The return of the vinyl record. Is it a reaction to our digital dependency? Does it stem from hipsters touting the bouquet of IPAs and fixed gear bikes? Is it plain old nostalgia? You should come find out for yourself at our SPC Gibbs Library location where the is an ever growing collection of new and old albums which are being cataloged and displayed in Retro Joe’s café located on the second floor.
One of our librarians, Chad Mairn is assembling a collection of vinyl records ranging from classic Jazz and Big band to Avant guard, Punk, and New Pop. Each album that is cataloged can be checked out for a period of seven days and brought home to listen to and maybe even make a mix cassette tape for your tape deck. However, you don’t need to check out the records to enjoy them since there are new turn tables with high quality stereo mixers and headphones right in the café. Just pick an album and enjoy dropping the needle on a record and listening to analog music in all its uncompressed glory. Quick fact; calculated growth of new vinyl is poised to outsell compact discs for the first time since 1986 at some point this year. That speaks volumes. (oh yes, I punned it up.)
A key component to enjoying an album in our library or your own home is the fact that albums aren’t portable and allows the listener to slow down and pay attention to the music as an active participant. They can’t be placed on your arm while running or played as background music for the train ride into work. Not that digital music is bad per se. In fact, digital music has revolutionized how we listen to and store our music. But the rise of vinyl record sales and new turn tables points to a different type of listening; active listening. The listener has to take the time to place the record on the table, choose the time to listen, and turn it over when the albums reaches the end of a side. And there is a certain magic about knowing that tiny valley on a flat piece of plastic can create such beautiful music.
So stop by the SPC Gibbs Library and see what all the hub-bub is about.