In the course of one week earlier this summer, our community library had over 2000 children through it’s doors.
An incredible statistic in a town of approx 20,000 people. All the more so because this library was in danger of closing not so long ago. And especially because of the many different ways in which we can read and buy books now.
Libraries came before bookshops. They were the first distribution method for books and the printed word.
In music, there have been many library systems, but none as enduring as their literary equivalents. For years radio was the most efficient way to distribute music, but as a listener you couldn’t choose what to listen to, and so since it became possible in the 20th century and up to very recently, people have always bought the music they want.
Only the other day I heard of a 6000-strong local vinyl record collection. We went through tapes, CDs, iPods, and now today we no longer need to own music to access it.
YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music…all huge online music library systems. Some free, some with membership fees. It means that each artist can immediately distribute her music to the whole world, but also that she is competing against the whole history of recorded music.
I reorganised and updated the catalogue in my own video library recently. It includes footage of theme nights adult and teenage, stuff I’ve done with Seamie and John Joe, and my own compositions/performances including last year Our Place project. Thanks to the current technology in music distribution, you can choose, then listen and watch for free here.