We are very pleased to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and welcome the opportunity to work more closely together.
We look forward a fruitful collaboration with CILIP, as we work to preserve and make available the rich musical heritage in our libraries.
IAML(UK & Irl) Current Concerns
A Dispersed National Resource
IAML (UK & Irl) has particular concern for performance sets at present, which are a national resource but widely dispersed across library authorities and libraries in other sectors. Together, they are a unique and essential collection for music making in the UK, but they are very vulnerable (as a non-statutory service) in the present financial climate, and their use is not fully recognised or acknowledged due to lack of data. One loan may be registered, but may be for 200 copies of a work, which is then performed to an audience of say 500, meaning 700 people have effectively ‘used’ that single loan – this data is relatively obscure, and makes it difficult for funders and managers of collections at a higher level when they have hard choices to make.
The Inter Library Loan system for music sets is actually also a prime example of cross-sectoral collaboration, with music libraries from public, higher education and private sectors all lending to each other, maximising use of resources and demonstrating joined-up thinking across regions and sectors.
IAML (UK & Irl) supports and funds a national database of these performance sets, which has recently moved to a new web-based platform and currently has data for 90,000 sets from more than 95 library services , to support ILLs of sets.
Funding Challenges – Solutions Sought
This database is funded entirely by membership subscriptions at present, although this is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term, as music library posts are deleted and membership numbers consequently fall. We are trying to ensure a long-term solution to ensure performance sets provision for all with a more effective and efficient method of loans, a ‘library of last resort’ to hold collections which libraries (usually local authorities) no longer wish to support, and a regional or national system which works for the many thousands of music users and music lovers across the country.