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Music Librarians

History

In the United States, the first music library was established by the Brooklyn Public Library in New York in 1882. The Library of Congress Division of Music was organized in the 1890s, with a phonorecord collection established at the institution in 1903. By the early 20th century, music-related resources gained popular appeal in our nation's libraries. In fact, Library Journal devoted its August 1915 issue to the music collections of public libraries. By 1928, 53 colleges and universities had libraries with music collections—although only 12 of these collections featured audio recordings. In 1931, the Music Library Association (MLA) was formed to represent the professional interests of music librarians. Today's music librarians not only manage and organize music manuscripts, books, and recordings, but must also have a keen knowledge of the Internet and music software programs.