I have been honored to work with the Theatre Library Association (TLA) since 2003 and I am thrilled to be its current President. TLA was founded in 1937 and MLA was founded in 1931, so both associations have a long history. We have a lot in common and TLA was very honored when MLA invited us to hold a joint conference in 2021. I am grateful to the TLA Board members who connected us! We felt so welcomed by MLA and had a wonderful experience. Members of TLA, including me, gave several well-received presentations, on topics that fit in well with the conference program. We were also invited to committee meetings and social events, and it was all lively, thought-provoking and, again, welcoming. In my career, I have attended innumerable conferences as a professor, archivist and librarian, including many theatre conferences, but it was my first time attending the MLA conference. I learned a lot and greatly enjoyed all presentations, including listening to Bootsy Collins! It was all memorable and I look forward to more joint conferences in the future! This is the beginning of a great collaboration between TLA and MLA.
Dr. Francesca Marini is President of the Theatre Library Association (TLA) and Associate Professor, Programming and Outreach Librarian at the Texas A&M University Libraries, Cushing Memorial Library & Archives. In her role, she makes collections and ideas available to the public, through in-person and online talks, exhibitions, tours, fairs, and more. She holds a Ph.D. in Library and Information Studies (UCLA), a Master’s degree in Archival Studies (Modena State Archives), and a Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Theatre Studies (University of Bologna). Her research focuses on performing arts archiving, as well as on special collections and archives outreach.