October 24, 2021

Report: “University of Minnesota Music Library Seeks to Diversify Its Collection”

From The Minnesota Daily:

While putting together music for his second Master’s recital in 2019, University of Minnesota alum Jared Miller said finding music by Latinx or Spanish composers was difficult, even impossible at times. “Latinx” is a gender-neutral term for Latino.

Set on finding a particular piece written by his favorite Mexican composer, Miller said he could not find sheet music anywhere, despite scouring the University’s collection, the internet and a number of other libraries.

He later found the score was only published in Cuba, and after some detective work by University music librarian Jessica Abbazio, the two eventually secured a copy from an Oklahoma cellist who had performed the piece for an heir of the composer 30 years prior.

Since then, Abbazio has made it her mission to diversify the University’s Music Library, an immense task but one she has taken to heart. The physical collection houses over 100,000 items, including music scores, recordings, books and CDs. Abbazio estimates 85% of the collection is from a white or European repertoire.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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