Behind the Scenes of the Library Music Project with Kady Ferris

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Behind the Scenes of the Library Music Project with Kady Ferris

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.

 A sampling of artist and community reactions on Twitter

A sampling of artist and community reactions on Twitter

 

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!

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HUM Launch Events Reportback with Jason Rabb

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HUM Launch Events Reportback with Jason Rabb

Following the busy weekend of events surrounding the launch of Salt Lake City’s Hear Utah Music (HUM) collection, Rabble had a chance to chat with one of the driving forces behind events, Librarian Jason Rabb.

Having decided to host two shows for the launch, the library turned over creative control to the artists themselves. Local artist Travis Bone, who has done promotional art for both touring and local acts, designed the striking poster for the event. Design in-hand, the bands playing the launch began promotion on social media, within the community, and with support from the library.

The HUM launch itself came at a busy time for Salt Lake City. The library’s summer reading program served as a perfect companion, with its own musical “strike a chord” theme. The launch also coincided with a weekend full of events in downtown Salt Lake City for Pride.

 Candid photo of the library's table outside Diabolical Records

Candid photo of the library's table outside Diabolical Records

Excitement palpable in the air, the first night’s show kicked off at local record store and popular music venue Diabolical Records. The library set up a table out front, advertising the collection and concerts. They also had plenty of swag to share, including coasters and guitar picks. Inside, the show saw a near capacity turn out, with a great atmosphere and energy for all the performances.

 HUM promotional coasters and guitar picks

HUM promotional coasters and guitar picks

The following night, festivities moved to Urban Lounge. Typically hosting shows for touring acts on Saturday nights, they featured an all-local bill in support of the HUM launch. Though further from downtown and the crowds of the weekend’s Pride events, the show still saw an even larger turnout than the previous night. By all accounts the show was a fun time, with great music from all the bands.

 Strong Words performing at Urban Lounge

Strong Words performing at Urban Lounge

All told, Jason was excited with the weekend’s events and the HUM launch in general. This summer will continue to be a busy one for Salt Lake City libraries and HUM. Several projects are in the works, and both central and branch libraries in the city will have concerts featuring local music artists. They will also open another round of submissions in August, growing the excellent collection of Salt Lake City albums. We’re excited to hear what comes next and continue this fantastic partnership with the Salt Lake City Public Library!

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Portland Unveils Impressive Library Music Project

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Portland Unveils Impressive Library Music Project

A city long renowned for its local music scene, in the latest MUSICat collection launch Portland’s Multnomah County Library came out of the gate strong with their Library Music Project. The largest MUSICat collection launch to date, the site went live with 124 albums available for streaming and download. Classic artists like Nu Shooz appear alongside newcomers like AMULETS, covering the range of genres one would expect from such an ambitious collection.

The launch was eagerly anticipated by press from The Willamette Week and KUOW leading up to the first round of submissions in February. With the launch of the site, that excitement has shifted to the musicians. Since the official launch announcement on Friday, June 8, Twitter has been abuzz with bands sharing their albums included in the collection. “We're honored to be placed among such an awesome collection of musicians.” wrote Big Sky Music Therapy. Library patrons seemed excited as well, with “Michael Rpdx” remarking: “Streaming local music from my awesome library - @MultCoLib There is great goodness in the world.” 

Look forward to more from the Library Music Project, and Salt Lake City’s Hear Utah Music collection in the coming weeks, as the Rabble team shares some of our favorite selections!

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Salt Lake City’s HUM Gets Stuck in our Head

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Salt Lake City’s HUM Gets Stuck in our Head

Summer is here and it is an exciting one for MUSICat as we welcome the launch of a new library music collection in Salt Lake City! The Salt Lake City Public Library debuted the Hear Utah Music (HUM) collection on June 1st, showcasing 40 albums chosen from their first round of submissions earlier this year in February. The albums span genres from folk to hip-hop to electronic and more, highlighting the diversity and energy of the Salt Lake City music scene. Rabble Technical Architect and Co-Founder Preston Austin was enthusiastic about the new collection and site’s overall look, commenting, "I'm loving the great musical selection in HUM's new collection, and I'm delighted with the striking, thoughtful, and just plain fun designs the Salt Lake City Public Library team put together for the HUM collection and launch events."

HUM’s online launch was accompanied by two launch parties in the physical world. Quiet House, Jazz Jaguars, and Conquer Monster played an all ages show at long-time independent and local music supporter Diabolical Records on June 1. The next night a 21+ show at late-night concert venue Urban Lounge saw performances from Salt Lake Electric Ensemble, Strong Words, and UTA TRAX.

In addition to the amazing music collection, HUM also features a Poster Archive. This beautiful collection preserves an important aspect of Utah’s musical history, and gives the community a chance to enjoy an art form that too often ends up wasting away on telephone poles.

As HUM settles into its new routine of sharing Salt Lake City’s music with the world, Portland’s Multnomah County Library is preparing their own launch, providing a little listen of their famous music scene. More news on that coming soon!

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Rabble is partnering with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

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Rabble is partnering with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

We're thrilled to announce Rabble's partnership with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh! As reported in The Incline, the new MUSICat collection will help the "library in its goal to support Pittsburgh’s creative community." 

Toby Greenwalt, the library's Director of Digital Strategy notes: “The library’s always been a step along the way for people to build out their creative urges, and we want to be able to showcase that, so hopefully it goes to inspire other folks to create. How can we use MUSICat to showcase all of the work that musicians are doing here in Pittsburgh? … The overall goal is to help our users advance their creative modes of expression.”

This Pittsburgh partnership is particularly special for Rabble's CEO: "For Hiser, a musician and Brookline resident who visits her neighborhood library weekly with her toddler, the project is deeply important to her as a way to make local music more accessible to the public, and she said musicians have responded favorably."

Check out the full article in The Incline here

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Announcing MUSICat Chorus

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Announcing MUSICat Chorus

The team at Rabble is extremely excited to announce our plans for the Beta launch of MUSICat Chorus, a service that empowers more public libraries than ever to publish online local music collections.

Rabble’s Library Partners in NashvilleSeattleEdmonton, and beyond are already using the MUSICat platform to share streams and downloads of local music. MUSICat Chorus expands access to this groundbreaking service via affordable pricing for libraries serving populations under 150,000. MUSICat Chorus has simple monthly pricing and no upfront fees, empowering more libraries than ever to share local music online, under artist license terms they control, with no holds, returns, or borrowing limits.

“We’ve talked to dozens of librarians in small towns and rural areas around the world who want to build online local music collections, and we’re thrilled that MUSICat Chorus will make that possible for them,” says Rabble CEO and co-founder Kelly Hiser.

MUSICat is more than just “Spotify for libraries”—Rabble partners with libraries to build a platform that supports local creative communities, respects and compensates artists for their work, protects user privacy, and facilitates library-led innovation under an open-source model. Using MUSICat, libraries license albums directly from musicians while also compensating artists up front. The sites share streams and downloads with authenticated library card holders, and engage communities with richly connected media and information about local artists.

MUSICat Chorus is made possible by Rabble’s work with its partner libraries in EdmontonNashvilleSeattleMadisonMinneapolisSalt Lake City, and Portland. MUSICat Chorus subscribers join a platform that has been imagined, developed, and thoroughly proven with these public library partners. “The Rabble team prides itself on building software that embraces public library values - the MUSICat collection model was developed by librarians, and we work closely with librarians as we build and improve MUSICat to ensure we’re creating real value for the communities we serve,” says Hiser.

Hiser adds that libraries of all sizes benefit from the types of community engagement that MUSICat collections foster: “A MUSICat collection is a nexus for new relationships and projects. We’re seeing our partners team up with artist collectives, documentary makers, record labels, music critics, podcasts, local businesses, and more on all kinds of projects that feature the collection and benefit the artists involved. We know that smaller libraries thrive off of these kinds of connections every bit as much as million-population cities.”         

Rabble is currently seeking twenty public libraries to participate in the MUSICat Chorus Beta launch, and is offering a two month discount to encourage libraries to sign up by May 2018. The Rabble team expects to publicly launch MUSICat Chorus in the Fall of 2018. Hiser and her team are excited: "Talent knows no geographical bounds, and we can't wait to hear the collections that the thousands of amazing libraries serving smaller communities around the world put together."

For more info or to sign up, contact us at info@therabble.co 

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Portland library launches the latest MUSICat site

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Portland library launches the latest MUSICat site

On Valentine's Day, Portland's Multnomah County Library launched the latest MUSICat site, the Library Music Project, with an open call for submissions from local artists. Given the stellar reputation of Portland's music scene, we expect amazing things from the opening collection set to be published later this spring. Javier Gutierrez, director of collections and technical services for the library, says “The Portland area is already known for its vibrant music scene. This new collection is a great opportunity for the library to help showcase and share all of the great talent in our community.” 

The Library Music Project submission launch is already picking up some great local press from The Skanner and Willamette Week, where reporter Abby Gordon notes: "Before Spotify, there was the public library."

For those of you counting along at home, this is Rabble's second MUSICat site launch in as many weeks (read more about Salt Lake City's HUM here). There's much more to come throughout 2018, so stay with us. 

 

 

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The Salt Lake City Public Library launches HUM (Hear Utah Music)

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The Salt Lake City Public Library launches HUM (Hear Utah Music)

This past Friday, we watched a small furry mammal predict the weather, and, more importantly, we celebrated the launch of the latest MUSICat site: The Salt Lake City Public Library's HUM (Hear Utah Music), which announced its first open submission round. (Salt Lake City area musicians who want to submit can do so here.) HUM will be a a digital space celebrating Utah’s local music community, curated by a jury of local music advocates and experts. 

The Rabble team is thrilled to be working with The City Library, known for its commitment to democracy and eye catching architecture. Our ethos is strongly aligned with the Library's mission to be "a dynamic civic resource that promotes free and open access to information, materials and services to all members of the community to advance knowledge, foster creativity, encourage the exchange of ideas, build community and enhance the quality of life." 

HUM will publish its opening collection later this year, and it's bound to be excellent. Salt Lake City has a thriving and diverse music scene that runs the gamut from hip hop to synthpop to country (and more). Stay tuned!

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The Library as Incubator Project on The Seattle Public Library's PlayBack

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The Library as Incubator Project on The Seattle Public Library's PlayBack

Check out the latest Library as Incubator post on our work: a piece co-written by CEO Kelly Hiser and Andrew Harbison, Seattle's Assistant Director of Collections and Access. Here's an excerpt:

"These kinds of collections—built on a licensing relationship between the library and the artist—seem to automatically generate engagement that goes beyond collection use, teaching communities about the amazing work their neighbors create. This makes PlayBack the perfect project for The Seattle Public Library, which has a strategic goal of engaging local creative communities in new ways by offering relevant, inclusive, and participatory programs and services, as well as representing the work of these communities in the Library’s collections."

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Rabble News in the Wisconsin State Journal

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Rabble News in the Wisconsin State Journal

From Judy Newman at the WSJ:

 

Nashville is known as “Music City,” and Madison music startup Rabble will help polish that image by bringing the songs of Nashville’s local bands to that city’s libraries.
Rabble’s MUSICat program provides a curated selection of local bands to a community, making the selections available to residents via their libraries.
The Nashville Public Library will be Rabble’s latest client, with BoomBox scheduled to go live within days. Seattle’s public library system came on board in August with its PlayBack program, offering 50 albums by Seattle-area bands.
Those are in addition to collections Rabble has compiled for Madison and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
“This is exceptionally good stuff. Libraries are doing important work, creating digital public spaces, and we’re proud to be part of it,” said Rabble CEO Kelly Hiser, who holds a doctorate in musicology.
She said Rabble is finalizing contracts with two more library systems – whose names can’t be released yet. They are expected to launch by the end of the year.

Click through to the story to read more... 

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