MLA-L: The Music Library Association Discussion List

Indiana University hosts MLA-L, a mail distribution service for music librarians and those interested in music librarianship. The services provided by MLA-L include mail distribution and mail archiving. Although MLA-L is used to distribute news about the Music Library Association and its activities, the list remains independent of the association.


Using MLA-L

About posting

Since every mail message will be distributed to all subscribers, care should be exercised when sending mail to the MLA-L. Refrain from sending messages of interest to only a known small group (such as committee business) or messages intended for only one other individual.

Please note that any message sent to MLA-L will be distributed to all subscribers. A "reply" to a mail message that has been distributed via a distribution list will be distributed to all list subscribers. In many cases you will want to reply only to the original sender; you should therefore not use the "reply" command, but send a mail message addressed to the original sender.


Set up an IU List account

To change subscription options and view the MLA-L archives, you will need to set up an IU List account. Go to and click "First login?" in the top left.


Change your subscription options

Through the website: By email:
  • Put commands in the subject line of an email addressed to
  • For a list of commands, send an email with a subject line of HELP to


Mail Archiving

Correspondence distributed through MLA-L is archived in weekly logs.



For more information, see the IU List service help page.



MLA-L was founded in March 1989 by Ralph Papakhian (1948-2010) while he was serving as executive secretary of the Music Library Association. Papakhian stated the purpose of the list in the March-April 1989 issue of the MLA Newsletter:

Indiana University is now hosting a mail distribution service for the Music Library Association on a trial basis. The name is MLA-L. We intend that the list be used for various activities of MLA that can benefit by wide- scale distribution (such as announcements of deadlines for NOTES and the Newsletter, news items, general inquiries about MLA activities, etc.). The list could also be used for reference inquiries, and other topics of interest to the music library community.

Papakhian and Richard Griscom served as co-owners of the list until Papakhian's death in 2010. The current owners are Griscom and Misti Shaw (Indiana University). For more on the history of MLA-L, see Richard Griscom, "MLA-L at Twenty," Notes 65, no. 3 (March 2009): 433-63.


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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.