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Lewis Music Library

By Katie Jeffreys

Features Editor

The Lewis Music Library, which was renovated in 1996, offers a much more aesthetically pleasing environment than other libraries. Peter Munstedt, music librarian, said that “the use has doubled since we opened.”

The main reading room is well lit, with large widows overlooking the patio which separates it from Hayden Library. The furniture is comfortable, most notably the adjustable couches which have backs that fold.

Upstairs are 23 study areas equipped with turntables, cassette, laser disc, video and DVD players. The media players are available for use by any students who wish to study at the desks, but “we do give priority to people studying for music classes” said Munstedt. Also on the second floor are conference rooms, one of which is a group viewing and listening room.

According to Munstedt, the library holdings include about 25,000 scores, 10,000 books, and 20,000 recordings. These pieces are from many genres: “Classical is the core collection, but we have jazz, film music, electronic music and world music,” said Munstedt.

The library staff is also available to provide support to students. “We help them find music and do research,” said Munstedt. Additionally the library provides “handouts people can use to guide them in starting research.” These pamphlets are available online as well at <http://libraries.mit.edu/music/>. The site also has a newsletter, called “What’s the Score?” which discusses library news and recent acquisitions.

The library’s renovations brought a music theme to the structural design of the rooms. From the fabrics to the frosted glass railings and windows, the music motif is evident. The collections were also moved to humidity and light controlled environments with space-saving shelves.