IAML (UK & Irl) celebrated both institutional and individual excellence at its recent Excellence Awards ceremony held at Chancellor's Hotel, Manchester on Saturday 2nd April 2016. The Excellence Awards are presented every two years and acknowledge activity in music libraries which demonstrates sustained good work and good practice with the potential to be adopted and adapted by others. The Awards also recognise outstanding personal achievement by individuals. Music collections from any sector in the UK and Ireland can be nominated for the Award, no matter what their sector, size or type.
The nominations for this year's Awards were judged by a panel of experts from both the music and library worlds, chaired by Jan Smaczny, Professor Emeritus of Music Queen's University, Belfast.
Music libraries play a key role in supporting the study, performance and enjoyment of music and underpin the vibrant diverse musical life and heritage in the UK and Ireland and, as Prof Smaczny has said, "the very musical infrastructure of the United Kingdom and Ireland depends fundamentally on the work of music librarians".
This year saw the following 13 institutional libraries and 3 individuals receive an Excellence Award:
- Barbican Music Library
- Bournemouth Music Library
- Gerald Coke Handel Collection
- Henry Watson Music Library
- Hertfordshire Libraries – Performing Arts
- Irish Traditional Music Archive
- Library of Trinity College Dublin
- Oxford Music Library
- Royal Northern College of Music Library
- Surrey Performing Arts Library
- Westminster Music Library
- Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- Yorkshire Music Library
- Almut Boehme
- Tanith Hicks
- Ruth Walters