Upper Arlington Library’s Local Music Collection Available for Streaming
Marketed as Ohio’s first digital library collection, the Upper Arlington Public Library’s Listen Columbus project brings a digital collection of local music to library goers, free of charge.
After putting together a physical collection of local music for the library, Listen Columbus coordinators Katy Hite and Alexa Elgabri said they recognized the need for a place the public could access digital music since a large number of artists exclusively release music online.
“We wanted to do something that helps local musicians gain exposure to a different audience and we wanted to expose Upper Arlington library patrons — as well as all central Ohio listeners — to all the great local music that exists in the city,” Hite and Elgabri said in an email.
After researching a similar project by the Iowa City Library, they applied for grant funding by the State Library of Ohio. The project also received a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, and additional support provided by nonprofit Friends of the Upper Arlington Library.
The collection now features local music from the library’s physical collection, music from its Live at the Library concert series, and digital music the library has bought the rights to.
The collection features just under 50 albums by 42 artists that record, live and tour regularly around Columbus. Artists get $100 for signing on in exchange for giving Listen Columbus non-exclusive rights to make the recording available for streaming on its site.
In addition to the collection, the website gives information about bands and musicians, including a bio and links to websites and social media profiles. The project is also supplemented by a blog and social media outlets dedicated exclusively to promoting local music and musicians.
Signing on can also lead to artists playing at the library’s live music concert series.
“One of the greatest things about creating Listen Columbus is that it has brought local musicians into the library,” said Hite and Elgabri. “Bands typically play in bars, which are not kid-friendly places. The library is an inclusive environment for everyone, so all audiences can be introduced to new music.”
“We have really enjoyed working with musicians in the area, and love how excited they are to be working with the library on this project,” they said.
Visit listencolumbus.org for more information.