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Getting Started in the Library: Getting Started in the Library

Getting Started in the Library

Welcome to the Peter Jay Sharp Library!

Here are a few recommended steps for getting to know the library at MSM - so that you'll be ready for anything as the semester gets underway.

Note: If you don't already have a tablet, you might want to consider getting one. While not essential, it comes in handy when using our digital resources.

Review these library policies and privileges. You're responsible for knowing this information.

Set up your account for the copy machines. We recommend doing this before the semester starts (and assignments are due!).

Learn about our call number system. Knowing the basics will help immensely when browsing the shelves for repertoire and books.

Use this link to find course reserve books and scores. These are materials that your instructors have asked us to keep behind the circulation desk so that everyone can share them for assignments. Simply request them at the circulation desk -- they check out for 2 hours at a time.

Browse and get to know our digital resources. They are all free for you to use while you're here. And you can start using them immediately.

Most work using your Library login. The few below, however, require some extra steps before you can start using them:

  • The Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall. Create a personal login, and you can stream all of their concerts or download them using their app.
  • The Ebsco Mobile ebook reader. Most of our ebooks (but by no means all of them) come from a company called Ebsco. You can read them in a browser, but you’ll have a better experience on a phone or tablet by using their dedicated ebook app, Ebsco Mobile. (Books from other companies can often be downloaded, usually as PDFs, in which case you can use an e-reader app of your own choosing.)
  • Exact Editions and Flipster. Certain of our digital magazines, such as Backstage, Gramophone, Jazzwise, The Musical Times, The New Yorker, The Strad, can be read using special apps that make the experience better on tablets and phones.
  • The Henle Library app. Use and annotate Henle editions on your tablet, or download them as PDFs. Requires a separate login and downloading the Henle app.
  • Naxos Music Library. This great resource for classical and jazz recordings has the benefit of excellent metadata (unlike most streaming sites). They cover many of the most popular big labels as well as small, specialized ones. Create your personal login to create playlists, and use their mobile app to download recordings for offline listening.
  • The New York Times. You get free all-digital access for the duration of your time at MSM. Spend a few minutes creating a login and downloading the app, and you can use it exactly like a personal subscription.
  • NKODA. The sign-up procedure is slightly onerous, but stick with it and you'll be rewarded with digital access to a huge library of non-public-domain scores, from major publishers like Bärenreiter, Boosey & Hawkes, Breitkopf & Härtel, Durand, Ricordi, Universal, Schott, and many others
  • A-Z List of Digital Resources. The above are just the beginning. Check the full list of our digital resources to take full advantage of them all.

The library offers a few different ways to search for resources. Below are a few links to get your searching started. You can also always access these directly from the library homepage.

Try a few searches to get a sense of how to find what you need in the library.

  • MSM Summon Search allows you to search multiple databases at once, including the ones featured in our A-Z list, open-access databases, and the Library catalog. Please note that this feature is still new, and you may experience some unexpected search behavior.
  • Our traditional catalog search allows you to search the MSM Library's catalog exclusively and obtain results that don't appear in WorldCat (below), such as older MSM recordings and DMA theses. This can also provide more direct access to ebooks and other digital resources.
  • MSM on WoldCat allows you to search the catalogs of the MSM Library and thousands of libraries worldwide all at once. Using this interface, you can also directly request Interlibrary Loans. Consider downloading the WorldCat Find app on your phone or tablet.

Confused? Learn more here: catalog search tricks and tips.