The Fine Music Librarian


Signing relevant paperwork for my internship (scholarly research) at Fine Music FM.

  • Fine Music 102.5 FM
    The Facts
    Owner and operator of Australia’s first community operated stereo FM station.
    Librarians start work at 7:30am and finish on average at about 12pm
    Fine Music Magazine is a monthly subscription, which can also be read on-line.
    The magazine is delivered by a volunteer directly to the subscribers doorstep.
    My research today is essentially a case study type of awareness:
  • Arrived at 9:25 am
  • Chatting with Steve Marc about expectations relating to my research.
  • Working with Helen Milthorpe 10:00am in the library.
  • Helen unpacks a wealth of information about FINE Music FM and much illuminating discussions takes place about the role of the librarian in this particular domain.
  • Programmers submit a program-attaching a program cover sheet that details playlist duration.
  • 6-9am morning and current playlist.
  • Drive Program starts at 4pm.
  • Jazz starts at 12 Midday.
  • Saturday morning music6-9am.

    Fine Music Librarian Helen Milthorpe uncovers the precise details.

    How do people implement this program?
What challenges do people face?

  • What are people’s perceptions?
  • The librarians duty is to collect what the presenter has written down on a word document and the librarian is there to see if any errors arise. For E.G song duration
  • Drive and breakfast are not typical in the way the person that chooses the work prepares and puts it to air
  • One and a half minutes per half hour are allocated to implement advertisements
  • Presenters provide complete song list/playlist duration and back up disc
    The librarian checks these
  • Another task the librarian must perform is the simple task of checking that the CD is inside its case.
  • Observing the librarians role inside the 102.5 FM this morning has been a very insightful and prescient undertaking that must take place for a program to materialize.
  • Another factor that needs to be considered is the checking and re-checking of programs soon to be aired and the enormous amounts of paper work that must be signed off before the presenter enters the radio booth.
  • All cover sheet playlists are kept because once every month the playlist cover sheets are viewed by APRA/AMCOS in order for royalties to be allocated to composers and or performers.
  • Helen’s work is of acute awareness concerning programming and perceptions that help FINE music remain in the community’s consciousness. Helen’s work at Fine Music FM is of a volunteer capacity.
    Another highlight to the morning was to see the radio stations commitment to assisting persons with disabilities in the community. I was introduced to a young adult Alex who was assisting in the library department; he was resetting CD’s in the archive.


    Leaving no stone unturned.

    Play lists are compiled by both radio presenters and volunteer librarians 2-3 days before they're broadcast to air.

    Play lists are compiled by both radio presenters and volunteer librarians 2-3 days before they’re broadcast to air.

  • Talking with a volunteer librarian Gaby Brown this morning, who has worked for Fine Music FM for 20 years, emphatically described the place as a wonderful institution.
  • A communication book titled ‘The Black Book is utilised by all the volunteer librarians
  • Each month there is a CD library check/this task is performed with the endeavour of maintaining music content ( CDs, LPs, Tapes)
  • Another folder is dedicated to CDs with errors.
  • Helen indicated that a lot of the volunteer librarians at Fine Music FM are aged between 70 -80 years of age.
  • Generally there appears to be a lot of older men and woman volunteers who frequent the hallways of Fine Music FM, and this could be the result of the demographic that Classical music engages in.
  • The target audience is another branch I will investigate as this research develops over the coming months.
  • At 12:40pm I was summoned to Radio Booth No.1 to join Peter Kurti who was presenting a jazz program. I sincerely wished I had filmed this encounter but no cellular phones were permitted into the studio at this time. As I entered Peter was playing a very familiar piece titled ‘Blue Nile’ by Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, and as I looked up at Peter I indicated my great satisfaction with a thumbs up gesticulation, in which Peter reciprocated with an enthusiastic smile of approval. It’s quite extraordinary how music can bring minds together profoundly, even if they’re strangers, music is the meeting point, a bridge, the community.

Music Project Inception@Fine Music FM 102.5

  • August 8th First visit to Fine Music 102.FM
  • Spoke at length with Station Manager Liz Terracini and Program Director Steve Marc about my research project and effectively what my study is about. Further discussion about expectations and what I hope to achieve through a professional practice research, to be undertaken at Fine Music 102.5 FM
  • I have been summoned to work on a live broadcast for Fine Music FM on August 30th 
  • Details of the ensemble to be recorded are yet to be confirmed
    Dual radio channel (conventional radio and digital radio)
  • Monday –Friday between the hours 12pm-4pm the line is split: meaning there are two simultaneous broadcasting streams in motion (alternate programming)
  • Playlist uses a program called Netia to assemble playlist and window of opportunity intro
  • There are 290 volunteers that work at Fine Music FM 102.5
  • I will undertake the research led project every Friday from the 15th August
  • My first investigation commences on Friday 15th August at 9:30am
    NETIA- radio automation software

    This software tool is used to assist radio programmers when compiling a specific playlist or program.

Netia (Radio Automation Software) from whispering black on Vimeo.

Fine Music FM Program Director Steve-Marc Mculloch explains how Netia works in the studio.