Nottingham City Council’s Loxley House turned out to be the perfect venue for the “Music in Public Libraries” seminar on Friday, 27 September, with 17 attendees travelling from locations from across from country for a lively afternoon of discussions and updates. Nigel Hawkins, Nottingham City Council’s Head of Culture and Libraries (are libraries “culture” too…?), started off the official timetable with a thoughtful welcome and overview, prior to which Malcolm Jones gave a tribute to Malcolm Lewis, Nottingham city’s erstwhile and recently-deceased music library head. (A minute’s silence was observed.) We then had a quick “updates from your library” session, following which Chris Scobie (BL) sought opinions on the future of Cecilia and on the Concert Programmes Database — he got lots of (hopefully useful) feedback regarding how to improve and preserve these databases into the future. Since Malcolm Jones, variously father or midwife (choose your Preferred Term…) of the performance sets database ENCORE was in the room, ENCORE also received the occasional mention…. Anna Wright then reprised and updated some of the work on performance sets that she had presented at the Leicester ASW earlier this year, and we finished the afternoon with a discussion of SWRLS’s “Joining the Dots” report of 2017, which is going to be the basis for discussions at a Performing Arts Library seminar at the British Library towards the end of October (several IAML (UK & Irl) members are attending). Some considerable disquiet about the report was expressed by several of those present.
Feedback on the afternoon has been very positive, with many attendees welcoming this networking opportunity outside of the ASW. A number also mentioned that they would be implementing ideas from the seminar at their “home” libraries. Huge thanks to Ros Edwards (Henry Watson Music Library, Manchester) for once again organising this valuable and valued seminar.