Thursday, July 21, 2011

Studying and socializing in the UNL Music Library

Many music majors at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln are required to take “Library 101” during their freshman year. This course is partially completed by taking online quizzes about the location of the UNL libraries, looking certain resources up online and finding their call numbers, and actually having a tour of the library with a librarian. The goal of the course? Hopefully, students will be prepared to utilize the resources available from the more than three-million books and countless online resources provided by the University library system. The library is well-located in Lincoln in the basement of the Westbrook Music Building at 10th and Q Sts.
Music students are given a tour of the Music Library and learn about catalog system and call numbers for music scores, recordings, and books. They are shown how to access JStor, Naxos Music Library, Grove Music Dictionary Online, and many more great resources. These will come in handy for research, finding scores to perform, and presentations in the years to come.

But that is not all. Jessica Dussault, a 2011 graduate from the School of Music, remembers that “when I had downtime between classes, I would head straight to the library to see who else had some time on their hands. A lot of students used the couches and tables to socialize and study. Even if I didn’t have official business in the library, it was still fun to hang out.”

Another recent graduate, Katie Litzenberger, says that she loved that it was in a basement, and “I studied there before tests because it was quiet. I loved the fact that you felt like you could hide and listen to music and enjoy it.” Litzenberger also made use of the copy machine and computers in the library as well as recordings. “I remember the wealth of information it had. I honestly didn't spend very much time there until my last two years. Then, I really got to know it. I remember the computers; it was the place I went to print off all my stuff for presentations....timing it right before class started. I remember checking out music recordings to study for my classes too!”

Dussault also made use of Interlibrary loan available through the University libraries. One time, she was looking for a book that was out of print. It took weeks, but “at the end of the semester, the librarians contact me and said, ‘we tracked down the author and got him to donate a copy since it is no longer published, and now it’s in the music library!’ Now we have a History of the Cornhusker Marching Band book in the library.”

The library wants to be and is the place to go for information, recordings, and scores of Classical music. It is a great resource for students and residents of Lincoln as well. Everyone can find something useful, a place to study, a long-sought book, or a beloved recording.

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