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No. 85 January 2009


2008 SEMLA Annual Meeting in Greenville, NC

Scott Phinney, University of South Carolina

SEMLA group picture

Greenville” is not what you would call a unique name for a city. 31 states have a city or town with that appellation, not including Greeneville, Tennessee. Both Carolinas are on that list, which can cause travel headaches. A fellow motorist on I-85 Southbound in Upstate South Carolina once asked me how to get to Greenville. After telling him it was just 20 miles ahead, he shook his head and said he was looking for the one in North Carolina. It is even problematic to reach Pitt County’s largest city by plane, for both Greenville, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina have airports. Could this municipal identity crisis be the reason it is referred to as “G-Vegas” by many of its younger citizens and denizens?

The resourceful members of SEMLA did not seem to have tremendous difficulty locating the 2008 Annual Meeting, held October 9-11 at East Carolina University (ECU). This was SEMLA’s first conference in Greenville, North Carolina. It was also the first to be immediately preceded by a workshop sponsored by SEMLA (more about that later in this issue). Though it rained for most of the first day, spirits were not dampened as we gathered for the opening reception in the A. J. Fletcher Music Center, graciously hosted by MLSC, Inc. David Hursh, Head Music Librarian at ECU, welcomed us and offered us tours of the newly remodeled music library.

Following familiar greetings for some and new introductions for others, the local arrangements vans whisked us off to a dining and retail section of town called La Promenade where we could continue our discussions over a meal. Most of us then retired to the Best Western Suites to rest for the following day’s activities.

The first full day of the conference was Friday. We met at ECU’s J. Y. Joyner Library for the duration. Program chair Grover Baker (Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University) welcomed everyone to the conference and introduced Robert James, Assistant Director for User Services at Joyner Library. Mr. James welcomed SEMLA to ECU on behalf of the University Libraries.

Our first presenters were Alan H. Wallace and M. Nathalie Hristov, both of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Their presentation, “The Music Library Infomercial: A Practical Guide for Creating the Most Powerful Marketing Tool You Will Ever Use,” chronicled their efforts to produce a short informational video to promote the George F. DeVine Music Library and its resources to students and faculty at UTK. When planning, one should define objectives, take inventory of resources, and create a timeline. During the Create phase, a script is developed, actors are cast, and the action is videotaped, edited, and recorded onto a DVD. A proper venue in which to show the video must be indentified for maximum effect; they also suggested creating a web-based version for the library’s web page. Finally, make sure everything has been documented as this will make a cost-benefit analysis much easier to perform. Regarding the video produced for UTK, 75% of the people surveyed said the infomercial was entertaining and 83% found it informative, though Ms. Hristov acknowledged that the respondents had been “bribed” with raffle tickets to encourage survey participation. When asked how long the whole process took, Ms. Hristov recalled that it was about a year from the time that she applied for funding to the time that video was presented.

The second presentation of the morning session was by Cynthia Miller of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Her presentation, entitled “Creating a Database for a Streaming Audio Service for Music Course Reserves,” described the challenges of developing such a system in-house. The University of Alabama Music Library Streaming Service features compact disc tracks converted to RealMedia. After the audio is digitized, the files are uploaded to the library’s Helix server for streaming. Users access the streaming files through the password-protected course management software in use at the University of Alabama, though only files for classes in which they are enrolled.

Dr. Miller reported that when she was deciding how to create the database, she looked at Indiana University’s Variations3 database as well as commercial options like iTunes. She considered the Indiana model far too large for one person to manage, and while iTunes is on a more appropriate scale, the design is better suited to popular music than the Western art music typically found in academic libraries. She eventually decided to work in MySQL because it is an open-source format, widely used, and adaptable for many purposes. She commented that one needs a rudimentary knowledge of MySQL to use it, but if the decision is made to have someone else build the database, she advised making sure you are working with programmers who understand the fundamental relationships between parts and the whole of a musical work. Dr. Miller reported that the streaming service is popular with music history faculty and students as well as musical theatre majors, but that it needs better publicity for the distance-education students.

Sara J. Beutter Manus of Vanderbilt University gave the morning’s third presentation. Her talk, “Librarian in the Classroom: An Embedded Approach to Music Information Literacy for First-Year Students,” described her method of improving research skills among undergraduates. Initially, the embedded librarian approach at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music was to be deployed in the Music History and Literature Core, a cycle of four courses. The proposed model had two information literacy sessions per course. Each literacy session pair was to include a student assignment. Ms. Manus said she was surprised at the high level of faculty approval of her proposal, considering each of the information literacy sessions was going to take a substantial amount of time out of the class, but she found that the music faculty had been dissatisfied with the quality of first-year student research and were happy to support efforts to improve undergraduate skills.

In light of the faculty response, the program was reorganized to “front-load” the first music history course with five information literacy sessions during the initial trial of the program: Music Library tour, Using the Library catalog (ACORN), Basic Print Resources and Evaluating Information, Citing Music Materials According to the Chicago Manual of Style, and Copyright and Intellectual Property.

After the end of the first year of the embedding program, Ms. Manus assessed the results. Her goals of promoting the integral role of the library in student learning, demonstrating that librarians are helpful, approachable people, and getting to know the students were fulfilled. Some of the challenges she encountered during the program were the large time commitment and the tendency of students to try to get special treatment in the library, such as having fines forgiven. She stressed that you have to draw the line with the students and make this very clear with them early in the program. For the following year, she found she would need to spend more time talking about the research process with the students, incorporate active learning techniques into information literacy sessions, make assignments easier to grade, and slightly restructure the session schedule.

Alicia Hansen of Loyola University in New Orleans gave the fourth presentation of the morning. “Louisiana Librarian in Italy: A Journey to Three Music Libraries” recounted her six-week professional leave in May of 2007. Loyola, which grants this professional leave to library faculty every three years, provided $2,500 towards the trip. She commented that the money did not cover all expenses, but it helped.

To prepare for the last third of her trip in which she visited the three Italian music libraries, Ms. Hansen researched Italian music librarianship and discovered Pietro Zappala, the music librarian at the University of Pavia, Cremona. During the course of an e-mail correspondence with Zappala, she learned of Gianmario Merizzi at the University of Bologna and Licia Sirch at the Conservatorio di Milan. Eventually, she was able to schedule appointments to interview them and tour their libraries.

Ms. Hansen observed that a music library in Italy is significantly different from one in the United States. As the buildings themselves are very old, the climate control, shelving, and work spaces are not ideal. While they have some of the same online databases as U.S. libraries (JSTOR, Oxford Music Online, RILM), they do not always have the best information technology infrastructure. For example, the web site of the University of Bologna music library ( is hosted on the music librarian’s personal computer.

Musicology in Italy does not emphasize the use of performance scores or sound recordings for study. One music library had one small bookcase to house all of its sound recordings. Signor Zappala explained to Ms. Hansen that Italian music libraries focus on texts and collected works sets rather than more performance-based materials.

Access to materials is also a different matter in Italy than in the United States. Catalogs of collections very often cannot be trusted to be accurate, and documents can be withheld from consultation if they “should involve the loss of someone’s dignity or reputation.” This of course can be a major stumbling block to original biographical research.

There are distinct differences between Italian academic and conservatory libraries. Academic libraries tend to emphasize preservation and digitization rather than the acquisition of new materials. Furthermore, the majority of the collection is for in-house use only. Very little circulates.

Ms. Hansen did note similarities between Italian libraries and American libraries. Among the patrons, she saw that the students were physically present, engaged, and studious. All three librarians she interviewed were active in professional organizations and striving for progressive movement in Italian librarianship. She concluded that the trip was well worth the effort, even if she did find that American and Italian music libraries are not very comparable. After lunch, the conference resumed with Dr. Otto Henry’s presentation, “Music of the North Carolina Outer Banks.” Dr. Henry is a professor emeritus at East Carolina University and an ethnomusicologist, specializing in American folk music. Many of his field recordings have been released by the Smithsonian Folkways label.

Much of Dr. Henry’s lecture focused on the search for authentic folk music in Manteo and Ocracoke with then-graduate student Karen Helms. Their recordings made during the summers in 1974 through 1976 provided Karen with material for her thesis on the music of Ocracoke Island. Dr. Henry played several of those recordings during his presentation.

Though coastal North Carolina has been inhabited since early colonial times, Dr. Henry did not find any songs that were older than about 1900—fairly recent songs by folk music standards. He did run across one man who wrote a song about a sea taxi on Ocracoke Island entitled “Carolina Cannonball” to the tune of “Wabash Cannonball.” Dr. Henry’s presentation featured many pictures of Karen talking to people and an old drum that they found during their travels.

The next presentation on the schedule was “Collecting on the Edge Redux: Recording the Traditional Music of Uganda” by Holling Smith-Borne of Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt has undertaken a major effort to collect and document the traditional music of Uganda through the use of field recordings, available for free online at This project continues through a partnership between the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library, Vanderbilt ethnomusicologist Gregory Barz, and field recorder Centurio Balikoowa, begun in 2003.

Mr. Smith-Borne’s presentation picked up in May 2008 with his own trip to Uganda. His goals were to develop a working relationship with Balikoowa, better understand the field recording process, demonstrate the archive to stakeholders in Uganda, and experience that country’s culture firsthand. Travel in Uganda is something of an adventure. Movement from Kampala, the country’s capital, to the outlying areas is accomplished through the use of “boda bodas” (motor scooters), “matatus” (bread loaf-shaped vans), or buses. Mr. Smith-Borne reported that the boda bodas are routinely operated with very little fuel in their tanks, thereby greatly increasing the odds that a traveler will get stranded somewhere. He also commented that the matatus are often loaded to double their intended capacities which lead to rollover accidents. Buses are the safest mode of transportation, but they do not travel everywhere, particularly far into the outlying areas.

After what could easily be an eight-hour trip, Mr. Smith-Borne and Mr. Balikoowa would set up under a large tree in the village and record local musicians. They carried with them a direct-to-CD recorder, a laptop, and microphones to accomplish this. After recording, he and Mr. Balikoowa would often be asked to stay for dinner. The local musicians enjoyed listening to the recordings of themselves, a new experience for them.

In order to properly identify the recordings once they were digitized, efforts were made to record important details about location, performers, instruments used, and any other useful information employing controlled vocabulary lists. This task was done on handwritten cards which accompanied the CD masters back to Vanderbilt University for inclusion into the online database.

Future plans for the archive are to keep recording in Uganda and focus on underrepresented groups with the help of Centurio Balikoowa. They would like to add associated images from audio files to the database. Eventually, they will create a thesaurus with images, descriptions, and audio examples as an additional resource to visitors of the web site. Mr. Smith-Borne also informed the audience that Vanderbilt will launch a dulcimer archive in 2009, an indigenous Mexican music archive in 2010, and the Collier Tango Archive in 2011.

Mr. Smith-Borne was joined by Grover Baker for the last presentation of the day which was an update on MLA’s Educational Outreach Program, the impetus behind the SEMLA preconference workshop. A more detailed description of the preconference is found in this issue of Breve Notes. Mr. Smith-Borne reported that the MLA Education Committee spent 2007 planning and developing the program that was to be deployed at the chapter level. The program’s debut occurred at MLA 2008 in Newport, RI, where local trainers from around the country could attend workshops by the developers and take that training back with them to their chapters. Over 60 instructors were trained at the Newport workshop to teach music reference, collection development, or music cataloging.

Each of the three lead instructors at the Newport workshop drafted learning objectives that would be met during the course of the session. They kept the objectives flexible to allow for variations in audience and time allotted. The intended audience for the local workshops is library support staff and music librarians who want a refresher course or who have recently been assigned new job responsibilities.

The Education Outreach Committee hopes to have an instructor training session at each annual MLA meeting to increase the number of people available to teach workshops at the local level. One initiative for the coming year is a workshop on how to overcome “stage fright” for librarians who are not accustomed to speaking to large groups of people. This will be taught by Alicia Hansen at the MLA 2009 meeting in Chicago.

Mr. Smith-Borne and Mr. Baker noted that the SEMLA preconference workshop on music cataloging attracted the lion’s share of the attendees – 15 to 20 people out of the 25 attendees went to one or both of the music cataloging sessions. ECU’s annual paraprofessional conference in May was used as a venue to promote the SEMLA preconference, although the majority of participants stated that they learned about the preconference from messages posted to the North Carolina Library Association listserv. Overall, the comments from the participants were positive. SEMLA will consider hosting another such preconference workshop in the future.

After a long day of presentations, SEMLA was ready to unwind and relax. The local arrangements committee worked hard to secure a nice selection of items for the pre-banquet cocktail event held in the music building. We were even treated to live music as a string quartet comprised of ECU Music Library staff and friends serenaded us. After cocktails, we headed into the large rehearsal hall for dinner: Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue with all the fixin’s. For dessert, we were tempted with what many people considered to be the best buttercream cupcakes ever created (contact David Hursh for the bakery’s name).

On Saturday morning, we began our last round of presentations before heading home. ECU music cataloger, local arrangements member, and preconference instructor Nara Newcomer donned one more hat to present her paper, “Where’s Wesley?: A Study of an Eighteenth Century Hymnal Manuscript Attributed to the Father of Methodism.” Ms. Newcomer’s presentation traced the history of a hymnal purported to be one of seven hymnals known to be handwritten by John Wesley himself in 1739. East Carolina University had come into custody of the hymnal some years ago after an area resident brought it to their attention.

Though the hymnal contained what the owner claimed was John Wesley’s signature, Ms. Newcomer worked very hard to inspect documents from the mid-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to verify the hymnal’s authenticity. Among evidence she found that discredited the claim were a lack of contemporaneous references to the hymnal in primary documents that would have certainly mentioned it, variances between the handwriting in the manuscript and other documents verified as being John Wesley originals, and the inclusion of a hymn that was not composed until several decades after the hymnal was supposedly written according to the Hymn Tune Index. More detailed information about Ms. Newcomer’s findings will be available in an article in Music References Services Quarterly.

The final presentation of the conference was “‘You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet’: Music of Southeastern Presidential Campaigns,” by Jenny Colvin of Furman University. Before she began, Ms. Colvin asked the audience to move closer together and to the front of the music building’s recital hall. We soon found out why: we were about to have our mettle as musicians tested as we were given copies of a pamphlet entitled the “SEMLA Songster.” Ms. Colvin’s presentation began with a picture of Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin accompanied by “Barracuda” by the band Heart. Her talk outlined three stages of campaign songs. Representative of the first stage was the song “Hunters of Kentucky, or, Half Horse and Half Alligator,” written in 1822 and used during Andrew Jackson’s 1824 and 1828 presidential campaigns. As was the custom at the time, Andrew Jackson did not advocate for himself during the campaign, so his supporters distributed the song among the electorate to improve popular opinion. Also known as “Battle of New Orleans,” the song is found on five different recordings in the Smithsonian Global Sound online database. One was used to accompany the SEMLA Songster Chorale as we sight-sang the song with a few chuckles here and there with regard to the lyrics.

Next was the John Bell and Edward Everett campaign for the White House on behalf of the Constitutional Union Party in 1860. Made up of former Whig Party members in the Border states, supporters of Bell drafted a song to better acquaint potential voters with their candidate. Though we did not have printed music, the SEMLA Songster Chorale performed a fine rendition of the song to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne” in harmony. It became clear to us after singing the song why it did not generate a great deal of support for Bell; the combination of the slow song we sing at New Year’s with lyrics insulting almost everyone he needed to vote for him certainly did not help his cause.

The final presidential song was from the more recent past, Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” as used during Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. This was an upbeat song with lyrics promising better times to come and played well with potential voters. The SEMLA Songster Chorale rounded out its impromptu concert and the conference’s final presentation karaoke-style by singing along with Fleetwood Mac as an image of the saxophone-playing president was displayed on the screen. The business meeting followed; minutes will appear later in this issue of Breve Notes.

Meeting attendees enjoying an afternoon break.
Meeting attendees enjoying an afternoon break.

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From the Chair

Anna Neal: University of Memphis

It may be 2009 already, but I have some thanks left to express for 2008. So THANK YOU to all who made our October SEMLA conference such a success. I always return from SEMLA meetings reinvigorated and ready to try something new. So, first of all, thanks for that!

David Hursh (East Carolina University) was tireless and thoughtful and attentive to the tiniest details in planning and carrying out the meeting at ECU, and he gathered some wonderful helpers from his campus. From the Libraries to the School of Music and beyond, the ECU faculty and staff were great to work with; and I'm sure it was the most engaging group of van drivers I've ever met!

The Program Committee - chair Grover Baker (Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University), Roberta Chodacki Ford (Columbus State University), and Jaro Szurek (Samford University) - presented a wide-ranging program from scholarly research to practical realities, from the Outer Banks to Italy and Uganda. We were entertained and informed by a terrific lineup of both SEMLA and non-SEMLA presenters.

New for us this year was a preconference, Music Libraries: Just the Basics, which was a product of our MLA Chapter Grant for the Educational Outreach Program. Trainers Grover Baker, Joyce Clinkscales (Emory University), Chris Durman (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), Nara Newcomer (East Carolina University), and Holling Smith-Borne (Vanderbilt University) covered the basics of collection development, reference, and cataloging of audio and video recordings for about 25 participants. It was a very successful beginning for what we hope will be an ongoing program of workshops in many settings.

So, a huge THANKS to those named and unnamed who were part of the highly successful ECU conference.

Looking to the future, it's comforting to know we're in hands just as capable as those we've already mentioned. Planning has begun for our joint meeting with the Texas Music Library Association in New Orleans. Alicia Hansen (Loyola University) is leading the way for Local Arrangements, and Chris Durman chairs the Program Committee. They've already been in touch with Texas colleagues to begin working out details.

Any session of thanks and gratitude must include those who are working for SEMLA interests outside the annual meetings. Newly elected officers this year are Vice Chair/Chair Elect John Druesedow (Duke University, retired) and Member-at-Large/Program Chair Chris Durman. Both are great additions to the Executive Board. Returning for more service are Secretary-Treasurer Scott Phinney (University of South Carolina) and Member-at-Large/Nominating Chair Grover Baker. It's also our good fortune that Breve Notes Editor John Leslie (University of Mississippi), Archivist Ashlie Conway (University of South Carolina), and Web Page Editor Nara Newcomer are continuing their excellent service.

The commitment of so many to the work of SEMLA and MLA and the profession is truly inspiring, and it's an encouraging note in this current cycle of budgetary woes and attendant additional challenges in our professional lives. So, a final THANKS for being part of the SEMLA family. SEMLA rocks!

Grover Baker, Tim Gmeiner, and Anna Neal.
Grover Baker, Tim Gmeiner, and Anna Neal.

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Member News

Pauline Bayne has written a new book, A Guide to Library Research in Music, published in 2008 by Scarecrow Press.

Harry Eskew, Emeritus Professor of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, now in Macon, Georgia, has been presented a festschrift from his former students and friends: Hymnology in the Service of the Church: Essays in Honor of Harry Eskew. Edited by Paul R. Powell and published by MorningStar Music Publishers, Fenton, MO. This book of 25 essays is over 400 pages in length.

Nara Newcomer and David Hursh have published an article, "Calling All Academic Music Library Reference Desks: A Follow-Up Study," appearing in Music Reference Services Quarterly volume 11, number 2, 2008, p.101.

Lynne Jaffe has a new email address:

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Travel Grant Winner

Donna Stallings was a practicum student in the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library at Vanderbilt for the fall semester of 2008. She is a candidate for the Masters of Information Science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Donna has earned her BM in Violin Performance from Illinois State University and her MM in Violin Performance from Rice University. She was Assistant Principal Second Violin with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Donna is a free-lance violinist in Nashville, TN. She is an occasional substitute violinist with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and plays Baroque violin.

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Music in Libraries: Just the Basics

Grover Baker, Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University

SEMLA kicked off the 2008 Annual Meeting with its first ever preconference workshop, “Music in Libraries: Just the Basics.” Presented in collaboration with MLA’s Educational Outreach Program (EOP), the day-long seminar featured four separate workshops intended to provide participants with the basics of music librarianship. In the morning, registrants chose between “Cataloging Sound Recordings” and “Music Reference.” The afternoon options consisted of “Cataloging Videorecordings/DVDs” and “Music Collection Development.” Each workshop was three hours in length.

Registration for the day’s events, all of which were held in East Carolina University’s Joyner Library, began at 9:30 with coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Following a brief welcome and introduction by Grover Baker (Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University), the morning sessions began. Joyner Library contains a pair of bibliographic instruction classrooms outfitted with multimedia equipment and approximately twenty-five computer stations. These classrooms served as ideal locations for the two sets of concurrent workshops. Following lunch, which was provided as part of the registration fee, the afternoon sessions commenced. The preconference concluded with a half-hour wrap-up and evaluation session at 5:00.

Chris Durman (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) and Grover Baker co-led the reference session while Joyce Clinkscales (Emory University) and Holling Smith-Borne (Vanderbilt University) teamed up to present the collection development workshop. Nara Newcomer (East Carolina University) presented both cataloging workshops. Links to the archived presentations and handouts are available on the preconference program website (

It should be noted that Mac Nelson (University of North Carolina, Greensboro) was originally scheduled to serve as cataloging instructor but was unable to attend due to the sudden development of complications from diabetes. Mac passes along his appreciation for everyone’s concern and would like to let all of his SEMLA colleagues know that he is doing very well and has his diabetes under control. He also stated that missing his first annual meeting since 2003 caused him to realize how much he looks forward to attending this event each year.

With only a day’s notice, Nara Newcomer graciously volunteered to serve as Mac’s replacement. Her willingness and ability to step in at the last minute greatly contributed to the success of the preconference, since the cataloging workshops drew the most registrants. Fifteen of the twenty-three registrants chose to attend the morning sound recordings session and sixteen participated in the videorecording/DVD cataloging session that afternoon. Eight registrants attended the morning music reference workshop, and the afternoon collection development workshop had seven participants.

During the planning phase of the preconference, it was expected that the majority of attendees would be paraprofessionals and public librarians, but this didn’t turn out to be the case. Of the twenty-three registrants, only five were from public libraries, with the remaining eighteen attendees working in academic libraries. The breakdown between professionals and non-professionals was much more even: twelve librarians, ten paraprofessionals, and one library student (Donna Stallings, winner of the SEMLA Travel Grant). One interesting note is that none of the paraprofessionals chose to attend the reference or collection development workshops, opting instead for the cataloging sessions. The attendees’ positions within their individual institutions ran the gamut from library assistant to library director.

The EOP workshops were envisioned as a way for MLA to reach out, through the regional chapters, to the library community and provide a much-needed service. Preconference organizers recognized that this event could be an opportunity to boost membership in SEMLA. As such, three offers were extended to registrants. The first was an invitation to attend the opening reception of the annual meeting. The day’s schedule was arranged in such a way that the end of the wrap-up session coincided with the beginning of the reception. Ten attendees stayed for the reception and were welcomed warmly by SEMLA members. Care was taken to ensure that MLSC, who graciously hosts the reception, was not required to bear the brunt of this added expense. A year’s free membership in SEMLA was the second incentive offered and taken by eight of the day’s participants. The final offer extended was a reduced registration fee of $10, equivalent to the student rate, for any participants who stayed for the annual meeting. One preconference registrant took advantage of this discount.

The wrap-up and evaluation session turned out to be very valuable. During this time, attendees were asked to complete a brief evaluation of the day’s activities. While filling out the surveys, a few open-ended questions were posed for discussion. It was discovered that the vast majority of registrants learned about the conference via an announcement posted to the North Carolina Library Association’s listserv. Everyone appreciated the ease of the online registration process. Several of the cataloging workshop participants suggested extending the length of the workshop and allowing them to bring items from their own collections to catalog, thereby gaining precious hands-on experience under the supervision of an expert. Another practical suggestion was to include a street address in the registration materials for use with GPS devices. Nineteen evaluation forms were collected during the wrap-up. 95% of those surveys rated the workshops and instructors as excellent or very good. Of the thirteen who responded to the question, twelve of the attendees stated that they would recommend “Music in Libraries: Just the Basics” to their colleagues.

SEMLA membership will have to determine the future of the preconference, and a task force has been appointed, consisting of Grover Baker, David Hursh (East Carolina University), Holling Smith-Borne, Sarah Dorsey (University of North Carolina, Greensboro), Sara Manus (Vanderbilt University), and Alicia Hansen (Loyola University), ex officio as Local Arrangements Chair for the 2009 joint meeting with the Texas chapter of MLA. The first item on their agenda will be to determine whether or not to continue the preconference as an annual event. Registration fees will also need to be addressed. Workshop instructors donated their services, which enabled the fees to remain modest ($25 early/$35 regular). As a result, the workshop generated enough revenue to cover its expenses.

Several individuals deserve thanks. Grover Baker and Holling Smith-Borne served as organizers along with David Hursh, whose assistance as Local Arrangements Chair was invaluable. Others who made outstanding contributions include Nara Newcomer and Harry Frank at ECU and Ashlie Conway (University of South Carolina) who designed the promotional flyer. As a result of their efforts and everyone involved, “Music in Libraries: Just the Basics” turned out to be an unqualified success.

David Hursh managing the banquet details.
David Hursh managing the banquet details.

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Southeast Chapter, Music Library Association
Annual Business Meeting
Greenville, NC
Anna Neal, Chair, presiding
October 11, 2008
28 in attendance

I.   Call to order at 10:36 am.

Anna Neal gave a brief chronology of the Yellow Plastic Hammer of Despotism.

i. In 1999, Lynne Jaffe called it the “Toy Hammer.”

ii. In 2001, Lynne dubbed it “ Le marteau plastique du despotisme.

iii. Scott Phinney referred to it as the “Gavel of Power” in the Minutes of the Oct. 2007 meeting.

II.   Minutes for interim meeting in March 2008 were approved by consensus as published in Breve Notes .

III.   Treasurer's report

[Treasurer's note: The report indicated below is amended from that given at the meeting to reflect final figures for the conference expenses and membership.]

Southeast Chapter of the Music Library Association
Treasurer's Report
For period February 13, 2008—October 11, 2008
Submitted by Scott Phinney
Greenville, NC

October 11, 2008

NET WORTH as of February 12, 2008 $19,940.42
Membership dues $945.00
Gifts $240.00
2008 SEMLA Pre-Conference registrations $562.50
SEMLA 2008 Annual meeting registrations/banquet $2,080.00

MLSC banquet payment

Interest on checking account (as of 9/308/08) $4.42
Interest on money market account (as of 9/30/08) $8.54


SEMLA EOP Grant recipients (at MLA 2008) $55.00
Check printing fee $10.00
Membership renewal mailing $64.40
ECU guest house deposit
Food (Breakfast and Lunch)
SEMLA 2008 ANnual meeting expenses  
Opening reception
Cocktail Reception
Cocktail Reception music
Other food
Dr. Otto Henry Honorarium
Checking account balance as of 10/14/08 $4,424.65
Money Market account balance as of 10/10/08 $16,121.63
NET WORTH as of October 14, 2008 $20.546.28
MEMBERSHIP (paid as of 10/10/08)  





IV. SEMLA Travel Grant

Lynne Jaffe introduced the 2008 recipient of the Freeman Travel grant, Donna Stallings (Vanderbilt University). Donna is also a candidate for MLS degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Lynne thanked Greg Johnson and Kevin Kelly for their help.

V. Welcome to new members and first time attendees

Anna Neal welcomed Steve Burton (Kennesaw State University), Judy Lohman (High Point University), Laurie Neuerburg (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Jeremy Snell (University of South Carolina), and Kyle McCarrell (University of South Carolina).

VI. Online Payment of Fees

a. Lynnea Jacobson investigated this for the 2005 MLA fundraising.

b. Regarding PayPal, Greg Johnson said there is a fee, but they decided it was much easier for the Blues Archive. He said there was also Google Checkout.

c. The membership asked Scott Phinney to explore setting this up; perhaps by polling other chapters.

VII. MLA Outreach Program (Preconference)

a. Holling Smith-Borne requested feedback from the membership.

b. Sara Manus would like to see it continue as a preconference, though not necessarily every year.

c. Grover Baker added that now that one workshop has been completed, the materials will already be in place, so there will be less up-front work for future events.

d. Sarah Dorsey commented that the local arrangements committee needs to have a say in the decision about whether or not to have a preconference event.

e. Alicia Hansen said that consistency is important. She also suggested having a space on the registration form to ask what the attendees are expecting to learn. She said it would be fine to have the pre-conference/workshop at Loyola before the SEMLA in 2009; it could get advertised in the Texas and SEMLA chapters.

f. Lynne Jaffe suggested calling it a workshop instead of a preconference. She added that the attendees were requesting to bring their own problem items to catalog; maybe we could include this.

g. Grover Baker commented that the preconference committee saw the event as SEMLA outreach by making the conference as affordable as possible, a one-day trip for the majority of the attendees. He noted that most people saw the advertisement on the NCLA listserv.

h. Holling Smith-Borne asked Scott Phinney to verify that it did not cost the chapter any money. He was surprised that the audience was not all paraprofessional; there were heads of libraries in attendance as well.

i. Joyce Clinkscales said that we should make sure we are charging the appropriate amount for the workshop. She also commented that she would have taught much differently if she had known that there would be a number of professional librarians in attendance as opposed to just paraprofessionals. She suggested that we not commit to doing this workshop every year at this point, but that we establish an overall reputation that we occasionally do these workshops.

j. The Board asked Grover Baker, David Hursh, and Holling Smith-Borne to work with the committee. Sarah Dorsey and Sarah Manus volunteered; Alicia Hansen needs to be involved ex officio as Local Arrangements Chair.

VIII. PR Outreach/Networking

a. Ashlie Conway said a library student at USC came to her and asked if ALA and SEMLA were related, prompting her to propose having a committee or group that is responsible for having a Facebook, Twitter, and/or Flickr, presence. Ashlie said the goal is to inform people not involved with a music librarian organization about SEMLA, and these products are popular with younger library students.

b. Alicia Hansen said that this would need to be kept up-to-date if it was going to work, but she said that it is important for us to recognize the prevalence of Web 2.0.

c. Lynnea Jacobson said that Facebook and Flickr are the easiest to work with. She suggested Nara Newcomer be involved with this as Webmaster for SEMLA.

d. Jenny Colvin said that the tagging in groups or pages can show up as hits for people searching for music and libraries.

e. Greg Johnson thought Flickr would be a great place to keep SEMLA photos, but he has had problems with using Facebook to market to students; they did not seem to want it at Ole Miss.

f. Jennifer Ottervik said that a Facebook page would increase SEMLA's visibility online.

g. Phil Vandermeer cautioned that we need to be careful when putting people's images online.

h. Roberta Chodacki Ford said she was supportive of the initiative, but she wants the ability to opt out of Facebook, Flickr, and others personally; it needs to be about SEMLA, not the individual members.

i. Joyce Clinkscales commented that she would prefer not to have yet another account to keep up with what's going on. Diane Steinhaus asked that we agree that the SEMLA web site is still the official communication organ; Ashlie Conway clarified that this proposal was not intended to supplant the SEMLA web site. Jenny Colvin said that this should be in addition to the SEMLA web site and should link back to it.

j. Nara Newcomer, Sarah Dorsey, and Jenny Colvin will work with Ashlie Conway on this as an exploratory group and propose it at the Interim meeting in February 2009.

IX. Travel Funding Issues

a. Neal Hughes sent a message in absentia indicating that the State of Georgia had significantly cut funding for travel and wondered if others in SEMLA might be experiencing the same thing. He suggested having an additional travel grant for people who have to be at meetings, like SEMLA officers and presenters.

b. The Board was reticent about broaching this topic because of the potential conflict of interest.

c. Alicia Hansen said it could be very difficult to decide who would get funding. She suggested the possibility of doing something like a podcast or some other kind of virtual conferencing for those who were not able to attend. She would ask her podcasting staff about virtual conferencing for SEMLA 2009 and would report at the interim meeting in Chicago in February.

d. Phil Vandermeer said that MLA has discussed travel subsidies on the national level and has not come to any conclusions about it as the issue of selecting awardees is problematic.

e. The membership agreed that this grant was not workable on the Chapter level, but liked the idea of the virtual conferencing.

X. SEMLA Brochure

a. There was a call for some regional brochures from MLA Outreach.

b. Lynne Jaffe has one of the original brochures created by Diane Steinhaus, Tim Cherubini and Sarah Dorsey that SEMLA sent to all of the library schools in the Southeast, but it needs to be updated as it is many years old.

XI. Future SEMLA meeting sites and dates

a. The issue of meeting during Yom Kippur was raised as travel during the festival was a problem for some; Lynne Jaffe has provided dates for the next 10 years to the SEMLA Board.

b. Joyce Clinkscales suggested a policy of not scheduling meetings on religious holidays without Board approval. She recognizes that making a hard and fast rule about this could put undue burden on the Local Arrangements Committee.

c. David Hursh commented that Fall Break and football games are serious concerns for planning meetings at a lot of our institutions.

d. Alicia Hansen said that the Board can handle this on a case-by-case basis; the membership agreed. Nara Newcomer noted that there are planning documents for the Board, and this instruction could be easily added.

XII. Best of Chapters

Lynne Jaffe reported that Jaroslaw Szrurek's paper from 2007 was selected for Best of Chapters, to be presented at MLA in Chicago.

XIII. MLA National Proposal

a. Holling Smith-Borne handed out a proposal for SEMLA hosting MLA national in 2014 in Nashville. Nashville would be a great place to have the meeting; very easy to get to and plenty to do and see.

b. SEMLA's chapter meeting in fall 2013 would need to be held in Nashville as well. Local arrangements would be primarily Vanderbilt, MTSU, and maybe Belmont.

c. The SEMLA Board agreed with the proposal, though it was concerned with the expected level of fundraising.

d. Phil Vandermeer said the MLA Board does not have expectations that the local chapter will do any fundraising, although this has consequences. For example, for MLA Chicago 2009, the food budget was cut significantly so as not to raise costs for the conference attendees.

e. A motion to accept the proposal was made and seconded. The membership voted to approve the proposal to host MLA National in 2014 in Nashville.

f. Phil Vandermeer asked the membership if they really liked the MLA banquet. There was not a consensus as to whether it was really necessary; there was consensus to ask the MLA Board to explore other options.

XIV. Future SEMLA Sites

a. 2009—joint meeting with TX chapter; hosted by Loyola University

i. Oct. 8-10, 2009 in New Orleans (Thurs.-Sat.)

ii. Rooms at the Hampton Inn are already booked; the venue requested at 2008 February Interim meeting was not available any more. The rate is $119 per night for Garden District New Orleans; there are no hotels close to Loyola and Tulane Universities.

iii. Alicia Hansen suggested extending SEMLA until Sunday morning and have less going on during the day to allow more time to see the city, and also to allow for the higher attendance with the Texas Chapter.

iv. Jill Shires commented that this could get expensive by adding an extra day, and Anna Neal noted that the Texas Chapter does not typically meet as long as we do now currently.

v. There was a suggestion that the programming would go longer on Saturday and have Sunday be a travel day; possibly with some programming earlier on Sunday. The business meeting could be moved earlier than Sunday.

vi. Instead of planned excursions, there could be a list of excursions for people to do on their own; the membership agreed.

b. 2010—open because Davidson College can no longer host as they do not have a Music Librarian anymore; the Board requests invitations.

c. 2011—University of South Carolina invited SEMLA to Columbia.

XV. Election Results

a. Lynnea Jacobson thanked the candidates and committee members Robena Cornwell and Nancy Zavac for producing a great slate.

b. Chris Durman will be the new Member-at-Large and the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect will be John Druesedow.

XVI. Old Business

None reported.

XVII. New Business

a. Grover and the membership thanked the Local Arrangements Committee for a great conference.

b. Chris mentioned that Pauline Bayne's new book had just come out.

XVIII. Adjourn at 12:08 pm.

Lois Kuyper-Rushing demonstrates her pig-pickin' prowess.

Lois Kuyper-Rushing demonstrates her pig-pickin’ prowess.
Check out Lois' crossword puzzle prowress. Try the SEMLA crossword puzzle.

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Last updated 01/16/08