IAML Update: Pan-American Regional IAML Conference in Orlando

IAML President Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie shares her report on first-ever Pan-American Regional IAML Conference, hosted the Music Library Association (MLA) and the Canadian Association of Music Libraries (CAML)—the US and Canadian national IAML branches respectively—held in Orlando, Florida, from 22 to 26 February 2017:

The idea for the conference was to bring together music librarians, archivists, and documentation specialists from all of the Americas, with an emphasis on the inclusion of Latin American colleagues. MLA, in part with outreach funds left over from the joint IAML-IMS congress in New York in 2015, was able to invite and support colleagues from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay, and Venezuela. In recognition of the importance of this meeting to IAML, the IAML Board decided to hold its mid-year meeting during the two days leading up to the conference. This enabled all of us on the Board to participate in the event and to reach out to these colleagues from Latin America. And it was successful. All Board members actively participated in the event and got to know many new colleagues from Latin America, and we were able to let them know about IAML and to welcome and encourage their participation in our association.

There were two official IAML events on the program:

Latin America Forum: Improving Access to Music Resources through Cooperation. Jon Bagües, Chair of IAML’s Outreach Committee, was enormously helpful in planning this panel, as was Stanisław Hrabia and Rupert Ridgewell, and above all, Emma Dederick, Librarian at the Latin American Music Center, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, who followed through on the initial idea and carried the ball of organizing and then moderating this session.

Following my brief welcome and Emma’s introduction, colleagues from five Latin American countries reported on the music collections in their institutions and more broadly in their countries, describing the successes they have achieved and the challenges they face. The panelists were as follows:

  • Flávia Camargo Toni, from the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
  • Hernán Gabriel Vázquez, from the Universidad Nacional de Rosario at the Instituto Nacional de Musicología “Carlos Vega”, Argentina
  • Yohana Ortega Hernández, from the Biblioteca y Archivo Odilio Urfé at the Museo Nacional de la Música, Cuba
  • Yael Bitrán Goren, Director of the Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación e Información Musical “Carlos Chávez” (CENIDIM), Mexico
  • Yoanna Díaz Vázquez, from the the Centro de Investigación en Artes Musicales y Escénicas of the Universidad de la República, Uruguay

The respondent for the panel was Javier León, Director of the Latin American Music Center, Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music.

The session was very informative and led to lots of ideas and discussions among the participants about ideas for working more closely together across country and regional boundaries.

Music Librarianship, Preservation, and Documentation Worldwide: The IAML Board Presents was the other official IAML event during the conference. Each Board member talked about IAML from various points of view to provide a clear idea of what IAML is and does, and how people can become involved in the association. First our Secretary General, Pia Shekhter, gave a rousing introduction to IAML, and then I talked about IAML’s achievements in recent years. Joseph Hafner discussed IAML’s publications and communication channels, and Balázs Mikusi talked about the national branches and the Forum of National Branches. He gave a wonderful introduction to what it means to be a national branch, and why a country would want to become one. Rupert Ridgewell gave a great overview of IAML’s congresses and the Forum of Sections, and Jane Gottlieb talked about the activities of the Membership and Advocacy committees. We invited Jon Bagüés to discuss the Outreach Committee, and Thomas Kalk talked about how to become a IAML member and what membership means. Finally, Stanisław talked about the directions in which IAML is heading, and the session ended with a question and answer period. For me, it was clear that, given attendance and audience participation and response, it was a very successful session.

Then the IAML, MLA, and CAML Boards held a reception for all Latin American colleagues (compliments of MLA) to get to know each other better, and the sense of joyful connection cannot be overstated. The talking and comparing and laughing and commiserating went well into the night, and there were several speeches of welcome and embrace from IAML, MLA, CAML and our Latin American colleagues. It was a moving experience.

I would like to thank again MLA and CAML for their inspiring partnership with IAML, and particularly Michael Rogan, the then outgoing MLA President, and the MLA Board for the wonderful support and cooperation with IAML is so many ways. Michael particularly has been so supportive and helpful in planning IAML’s two session here, and especially the IAML Latin America Forum. And many thanks also to CAML and its wonderful President, Brian McMillan, who have been so involved and supportive as well.

This event has led to many discussions among our Latin American colleagues, and among the rest of us, about future steps. The IAML Board is determined to make this only an early step in establishing stronger connections to Latin America, and we have already been thinking about possible future events with this goal in mind.

I know I speak for the entire IAML Board when I say we could not have been prouder to be part of this event.

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