It was always going to be difficult finding up-to-date information on someone so recent on the pop music scene; what are the critics saying about her Monster Ball tour? What about that shocking outfit she wore in Carlisle? Was she in the Billboard music awards for 2011?
With only a handful of books about her in stock and none of them published more recently than 2010, it would be a long and tortuous struggle wading through Google to find anything to satisfy our discerning customers. And then what about the citation? More fiddly searches, more dead ends, more impatient customers.
Back in the days before electronic resources we had Music Index; volume after volume of articles lovingly indexed from hundreds of music journals (mostly of the distinctly worthy variety) and painstakingly bound into annual volumes, which as it took so long for the army of indexers to compile, were always two years out of date. And then you needed a PhD to work out the cross referencing. What chance Lady Gaga there?
Then along came Music and Performing Arts Online – bringing the International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP) and the International Index to Performing Arts (IIPA) together in one easy to use site. The licence agreement means that we can’t make it available remotely (sorry!), but you can use it from a computer in any Westminster library – it’s one of our ‘In-House Specials’ [book a PC now]. One simple search, over 900 hits all devoted to Lady Gaga, all bang up to date. Result? Satisfied customer, happy staff.
And if you still want the worthy stuff, it’s all there too. From Glastonbury to ballet to the Proms, look no further than MPA.