One week has passed since the first Pan-American Regional IAML Meeting took place in sunny Orlando, Florida (22-26 February). It is difficult to imagine when I am back in Gothenburg with wet snow falling from a grey sky accompanied by strong winds from the sea…
I would like to share some impressions with you of this very successful meeting. The American IAML Branch, Music Library Association (MLA), had invited colleagues from Latin America to its annual conference in 2017. The purpose was to reach out to this continent where IAML so far has only a few members (one positive exception however is the newly established national branch in Brazil). The conference was co-sponsored by the Canadian IAML Branch, Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (CAML). Around ten Latin American colleagues participated from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela. The conference had approximately 350 participants and the number of exhibitors was impressive.
The Music Library Association was founded in 1931 and is IAML's largest national branch. There has been a strong connection between MLA and IAML for decades, but only in 2011 did MLA become a national branch of IAML.
The IAML Board holds two meetings each year — one at the annual congress and the second in February. The mid-year Board meeting usually takes place where one of the Board members is living. This year we decided to have the meeting adjacent to the conference in Orlando to be able to take part in this important event. The Board also sponsored two sessions during the conference: "Music Librarianship, Preservation, and Documentation Worldwide: The IAML Board Presents" and "IAML Latin America Forum".
The Board meeting was, as always, two full days long with close to thirty items on the agenda. Two guests were invited to the meeting: Jim Cassaro, the Editor of Fontes, and Jon Bagüés, Chair of the Outreach Committee and the project group Access to Music Archive. Incidentally Jon was a great resource during the week thanks to his in-depth knowledge of music libraries, archives and documentation centres in Latin America, and in addition his many personal contacts.
An important item on the agenda was the Terms of reference for IAML's different groups. All groups had sent their drafts to the Constitution Committee, which had then forwarded edited versions to the Board. A group consisting of three Board members will continue to work in collaboration with the Chairs of each group during the spring. The final proposal will be published on IAML-L in the middle of May for members to discuss. Finally, the General Assembly will have its say at the annual congress in Riga (18-22 June).
The Chair of the Publications Committee, Joseph Hafner, reported that the Web team is now finalizing the preparation of “work spaces" for IAML's groups on our website (following the proposal of the Ad Hoc Committee). I think this is a very important step forward that will enable members to keep in contact between the congresses.
Last, but not least, we were discussing the forthcoming elections for officers of IAML's Subject sections and Institutional sections. Several people have already been nominated or indicated their interest, but we still need many more candidates. The elections will take place at the congress in Riga (18-22 June).
The actual conference started right after the Board meeting. IAML had its own table in the Exhibition Hall where we gave information about the Association and handed out our newly produced brochure.
During the IAML congresses I am usually very busy “behind the scene", so this time I took the opportunity to attend many interesting sessions. I found two of them especially relevant for me: “Core Competencies for Music Librarians" and "Music Information Seeking Behavior in the Digital Age: Implications and Recommendations for Music Librarians". It was also exciting to listen to the presentations on music institutions with important collections in Latin America. There is so much to discover!
Since I work at a music conservatory I attended the meeting with the Conservatory Libraries Interest Group. The topics that were discussed were very familiar to me, so I felt right at home. MLA has many so-called Interest Groups, for Jazz, Popular Music, Digital Humanities, etc. This is something the Ad Hoc Committee suggested that we would instigate in IAML as well. I am waiting with anticipation for our members' initiatives.
IAML's President, Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie and I were kindly allowed to participate in the MLA Board meeting on Sunday. There was great emphasis on matters concerning diversity and inclusiveness, which I found very interesting.
At the business meeting Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie warmly thanked MLA and its President Michael Rogan for initiating and implementing the idea of a Pan-American Regional IAML Meeting and for all their generosity in connection with this. She also thanked CAML and its President Brian McMillan for co-sponsoring this very successful event.