I think a number of us have discovered one silver lining to a pandemic: the opportunity to take in additional professional-development events as they converted to a virtual format this year. For my part, I virtually attended conferences of my regional music library association, SEMLA, and a couple of other organizations that I’ve indirectly benefited from over the years, but never attended their meetings.
At SEMLA, a presentation of note was a re-iteration of a study originally done in 2016, surveying music faculties’ preferences for print versus electronic library materials. Not surprisingly, it revealed increased use of online resources over the intervening period, but a persistent preference for print when it came to books and music scores. Some reasons: many use e-books for general review, but print them out when concentrated work is required; online scores are similarly consulted for study/review, but when it comes to performers’ needs, while a minority downloads them to other digital devices like tablets to perform from, the majority prints them out for performance; also, singers are often required to provide a print copy for the house accompanist.
OLAC, the online and audiovisual catalogers’ group, gave me a chance to expand my skills set by attending a couple of basic-level workshops on video and streaming media.
As a first-time attendee at NASIG, I was impressed by the breadth of topics addressed. I attended sessions on curriculum-driven collection mapping; cross-unit workflow development using the “rapid contextual design” method; and linked-data implementation guidance from projects by LD4P, dbpedia, Bibframe, the PCC, Wikibase, OCLC’s FAST subject terms, and cataloging apps like MarcEdit.