2017 Annual Meeting
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4/15/2016 at 10:44:09 PM GMT
Posts: 13
2017 Annual Meeting

I'd like to share the germ of an idea for a session, in hopes that the rest of you can help flesh it out.  Since the meeting will have an international flavor next year, I think we might do a session centered around the needs of international students.

In my instruction sessions, I've seen that new international students can really struggle.  Many have not had access to a large music library before, and may still be struggling with English.  So perhaps we could highlight ways in which to improve their learning outcomes and lower their stress levels, while not derailing the rest of the class.  It would not have to be limited to FTF instruction, of course--we could also talk about the online environment.

Please give feedback on this idea and, if it seems like something we should develop, then please contribute your ideas too.


- Clayton

4/18/2016 at 2:14:40 PM GMT
Posts: 2
That sounds like a great idea, Clayton! Maybe we should connect with other public services subcommittees/committees to maybe do a joint session. For example, the public library folks might be interested in talking about how they serve international people in their communities.

4/20/2016 at 10:32:00 PM GMT
Posts: 12
I agree, this does sound like a good idea, and a topic that is prime for collaboration. I agree that asking the other subcommittees would be a place to start. I think this could dovetail nicely with something I was thinking of, and which relates to Mandi's idea of technology tools. Most of the people who came visit me at the "Get to Know MLA" session are fairly new librarians, who were interested in instruction, but who really do not have any experience with instruction, either through coursework or in direct teaching experience. I was wondering if a session on "Teaching Basics" or "Putting the Fun in Teaching Fundamentals" might appeal to people who want to know more about useful technologies to use in teaching, or about different learning theories and basic teaching approaches.

I think this *could* tie in with how to approach teaching international students, but we wouldn't have to weave all of those threads together if it made more sense to just keep the focus on successful strategies for working with international students. I'm traveling right now, so do not have access to the notes from the meeting Tom and Erin and I had, but I'm pretty sure we discussed the potential to highlight reference sources that cover diverse topics (world music) as a way of appealing to a more broad range of students. If we are feeling ambitious, we could propose two sessions. We would need to think of other "fundamentals" or key teaching principles that we would like to highlight, and would need speakers. Smile

The deadline for proposals is May 27. I will send a group email to let folks know that, and to point them in the direction of this conversation in our workspace.

5/3/2016 at 4:35:59 PM GMT
Posts: 12
Hi everyone,

I have had two session ideas come in over email in the last week, and I have provided them here for your consideration (I will also send an email about this). Marci indicates she could either do this on her own (~25 minutes), or shorten it for a panel presentation of non-traditional approaches to instruction. Joe indicates he and a colleague have been working on a project together, and that their description could be fleshed out, if needed. He contacted Sara Manus to see if the Public Services Committee would be interested in sponsoring; she sent the information to me to see if the Instruction Subcommittee was interested. I have asked Sara if sessions can be member-proposed and still sponsored by the subcommittee -- it would be great for us to have multiple sessions, but I don't want to jeopardize folks' chances of being accepted if the committee proposes all of them. Let me know if you have thoughts on this.


Marci Cohen, Boston University
The Beatles 16 Ways: Instruction Activity on Score Editions
When the Berklee College of Music library determined that their freshman one-shot focusing on research materials wasn’t relevant to conservatory students, they overhauled it to teach students about the wide variety of scores in their collection. The Beatles were the best way to demonstrate differences in score editions at a school focused on popular music. This session describes instructional activities that engaged students, helped them learn how to appreciate and navigate the resources of an academic music library, and required no technology.

Joe Clark and Jennifer Johnstone, Kent State University
Research Practices of Undergraduate Music Students
This presentation details a mixed-methods research study that explored how undergraduate music students conduct research in their field. The methodology includes surveys, focus groups, and task-based assessments examining students’ experience with research, confidence levels, attitudes, information-seeking behaviors, and other factors influencing the research process.

5/4/2016 at 2:14:27 PM GMT
Posts: 13
Research Practices of Undergraduate Music Students

This sounds like important research that deserves a place on the program.  Before we commit to it, though, could we get more information?  A full abstract would probably answer most of our questions.  Mine include these:

  • When will the study be completed?  Preliminary results or incomplete data can reduce the impact of a session.
  • How many students are involved in the study?  Does it have IRB approval?
  • How much time is requested?  Will it take an entire session, or should we seek other presenters on this topic?
  • How will the presenters make a connection to library instruction?  Will they highlight effective teaching methods or make recommendations based on the research?

- Clayton

5/11/2016 at 7:55:04 PM GMT
Posts: 12
I have emailed Joe to say we are interested in the project, but would like to see a more robust abstract. I have also emailed Clayton's questions and asked Joe to send me additional information to share back with the subcommittee.

5/11/2016 at 8:57:25 PM GMT
Posts: 12
Here is a summary of where our ideas are at the present moment. I have emailed Kirsten Dougan (2017 program chair) to ask about the differences between "sponsored" and "member proposed" since no sessions on the 2016 program have *both* of those designations. This relates to items 2, 3, and 4 on the list below, and, depending on her answer, would shape how we respond to the folks who have asked us for sponsorship.

1. Clayton's idea related to international students. Erin Connor reported to me that RASS has settled on a different topic for their 2017 proposal, but would consider co-sponsoring a proposal from our subcommittee. Laurie Sampsel expressed interest in co-sponsoring, as well, and wondered about a group proposal that might deal with any of the following: "reference sources in Spanish and Portuguese, identifying national libraries, and LANI (Latin American Network Initiative)". I didn't see any concrete ideas in her suggestions, so I don't know where that leaves the collaboration on this topic. Are there further ideas about this? Do folks have people in mind for speakers, in addition to Clayton (who I assum would be on board with this)?

2. Marci Cohen's submission about teaching with Beatles scores. I think this is a good description as it stands -- does anyone else want more informion from her?

3. Joe Clark's submission about the study he and his colleague are working on. We will wait to see if there is follow-up from him on a more robust abstract that answers some of the questions Clayton proposed.

4. I have a request from Tom Bickley (former Public Services chair and Instruction Subcommittee member/chair) for co-sponsorship of a session entitled "Squiggly lines:" information literacy, experimental music, and the practice of music librarians/performers. In the draft of the proposal, he has selected both "member proposed" and "subcommittee sponsored".

5. I'm prepared to let the instruction basics idea on hold for now, since there were not concrete ideas on how to shape this topic.

Anything I am missing? Let's plan to share additional ideas by early next week, say Tuesday, May 17, which would give us 10 days to develop a proposal for submission.

5/13/2016 at 12:58:37 PM GMT
Posts: 12
Here is Joe Clark's reply, re the questions I sent:

In response to the questions, we just finished collecting all of the data this past semester. Analysis will occur in the next 6-8 weeks. There were approximately 40 students that participated in the project, with the core being juniors in the writing-intensive music history class. The study was IRB approved, and we envision a 30-40 minute session (depending on what the slots allotments are this year). Study results will provide bibliographic instructors with a better sense of students' research experiences and existing skills. Although we have not done a complete analysis, we were rather surprised to discover how confident students were with specific research skills, but in reality they did not perform well in these areas.
Please let me know if you would like a more fleshed-out abstract, or if this will suffice.

5/13/2016 at 4:16:25 PM GMT
Posts: 13
Joe's response really helps, I think, and I support sponsorship of the session. I'll comment on the others later.

I think Marci's description is adequate, but can we get more information about Tom's proposal?

- Clayton

5/13/2016 at 8:20:02 PM GMT
Posts: 12
OK, here is the scoop on the differentiation between "member proposed" and "sponsored", per Kirsten Dougan and Katie Buehner. What I asked was this: "I am assuming that if something is sponsored by a committee/subcommittee that the idea was generated by people in that group, who would then either be the presenters or invite other presenters. On the flip side, I am assuming that a member proposed session would be something that was not generated out of the committee structure, but rather something that could be proposed by an individual member of MLA."

Kirsten and Katie agreed that a session that involves one (or more) members of a committee would be "sponsored". So, I think I need to tell Marci, Joe, and Tom about this distinction and encourage them to submit member proposed sessions. I would be clear that it's not that we don't endorse their topics, but rather that it doesn't involve members of the subcommittee. I do have more information about Tom's proposal, but if it fits the member-proposed category, I don't know that we need it.

I have a new inquiry today, from Nancy Zavac and her colleague Mei Mendez, about using Latin American music collections for research. Here is what Nancy wrote: "How Latin American music collections at the University of Miami Libraries have been used for Learning and Research.” Examples are: the classes taught in the Cuban Heritage collection (music and theater), the DMA and master’s papers that have been written based on CHC and Special Collections (Romero collection, Marco Rizo), and the research scholars who have used the Cuban Heritage Collection. I wrote up some notes which I attached. Mei and I are meeting on Monday to talk about this, she is at a conference this week. We are going to submit a proposal, but I thought I would check with you first in case you are looking for presentations for the Instruction Committee. Thanks!"

Clayton, are you still interested in the international student angle? I have replied to Nancy to ask if she would be willing to share a presentation slot, in case you want to pursue the international student angle and put the two things together. In that case, I think it would qualify as a "sponsored" proposal for the Instruction Subcommittee.

If this is our angle on having an Instruction Subcommittee session, we should decide that pretty soon. Keep me posted on what you think.


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The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are eleven regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level.