12 Pages

Integrating Library User Education with the Undergraduate Music History Sequence: Linda M. Fidler and Richard S. James

Those who teach music history face the inevitable realization that they can neither convey all a student will ever need to know of music history in a few short semesters nor expect even the brightest of students to retain all that is taught. Thus, it behooves the conscientious instructor to pass along not only the facts, principles and processes of history itself, but also the means by which students

can, throughout their careers, seek out the information they need, scholarly information concerning something they are performing, programming, hearing, or simply considering. With access to a library, the college graduate should be able to find what they need. But can they? In reality, they seldom get beyond The New Grove, a few synoptic sources like the books of David Ewen, and perhaps a relevant biography. During their college years, the closest most of them will have gotten to independent inquiry into scholarly sources is the ubiquitous music history term paper. As a part of this exercise, they no doubt scrambled about the library in a disorganized search for the elusive Ur-source and, in the end, consulted a number of general sources that frequently repeated the same information. They then eked out a halting summation, without much substantiation or independent thought, of the eloquent generalizations typical of most of their sources, and combined this with enough vague padding to achieve the much-feared minimum page requirement.