Behind the notes

IAML UK & Ireland logoIn April I attended the Annual Study Weekend of the UK and Ireland branch of The International Association of Music Libraries (IAML). This was a fantastic opportunity to meet other library staff working in specialist music libraries both in the public and academic sectors and to gain a greater understanding of Music Librarianship in the UK.

Held at the Aston University Conference Centre in Birmingham the weekend was centred around a number of talks and interactive sessions held by staff from institutions such as the British Library, Trinity College of Music and Drama and The Royal College of Organists. Participants were also lucky enough to hear a well delivered presentation from our very own Ruth Walters on Westminster Music Library’s ever growing public events schedule, including details of our successful Behind The Lines project with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. And we were given an extensive tour of the music department in the futuristic new Library of Birmingham.

Inside the new Library of Birmingham. Photograph by Margaret Jones.

Other highlights included a panel discussion concerning the ever present issues surrounding music copyright and use of material in libraries, an overview of the new ‘Hive’ library in Worcester where academic and public services are combined and a talk concerning the rise of Heavy Metal Music Studies as an academic research area!

The Hive library in Worcester. Photograph by Janet Mackinnon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

The weekend ended with a presentation on the subject of Music Therapy delivered by a member of the British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT). This was an opportunity for us to explore the possibilities of cross-sector collaborative work between public libraries and outside groups from a public health perspective and Westminster Music Library are looking forward to hosting members of the BAMT at the library during the upcoming Music Therapy Week (22-28 June) for a free public workshop and presentation – keep an eye on our events page for details.





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