When you chat with Kady Ferris, Multnomah County Library’s electronic content librarian, it's clear that the library always had a big vision for their new Library Music Project, the latest collection. The library has long been interested in leveraging its position in the community to support local endeavors, and the Library Music Project was well in keeping with previous efforts like the Library Writers Project, that supports local authors. Hoping for a first round of “maybe 50 submissions,” the library received nearly 400 albums during this February’s first submission round. Luckily, the library was prepared.
Reviewers helped select the initial 124 albums for the launch, trying to capture a wide range of the music submitted and create a broad, inclusive collection. In addition to highlighting the diversity of Portland’s local music, the library wanted to grab - and hold- the community’s attention. With a large collection, visitors can always find something new to listen to, and the library will continue to grow the collection with each new round of submissions. They also plan to use MUSICat's tools to create curated playlists, giving users a starting place to dive in.
The response to the launch was enthusiastic from Portland musicians and the broader community. Notified their albums would be included, many bands wrote back expressing how stoked they were to be a part of the collection, and were impressed by the design of the site itself. Both community and bands have been animated on social media, spreading the word, sharing favorite albums, and generally hyping the collection.
The library plans to continue promoting the collection. Videos featuring local bands playing in the book drop area of the building will be coming soon. When a new round of submissions opens up in September, the library also plans to hold a concert promoting the collection and some of the great local music in Portland. All in all, both Rabble and the Multnomah County Library are excited about the collection and can’t wait to see where it goes next!