Advocacy Efforts

Advocacy is an important part of MLA's mission. Our efforts range from promoting involvement of young librarians in the profession through travel and research grants, to participating in the development of best practices in cataloging and preservation, to advocating for equitable access to music in various forums.

The Music Library Advocacy Committee creates and curates resources that support advocacy efforts in a variety of settings.  It maintains a group on the Humanities Commons platform that offers documents, web links, and a discussion forum.  This committee also assists MLA leadership in crafting statements on advocacy issues of concern to the Association as a whole.

MLA's Legislation Committee monitors developments in copyright, fair use and other areas. The committee engages with legislators, publishers, and other professional organizations to ensure that librarians and the public are able to access and use music.

Copyright for Music Librarians, a web site developed and maintained by MLA, offers guidance on what may be acceptable as fair use and links to laws, reports, and other documents on copyright.

Our Cataloging and Metadata Committee partners closely with ALA and others in the development and revision of cataloging codes, including RDA. These efforts help to ensure that libraries around the world are using protocols that work for music materials.

MLA maintains a series of Forums to facilitate discussion of advocacy issues. Members must log into the website to post or comment, but the public may read or subscribe to any MLA Forum. 

MLA’s Emerging Technologies and Services Committee  and Cataloging and Metadata Committee  developed  Music Discovery Requirements, a document that defines what is needed for effective discovery of music resources, both in and beyond the traditional catalog.

The MLA Diversity Scholarship program, funded by the membership of MLA, offers candidates from under-represented groups an opportunity to pursue the master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS).

MLA's Award and Grant programs that support travel and research help to bring new librarians into the profession and encourage their research interests.

MLA endorses the international cooperative music-bibliographical projects, collectively known as the R projects (RILM, RISM, RIPM, RIdIM.) In particular, MLA provides significant financial support for the U.S. branches of RILM (Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale) and RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales).

Other Advocacy Efforts

Statement on Student Workers and COVID-19
Response to YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Layoff of All Librarians
Response to the Taiga 4 Provocative Statements
Comments on the Digital 
Millennium Copyright Act Section 1201
Comments to the US Copyright Office Regarding Orphan Works and Mass Digitization
Statement on License-Driven Music Sound Recordings

MLA is a signatory to the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development

CMC Liaisons & Representatives
Joint Committee: MLA, MPA, & MOLA
Joint Committee: MLA/AMS Joint Committee on RISM
Representatives & Liaisons to Other Organizations

RILM/US Governing Board
Music System Users Groups
Task Forces: ARL/MLA Diversity Scholarship Publicity
Task Forces: MLA/BCC Form/Genre
Task Forces: RDA Music Implementation



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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.