Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 31 May 2013

Conference First-Timer? Tips and Advice, Do's and Don'ts

Useful blogpost from the Journal of Victorian Culture Online -for any researcher just embarking on the conference circuit!

Four Things to Remember When Attending Conferences

New Zealand Conference: talks about Scottish Kennedy Family and John Wilson

The Scottish Kennedy family included Marjory Kennedy-Fraser, but it was her father who took the family on worldwide tours, singing Scottish songs to ex-pats.

John Wilson was another Victorian stalwart recitalist.  

Here are two papers about these individuals, given at a New Zealand conference in 2010.  You need to download this link to a sizeable pdf.  (It does take a while to download.)

Proceedings of the New Zealand Musicological Society and the Musicological Society of Australia Joint Conference hosted by the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand between 2nd and 4th December 2010 / Edited by Marian Poole

From Waulking to Railways: Make the Connection

Call and response singing is common in Hebridean work songs, like waulking (pounding tweed cloth) or boatsmen's songs.

Can you see a connection with railways in the American deep south, though?

Read the latest Bibliolore blogpost on Gandy dancers!

(Whittaker loves making connections between apparently disconnected phenomena!)

Gandy Dancers - RILM's blog image
Waulking - from website

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Donations to the Library - folksy but ...

Rather quaint, this - a book of Scottish tunes with a hand-embroidered cloth cover.  Lovely, you'd think.  This folksy charm comes with dust, pong, and a dried squished spider for added garnish.

Luckily we do already have several copies of this edition!

Music Library Assistant Job at University of Cambridge

This post might interest someone in the Cambridge area:-

"The Pendlebury Library of Music is looking for a new Library Assistant:

Faculty of Music

Pendlebury Library of Music
Library Assistant, Vacancy Reference Number GT29222

Salary: £18,005 - £20,764 per annum, (Grade 3, step 24 - 29)"

How to Apply for an Academic Job - eBook from

This may be of interest to students about to enter the job market – or indeed, colleagues looking to move onward and upward! is the place to look for academic jobs in the UK.

Get the eBook here.

(By the way, recently offered a free CV review with a partner agency.  You can read about this offer here.)

Copyright, Photocopying, UK Music and Musicians

Colleagues in IAML (UK and Ireland) advise us that 'the Music Publishers’ Association has recently published a revised Code of Fair Practice, which is available on its website here:'

This summary comes from Claire Kidwell, the Chair of the IAML(UK and Ireland) Trade and Copyright Committee, with thanks:-

"The salient changes are as follows:

•The terms ‘copy’ and ‘copies’ have been clarified as meaning ‘any form of graphic reproduction of a printed music publication as well as the transcribing of music notation’ (see page 6)

•In consultation with the various music performance exam boards and the British & International Federation of Festivals, a permission has been added that enables copies to be made for adjudicators and performance examiners (provided the performer has legitimately obtained his/her copy) (see point 10, page 8)

•In consultation with the British Dyslexia Association, a permission has been added that enables a copy to be made by, or on behalf of, a person with dyslexia or any other type of reading impairment (provided the individual has legitimately obtained his/her copy) (see point 11, page 8)

These positive developments [...] have already been gratefully received by many librarians and library users.

Monday, 27 May 2013

What's in the National Library of Scotland?

Because it's an hour away by train, it's easy to forget that you can access the National Library of Scotland with all its fabulous resources.  


Do come and ask your subject librarians here, if you need guidance on accessing the NLS.

By the way, if musicians can't physically get there, the Digitised gallery for music is here:-  - offering you historic Scottish printed music.  Drama and theatre people will similarly enjoy the Scottish Screen Archive, or maybe Scottish poetry - again, in the Digital Gallery collection.

There's a YouTube video of NLS Head of Music, Almut Boehme, speaking about music in the NLS, which you might find informative – for her own statistics, she needs you to watch the whole thing for it to “count”.  This is how she introduces it:-

I am very pleased to be able to announce that an introductory video about the NLS Music Collections has gone live on YouTube.  The video gives an overview on the collections, presents our online full text music and provides a case study with live music demonstrating four different versions of a Scottish tune including its famous Haydn arrangement.

This is the link to the video:

Please note that you need to watch the full length of the video for the statistics to count.  The sound quality will partly depend on your own devices but I hope you’ll still find the video enjoyable."

Wet Bank Holiday Monday: Whittaker Library is Open!

  • Had you planned on going out today?  Disappointed by the weather?
  • Or have you programme notes to prepare, maybe?
We're still here!  Normal opening hours, 9 am to 8.30 pm.  See you soon!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Readers, do you know what CILIP stands for?

Dear Reader,

I'm your Music and Academic Services Librarian - and I'm a chartered librarian.  That means I'm a member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.  

So, apart from my music qualifications, I also have a postgraduate librarianship diploma, and the postnominals denoting my membership of CILIP.  Most chartered librarians use the initials, MCLIP - Member of the Chartered [Institute] of Library and Information Professionals.  
FCLIP, proudly elected

After doing my PhD, I decided to go for bust and apply to be elected a Fellow of CILIP - so now I'm FCLIP.

Why am I telling you all this?  Well, before CILIP was CILIP, it was the Library Association.  It sounded a bit old-fashioned, but people knew who we were and what we did.  CILIP is now having a consultation to see how they could improve our professional association's name again.  Do I want to be an Information Pro?  Not really.  Or a member of the Information People?  Give me strength!  The first sounds like Pro Plus in the stacks, and the second more like KwikFit or the worshippers of a book-loving deity than a professional organisation.  

I mean, there's the Law Society.  The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.  The General Teaching Council for Scotland.  And the General Medical Council. They all have a certain 'gravitas', as befits a profession in which you've worked hard to gain recognition.

 I completed CILIP's survey earlier today.  I couldn't come up with a suggestion for a new name, off the top of my head, with a cursor flashing in front of me.  

But how about The Association of Chartered Information Professionals?  Or, The Information Society? 

Because I really don't want to be a Fellow of the Information People, or a Fellow Information Pro, thank you very much!  Watch this space ...

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Cold Shivers Down Spine: the end of Librarian Blogging? No, No, No!

Whittaker gaped and stretched his eyes.  What?! Someone is blogging about the end of an era for librarian blogging?  

This is serious stuff!  Read theWikiMan's posting

Be reassured.  Whittaker isn't going away any time soon!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Academic Integrity and Internet Searching

Yesterday, 'Whittaker' found an interesting article online for his own research.   He didn't recognise the name of the place where the author was working.  All was well, though: it turned out to be a department in an American university - the name was just a bit unusual.  The author was bona fide, too; and finally, the article was indexed in RILM - so was likely to be trustworthy.

So, if you're researching a subject, here are two useful principles to guide you on your way:-

  1. Check out the source of the information.  Is it likely to be reliable? 
  2. Quote the source of the information, so people can see where you got it from!  All a question of academic integrity.
Postscript. Since posting this, 'Whittaker' notes a recent article in Times Higher Education, on this very subject.  Read it here:-

'I'm no plagiarist, I moved a comma'
By Elizabeth Gibney, THE, 6 June 2013.

Pat Thomson suggests reasons why journals reject papers

Anyone in the business of writing and submitting articles will read Pat Thomson's latest blogpost with considerable interest:-

Seven Reasons why Journals Reject Papers

Pat's writing always comes highly recommended!

Friday, 17 May 2013

The Helpfulness of a Music Librarian

Of course, you already know how helpful music librarians can be! Our professional association is celebrating 60 years of helpfulness, as you see on this mailing from Cambridge ...

"This week a new exhibition was launched at Cambridge University Library celebrating 60 years of IAML (UK & IRL); more information at

"The exhibition is now launched with a blog post titled "The most helpful people on earth: 60 years of IAML(UK and Ireland)" by Susi Woodhouse: 
"So wrote Imogen Holst of music librarians in her article Gustav Holst's manuscripts in Brio vol. 4 no. 1. As true now as it was back in 1967. This year, the United Kingdom and Ireland Branch of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (to give it its full name) celebrates its […]" Read more of this post here.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Lure of the Hunt: Old Music Dictionaries

Promises, Promises ...

Watch this space!  'Whittaker' isn't in the Library today, but he wants to share with you some useful sources of historical info about traditional Scottish music.

At the earliest opportunity, we'll tell you about Baptie, Glen, Reeves, Kidson, J. D. Brown, and the undeservedly forgotten John S. Sainsbury ...

Monday, 13 May 2013

Traditional Music in Scotland - Know who to turn to

Two useful groups for traditional Scottish music:-

TMSA - Traditional Music and Song Association

Patrons are weel-kennt names:- Aly Bain, Margaret Bennett, Phil Cunningham, Barbara Dickson, Archie Fisher and Sheena Wellington.

Traditional Music Forum

Described as 'a network of over 70 traditional music organisations working in Scotland today'.
  • Forum members (the organisations represented in the TMF)
  • Board and staff (included are Simon Thoumire, Gillian Frame, our own Josh Dickson, and various people involved in policy-making and steering the direction of traditional music activities.)

Running a music society?

Running Your Group

Whittaker found a useful website offering advice if you're setting up or running a society - music, or indeed any other enthusiast group.  If you want to follow best practice, then it would be a good idea to take note of this one!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Pianist Leo Blanco Coming to Glasgow

Leo Blanco
Music journalist Rob Adams is keen to share with us the fact that Leo Blanco will be playing in the forthcoming Glasgow Jazzfest.

Rob tweets that Blanco is "Brilliant pianist, Berklee piano prof, playing Glasgow Jazzfest, touring UK".

Always keen to pick up a good story, Whittaker shares the Jazzfest website with you:- 

Blanco is performing in the City Halls on 26th June.  Don't miss it!

Job-hunting tips from

Finishing your time with us at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland?  Unless you're going on to further study elsewhere, you'll be job-hunting.

If you haven't met, you really should.  Here's an introduction with 101 job-hunting tips!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Jungle Beat of The Tweet

'Whittaker' was meant to be in Birmingham giving a presentation on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, a virus (real, not cyber) prevented 'him' from being there.

The presentation was all about using social media for outreach.  Here it is, for anyone who's interested!  I understand that it provoked quite a bit of discussion, so I've since written another powerpoint - Multiple identities in social media.  I'm sharing that one here, too.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Composition Competition, Italy (deadline 14th June)

“... a Camillo Togni”

International Composition Competition

June 14, 2013
  • Download the full regulations in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian; Registration form and Declarations form on the website 
  • Email:

Creatives! Your Library Supports Creativity

Readers will have noticed recent blogposts about creativity, and how the library can support your leaps of imagination and inspiration.

'Whittaker' would like to offer a reading list, compiled from the Whittaker Library's catalogue.  Anyone can see the list.  Registered readers can similarly make their own lists, choosing whether or not to share them with the wider community.

Here it is: Creativity in the Whittaker Library.

And, just to bring you up to speed, here are our earlier postings on creativity:-

Did this posting interest you?  We love getting feedback, so do consider leaving a Comment!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Writing about Social Media in Libraries - Whittaker seeks Feedback, please!

Whittaker Live has been blogging about the performing arts for over a decade.  This Wednesday, I'm going to Birmingham, where I'll be talking to my peers about social media in academic music libraries.  I'd really appreciate your help!  What I need is feedback: when you visit Whittaker Live, do you get what you expected?  Are you likely to return to the site?  Are you favourably impressed, or disappointed?  (If disappointed, what did you hope to find?)

I do also blog in a private capacity.  True Imaginary Friends has been my blog whilst preparing my first scholarly book for publication.  (The book was released in March 2013, so hopefully I'll soon be able to read some reviews.)  I also set up my professional development blog called Airs and Graces CPD, as part of the 23 Things project, though I only write on it occasionally now.

As well as blogging, I tweet as @WhittakerLib and as myself @Karenmca.  During the week, I try to maintain a professional persona in either capacity.  This idea of different personae interests me, and I'm curious what other folk do.  I find I use Twitter in several quite distinct ways - this is another intriguing angle, and I wonder if anyone else has categorised their tweets like this.

I use Diigo for social bookmarking, and sometimes share my lists.  I also occasionally use Storify.  I've made a deliberate policy not to use Facebook except for family and a very few close friends, and I'm a limited user of LinkedIn.

If you're a librarian or a library user - any kind of library - I'd love to hear from you.  If you're part of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland community, thank you for following, and for letting me share 'your' blog with other interested parties!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Competition for Innovative Researchers

The British Library has launched a fabulous competition.  If you need funding for an innovative research project using the BL's digitised collections, visit this link:-

Use that creativity!  And good luck!

Dance Base - Scottish Country Dancing Workshops this Weekend

Edinburgh Dance Base Workshops - find out more here.

"This event is part of Tradfest, a new festival inspired by the traditional arts of Scotland."

Whittaker has an indirect connection with the RSCDS, for "his" late mother-in-law had a scroll of honour from that esteemed body. Sadly, the left-handed "Whittaker" has two left feet  ...

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Seafaring and Seafarers: Music around the Atlantic Rim

A Conference CFP (Call for papers)

           Joint conference hosted by
       Saturday 19th October, 2013
    in association with


Read the full CFP here