Insights and Essays on the Music Performance Library by Russ Girsberger

Insights and Essays on the Music Performance Library by Russ Girsberger

Author:Russ Girsberger
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Music Librarianship
Publisher: Meredith Music
Published: 2012-05-31T16:00:00+00:00

9 Alex Bavelas, “Communication Patterns in Task-Oriented Groups,” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 22, no. 6 (November 1950): 725–730.

10 Santa Cruz County Regional Occupational Program, “Lesson Planning: Understanding Who I Am and How I Work Best. Work Values Inventory,” [2006–2007],

The “One Man” Show

by Patrick McGinn

There are two very important items to remember if you are the only librarian in a performing arts organization: know your responsibilities very clearly and recognize that there may be limitations to how much you can accomplish. You cannot do everything. Even in organizations with more than one librarian, they may not be able to do everything necessary to provide the “perfect” set of prepared materials in addition to coordinating all the administrative tasks required. You need to constantly evaluate and prioritize the work that needs to be done. Creating a timeline for the preparation of each work on a program can be helpful and give guidance to prioritizing your tasks.

Communication is key to the success of any size organization, whether with one librarian or multiple librarians. Often assumptions are made by the music director, the management, and the players about what will be done regarding music preparation. It is important to have a clear understanding with the various constituencies about the extent of music preparation that can be accomplished with the resources available to you. Maybe you are only able to get bowings into the string parts. Perhaps you also have time to check rehearsal numbers between parts and the score. Or possibly fix page turns, or check parts for major errata corrections. Being proactive with communications and explanations, and doing so in a positive tone, is a sign of your professionalism and commitment to wanting the best for the organization.

Listed below are guidelines that may be helpful when preparing for any performance.

First, you want to get information as early as possible about what the repertoire will be on a program. Hopefully, management and/or the music director will share this information with you. You may not have been included in the program planning, but don’t be afraid to insist on being given information as soon as it is finalized.

Next, schedule a meeting with the music director. Before the meeting you will want to compile information on what materials are already in your library, what is available for purchase, and what will need to be rented. Having an estimate of purchase and rental costs can also be helpful. Decisions are sometimes made based on costs. You will want to review each work with the music director to find out if they have specific editions they want to use. Can it come from your library? Will you need to purchase it? Will it need to be rented? Or does the music director already have his or her own set of materials? Assuming that you know what they want can often lead to wasted effort on your part if you prepare the wrong set.

The cost of renting or purchasing materials can add


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