The Knight Foundation supports initiatives in a range of areas, from journalism to the arts. Their Knight News Challenge funds "breakthrough ideas in news and information." The current challenge asks "How might libraries serve 21st century information needs?"

We believe MUSICat serves new information needs in three critical ways:

First, by empowering librarians to license music on terms that restore their library’s ability to freely share and preserve music for public access. As music distribution moves more and more to an “online only” model, libraries are able to collect and lend less and less of it. The library-friendly licensing that MUSICat supports is a powerful response to what some music librarians are calling an “existential crisis.”

Second, we strive to build software that reflects the needs and values of libraries. That's why we're committed to open releases of our code, improving accessibility, user privacy, and library ownership in digital music collecting.

Finally, MUSICat responds to 21st-century information needs by facilitating new ways for libraries to connect local artists with their communities. In recent years, librarians have reimagined the role of libraries as hubs for creative communities. The results are scores of new initiatives, from art galleries to maker spaces to publications. MUSICat brings this trend into the digital realm.

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