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Musical revival: Marvin Duchow Music Library

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September 30, 2005

Source: McGill University:

Musical revival: Marvin Duchow Music Library

Source: University Relations Office (URO) [newswire]
September 30, 2005

An imposing part of McGill's New Music Building is the three-floor Marvin Duchow Music Library, which due to a severe space crunch was moved to an office tower across Sherbrooke Street 13 years ago. The library is now back at the heart of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University as a central tenant of the handsome new structure designed by architecture firms Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneau and Saucier+Perrotte.

Fully wired and featuring the latest audio-visual equipment, the Marvin Duchow Music Library offers comfy leather chairs where students can study and look out floor-to-ceiling windows. "We're delighted to welcome students to our new facilities, which are high-tech and very user friendly," says Cynthia Leive, Head of the Marvin Duchow Music Library.

The move to a new space allowed the library to double its size to 30,000 sq. ft. It was a pressing need. Library usership is on the rise and collections are expanding. Changing venues also permitted a merger with the Performance Library. The latter service, formerly in the basement of Strathcona Building's east wing, caters to ensembles that need music scores and parts.

The Marvin Duchow Music Library welcomed over 200,000 visitors last year and the site features 57 listening stations where students can sample:

  • 25,000 books

  • 250 periodical subscriptions

  • 45,000 volumes of musical scores

  • 5,000-title microfilm collection

  • 45,000 LPs

  • 22,000 CDs

  • thousands of videos

  • thousands of DVDs

    The library provides virtually integrated technology with the rest of the building that will enable new teaching possibilities. For instance, if musicians are playing in a recording studio on another floor, the event could be beamed to library seminar rooms for student viewing. Rare and special collections are now protected in a room with proper climate controls. And the new space features a state-of-the-art video viewing room and three large seminar rooms as well as a variety of study areas.

    Leive considers the site a teaching and learning nucleus. "This is more than a place to pick up books, scores or audio-visuals," she says. "With a musically knowledgeable staff and phenomenal new facilities, the library is a rich and varied environment for the pursuit of musical learning. Music libraries are to musicians what labs are to scientists."
    Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
    Associate director
    McGill University Relations Office

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