2018 Music Cataloging Institute

2018 Music Cataloging Institute

A year into my very first job as a “real librarian” at the University of Tennessee at Martin, I was offered the chance to head up an exciting new project: cataloging the materials in the “music library” (actually, a small room in the fine arts building where music professors store scores, CDs, DVDs, etc.). The idea is to add the material to our online catalog so that, even though it will still reside in its current home, it will be accessible by anyone using our catalog. I have done some copy-cataloging in a past job, but never original cataloging and never any music cataloging. Thankfully for me, Dr. Jean Harden and  the North Texas University Music Institute came to my attention through a post on the MOUG listserv. This week has been a godsend for me. My head and notebook are now stuffed with pertinent information to help me jump in feet first and create an actual music library out of a room filled with treasures. I also got to meet a great group of people from all over the country (and the world—our fellow student, Mariana, came all the way from Colombia!) I extend my thanks, from the bottom of my heart, to Jean, Janelle, Josh, and the rest of UNT’s music library staff who put together this very affordable and valuable workshop. –Caren Nichter

Card catalog (now organizing mints) at Atomic Candy in Denton, TX

I feel incredibly fortunate to have attended the Music Cataloging Institute at the University of North Texas this past week. I first heard about this workshop last summer when my supervisor at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (Drew Beisswenger) attended it. He had wanted me to attend the workshop that summer after he offered me my current position as music and media cataloging assistant. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the workshop because I had an internship in Michigan (to which I had committed well before my job offer) that conflicted with the dates of the workshop. I was excited, however, when I found out in June through the MLA and MOUG listservs that the workshop would be offered again this summer. Even though most of the material we covered last week was not that new to me (since I catalog music materials in my job), I still felt like I gained a much better understanding of many music cataloging concepts, such as assigning subject headings and classification numbers. I also thoroughly enjoyed meeting fellow music librarians and catalogers from all over and bonding over LSA Burgers and candy from Atomic Candy. Even though Jean Harden will not be teaching this workshop next summer, I highly recommend getting a copy of her recently published book Music Description and Access: Solving the Puzzle of Cataloging (if you don’t have one already!) that was the basis for the workshop material. –Chelsea Hoover

Card catalogs in the Library coffee shop at UNT Willis Library

I was very happy to be able to attend the Music Cataloging Institute at UNT this summer. As a recent graduate, with master’s degrees in library and information studies and violin performance, I was excited at the opportunity to learn more about the intricacies of cataloging music materials. My previous cataloging experience was from working during graduate school, where I did copy cataloging and original cataloging for books, and volunteered to catalog music materials. I really appreciated that the Institute was structured so that it covered resources for cataloging music materials, cataloging rules, and cataloging theory in the first couple days. Then, we were given items to practice cataloging. It was great to get more experience down in the trenches cataloging music in a friendly environment where questions were welcomed. Both Jean Harden and Janelle West were great, thoughtful teachers, and it was wonderful to learn from such experts. I also really enjoyed the preview of what is to come with the new RDA, and found the new concepts that are currently available to read through to be particularly interesting. One such example was the new definition of transcription, which differentiates between basic and normalized transcription. I also appreciated the conversation/discussion that contextualized the forthcoming RDA with historical advances in cataloging, and compared new concepts and ideas with historical ones. After attending the Institute, I am even more excited to see where the future of cataloging goes, and to see what improvements will be made to current infrastructures to help users find the resources they need! –Linda Bagley

On a plane to Texas

The Music Cataloging Institute at the University of North Texas was extremely useful. Even though some of the information was review (I catalog everyday), it was clearly presented and a great refresher. However, the best part of the institute was the camaraderie and hands on training. Cataloging music is different than cataloging other materials, so it was nice to have other students learning alongside me who I could chat and discuss ideas with. It was also great to have the amazing facilitators/teachers/professional music catalogers, Jean Harden and Janelle West, around at all times to answer questions and provide advice and feedback. Their expertise made the task of cataloging music much less daunting. I highly recommend attending future institutes if you can, but regardless, you should purchase a copy of the book Music Description and Access: Solving the Puzzle of Cataloging if have to catalog music or might have to at some point in the future. It is an invaluable resource. — Kevin Yanowski

I guess the least I can say is that the Music Cataloging Institute provided the most fantastic learning experience that I’ve had the opportunity in which to participate. Jean is the sweetest and most knowledgeable person and she made learning fun and interesting. The in depth teaching with practical examples made it easy to follow and understand the logic behind why the different fields are necessary for cataloging music in all its varied incarnations. Music cataloging is detailed in a way that general cataloging isn’t in form, arrangement, and type that it is very easy to feel entirely overwhelmed, which I did when I got tossed into music cataloging. The discussions were also a highlight of the class as they were insightful and thought provoking. I’m so glad that I was able to attend and came away with lots of practical knowledge that I am actually using. — Adrienne Davis

A lovely evening in downtown Denton

I am really glad that I took the opportunity to attend the Music Cataloging Institute this year at UNT. A colleague of mine at the Seay Music Library at Colorado College had participated in this same workshop the year before and she highly recommended it to me. As someone who is more experienced in copy cataloging and has not had a lot of experience in creating records from scratch, I found that it was a very valuable learning experience. While I did feel it was a lot of information to digest in just 5 days, it did help me considerably to have a better knowledge and understanding of the hows and whys involved with cataloging. I do hope to put what I learned at the Institute into practice during my daily tasks at work. I’d like to express my gratitude and many thanks to Jean Harden and Janelle West for guiding us in this experience and also to my classmates for making this such a memorable experience. I do hope that our paths will cross again in the future! — Dave Dymek

The Music Cataloging Institute was an invaluable opportunity to formally study the music cataloging concepts which I had previously only been exposed to through practice. In addition to the chance to study with legendary music cataloger and educator Jean Harden, the Institute introduced me to 12 other fine professionals with whom I will be not only colleagues, but friends, for the rest of my career. These people came from far and wide across (and even outside) the country to share in this learning experience. I am extremely grateful to Jean Harden, Janelle West, and UNT for facilitating this wonderful workshop. — Ethan D’Ver

What if instead of merely reading Music Description and Access: Solving the Puzzle of Cataloging (https://www.areditions.com/harden-music-description-and-access-tr034.html), you could have it come to life in front of you? You might find yourself at the Music Cataloging Institute. We were welcomed and made to feel at home at UNT not only by the incomparable Jean Harden but also many other amazingly kind and talented library folks: Janelle West, Maristella Feustle, Joshua Dieringer, Jason Thomale, even Mark McKnight freshly returned from IAML in Leipzig stopped in throughout the week. All of these fine people, plus the deep and broad experiences of my fellow colleagues created a rich cataloging community where for one week we could learn from each other in real time.  My personal highlights of the week were the discussions of RDA and AACR2 and looking at the possibilities of what is to come, the construction of authorized access points, the chance to practice cataloging difficult material, and our final dinner together as a group on Thursday night. Thank you to everyone at UNT that has helped make the Music Cataloging Institute such a success, and thank you especially to Jean Harden for her patience and kindness walking us through the puzzle of music cataloging. I look forward to seeing everyone at a MOUG, MLA, or chapter meeting soon! — Sarah Ward

Special thanks to Sarah Ward for most of the pictures in this post.

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