The Vinyl Library

Although it only opened a few months ago (June 2013), Elly Randall and Sophie Austin’s initiative, The Vinyl Library, has already generated huge interest from the press as well as a curious public. The Library provides a space dedicated to vinyl where people can listen to records or even have a mix on the decks set up there. Or, for a monthly fee, members can take records away for home listening. The collection relies on donations from the public as well as record labels and the response has been amazing. It seems that there are plenty of people out there who want to downsize their collections but want their records and the memories they hold, to go a place where they will be appreciated rather than gather dust on a charity shop floor or just be sold for a few quid.

 The viynl library

Sowing the seeds of The Vinyl Library

The Vinyl Library was the response to a frustration felt by young DJs and event promoters Elly and Sohpie when they were looking for somewhere to just listen to and discover records to add to their DJ sets. They soon realised that libraries don’t stock records anymore and specialist record shops can often be quite intimidating places. Their solution was to create their own record library. Somewhere social where people could not only borrow records but also enjoy as a space.

The Plot

The Vinyl Library has been set up as a co-operative, relying on donations from the public for the records, (so far 6000 have been given) volunteers to catalog the records and staff the space. Members pay £1 and receive a card  allowing them to listen to records in the space and £10 per month to allow them to borrow 5 records at a time for home listening.

Roots

The growing resurgence of buying and listening to music on vinyl is being widely documented and and portrayed through regular articles and film portrayal (no hip character puts a CD on these days, there will invariably be a scene with someone sticking a record on, it just looks so much better). The few surviving record shops selling vinyl have, for the first time in years started to see growth in sales. It seems that a generation who haven’t grown up listening to records at home or DJs who have only used CD or MP3 technology are interested in the visual, tactile and audio impact vinyl offers. The widespread interest in this project, spanning diverse age-groups shows that it’s not merely nostalgia. The record as an object and the culture around vinyl is set to live alongside digital alternatives rather then be replaced by them.  (Also see Classic Album Sundays)

Interestingly one of the last remaining audio resources, New York central library has just put it’s 22,000 vinyl archive up for sale this summer to raise funds making initiatives like this all the more important.  More here

Shoots

The Vinyl Library has already grown into something much bigger. It has become a center for musical appreciation, a space celebrating vinyl and DJ culture and a genuinely great place to just hang out.
On Wednesday afternoons the space holds DJ lessons (using vinyl of course) for anyone interested in the craft, film screenings of documentaries about musical genres and scenes are becoming a regular feature, talks and listening sessions are hosted by experts on a specific genre and experimental concerts using vinyl are on the cards.

Useful Stuff

The Vinyl Library,  Unit 1 Foulden Road, Stoke Newington , N16 7UR
T. 07841712302/ 07816889637
TheVinylLibrary
Open Wed -Fri 1-9pm
Sat/Sun 11-6/7pm

 

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