Grand Rapids Public Library Introduces New Vinyl Collection – Grand Valley Lanthorn
On January 24, the Grand Rapids Public Library (GRPL) announced a new vinyl record collection at the West Side Branch and Main Library. Both locations will include listening stations where visitors can use turntables to listen to new records.
Library members can also view five records at a time and even borrow turntables to take home. Due to limited supply, customers can only borrow one turntable at a time. Those who visit either don’t need a library card to listen to the recordings on site, only to view them. The GRPL also accepts donations of vinyl records.
Marketing and communications manager Kristen Krueger-Corrado said the idea of bringing vinyl to libraries stemmed from an increase in vinyl usage by local musicians.
“Our staff were interested in pursuing a local music collection and discovered that local musicians were changing formats from CDs to vinyl,” Krueger-Corrado said. “We decided that it would be interesting to broaden the new collection more widely.
The goal of this new project is to help create an experience around the vinyl format, there will be turntables both present in libraries and available at checkout.
Krueger-Corrado said the new listening stations foster a sense of community in libraries.
“They can provide a moment of pause in your day,” Krueger-Corrado said. “We are experimenting with microcollections like this in our libraries. Our goal is for customers to interact with our collections in new ways. This can be seen in our vinyl space where we keep not only records, but also books and DVDs to showcase material related to a subject.
In 2021, more vinyl records were sold than CDs for the first time since 1986 according to the Recording Industry Association of America’s year-end report.
“By lending portable record players and vinyl, we hope our customers will try a new format that they have never used before (or used many years ago),” Krueger-Corrado said. “By providing both the equipment and the documents, it makes using the collection more accessible.”
Krueger-Corrado said GRPL is currently prototyping the collection at two of its sites.
Offering a new vinyl collection also provides benefits to the Grand Rapids Public Library, as it helps them connect with a new group of visitors. Krueger-Corrado said this aspect of the project was his favorite.
“Engaging with a new patron base and having conversations about music with our patrons,” Krueger-Corrado said. “It’s exciting to see customers discovering and interacting with the collection.”
For more information about the Grand Rapids Public Library as well as the new collection of vinyl records and turntables, visit their website or contact their customer service at [email protected] or call (616) 988-5400.