MLA News

Official News from the Music Library Association

2020 MLA Award Winners

As announced at the business meeting in Norfolk, Virginia, on February 29, 2020, here are the recipients of the awards given by the Music Library Association.

MLA Diversity Scholarship

The MLA Diversity Scholarship Award, funded by the membership of MLA, offers candidates from under-represented groups the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS) with financial support. 

The recipient of the MLA Diversity Scholarship is Hang Nguyen.

Kevin Freeman Travel Grant

The Kevin Freeman Travel Grant is an annual award to support travel and hotel expenses to attend the Music Library Association annual meeting. Recipients must be students, recent graduates, or in the first three years of their careers.

The Freeman Travel Grant awardees are:

Linda Bagley, Adaliz Cruz, April James; and the Diversity Scholarship awardee, Hang Nguyen.

Vincent H. Duckles Award

Vincent H. Duckles Award is given for the best book-length bibliography or other research tool in music.

This year’s Duckles Award is granted to John Gray for Music of Sub-Saharan Africa: An International Bibliography and Resource Guide, part of the Black Music Reference Series published by African Diaspora Press, 2018.

The Publication Awards Committee wrote:

John Gray’s Music of Sub-Saharan Africa is an in-depth resource and bibliography for the music of Sub-Saharan Africa. Including general works offering broad historical and critical perspectives, covering musical instruments, regional studies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and biographies covering nearly 1,500 musicians, composers, ethnomusicologists, dancers, and others involved with or influenced by Sub-Saharan African music, it can guide and support research of anyone studying or interested in African music, as well as librarians who may catalog or want to acquire reference works regarding Sub-Saharan Africa.

Richard S. Hill Award

The Richard S. Hill Award is given for the best article on music librarianship or article of a music-bibliographic nature.

This year’s Hill Award recipients are Joe C. Clark, Sheridan Stormes, and Jonathan Sauceda, for the article, “Format Preferences of Performing Arts Students: A Multi-institution Study.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 44, no. 5 (2018): 620-626.

The award committee wrote:

[The article] reveals important information to consider regarding collection development and acquisitions for today’s performing arts librarians. The research design, study, and results clearly demonstrated student preferences among print, audiovisual, streaming, and reference resources, as well as the benefit of considering user preferences and behavior leading to more user-focused collection development and resource acquisition. One noted methodology was the use of focus groups in addition to the surveys, which allowed the researchers to gather in-depth feedback and reception regarding user preferences in a candid nature, allowing for more effective analysis of preferences. Librarians in charge of acquisitions may find this article helpful in guiding future purchases, or provide them with a methodology to gather their own patron input to make sure purchases suit the current needs of patrons.

Eva Judd O’Meara Award

The Eva Judd O’Meara Award is an annual award for the best review published in Notes.

The recipient of the O’Meara Award is Edward Komara, for “The Original Blues: The Emergence of the Blues in African American Vaudeville by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff (review).” Notes 74, no. 4 (2018): pp. 658-661.

The Publication Awards Committee wrote:

Drawing on his own experience on the subject matter, Komara finds connections and scholarly accomplishments in Abbott and Seroff’s four-part scholarly account of the history of Blues music. Komara’s strong background and understanding of the Blues provides him the insight and knowledge to describe how the Original Blues fits into the remainder of the scholarly series. Komara is a storyteller not only in the way he reviews the contents of the Original Blues but also in the way he connects the content to broader scholarship on the Blues. Komara also exposes the reader to a wide range of secondary sources on the performers mentioned in the volume, making this review its own introduction to Blues and African American music in the early twentieth century. Komara ends with suggestions on how the volume and research in Blues could continue beyond this series. For the reader looking to develop their own interests in Blues music, Komara provides a thorough understanding of the scope of this book in addition to its connection to overall Blues scholarship.

MLA Citation

The MLA Citation, The Association’s tribute for lifetime achievement and our highest honor, is awarded in recognition of distinguished service to music librarianship over a career. Citation recipients become Honorary Members of the Music Library Association. This year’s citation recipient is Michael Rogan.

The citation reads as follows:

In a career spanning over three decades, this year’s recipient has held several significant positions in MLA, including service as Newsletter Editor, Local Arrangements Chair, member-at-large on the Board, Treasurer/Executive Secretary, and President.

While the scope of his service is impressive, it is the manner in which he fulfilled these tasks that calls for recognition. His approach is always one of careful thought, followed by effective action, often exceeding the expectations of the office. His creativity and willingness to take risks, led to significant changes in the Association, including moving the Newsletter away from mere reporting to a documentation of MLA’s larger goals, establishing the position of the Administrative Officer and Assistant Administrative Officer positions, and widening the reach of MLA by bringing to fruition his idea of a Pan-American IAML meeting in Orlando.

He has championed students and new members while honoring the history and contributions of his predecessors, simultaneously inspiring other members through example and encouragement. His contributions to MLA have strengthened and improved its internal functions and its position in the world of librarianship, and we are a better organization thanks to his involvement. The Music Library Association is pleased to confer upon Michael Rogan the MLA Citation.