Discussion session - digital provision of music resources by public libraries

10. February 2021 - 14:30 to 15:30

The IAML (UK & Irl) Trade and Copyright Committee is collaborating with the Events and Training Committee to host a discussion session relating to digital/remote provision of music in public libraries. The session is primarily aimed at public librarians working with music, but interested parties from other library sectors are very welcome to attend. We hope that the virtual format will mean we can welcome more colleagues from Ireland than might otherwise have been the case.

It will be a very informal participatory session to explore issues around the topic. We want to hear directly from our public library colleagues to identify needs in this area and ascertain whether there is anything that IAML (UK & Irl) can be exploring/advocating for with publishers and suppliers.

The survey of music library staff and users recently commissioned by the Music Libraries Trust includes pertinent data and recommendations, making for an interesting read (whether or not you’ll be joining the session!)

In order to make best use of the discussion time available we’ve laid out some questions below which participants might find useful to give some thought to beforehand.

  • In the current climate where existing music resources may not be physically accessible to the public, what alternatives can libraries offer to maintain people’s cultural lives?
  • Are public libraries currently subscribing to digital score services and how is this content being made available to users? Are current models fit for purpose?
  • Are digital resources primarily being used within computers/readers/other devices or downloaded and printed out? To what extent does it limit the value of resources if they can only be used within a given app?
  • Is there demand for public libraries to digitize printed music held in their own collections? Is a licensing solution desirable?
  • The MLT survey shows that over 87% of library users preferred printed music to digital versions. Does this reflect different user groups/demographics? Will views have changed in light of the ongoing pandemic and potentially the longer-term?
  • What is the role of libraries in relation to the circulation of digital music resources? Should making resources available in digital form be a priority?
  • How do library staff feel about holding materials on a subscription basis rather than owning them? Is it more sustainable or does it undermine development of the collection?
  • Is there a need to solicit any further information from users in relation to digital provision? And if so, how best to go about it?
  • Is there anything colleagues would like IAML (UK & Irl) to explore/advocate for with publishers and resource suppliers in relation to digital provision?

The session will take place on Zoom. If you would like to participate please email Claire Kidwell by Monday 8th February. Joining instructions will follow soon thereafter.

Calendar list