I just saw a listing in the program about an MLA/IAML-US affiliation (also in the IAML-US Annual Report). What’s up?
The Boards of MLA and IAML-US have begun discussing the relationship of the two organizations. Past discussions have happened primarily at the Board level, and both Boards agree that it is time to bring the discussion to the membership, starting with a Town Hall Meeting hosted by both presidents during the MLA Annual Meeting in San Diego which members of both organizations are welcome to attend.
Will both organizations remain separate?
One of the models under discussion is that used by CAML (Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres), where the US Branch and MLA will merge, and there will be one Board and one President. The MLA President or her/his designee would be an official representative to IAML. In this model, MLA would be affiliated with IAML. (This would not be MLA’s first affiliation: the association has a long history of affiliation with ALA, and has worked closely with other, related organizations as well.) If the two organizations had an affiliate relationship, channels for sharing information could be more easily established than currently exist.
Do I have to join MLA?
In this model, IAML-US members will have to join MLA if they are not already a member (currently, this would affect only a few IAML-US members). Membership and renewal forms would include an option to join MLA only, as well as an option to join both MLA and IAML.
Do I have to join IAML?
None of the models that have been discussed would require MLA members to join IAML.
How will MLA or IAML-US benefit by being merged, and having MLA as an affiliate of IAML?
Joining IAML-US and MLA and having MLA affiliating with IAML furthers the missions of the participating organizations. In addition, merger of MLA and IAML-US reinforces the strengths of both organizations and could help to mitigate any perceived weaknesses.
- MLA’s mission statement reads, “The Music Library Association provides a professional forum for librarians, archivists, and others who support and preserve the world’s musical heritage”, and includes the following: “collaborate with other groups in the music and technology industries, government, and librarianship, to promote our mission and values.”
- IAML-US’s Articles of Incorporation, Article II “Purposes”, states, “…to accomplish at the national level such tasks as the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres, Inc. (IAML) undertakes internationally . . . as well as to serve national needs in areas that concern [IAML-US]; … to cooperate with other library and musical organizations; most particularly with the Music Library Association."
- IAML’s mission statement reads, “To encourage and promote the activities of music libraries, archives and documentation centres and to strengthen cooperation among institutions and individuals working in these fields,” and includes several statements about supporting the work of music librarians and librarianship at national levels.
- MLA, a large, active, and financially solid organization with many endowments, represents the music library community in the US, whereas IAML-US can represent only a fraction of the music librarians in our country. Therefore, cutting edge projects or new policies in the US cannot be put forth as IAML-US’s accomplishments. Thus, reports from the US Branch present an incomplete picture of the activities in this country, whereas other national branches truly represent their music library community’s work. For US music librarians, affiliation with IAML could provide a broader perspective and close ties to the library community worldwide.
What’s IAML all about anyway?
“IAML, the International Association of Music Libraries, encourages and promotes the activities of music libraries, archives and documentation centers in supporting and facilitating the realization of projects in music bibliography, music documentation and music library and information science at national and international levels. Official languages for communications are English, French, and German.”
For more information, visit the IAML web site.
How will this change MLA? I like it the way it is.
In many ways, there likely will be few changes for MLA members. However, being active in IAML enables US music librarians to establish personal ties with music librarians worldwide. Such personal ties will benefit librarians and patrons seeking to gain access to or do research in major European libraries (where many primary sources are located). In addition, the affiliation will allow for a greater US voice at IAML meetings: the MLA President or her/his designee would be an official representative to IAML. If the two organizations had an affiliate relationship, channels for sharing information could be more easily established than currently exist.
How much will this cost?
Merging IAML-US with MLA will provide increased opportunities for members with little (if any) negative impact on either bodies’ organizational and financial situation.
- MLA and IAML-US both engage A-R Editions as their business office; combining them could achieve economies of operation.
- The major costs are likely to be legal fees involved in renegotiating a contract with A-R Editions, the work necessary to revise MLA’s Constitution, and the legal filings. Neither Board wishes to incur significant expense for either organization.
What will happen after the town hall meeting?
If membership response is positive, both Boards will continue discussion. Several possible models may be developed for membership consideration. And any change will require a vote by the members of both organizations.
According to MLA’s Constitution and Bylaws, MLA members will be required to vote in person at the 2011 annual meeting in Philadelphia:
Article IX. B. Formal Affiliation. The Board shall submit terms of affiliation with another organization to the membership at any Regular meeting. Approval shall be by a majority of the ballots cast on the proposal at the meeting.
MLA members will vote first and then, providing the initiative passes, IAML-US will hold its vote by mail ballot, according to its bylaws:
Section 3.02 Voting: Each member shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the members. All votes shall be done by ballot, mailed to the members.