Survey of Personnel Characteristics

MLA Survey of Personnel Characteristics, 2009

In 1997, a study was conducted by the Working Group Surveying Music Library Personnel Characteristics of the Music Library Association (MLA).  The study had three broad objectives: 1) To provide a statistical snapshot of the organization’s members and the types of libraries in which they are employed, the varieties of responsibilities in which they are engaged, levels of education, and many other facets of their employment, 2) to confirm "commonly held assumptions” about outside activities engaged in by MLA  members, and 3) to discern reasons why music librarians choose not to join the organization or allow their memberships to expire. The summarized results of this study were published by chair David Lesniaski in Notes in 2000, with the raw data and a summary of findings in the MLA Clearinghouse.

In 2009, Mark A. Puente and Susannah Cleveland replicated the original study, with some revisions, to ascertain the degree to which this personnel profile has changed in the last decade and to test theories about how the profession has evolved since the original study.  Further, greater demographic analysis was brought to bear on the data in order to compare MLA's demographic profile with that of similar organizations and the constituencies served by MLA members.  This data has been summarized and will appear in Notes in 2011.  Click the links below for more information about the survey and resulting data.

Report and Statistical Summary
Information Sheet
Informed Consent
Survey (HTML) (PDF)
Sub-set of Respondents Who Were MLA Members (XLS)
Complete Data Set (XLS)

Data Reuse Policy


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About MLA

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.