Spreading the word (and the music)

Music resourcesAt the beginning of each academic year, Westminster Music Library teams up with the Barbican Music Library to promote our library services to students at music colleges across London, registering new members and inviting them to come and explore the wealth of resources we have on offer.

During September, I attended a total of four Freshers’ Fairs on behalf of Westminster Libraries; at the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Sharing a table with Barbican Music Library at the Royal College of Music - signing up a new recruit for Westminster, September 2015

Sharing a table with Barbican Music Library at the Royal College of Music – signing up a new recruit for Westminster, September 2015

As with previous years, I was lucky enough to be joined at the Royal Academy of Music by Learning Support Librarian Barry Tsirtou, sharing an exclusive ‘Westminster’ table for the Music Library and Marylebone Library. This was a great way of promoting the full range of Westminster Libraries’ resources to new students, and having an extra pair of hands to register new members proved to be a huge bonus.

Many students were very keen to join but a few took a little more persuading, and by the end of each Fair I had all but lost my voice from describing the vast wealth of services we have to offer. The long queues at the Royal Academy of Music had Barry and I talking non-stop for most of the Fair!

Many of the students’ faces lit up when they heard that membership was free of charge but it was the range of scores available at Westminster Music Library and CDs at branches including Marylebone that really grabbed their attention. One Fresher was particularly surprised and excited to hear that we had a variety of scores for the composer Henri Dutilleux; although widely considered one of the greatest modern French composers of his day, there are precious few freely accessible collections that can boast the range of his works held in Westminster Music Library.

Barry and I were keen to promote our plethora of 24/7 online resources particularly those that cover the performing arts such as Naxos and Oxford Music Online (log in to these and others with your Westminster library card number), alongside the advantages of access to library services across Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. These extra benefits also scored a big hit!

Almost 150 students registered to join Westminster Libraries during the Fairs with many more showing an interest, making this year a resounding success. Those who registered were issued with their membership cards on the day; we look forward to welcoming them to our libraries and helping them to make the most of our excellent resources.

[Anthony]

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