Music Bibliographer Mimi Tashiro retiring

September 18, 2018

Mimi Tashiro, Music Bibliographer, has announced her retirement from Stanford Libraries beginning September 21. Mimi is incredibly devoted and loyal to Stanford University having spent her entire career of just over thirty-eight years as a distinguished music librarian at the Stanford Music Library.

She began her career as a music cataloger in May 1980 where she cataloged a wide variety of materials related to music. In January of 1982, she became the Assistant Music Librarian and Bibliographer with responsibility for collection development and reference service for the Music Library, a position she held for the rest of her career. She also assisted the Head Music Librarian in the general administration of the Music Library for many of those years as well. The depth, breadth, and quality of the music collections at Stanford largely reflect her work more than any other music librarian in Stanford’s history, making it one of the most outstanding music research collections in the United States. Her research assistance to faculty and several generations of graduate students, many of whom have become faculty at Stanford University and other leading institutions, has contributed to the excellence of music research. She also served on a number of library committees and working groups including the Socrates Advisory Group, the Stanford University Librarians’ Assembly, and many others.

Mimi Tahiro

She curated two major exhibits at Stanford Libraries, “Medley: An Exhibition of Music Manuscripts and Scores in the Stanford University Libraries” (1984) and an exhibit of unique and rare music materials for the conference of the International Association of Music Libraries held in Berkeley, “Music in the Stanford University Library Collections” (2002). In addition, she contributed to the exhibits “Fiori musicali,” for a meeting of the Music Library Association in 1993 also at Berkeley, and “Art Meets Technology: Core Samples from Nine Archives” (2013).

Her influence has been felt far beyond Stanford University in the music library profession at large and through publications. She has been active particularly in the Music Library Association, where she has served on the Board of Directors and many committees including the Resource Sharing and Collection Development Committee, the Online Reference Services Committee, and the Kevin Freeman Travel Grant Committee. She served as Chair and Secretary/Treasurer of the Northern California Chapter and chaired the Chapter’s 50th anniversary committee and the Subcommittee on Chapter History, which resulted in a publication. Her leadership in music libraries was recognized by the California Library Association, which invited her to be the coordinator for a pre-conference workshop on music in libraries where she led the session on sound media.

She has long been an advocate for minorities in the library profession having served on the Affirmative Action Working Group at Stanford Libraries in 1989 and founding the Kevin Freeman Travel Grant for MLA in 1993. Kevin Freeman was a much-loved and talented African American music librarian at the Stanford Music Library who died at a tragically young age. Mimi led the fund raising effort in MLA for an endowment to establish a travel grant and organized the committee to maintain the grant as a memorial to Kevin. The grant provides financial support to defray the costs of attending the MLA annual meeting for several young music librarians or library students, including persons from minorities underrepresented in the profession. The establishment and success of this grant program is due almost entirely to her sustained and untiring efforts.

She has authored several important articles on music librarianship and bibliography. She is the coauthor of A History of the Music Library Association in California (1991) with Danette Cook Adamson, which included her article, “The Northern California Chapter: A History and Chronology.” This publication was later adapted for MLA Notes as “Servants, Scholars, and Sleuths: Early Leaders in California Music Librarianship” (1992). She contributed several articles to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians including those on music librarian, Ann Basart, and the article, “Dictionaries and Encyclopedias.” Her most recent research will be published as an article in the forthcoming December 2018 issue of MLA Notes, “The Memorial Library of Music at Stanford University,” documenting the history of Stanford’s most important collection of music manuscripts and rare editions.

Mimi goes about her work in a quiet and unassuming manner with attention to detail and excellence. Aside from her accomplishments it is also worthy to note the type of person Mimi is and the personal attention she gives in interacting with students, faculty, and library colleagues. Her work has left a lasting impression on the Music Library, the Music Department, and Stanford Libraries.

Mimi’s last day working on campus will be September 18 when we wish her a heartfelt fond farewell.