Wise Masters Blues

It is possible that by now, everyone in our library network has heard (or heard of) the weary intonations of those intrepid team members who have cast aside their carefree and jovial lifestyles for the more imposing and stress-laden one of MLIS student (or MIS as it is now called).  Anyone interested in joining an MLIS AA group please let me know!  Entry fee: one (or more) bottle(s) of wine!

I had a nice experience I thought I would share with those of you who are thinking of joining our ranks or thinking twice about prior foolhardy decisions.  I did a Wise paper … and I liked it (as much as one can, of course).  The paper I did was called Music and Librarianship. The plan was to combine something that is interesting to me with something that isn’t (oops, I meant something that requires a little more resolve to achieve.)

This particular paper was hosted by the University in Illinois so the lectures were held at the very civilized hour of 11.30 in the morning (although that did somehow reverse towards 9.30 in the later weeks due to daylight saving!).  We covered everything about music from acquiring old editions of Beethoven piano studies to copyright and reference sources and much more.

We got to choose our own topic for the final essay and Bernice Gregan put me onto some goings-on in Denmark.  (She showed me a publication called Nordic Public Libraries in the Knowledge Society which describes what has been happening all over Scandinavia in public libraries – there are some really cool pictures of some of their modern libraries in there).

The guts of it is that due in part to the co-operative history of the Danes, plus some genuinely helpful clauses in the Danish Library Act that suggests quality information be accessible to all Danish citizens (upheld by various bodies including the Danish Bibliographic Centre, the Danish National Library Association and the Danish Library Centre – cor! what a list) they developed a National Bibliographic database called DanBib that everyone can access.  Kind of like Te Puna but better. This started up in October 2001 and in September 2004 they got a sub-branch started specializing in music information called Musikbibliotek.dk and then another one specializing just in sound recordings called Netmusik.

They are full steam ahead on interacting with the public and have general and themed blogs and they also have plenty of information on legal limits for downloading and copyright issues. They also do other co-operative things behind the scenes to keep these websites up-to-date like have a national toolbox which is a forum for communication between the nation’s librarians.  This idea was re-done by IAML (International Association of Music Librarians) mainly for public librarians who can never get to the annual conventions and share their knowledge and experiences.

I heard a wee rumour that NZ is starting work on something similar. This is a pretty wonderful concept and luckily there is an example out there to take notes from.

The only place to find even a tiny bit of information about WISE courses is in the MIS prospectus – and then on Blackboard in the IST Community under “Study”.  IST Community>Study>WISE Consortium Courses so if you have any gaps in your study course I would highly recommend checking it out.  (If you aren’t one of the unfortunate few, then you may know one who can link to “Blackboard” if you are just curious).

Nicole Reddington – New Brighton

2 thoughts on “Wise Masters Blues

  1. clurbee June 21, 2010 / 9:49 pm

    I, too, have broken up the rather dry run of subjects offered through the M(L)IS by adding in some WISE courses. I have done a paper on children’s illustrators called ‘From Seuss to Sendak to Sis’ through Rutgers University and one called ‘History of the book’ through British Columbia. Neither of these courses had lectures, so there was no trouble with time differences and it has given me the opportunity to actually talk about ‘books’ with like-minded students (something Victoria, with is emphasise on technology occaisonally seems to overlook…). While Victoria does offer a history of printing/books type paper, it didn’t fit with my study pattern and now the services to children and young adults paper has disappeared it was a great to be able to find something I was interested in through WISE. There are plenty more papers to choose from too, some quite specialised, and some much more general. The process of signing up is straight forward, though for one of the papers I did have to go on a wait list. There’s always a tense few days when trying to orgainise a remote login for a new learning system, and I had to go backwards and forwards a few times with my tutor to work out just what my login was but after that it all went smoothly. The tutor for the history of the book paper turned out to be an ex-pat kiwi living in one part of the US teaching by distance through a University he was ‘visiting’ remotely in another part of the country to me, on the other side of the world, so distance truly is no object! I would recommend having a look at what is on offer, and broadening your options for elective papers.

  2. Nicole June 21, 2010 / 11:02 pm

    O yes, I forgot about that slightly tricky bit at the beginning when the tight-knit university community can’t quite cope with logins from ‘foreigners’. I am glad someone else has had this positive experience though as it goes some way in mitigating that Victoria Dry. (Might as well make it sound like a beer!)

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