Many of you remember when we received our first LTC grant in conjunction with the American Library Association and Association of Rural and Small Libraries. That collection featured books on Civics and American History and was followed by a discussion with our local Representative Jerry Schillinger.
When I was invited to reapply for a chance at more funds, I was pretty sure that our library did not need another $2500 in Civics books, so I did what any crafty grant writer does… I pivoted. I spoke with Mrs. Meissner, she will always be Mrs. Meissner to me, about the state of our music program in the community and what extra resources our library could secure that may be helpful. I was lucky enough to be awarded another $3000 from LTC in conjunction with ALA and ARSL. With these funds, I was able to purchase a wide variety of music resources. While some resources are perpetually on backorder, and have been since November, enough of the collection is here that I feel comfortable making it available for viewing. The collection will be available for viewing on March 1st. It will be available to checkout on March 8th.
I chose music for personal reasons. Music was always personally important. I went to college on a music scholarship and majored in Vocal Performance and Music with a minor in Theater. I know firsthand how musical ability can open doors accessing schools that would not be affordable using other means. I was heartbroken to hear that there is a critical shortage of music teachers in Montana with nearly 50 open positions. Some schools are shuttering programs altogether, denying children something that could become a lifelong love. Music education improves math skills, it improves reasoning and language skills. It manages to use different areas of the brain to help retain information. Don’t you wish that you could remember your account passwords like you remember that stupid commercial jingle? It increases teamwork, persistence, and develops creativity. Not as commonly spoken of is how deeply entrenched music is in the fabric of history. Learning different styles of music shows us windows into different cultures and historical periods. Big Hollywood epics wouldn’t be as effective without period appropriate music to accompany them. I took all of this in mind when building our collection. Some of the CD’s were donated from my personal collection and some were purchased using grant funds. It is my intention to add a little bit to this collection every year and continue to grow it into something truly special.
Now on to the fun part. Our collection was purchased in three parts. Part one is a collection of books about music that can be enjoyed by anyone. There are picture books for children, board books for toddlers, and educational books to teach the instruments of the orchestra, learn about opera, or see where art, music and dance meet in ballet. There are reference books for students that teach music theory, music history, or music technique. There are books for someone who wants to learn about different kinds of music. There are books to teach people to read music and even a book about how to go to college to study music. Below are some photos of the books we will be offering.
The second part of our collection contains DVD’s that will allow patrons to explore the world of Opera, Ballet, Musical Theater, and even how music can change the world. Below are some of the DVD’s that will be available to check out at our library.
The last part of our collection is a selection of CD’s. These recordings cover a vast amount of musical history from Gregorian Chants to Jazz to Modern Rock. Some came from my personal collection. I don’t know why I had so many Glee CD’s, but in my defense there are very fun to listen to and the singers are all talented. All of these CD’s can be listened to in the library. Many of you may have heard them already as we have been playing them for a little while. Check out the selections below.
The most important part of music experience will occur in the spring. We will be hosting an event in the library featuring Sonja Meissner and will be discussing what we can do to promote music and music education in our community. The event will be free to attend and will feature light refreshments as well lively discussion. More about this event will be shared at a future date. Until then, I wish you something great to listen to, a glitzy Hollywood musical, and a giant bowl of buttery popcorn… followed by something great to read of course.
A great investment in the community. Will you be able to tie programming into the school system as well?
Yes. I have an invitation to visit the school any time. I was there earlier in the month conducting a little workshop on computer coding and bringing some of the robots we have acquired.
Go, Mary! I hope McCone County realizes what a treasure you are!