Music & Dance Library Provides Invaluable Resources

A student in a red shirt, wearing headphones, studies a music score in one of the listening rooms at the Music & Dance Library.

The Music & Dance Library is an invaluable resource for students, faculty, scholars and researchers at The Ohio State University. As Professor of Music Danielle Fosler-Lussier noted, “We have a deep, great library collection and the breadth of knowledge of the faculty and staff there is astonishing.”

“In my own research, I need them at least once a week. I’m working with them now to access periodicals from the 1920s that describe the activities of women’s clubs during that time. We have a pretty good collection here at Ohio State, and what we don’t have, they help me access through OhioLink or other networks,” said Fosler-Lussier.

When she wanted to create a treasure hunt for her students, Fosler-Lussier reached out to Alan Green, head of the library, to help her develop the lesson. They worked together to determine the concepts Fosler-Lussier needed the students to learn and how to sequence them effectively. Green and his colleague Sean Ferguson also make classroom visits to ensure students are aware of the vast resources open to them through the Music & Dance Library and the larger University Libraries system.

Fosler-Lussier likes to have music majors meet in the library for class. The library faculty and staff work with her to pull materials from the collection – oversized facsimiles of beautiful old books, or multiple copies of miniature scores for each student to use – for students to see and touch. “The students are charmed that these things exist. Knowing these materials are here expands their world and makes real for them many of the topics we cover in class,” said Fosler-Lussier.

Beyond those physical materials, the library also provides access to streaming media and listening materials from several sources including the Naxos Music Library, the Alexander Street video library and the Metropolitan Opera.

“We are trying to help our students build the habit of information literacy, which is why it is important to be able to direct them to these sources,” said Fosler-Lussier. “There is more documentation associated with these recordings than you would find with a YouTube video. It helps students answer questions about economics and curation that are relevant for those who plan to work in music.”

She hopes students, faculty and researchers realize how remarkable the resources available through University Libraries are. “I remember visiting the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore when I was young,” remarked Fosler-Lussier. “It was this big, majestic building full of good things. I was allowed to check out vinyl records, or listen to anything I wanted. It seemed like a wonderland. I would like our students to have that sense of delight. Getting them into libraries seems important for that. They have the opportunity to discover flavors of knowledge they can’t get from the internet.”

Visit the Music & Dance Library Guide for more information about how our in-house experts can support your academic and artistic pursuits.