How Do You Carry an Entire Library Home?

In mid-March when our season was abruptly curtailed, the players left the stage, packed up their instruments, and headed home. Associate Librarian Allison Bates and I spent the following week retrieving music that had been checked out for future concerts, contacting music publishers about canceled programs, and shipping off whatever music we could. When we got the order to vacate the library, we hastily filled bags with parts to work on at home, filled our "pencil boxes" with essential tools (pencils, pens, erasers, correction tape - alas, no room for the copier/scanner!), and made sure we had the passwords to remotely access our library desktops.

Associate Librarian Allison Bates' home library workstation and her "assistant" Pearl

Since then, work has not stopped but has been largely digital: continuing dialogue with publishers about rental fees, research for programming and budgeting of next season's concerts, documenting the past season, cleaning up and organizing computer files, and communicating with librarians in similar situations throughout the world. Much of the international conversation has been about streaming and copyright law. The trickle, then flood, of play-from-home videos being streamed is happening everywhere and has prompted us all to explore the complex web of laws we may not have been sufficiently versed in. As musicians and management together look ahead to life after Covid, we're aware that the ground has shifted for the performing arts and we will necessarily be increasing our digital exposure beyond the concert hall we all long to return to.


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