Friday, November 10, 2006

Ball State University Libraries Make Finding Chamber Music Easier

When students and faculty ask “What music do you have for a woodwind quintet?” or “How do I find music with a saxophone?” locating the answer is easy and convenient by using the University Libraries’ new Chamber Music Media Finder.

This powerful research tool re-packages information into a user-friendly interface. Students, faculty, and staff can find music written for one to nine instruments. The Media Finder provides quick access to printed music, recordings, or both.

“Searching the online catalog for music can be tricky for people because of the specialized vocabulary sometimes involved,” said Keith Cochran, Music Librarian. “This new media finder is a tremendous tool for accessing notated and recorded instrumental music for smaller ensembles.”

In the past year, over 65,000 people have visited the Media Finders’ home page,

This newest locator brings the total number of Media Finders to nine.

The idea for creating the Chamber Music Media Finder arose after the Libraries’ Music Collection’s staff noticed that questions on finding music for specific instrumentation were increasingly frequent, along with a few respondents’ comments on our recent LibQual+ survey, which revealed that musicians sometimes had trouble locating music for their instruments.

“Creating the Chamber Music Media Finder was an ambitious undertaking because so many parameters of an item’s catalog record had to be evaluated in constructing the finder,” according to Sue Weiland, Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian (Music Emphasis).

Keith and Sue agreed the project was well worth the effort because of the benefits it provides to students and faculty whether or not they are musicians.

Creating the Chamber Music Media Finder was made possible through the insight and efforts of colleagues Kelley McGrath, Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian (A-V Emphasis), Katie Bohnert, Library Enterprise Services and Systems Support Analyst, James Hammons, Head of Library Enterprise Services and Systems, and Aaron Brocken, Music Collection Night Supervisor.


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