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Amos Music Library closes after half a century

The Amos Music Library's collections will move to King Library
The Amos Music Library's collections will move to King Library

The Amos Music Library is closing its doors at the end of this week, which means Miami University’s College of Creative Arts students will no longer have a centralized location to access course materials — students like Sam Mikes-Thacker.

Mikes-Thacker, a senior music major, uses the library to find materials like sheet music for classes. He would also use it as a study space.

“All of my classes for my major are here,” Mikes-Thacker said. “So it was nice to have those resources right there.”

Amos Music Library will close its doors to the public at 5 p.m. Sept. 1 for the last time, moving the music collections to the ground floor of King Library.

Photo by Luke Macy | The Miami Student
Sam Mikes-Thacker, a senior, has used Amos Library for studying and to find sheet music.

Amos’s place in Miami’s history

Opened in 1969 and named after Miami alumni William and Dorothy Amos, ’31 and ’36 respectively, the Amos Music Library has served students for more than 50 years. The library, located in Miami’s Center for the Performing Arts (CPA), includes audio recordings, sheet music, books and journals about music and more.

Over the years, the Music Library has adapted to meet current students’ needs. Today, it includes 16 work stations with music composition software, streaming service subscriptions, sheet music databases and music research databases.

According to an article published on the libraries’ website, the move is part of a broader plan to “[consolidate] most library service points into King, which is open for extended hours. By moving the music library staff there, the materials will be more accessible.”

Nick Kneer, strategic communications coordinator for Miami’s libraries, said the decision came after a yearlong usage study. The libraries and the CCA were both involved in discussions before making the decision.

“When we’re staffing these locations, it can be harder to staff places and keep places open, especially if they’re not being used as much,” Kneer said. “Being able to consolidate things makes it easier to staff places and makes it more efficient when we’re looking at keeping a building open and keeping it running.”

Kneer said the library staff is well-equipped to handle the transition. The technical services staff managed a similar transition in 2020 when the university moved the Business, Engineering, Science and Technology (B.E.S.T.) Library from Laws Hall to King. Some services offered by B.E.S.T. Library also moved into the Wertz Art and Architecture Library.

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Students can request any materials formerly in the Music Library through the library’s online catalog. As materials are moved, they will also be available on the ground floor of King’s Instructional Materials Center.

The Amos Music Library was open until 7 p.m. each day last year, but King Library is regularly open until 1 a.m. Kneer said the best way to serve students is to consolidate resources into King where they can access materials on their own time.

“It makes the most sense right now to consolidate facilities into King Library, consolidate resources into King, so that we’re able to have more hours at King compared to other libraries,” Kneer said. “We’re able to have more staff available there to meet needs, and we’re able to focus our efforts in terms of making the best spaces for students.”

Music librarian Barry Zaslow declined to comment on Amos Music Library’s closure.