I’m back from this year’s annual meeting of the Southeast Music Library Association, held Oct. 8-10 in New Orleans, hosted by Loyola and Tulane Universities. Highlights of the program included a visit to Tulane’s famed Hogan Jazz Archive, and a tour of Tulane’s main music library, which during Katrina was submerged under 8 1/2 feet of water. After a 3-year restoration project by the Belfor firm, and donations from other libraries, our Tulane colleagues have a large portion of their music collection back, albeit now housed in much more cramped quarters.
Presentations this year showcased excellent historical research on the music of New Orleans and the South. This year’s meeting was a joint one with TMLA, and we enjoyed getting to know our colleagues from Texas better. I was able to do other productive networking, including querying my music colleagues about faculty-status systems at their schools.
And, four years after Katrina, librarians are still remembered in New Orleans as the first group to hold their convention there after the storm. When a colleague’s taxi driver learned she was a librarian, he recalled the ALA meeting and repeated the refrain many ALA’ers will remember: “You’ll never know how much that meant to us…”