If you’re a book geek and library lover, you’d be in heaven in an orchestra’s library. It’s scores by the score (and parts too), on shelf after shelf.
The accumulated musical thoughts of the centuries are simultaneously inspiring and sobering. They also have an alluring aroma all their own. It’s as good as (but a bit different from) what you breathe in when you prowl the stacks of a good, well established public library.
Somebody has to take care of all that wisdom. Go to the website of any orchestra, large or small, and check out their list of musicians. Somewhere in there, among the violists and horn players, you’ll find a category for librarians.
Orchestra librarians are the folks who look after all these semibreves, crochets, and quavers (whole notes, quarter notes, and eighth notes).
But their job isn’t just handing parts out before rehearsals begin, and collecting them after the concert. Orchestra librarians have crucial behind-the-scenes roles before rehearsal can even begin. Here’s one example from the San Diego Symphony – complete with "bad attitude."