Arts, Music, and Powell Libraries: Highlights from 2020

Written by Allison Benedetti, Katherine Kapsidelis, Simon Lee and Matthew Vest

While there were many difficulties and challenges in 2020, we wanted to reflect on and share some of the good work the team in the Arts, Music, and Powell Libraries accomplished.

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We published over 5,500 music scores, which recieved over 38,000 uses worldwide

We made digital content available to support teaching, research and creative work at UCLA and worldwide. The Arts Library added over 85,000 Archivision images and over 450 UCLA Public Art images to Artstor. The Music Library digitized over 1,700 audio-visual recordings from the Music Library, Arts Library, East Asian Library and Young Research Library and made them available online via Avalon. With over 2,300 hours of media published, users could listen or view 24 hours a day for over 14 weeks without repeating content. Avalon has received over 33,000 page views since September 2020, allowing significantly greater access to streaming media collections than previously possible at UCLA. The Music Library published over 5,500 contemporary music scores open access. They have received over 38,000 uses worldwide. 

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We taught over 8,000 students, primarily online

The Arts, Music, and Powell Libraries worked quickly to adapt our Research & Teaching Support Services in response to the pandemic. Research consultations moved online, and staff and student workers contributed to the creation of WI+RE tutorials aimed at helping students adapt to online learning and research. Although physically separated, video conferencing tools have allowed us to maintain and build personal connections with students and researchers across disciplines as we have helped them navigate the COVID-19 disruptions to their normal research practices. Along with instructors across campus, library teaching moved online where we reached 8,096 students in 2020. 

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We reached over 2,000 viewers through virtual stressbusters and tours

The Arts, Music, and Powell Libraries' staff and student workers collaborated to launch a virtual Stressbusters program and to redesign the virtual library orientation tours for the UCLA Library and for the Music Library. In celebration of the UCLA Centennial, we programmed the carillon to play original works by Bruin musicians, and invited UCLA students to contribute their own original music as part of the Ringing the Way competition. We also collaborated with the Los Angeles–based Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra on their call for scores, which recieved more than 7,800 musical compositions. See the story from UCLA Newsroom for more information. 

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We made over 3,000 reserve items available to students, including digitizing over 1,000 items

The Arts, Music, and Powell Libraries acquired major Digital Collections to proactively meet the online teaching, learning, and performance needs of faculty, students and community members. This includes the New Play Exchange, a highly-demanded hub for information on contemporary and emerging playwrights (full PDFs of selected play scripts) and Classical Scores Libraries, the most-used database in Alexander Street Press. A new e-course reserves workflow was developed to enable digital course texts to be conveniently available to UCLA students. The reserves staff at Arts, Music, and Powell Libraries provided online courses reserves for 741 classes. Our audio-visual reserve service was uninterrupted, and provided more than 400 A/V resources for students studying remotely.  

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Our physical and online exhibitions received over 4,000 visits

Exhibitions are an opportunity to showcase our collections and encourage users to engage with them in a new way. Highlights from the Powell Community Collections were showcased in our first digital exhibit, focused on works by Black authors. Its success drew wider attention as a featured story in the UCLA Newsroom. The Music Library created a physical exhibit Drawn to Paradise highlighting works by Jewish musicians in LA. Sound recordings were digitized to supplement the online version.

This year, the Arts, Music, and Powell Libraries congratulated two long-time employees on their retirement: Janine Henri and Alicia Reiley. Janine, who joined UCLA as the Architecture and Design Librarian in 2007, was an expert in finding, using, and cataloging images and a dedicated mentor to MLIS students seeking careers in arts librarianship. Alicia, who was most recently the Peer Services and Outreach Coordinator at Powell Library, has taken on a number of roles in the library since 1980. During her long career at UCLA, she created the first electronic reserves online catalog, developed and strengthened outreach partnerships with campus departments, and mentored underrepresented students. Both Janine and Alicia will be greatly missed. 

Credits: This has been designed using resources from Flaticon.com (Pixel perfect, Freepik, Eucalyp, and photoidea_studio). Special thanks to Alicia Reiley, Janine Henri, Ben Alkaly, Ariane Bicho, Bob Freel, and WI+RE members!