1) Order the music Library Starter Kit from JW Pepper. It's the best system out there in my opinion, but I'd avoid the envelopes and only get the boxes. It's 10 times easier finding songs in the boxes than in the envelopes that over time get torn and ragged. You can find it here:
2) Get an index card file box for the cards that come with the kit. (only if you want to create a physical card file)
3) Start going through every song arrangement to see if it has a score and if any parts are missing. If anything is missing, either replace the score or missing parts or get rid of the incomplete arrangement as they're really a waste of space in your music library if it's not complete. Get rid of any xerox copies. If any parts only have xerox copies, you might need to hang on to one of them in case you can't replace it or especially if it's out-of-print. If an arrangement is all xerox copies, get rid of it as it's illegal to have in your library to begin with under most circumstances.
4) Put every arrangement in score order with the score at the front and try to keep it that way.
5) Start a digital file that has all of the information that you will also put on the index cards that come with the kit (if you want to have a physical card catalog, but a digital file is really all that's necessary). I modified a Word postal mail out database document and used it for my music libraries. It's much easier to use than an Excel file and you can sort it by composer, publisher, your catalog numbers you create, song title, or whatever you want. Here's a link to one I last used if you want to download and use as you can empty the contents and put in your own information:
6) Create your own catalog numbers in whatever format helps you best. I used a "C" for concert band arrangements and an "M" for marching band arrangements. The boxes for each of those genres are different sizes, so it's easiest to keep your library code numbers separated. I've also used "SB" for stage band arrangements in years past at another previous school.
7) Write all this information on the filing boxes in the spaces provided.
It's a lot of work to get this all done, but it's really worth it once you get it there. Adding new song arrangements is easy as you simply add more catalog numbers numbers.
With the database document you can also add things like putting the text of Christmas songs in red...adding the class of each song as it's listed on the PML if you wish and change the font colors of each listing for those arrangements that are on the PML. That way when a new PML comes out every so often all you have to do is change the font colors back to black for the songs that get removed from the PML. Whatever works for you. You can see some of what I did on the file that I have the link listed above.
If you want more information on the page, since it's a (free) Word document you can simply change it to landscape orientation and add more columns.
This is what's always worked for me.
: Any tips on organizing a music library? Or
: different strategies for this? Currently,
: the music library is in shambles and I need
: to reorganize pretty much everything.