The Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library and Technology Center, the newest and largest branch of the University of Miami Libraries, showcases a wide range of resources. Among the nationally known collections housed in the 22,500 square-foot facility are sound recordings, musical theater archives, musical scores, musical manuscripts, research collections, and a wealth of e-resources. This state-of-the-art research facility was built at a cost of $9.9 million. Situated at the edge of Lake Osceola, the Weeks Music Library supports the learning and research needs of the members of the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music, the University’s Coral Gables campus, and the wider local, regional, and international music communities.
However, the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library is much more than just a collection of resources. It is a laboratory for independent exploration and high technology scholarship. The library contains sophisticated playback equipment, MacIntosh and Dell computers to facilitate research, and a variety of quiet and comfortable places to study. A highly trained and dedicated library staff organizes and provides assistance with the collections, equipment, and networked technology. The library’s faculty also provides formal instruction in the use of the myriad resources.
Coupled with the University of Miami Libraries’ impressive general collection, the Weeks Music Library helps create one of the most important music research centers in the southeastern United States.
Researchers who need help finding materials or reference assistance may consult with a staff member at the first floor Reference Desk. This main service point serves a dual purpose by functioning as both a Circulation and Reference Desk. For the convenience of library users, the Weeks Music Library’s policies and procedures for reference, reserves, and circulation are consistent with those of the University of Miami Libraries.
Four listening rooms make the Weeks Library sound recording collections accessible and feature the latest high end playback equipment, including cassette players, amplifiers, turntables, CD players, and headphones. Some listening rooms also are equipped with computers that provide access to networked audio and music resources as well as the library catalog, databases, e-journals, and other library resources.
Library users can easily access electronic reference resources, such as the International Index to Music Periodicals, by using the Macintosh and Dell computers adjacent to the reference area on the second floor. Computers are equipped with DVD playback equipment and headphones so that patrons may listen to web-accessible sound recordings through online resources, such as the Classical Music Library. The entire building has wireless access so patrons can have mobility when working with laptop computers. The Instructional Lab is used to demonstrate web-based resources and teach students how to conduct library research.
All collections on the second floor are self-service. The reference collection contains seminal works, such as the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, many of which may be available electronically 24/7. Theses written by University of Miami graduates are housed with reference materials. Current periodicals display journal covers and are next to the bound journal collection. Both miniature scores and over-sized scores are housed separately.
Throughout the building, lounge areas offer a variety of seating options. Patrons have their choice of comfortable chairs or may work at tables or study carrels.