What’s a IAML?

Good question. It’s an International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres according to their website and yours truly recently attended their annual conference last week which was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

I’ve always been intrigued by this organization of many languages. Are presentations in foreign tongues? If so, are there interpreters like at the United Nations? What do music librarians in Germany talk about? How does the term “documentation centre” translate (sounds ominously like some backwater immigration office)?

Well, I’m here to tell you all about it.

Five days (cinq journees, funf Tagen) is a long spread of time for a conference; however, I enjoyed the opportunity to settle in this beautiful city.  Interesting to hear about other institutions from around the world and our commonly shared task of making resources available to the masses.

My bullet-pointed summary follows:

Groovy Links


  • How do you determine the original version of a born-digital document?
  • Should libraries be informal study halls?
  • What is the role of the librarian with online courses like EdX or Coursera?

Neato Projects

  • Musik Hochschule, Leipzig, making concert programs from the 19th century available as research items to establish its involvement within the city’s musical past.
  • Dublin Institute of Technology as a proponent of the importance of newspapers as a valuable research item due to their unbiased nature and limitless detail.

And, in case you were wondering, the default language at this year’s conference was English, although there were a number of French speakers whose ppt slides were in English. You could still pretend you work for the United Nations, if you want.


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