What We Talked About: The Fall 2012 Music Library Student Advisory Group

Meet­ing once a quar­ter, the Music Library Stu­dent Advi­sory Group (MLSAG) is made up of under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate stu­dents who offer feed­back on Music Library spaces, tech­nol­ogy, ser­vices, and col­lec­tions.  The goal of the MLSAG is to work with stu­dents to make cer­tain the Music Library is meet­ing their needs.  To join the MLSAG, email Ver­letta Kern at vkern at uw.edu.

Below, find the meet­ing notes from our Fall 2012 meeting.

Music Library Stu­dent Advi­sory Group Meet­ing Notes



I.  Vari­a­tions Grant Project Update

Ver­letta thanked the group for their let­ters of sup­port for the Vari­a­tions grant project.  Vari­a­tions is an open source stream­ing music soft­ware cre­ated by Indi­ana Uni­ver­sity.  It allows for sound record­ings in a Music Library col­lec­tion to be made avail­able off-campus to enrolled stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff.  It also has the abil­ity to make scans of music scores avail­able with the record­ing so you can lis­ten and read the score together.  The UW applied for a grant with Uni­ver­sity of Ore­gon, Reed Col­lege, and West­ern Ore­gon Uni­ver­sity to pilot the Vari­a­tions soft­ware.  We’ll receive fund­ing in Feb­ru­ary and work on set up and test­ing through­out the year.  We’ll pilot using Vari­a­tions with online reserves for a few select courses start­ing in fall 2013.  This would not have been pos­si­ble with­out your sup­port so thank you!


II.  What tech­nol­ogy would you like to see in the Music Library?

  • Ver­letta brought up the idea of a group view­ing sta­tion where stu­dents could watch operas and work on papers together.  The advi­sory group thought this would be help­ful for stu­dent stud­ies.  Ideas for place­ment ranged from replac­ing the two stand­ing com­puter upstairs with the sta­tion to replac­ing some of the view­ing equip­ment down­stairs with a group work station
  • Com­pact shelv­ing upstairs and downstairs—Verletta thought this may be a floor load issue but would check [This is a floor load issue and would not be pos­si­ble in the Music Library]*
  • Music resources study center
  • Sibelius soft­ware would also be nice to have on the com­puter work­sta­tions down­stairs [The Music Library will con­tinue to mon­i­tor the sta­tus of Sibelius and re-evaluate in Spring if it appears that the mar­ket for the soft­ware has stabilized]
  • Audio soft­ware would also be nice to have in the Music Library [The Music Library would like more infor­ma­tion on what type of soft­ware would be most desir­able.  In the mean­time, the Sound Stu­dio located in Ode­gaard Library might be a good solu­tion] 

The Music Library will move for­ward with an STF pro­posal to fund a com­puter and large screen mon­i­tor that may be used for group viewing/listening of record­ings and group work on papers and presentations.


III.  First­Search Usabil­ity Testing

The UW Music Library has an excit­ing oppor­tu­nity to be involved in test­ing the new ver­sion of FirstSearch’s World­Cat.   The com­pany is look­ing for music grad­u­ate stu­dents to test out the new inter­face and offer feed­back.  Three music grad­u­ate stu­dents vol­un­teered to be part of the group that will give feed­back on the new product.


III.  Feed­back on the new BookScan Station

  • Scan­ning is really help­ful but doesn’t work as well if you want to make a sin­gle copy of an item
  • Loca­tion of the printer in rela­tion to the BookScan Station:
    • Stu­dents would LOVE to have a printer placed next to the BookScan Station
    • Stu­dents did not feel that the upstairs or down­stairs print­ers should be relo­cated next to BookScan Sta­tion as they are well-used in their cur­rent location
    • It would be nice to have printer next to the BookScan Sta­tion but stu­dent would rather not have one there if it means relo­cat­ing an exist­ing printer

[The Music Library will keep print sta­tions where they are cur­rently located and explore the pos­si­bil­ity of obtain­ing an addi­tional printer.]


IV.  Feed­back on the improve­ments upstairs

  • All stu­dents in atten­dance were new stu­dents and unable to com­ment on the change
  • Move the white board table so that they aren’t over the plugs in the floor.  Right now the white board tables are turn­ing into charg­ing sta­tions as a result of being right over the plugs. Con­sider switch­ing the reg­u­lar tables and the white board tables.  [The Music Library will keep tables in their cur­rent loca­tion due to con­cerns about glare if the white board table was moved closer to the win­dow.]


V.  Stu­dent feed­back on the Music Library in gen­eral.  What has worked well?  What could use some improvement?

  • Printer has been a seri­ous issue for Music Library stu­dents this quar­ter.  Ver­letta explained that we have worked closely with the DAWG prints folks to rem­edy these issues.  We think they are worked out now but please let us know imme­di­ately if you con­tinue to run into print­ing issues!
  • Could the pol­icy on the USB key­boards be changed so that they could be taken out of the library?  It would be nice to use them but the space in the lab is too tight and uncom­fort­able to make using them their effi­cient.  [We have changed our pol­icy!  USB key­boards may now be checked out and taken out of the library for up to three days.]
  • Get­ting things from other places has been a chal­lenge.  One stu­dent ran into trou­ble bor­row­ing a DVD from another library.  Let the Music Library staff know if this is an issue for you and we can look into it!
  • It would be really nice to be able to check the CDs/DVD out and have the abil­ity to take them out of the library.  One stu­dent came from a library where stu­dents were able to take record­ings out to lis­ten to for up to 2 days and if they were late, stu­dents would get sub­stan­tial fines which dis­cour­aged them from steal­ing or hold­ing onto media mate­ri­als.  [CDs/DVDs are made library use only to accom­mo­date the music faculty’s desire to have items read­ily avail­able for teach­ing.  There are also many rare record­ings owned by the Music Library that could not be replaced if they were not returned.  The Music Library will bring up this topic with fac­ulty mem­bers of the Music Library’s Fac­ulty Advi­sory Com­mit­tee dur­ing their spring meet­ing.]
  • It would be help­ful to have record­ings from fac­ulty recitals avail­able at the Music Library.  One stu­dent and her fac­ulty mem­ber wanted to lis­ten to a 2007 School of Music record­ing and had to request it be sent over.  There should be a shelf in the library devoted to fac­ulty record­ings.  [Unfor­tu­nately space con­straints limit our abil­ity to have all of these record­ings on-hand in the library.  Our hope is to explore Vari­a­tions as a solu­tion to make these record­ings avail­able dig­i­tally on-site and through UW Net ID off-site.]
  • Stu­dent ran into issues with a book or score say­ing it was upstairs but really being down­stairs.  Ver­letta told the stu­dents we would look into this.  [We are cur­rently run­ning lists to ver­ify that loca­tions are show­ing cor­rectly in the library cat­a­log.]
  • Stu­dents would like bet­ter sig­nage for what is located upstairs and down­stairs.  Per­haps signs that hang from the ceil­ing down­wards?  The call num­bers on the ends of shelves are hard to read.  [We are explor­ing options for bet­ter sig­nage that would hang from the ceil­ing.]
  • One stu­dent had trou­ble search­ing for the Com­plete Works of Schu­bert in the library cat­a­log.  The cur­rent (UW only cat­a­log) is very old and seems out-dated.  Stu­dents gen­er­ally pre­fer to use UW World­Cat.  Ver­letta men­tioned stu­dents can ask staff if they aren’t find­ing things in the cat­a­log.  Staff are always happy to help.  Ver­letta also shared that a new online cat­a­log with lots of updated fea­tures will be com­ing, pos­si­bly later this summer.
  • Stu­dents find stream­ing lists for classes clunky and pre­fer to use Spo­tify instead.  One stu­dent men­tioned trou­ble with incor­rect pieces being linked to the stream­ing reserves for her course.  The pro­fes­sor was tak­ing notes on the incor­rect pieces and would send a full list of cor­rec­tions to the stream­ing reserves folks at the end of the quar­ter.  Ver­letta men­tioned that she hoped Vari­a­tions would help resolve this issue as fac­ulty could cre­ate their own play lists of mate­ri­als for their courses and wouldn’t have to rely fully on the library as the middleman.
  • Stu­dents really like the self-service reserves upstairs.
  • Check­ing books out down­stairs is clunky.  Stu­dents would pre­fer to send down­stairs books upstairs to check out instead of inter­rupt­ing down­stairs staff to check out materials.
  • Add another power strip upstairs.  You can never have too many power strips.  [We have ordered and addi­tional power strip.]
  • Stu­dents love hav­ing the large tables upstairs to spread out.


VI.  Sug­ges­tion box feedback

  • Forms seem fine
  • Stu­dents liked that ques­tions are responded to via the blog but thought some of the ques­tions should not be writ­ten word for word (ex. Stu­dent angry about print­ing).  Instead, con­dense the com­ment for posting.
  • Sug­ges­tion boxes are hard to fine.  Make them pink so they stand out.

VII.  Other feedback

  • Pub­li­cize the Music Library blog more!  Have the stu­dent advi­sors send a reminder to stu­dents about the blog quar­terly.  Give stu­dent a sense of what they will find in the blog and that their ques­tions will be answered there.  Get fac­ulty to pro­mote the blog.  [We will start work­ing with the advi­sors to pro­mote the blog begin­ning this (win­ter) quar­ter.]
  • Make a Music Library Xtra­nor­mal video sim­i­lar to the chat ref­er­ence video.
  • Invite DXArts stu­dents to join the Stu­dent Advi­sory Group.  [We will invite DXArts stu­dents to join the group.]
  • Get fac­ulty to pro­mote the Stu­dent Advi­sory Group

*Note: Ital­i­cized items in brack­ets indi­cate the Music Library’s response.


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