie Lake. The publisher has kindly given Polyphonic permission to reprint an essay by Karen Schnackenberg, Principal Librarian with the Dallas Symphony and a long-time Polyphonic contributor.
In her essay, Karen talks about the role the librarian plays within the symphonic organization and focuses on two main points: 1) how little understood is the job of the music librarian amongst musicians, administrators, board, and audience, and 2) the need for the performing librarian to understand how they fit into the larger organization, and to move “beyond the library” to advocate for their orchestras. To quote Karen, “Performance librarians, by nature, are detail-oriented people. Our tendency, then, can be to immerse ourselves in the music preparation — which is our job, after all — without wanting to participate in the larger goings-on around us. But it’s the big picture that gives meaning to our detail work, the overall impact of great live music on the audience.”
Extracted, with permission, from “Insights and Essays on the Music Performance Library.” © 2012 Meredith Music Publications. All rights reserved. This material may be printed solely for individual, noncommercial use. Copyright notice and other proprietary notice must be included with any material printed. Reproduction of any material for any commercial purpose is prohibited without written permission from the Publisher.Read More
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