A glimpse into the highly specialised field of performance librarianship – report from the 41st MOLA conference

In June of 2023 Geneviève Beaudry attended the Major Orchestra Librarians' Associations conference in Berlin. For BII she recounts how she reconnected with her peers and her thoughts on the sessions she visted.

“MOLA’s mission is to facilitate communication between professional performance librarians, educate and assist them in providing service to their organizations, provide support and resources to the performing arts, and work with publishers to achieve the highest standards in music performance materials.
Performance librarianship is a very specialized area of library science and is indeed not taught as a degree in Canada. Day in, day out, performance librarians throughout the world provide the necessary materials to their respective ensembles’ members. This makes it possible for them to be able to rehearse, perform and record musical works for their audience to enjoy.
The various sessions covered a wide range of topics. For the first time in 2023, MOLA devoted a complete day to a “Tech Fair” on June 2, first day of a content-packed conference. This special event took place at the Hochschule fur Musik Hanns Eisler. It was the occasion to discuss the current trends in our field.
A few sessions were devoted to mental health and self-care, providing advice, support, and strategies to find and maintain balance in an often-stressful work environment. Here are a few examples of the topics addressed: last-minute changes and how to navigate them, advocacy strategies to obtain the necessary resources in our respective units, how to survive as a new Performance Librarian, panel discussions about the realities of working abroad.

The whole report is available to be read in its entirety here.

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