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About MLA and IAML
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IAML--the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres--encourages and promotes the activities of music libraries, archives and documentation centers in supporting and facilitating the realization of projects in music bibliography, music documentation and music library and information science at national and international levels. Official languages for communications are English, French, and German.

Music librarians from the United States have been involved in IAML from its inception in 1951, though the actual date of the organization of a IAML-US branch is apparently not documented. IAML's first Bulletin d'Information (October 1952) observed that numerically the US had by far the largest of the national groups. Indeed, the first published list of IAML members, found in the subsequent Bulletin d'Information (March 1953) lists 11 institutional members and 39 individual members from the United States, including IAML President Richard S. Hill. Unlike other national branches of IAML, which were only then starting to develop in order to serve as the sole organization for music librarians, the United States already had one such professional organization in the 1950s—the Music Library Association (MLA).

Founded in 1931 and already a vigorous association at the founding of IAML, MLA has coexisted with and played a mixed role in the development of the US Branch of IAML. The course of the relationship between IAML-US and MLA appears already in the brief announcement in MLA Notes (December 1954) of an organizing meeting for a "tighter, better articulated" US branch of IAML: "In the United States, the overlapping interests of MLA and IAML make the development of a branch awkward, particularly since the proper moment has not yet come for suggesting that MLA as a whole become (organizationally speaking, of course) a branch of IAML." For IAML-US, which by 2006 counted 137 institutional and 88 individual members, that moment was still yet to come (see, for example, the discussion of the MLA/IAML-US ad hoc Committee Report in the MLA Board Minutes of October 2004, p. 12). "Despite this non-integration," James Cassaro observed in a 2002 MLA President's Report (MLA Newsletter No. 130, p. 2) "a powerful symbiotic relationship has emerged between these two organizations for American music librarianship."

That symbiotic relationship would come to fruition in less than a decade. After votes by the memberships of MLA and IAML-US Branch, on 1 July 2011 the operations of IAML-US and MLA were combined and MLA officially became the United States branch of IAML. That year MLA President Jerry McBride wrote (MLA Newsletter No. 166, p. 2): "The full merger of IAML-US and MLA now allows us to represent the full spectrum of music librarianship in the United States and to participate as partners and equals with the other national branches of IAML.”