From Iowa Public Radio:
But just as libraries are introducing eBooks to readers – librarians are also trying to figure out how to get digital music to library goers. Iowa City has launched a digital music library that focuses on its local music scene.
The idea for it came to retired librarian John Hiett while he was sitting in a bar. He realized he was spending the library’s budget on a bunch of musicians who weren’t from Iowa.
“Late one night, late for me anyway, I was watching Dave Zollo play and I thought, he’s so good, how come we ship our entire music budget out of town?” said Hiett. “I may have had a few at that point, but I had the sense to email myself with the idea.”
Here’s what Hiett came up with: If you have an Iowa City library card and a computer, you can download more than 100 albums by local musicians for free and the user owns it forever. Hiett said a lot of the music is older and out of print, but some bands don’t have a problem just giving the library a new recording.
Librarians across the country have caught wind of Iowa City’s Project. Nashville Public Libraries are planning to use it as a foundation for something that goes a bit further. Librarian Jared Brennan says the Nashville system plans to curate a history of the city’s music that goes beyond country to include hip-hop, alt-rock and other genres … and make it available beyond city limits.
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Hat Tip: @mattRweaver