On Monday September 17, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh called on the city’s musicians to help them build “a living music collection” by submitting their work to STACKS. The online collection of local music will share streams and downloads with Pittsburghers and act as “an ongoing document of the region’s vital, evolving music scene.”
STACKS builds on the library’s already strong music offerings including a musical instrument lending library, a recording studio, and an impressive slate of programming that covers everything from concerts to synthesizer classes. “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,” says Toby Greenwalt, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s director of digital strategy and technology integration.
Drawing on their deep connections to the city’s music communities, Pittsburgh librarians enlisted an outstanding team of jurors to help curate the collection, including artist, producer, and community organizer James Amstead Brown, radio personality Jim Cunningham, singer-songwriter, poet, actress, and creative artist Jacquea Mae, and DJ and organizer Mary Tremonte.
With STACKS, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh joins libraries across North America that are using the MUSICat platform to change how their communities share, discover, and listen to music online. Beginning with Madison’s Public Library’s Yahara Music Library in 2014, Rabble—the team behind MUSICat—now works with over a dozen public libraries from Nashville to Edmonton, Canada that are fostering innovation and strengthening networks in their local music ecosystems.
In close coordination with their local communities, these libraries are creating digital public spaces where they collect, curate, license, and publish local music collections for streaming and downloading. MUSICat sites like STACKS manifest public library ideals online for the benefit of creatives and their listening communities, building diverse music collections and experiences for the public good.