Vinyl records are no longer just for audiophile hipsters, and the Royal Oak Public Library is the latest local outlet in the growing trend.
The demand for vinyl records has increased over the past decade. But during the pandemic, sales have skyrocketed.
The Royal Oak Library started its circulation material collection last week with 50 documents and is expected to grow, said Sandy Irwin, director of the library.
“One of our employees came up with the idea and the library board approved it,” Irwin said. “We know people love the sound of vinyl… if they don’t have a record player, we have one to lend. “
The Associated press recently reported that there were 1,400 record stores nationwide, and vinyl record sales rose 29% to $ 626 million and exceeded compact disc sales, according to the Record Industry Association of America.
There were 17 million record sales in the first half of this year, the The New York Times reported last month, exceeding CD sales during the same period by 1 million units.
Staff librarian Emily Crosby has developed and curated the library’s collection, which ranges from jazz to metal and other genres.
In a press release, Crosby said she was eager to share the vinyl record experience with customers.
“Listening to vinyl has always been magic for me,” Crosby said. “I loved watching the needle go down on the record and hearing that first crackle, seeing the record spinning and a little needle relaying so much sound.”
Library patrons can view vinyl albums for 21 days.
Library Network (TLN) cardholders can view Royal Oak albums using library cards from other TLN communities.
However, library officials said music on vinyl was not available through the Michigan eLibrary or interlibrary loans.
In terms of sound, vinyl is superior to MP3, although many still wonder if records are better than CDs, covering a multitude of qualities ranging from audio and durability to the format that best reproduces the sound. artist sound.
In the end, vinyl is different from all the other formats that we listen to from classical, jazz, rock or rhythm and blues.
“For some people it’s nostalgia, and for others, vinyl is something new to them, and they want to check it out,” Irwin said.
The analog appeal of vinyl goes back to the roots of popular recorded music.
Beginning in the 1960s, record album covers and content began to offer more than the record, with photos, posters, lyrics, musical artists listed on each track, and artwork. Artists from Andy Warhol to Banksy designed album covers, although the design of album covers began decades earlier.
Irwin remembers what it meant to get an album from a favorite musical artist and live the experience.
“When we were all listening to vinyl, you were usually listening to the whole album,” she said. “The artists have a vision of you listening to the entire album from start to finish. The order of the songs is important and gives you a full experience of the artist’s vision for the record.”
The number of libraries of different materials on loan continues to increase. Yet Irwin sees vinyl albums sharing a comfortable place in a library’s offerings.
“We share stories, and that just happens to be a story for music,” she said. “Friends of the Royal Oak Library gave us $ 1,500 to keep buying vinyl records. ”