Category: about the library (page 1 of 2)

Meet the Problem Solver: Liz Berndt-Morris, Music Reference and Research Services Librarian

Welcome to Meet the Problem Solvers, a new blog series in which Loeb Music Library staff introduce themselves.

For our first post, we’ll meet problem solver Elizabeth Berndt-Morris. She goes by Liz and she is a dog person.

What does a Music Reference and Research Services Librarian do?

My job is very interactive. I talk to patrons (faculty, students, staff, outside researchers) to help them understand the library and all it has to offer. This includes one-on-one conversations and teaching in classes, among other things. 

What’s your favorite thing about the Music Library?

My favorite thing about the music library is that we are embedded in the Music Building. I appreciate the friendships we have with the Music Department staff and students.

What’s a notable (interesting/challenging/unusual) project that you’ve worked on lately?

In January 2021 I’m teaching a 3-week course for ALA (American Library Association) and MLA (Music Library Association) called ‘Music Librarianship for non-Music Librarians’. Teaching and informing others about music librarianship so they can improve their skills as a librarian is one of my favorite professional activities. 

Who are you when you’re not a Music Reference and Research Services Librarian? 

A fiber artist. I like to spin my own yarn and knit on a daily basis. I also dye, crochet and weave, but knitting is my go-to.

What’s your favorite library-related moment in a movie, novel or TV show?

I love the scene in ‘Party Girl’ (1995) where Parker Posey’s character (a future librarian, Mary) has a meltdown when someone shelves their own book which has her questioning why we even have call number systems at all. 

Liz poses with her Great Dane puppy Olive. Liz has long red hair and wears fun blue glasses. Olive looks serious. There is a bright blue sky behind them.

Liz and Olive

Thanks, Liz!

To learn more about the Music Library’s fascinating people and unmatched collections, visit us online:  Loeb Music Library Website.

For immediate help from a Harvard librarian during our chat hours, submit your question here: Ask A Librarian.


A Window into the Past

Stained glass window

Stained Glass Window in honor of Ralph Isham

If you’ve visited the Spalding Reading room on the second floor post 1989, you’ve seen the beautiful stained-glass window on the north wall. The window was given by family members of Ralph Isham, namesake of the Isham Memorial Library, who, in 1932, donated an Aeolian Skinner organ and in 1934, the funds to purchase music for the instrument.

Spalding Room

Spalding Room, Loeb Music Library


The room in which it is housed is named after Walter R. Spalding, John Knowles Paine Chair of the Music Department from 1906-1932. Before making its way to the Spalding Room, the window was held in the Vermont home of lawyer and politician Edward Isham, Ralph’s cousin. The window is an impressive 8 feet tall and likely dates from the 1880s. It features a large, white swan, also prominent in the Isham family crest.

Swan in stained glass

White Swan

A dedication of the window occurred during “Music Librarianship in America” symposium held at Harvard on October 7th, 1989. For more history about the Loeb Music Library, visit the history page of our website.

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