Thursday, March 28, 2013

MLA Conference 2013

Well, this post has been a little delayed. But better late than never, right?

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the recent Music Library Association national conference in San Jose, California. It was a week full of firsts: my first time to California, my first time traveling further west than Missouri, my first time attending a national conference, my first time speaking at a national conference, and so on. And it was amazing!


Traveling was an adventure. I'd only been on a plane three times before in my life, and I doubled that just getting to California. The first leg of the journey was from Ohio down to Atlanta, right through a huge storm, which made for a bumpy ride.

From Atlanta I flew to Los Angeles, and then from Los Angeles to San Jose. I arrived in San Jose around 8pm local time and then took a taxi to the conference hotel. It was 11pm EST, so I called it an early night.


The conference offered a few tours and trips the day before business began. We could go on a whale watching tour, a winery tour, a missions tour, or a tour of Stanford's music library. I chose the whale watching boat tour in Monterey.

I spent an entire summer on lakes and rivers when I toured with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, but I had never seen an ocean before. Even though I've been to Florida many times over the last few years, I just never got around to it. 

I saw my first (hundred) sea lions...

... and spent three hours on the Pacific ocean.

We saw fourteen whales! They were unfortunately very difficult to photograph, so I don't have any evidence. But I decided I would rather see them in person than miss them through a camera :)

We also had a dog on board. How cool is that?!

After the tour we had an hour or two to have lunch, shop, and explore the area before we had to catch the bus back to San Jose. I got back to my room just in time to drop off my bags, change, and then make it to the First-Timers Reception.

Unfortunately, both of my hotel keys stopped working. I went to the desk and got replacements, went back up to my room on the eighth floor, and found that neither of those worked either! I went back down to the desk and was given two more replacement keys, and those also failed so I had to wait for security to figure out what was wrong.

By the time that was finally sorted out, I had already missed dinner and the program of speakers was just beginning. A few past Interlochen interns were there, as well as my boss at my school's music library. It was nice to see some familiar faces!

The conference has a mentoring program for first-time attendees, so we then waited for our mentors to arrive. My boss knew my assigned mentor and found her to introduce us, and then I went to the opening reception with her. I met so many new people that night, and ran into a few other people who I already knew, including two of my past bosses at Interlochen. Music librarians have such a wonderful, welcoming community and I had a great time.


Thursday marked the beginning of sessions. I attended:
  • Plenary I: A View from the Top: The 21st Century Music Librarian Panel on the Future of Subject Collections
  • E-scores Made E-asy: Acquisition, Licensing, Storage, and Access
  • From the Ground Up: Building Community through Space Planning
  • RDA Best Practices for Music: A Conversation

After the sessions, I was able to attend the meetings of the Music Library Student Group and the Midwest Chapter.


Friday was the day of my presentation! I’m going to write a separate post about it at a later time. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. I would really like to go into more detail, and this post is already looking to be very long :)

Apart from my own session, I attended:
  • A Tour of Northern California Music Archives
  • New Frontiers in Database Development of the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation: Music in Gotham and RILM
  • Collaborative Collection Development: Challenges and Solutions

After presentations for the day were complete, all of the current and past Interlochen employees went out to dinner. It was great to see everyone again, and I also met an intern from before my time!


I attended:
  • RDA for All: RDA, Music Discovery, and Beyond
  • And Now for Something Completely Different: New Exercises to Keep Your Students Engaged in Library Instruction
  • Orpheus Looks Ahead: Reinventing NPR’s Music Library
  • Music Librarianship: What Types of Jobs Are Available, Who’s Hiring, and How to Land One of Today’s Jobs
  • Untangling the Tricky Web of Sheet Music Publishers, Self-Publishers, Rentals, Licensing, and the Impact of Legislation

Saturday was the final day of the conference, and concluded with the banquet and awards. The MLA Big Band also played. The Music Library Student Group had a table to ourselves, and it was a fun, relaxing way to end the conference.


Sunday was my travel day. I checked out of my room and was on my way to the airport by 4am. I flew from San Jose to Seattle, Seattle to Detroit, and then Detroit to Akron-Canton. I got back to my apartment around 11pm local time. The busy conference schedule and the time changes made the following morning very difficult, but it was well worth it. I had a fantastic time, and I can't wait for next year's conference in Atlanta :)

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