You notice the flashing notification in the corner of your screen.
Click: Claim Chat.
Chat00568: Hi! I’m writing a paper about Black representation in opera and trying to find a copy of Fire Shut Up in My Bones. I tried googling but wasn’t able to find it. Do you know where I can find a copy?
Music Librarian: What a great topic! One moment while I search for that.
Furiously searches all of the standard places for a new opera score. Fire Shut Up in My Bones is too new to be commercially available but it does look like there are a few options to view or listen to a recording of a production.
Music Librarian: It looks like the score is not available for purchase or rental, yet. Let me see if we have an audio or video recording.
Music Librarian: Alas, we don’t have it on CD, DVD, or access through any of our streaming services. Based on my WorldCat search, a few other music libraries in the region have a copy of the DVD. Would you like help placing an ILL request? Chat00568: That would be great! Thanks! Could you help me find scholarly articles about the opera, too?
Music Librarian: Sure! Why don’t we set up a research consultation for later this week? You can schedule a meeting with me using my online scheduler. Would you prefer to meet virtually or in-person . . .
You start drafting an email to the opera history professor to discuss scheduling a library instruction session.
As Leslie Troutman noted in the “User Education” essay for the Current State of Music Librarianship in 2000 (upon which the above interaction is modeled), “Whether we call it user education, library-use instruction, or bibliographic instruction, the goal is the same: to teach our users to be effective, efficient, and independent researchers.” The nomenclature continues to change, and today, librarians are more likely to use the terms information literacy instruction or library instruction, but the main goals of user education remain. It is the information landscape and expectations for the methods and modes of delivery themselves that are radically different. This essay will provide a brief overview of the changes and developments in library instruction, with an emphasis on music libraries in higher education, that have occurred since the 2000 essay in an effort to capture what user education looks like in music librarianship today.
Pratesi, Angela, and Zoua Sylvia Yang. "User Education." Notes 80, no. 1 (2023): 73-81. doi:10.1353/not.2023.a905317.