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Chess Pieces by John CageThis past week I was in Pittsburgh for the joint conference of the Music Library Association and the Society for American Music. I will give a quick summary, but if you are interested in hearing more about anything, just let me know!

The first day was spent at a Music OCLC Users Group (MOUG) meeting. MOUG is made up of music catalogers and other music librarians who are interested in related issues. There were presenations on, LP weeding, acquisitions, outsourcing, and a business meeting. I did learn some interesting things but feel that in the future MOUG is not really where I need to be, as I do not currently do any cataloging!

The second afternoon I was able to explore a lot of the city. You can see my pictures of the trip here. The highlights around town include seeing a Blakelock painting at the Carnegie Museum and the Heinz Chapel.

During the MLA/SAM Conference, I had the opportunity to attend two subcommittee meetings. I joined the Oral History Subcommittee, which is charged of collecting the oral histories of librarians who have been involved with the national organization. I am also organizing the same project for the southeast chapter, so it is helpful to be involved on the national level. Later in the week I also went to the meeting of the Electronic Reference Services Subcommittee – I hope to serve on it eventually, as they evaluate and present on many of the new resources out there for music libraries.

One of the best presentations I went to talked about the discovery of two works by John Cage, which were then performed by Margaret Lang Tan. One of the works was hidden in plain sight, in a piece of art called “Chess Pieces.” Other presentations I attended included a session on American Song with Thomas Hampson, Reference Sources for American Music, Hot Topics in Music Librarianship (including LP weeding, social software, the disappearance of the CD, music bibliography classes, etc.), Music in Pittsburgh, Musical Canon and American Library Collections, and the poster sessions. I also got to meet with the other editors and columnists for Music Reference Services Quarterly, a journal I write a column for.

Categories: Conference, MLA, Travel