Information about the Annual Chapter meeting held this year in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, can now be found here.
The new edition of the Midwest MLA’s Notebook (September 2016) is now available here.
Check out the new version of the Midwest Chapter brochure! Download the PDF
On January 14, 2010, we lost our esteemed colleague, friend, and mentor Ralph Papakhian. These are the tributes collected in Ralph’s honor.
Tribute to Ralph Papakhian
The Music Library Association, Midwest Chapter mourns the loss of our esteemed colleague, friend, and mentor. Rest well, Ralph.
Ruthann McTyre, President of the Music Library Association, posted the following message to the MLA listserv to let us know of Ralph’s death.
It is with great sadness that I pass along the news that our dear friend and colleague Ralph Papakhian died this morning at his home in Bloomington, Indiana. He was with his wife, Mary, and other family members. At this time, we don’t have information about funeral arrangements but we will share them as we learn them.
Throughout his career, Ralph was active in the Music Library Association, and he made significant contributions to the association as an officer, committee chair, and author. He served on the board of directors as assistant fiscal officer and fiscal officer (1986-88) and executive secretary (1988-92). In 1992, he was awarded MLA’s Special Achievement Award for his “countless efforts to bring the Association into the electronic age of communications”–most notably, for his role in founding MLA-L in 1989–and in 2008 was presented the MLA Citation in recognition of his distinguished service to the profession. He received two Richard S. Hill Awards for the best article on music librarianship: the first in 1985 for the article (written with Richard Smiraglia) “Music in the OCLC Online Union Catalog: A Review” and the second in 2002 for his article “Cataloging,” both published in NOTES.
Ralph was best known for his work as a music cataloger. He was a model practitioner and teacher. Beginning in the late 1970s, he taught classes and supervised internships for library students enrolled in the music specialization offered by IU’s School of Library and Information Science. In the mid-1990s, he and Sue Stancu instituted a summer cataloging workshop, and each year the roster for the workshop filled within days and names were added to a waiting list. Over the years, he trained innumerable music catalogers–dozens, if not hundreds–and he instilled in each the importance of accuracy, curiosity, and intellectual rigor.
Ralph served as vice-chair and chair of the Music OCLC Users Group, and he was the driving force behind the NACO Music Project, a cooperative effort to manage and build a database of authorized music headings. In 2005, MOUG presented Ralph with its Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his contributions to the group and to the profession of music cataloging.
We will remember Ralph for his brilliant intellect, his principled approach to cataloging, and the spirited fights he waged for what he knew to be right. His calm, serene manner belied the fire in his mind and spirit. When he described how a cataloger makes a decision “in the heat of the cataloging moment,” we all laughed, because the anxiety and struggle implied by the words seemed so foreign to Ralph’s character. The heat was there, though; he kept it contained and controlled.
The last time I saw Ralph, I believe, was at the 2005 Vancouver meeting. A group of us had gone out for dinner and on the way back to the hotel, Ralph lit up a big cigar and was happily puffing his way down the street. Just this week I ran across Casey Mullin’s blog written during his cataloging internship with Ralph at Indiana. In the closing paragraph, Casey writes “Ralph asked me today two things: have I learned enough and have I had fun.” Ralph taught so many of us along the way in so many ways and yes, Ralph, with you we did have fun.
I’m sure we all have Ralph stories to tell, and I encourage you to share them as we mourn our loss of Ralph and celebrate his life as a mentor, colleague, and friend.
–Ruthann B. McTyre
Ralph’s Obituary. The print version is in the Bloomington Herald Times, Jan 15, 2010.
Arsen (Ralph) Papakhian, 61
December 28, 1948 – January 14, 2010
Arsen (Ralph) Papakhian died at his home in Bloomington on Thursday morning following a 16-year struggle against colorectal cancer. He was born in Detroit to parents Rev. Souren and Shoushanig Papakhian and was very proud of his Armenian heritage. He married Mary Lynn (Johnson) at St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church in 1967. He was the loving and beloved father of four children and five grandchildren. He loved books and music, and earned a Master of Arts in music history and a Master of Library Science from Western Michigan University. After graduation he was employed as a music cataloger at the University of Florida, and then he came to Indiana University as a music librarian in 1973. He worked at the William and Gayle Cook Music Library until his death. He enjoyed his profession and his many colleagues at IU and in the Music Library Association. He was a gentle, kind, yet fiercely brave man who advocated for peace and social justice.
He lives on in the minds of the many relatives, friends, and colleagues who knew and loved him. Survivors include his wife, Mary; daughter Anahid Papakhian and her husband Robert Cassidy and granddaughters Nazani and Zella Cassidy; son Vahan Papakhian and his wife Rachel (Barrow) and grandsons Avedis and Aren and granddaughter Lucine Papakhian; daughter Maral Papakhian; son Zaven Papakhian and his wife Amber Shirey; brother Asbed (Victor) Papakhian and his wife Sosi (Dolkarian) and nieces Lily and Sareen Papakhian; sister Salpie (Papakhian) Hughes and niece Noreen (Hughes) and her husband Scott and their son Rhys Mollon; and brother- and sister-in-law Gary and Jeannie (Johnson) Hudkins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister-in-law Lynda Kay Johnson, his parents-in-law Dr. Thomas D. and Cecelia E. Johnson, and his brother-in-law David R. Hughes.
According to his wishes, there will be no funeral, burial or memorial services. Memorial contributions may be made to the Society for Armenian Studies, WFIU, the Music Library Association, or the charity of your choice. Everyone is welcome to call or send a note to his residence to offer condolences.
Here are a few photos of Ralph taken over the years:
The MLA Midwest Chapter would like to welcome our newest members: Andrea Beckendorf (Research and Instruction Librarian, Luther College), Jill M. King (Reference and Instruction Librarian/Music Bibliographer, DePaul University), Scott Miller(Hutchinson, Minnesota), and Jennifer Ward (Music Cataloging Assistant, Northwestern University)
Welcome to the Midwest Chapter!
The Midwest Chapter’s Automation Directory is now available online. You can find it here.
Our Midwest Chapter colleague & friend Leslie Troutman died on Sunday, 18 May 2003. A tribute to her by her colleague at the University of Illinois, Richard Griscom, can be read here. There are also some soundclips of Leslie from the Chapter Oral History Project available.
The Music Library Association, Midwest Chapter mourns the loss of a great friend and colleague. Rest well, Leslie.
Richard Griscom, Head of the Music Library at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign posted the following message to let us know of Leslie’s death. He has generously allowed it to be shared here:
It is my sad duty to let you know that Leslie Troutman died at home early this morning after a year-long struggle with cancer. A service will be held on Friday, 23 May, and I will pass along details as soon as they are made available.
Leslie spent her entire career as a music librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was appointed to the library faculty in 1986. In her position as user services coordinator, she built a national reputation for the Music Library’s reference service, and she served as a mentor to dozens of music librarians who received their initial training from her at our information desk when they were students in Illinois’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
She received a B.M in music history from Bowling Green State University, an M.A. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Illinois. She held many positions in the Music Library Association and most recently completed a term as member-at-large on the board of directors. From 1993-95, she was chair of the MLA Midwest Chapter. At Illinois, she was serving a second term on the University Library Faculty Executive Committee, and two years ago she chaired the faculty’s Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee. Among her publications are articles in Notes (1994, 2000), Fontes artis musicae (1995), and Music Reference Services Quarterly (2001), as well as contributions to the American Library Association Guide to Information Access (1994) and Advances in Online Public Access Catalogs (1992).
In her work at the University of Illinois Music Library, Leslie was refreshingly unpretentious and unflappable. Her sense of humor was generous and uninhibited, and the absence of her laugh echoing down the hallway outside her office is just one of the countless things we in the library have had to adjust to since she left us in late March. Those of you who knew her are well aware of these aspects of her character, but something you might not know is the seriousness with which she approached her work at the reference desk and the care she took in working with patrons. She pursued difficult reference questions to extraordinary extremes and provided a community patron looking for the sheet music to “Anything Goes” with the same service she extended to a senior member of the musicology faculty or an undergraduate theater major. Her tenacity and her egalitarianism at the information desk served as a model for all of us and set the tone for our library’s public service.
We will remember her for her healthy positivism in the face of illness, her gratifying lack of pretension as she went about her work, her good humor, and her exemplary librarianship. These qualities are her legacy to us, and we will do our best to keep them in mind and heart as we go about our work here. We will all miss her profoundly, both personally and professionally–indeed, we already do.
On May 30, 1996, Kim Armstrong interviewed Leslie as part of the Midwest Chapter’s Oral History Project. Leslie’s husband Mike has kindly agreed to let us put a few sound clips from this interview on the web. There are 4 of them in mp3 format.
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Here are a few photos of Leslie taken over the years at Midwest and national MLA meetings.