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Unlike some colleagues I’ve heard about, I will rarely call out a conductor gone bad or send them a letter stating my disappointment in them. If I were to send a letter, it would look something like this:

Dear Maestro,*

You make me sad. I have worked very hard on all your requests, from the obvious and common, to the obscure and odd. I have corrected mistakes you’ve never noticed, researched materials you’ve never known about, contacted authoritarians you’ve never heard of, the list really does go on and on. I don’t really have the time to list all of them you see, since I have some errata to get back to.

But please, don’t ignore me. I know I’m a librarian, often hiding behind a stack of music or in the shadows of the stage, but I am not invisible. When I ask you a question, I need an answer to do my job better, so you can do yours. When I ask you which concert ending you’d like to perform of an opera overture, actually think about it and don’t guess – it really does make a difference.

And please, don’t lie to me. If you’ve lost your score, or are too cheap to buy one, or your dog ate it – I don’t care. Just be honest with me and I’ll be happy to make you a new one. You insult my intelligence when you come up with some ridiculous story about why you don’t have it.

And please also, don’t challenge me on rental issues or copyright. I read journals and news about it for fun.

So please finally, don’t interrupt me while I’m eating. I rarely get any time to myself to have a clear thought throughout the day. I will always stop what I’m doing to answer your questions or fetch you something, but it is rude. Unless you, or your score, are on fire. Then it’s perfectly reasonable.

So you see, dear maestro, that a happy librarian makes a happy conductor. A respectful maestro makes a happy librarian.

Always, your favorite librarian

___

*no specific maestro was intended for this letter – any similarities are purely coincidental
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