Music in the Library

Most people think of libraries as a refuge from the hum of the outside world where nothing but the gentle turning of pages is audible. What most people do not realize, however, is how thoroughly music is integrated into the library community. In addition to musical programs such as the Victoria Sadowski piano recital this past December at the Lawrence Headquarters Branch, music information is available in a rich variety of formats for patrons to peruse. Sheet music ranging from Christmas music to folk music to rock ‘n roll for many different instruments can be found in the stacks along with biographies on different musical artists. Databases such as Freegal Music and hoopla offer downloadable streaming music services, in addition to the vast CD collections found at each of the branches. The World Almanac for Kids database even offers brief biographies on musical artists written specifically for children. So much is available if you know where to look.

In honor of David Bowie’s passing, here are some musical resources available at the Mercer County Library System related to David Bowie:
Best of Bowie
Love music videos? Watch Best of Bowie, a “compilation of music videos, clips of televised and non-televised performances, and live concert recordings by David Bowie, spanning the 1970s to the 1990s.” The DVD even features Mick Jagger, in addition to David Bowie.
Entertainment Weekly's Bowie Cover
Did you see the Entertainment Weekly magazine in the supermarket but do not have time to stop by the library to pore over its pages? Check out Flipster, one of the Mercer County Library System’s online databases that features popular magazines like Time, Health, Good Housekeeping, Popular Mechanics, and many more, including Entertainment Weekly. Full issues of magazines can be accessed at home simply by entering your library card number when prompted.

While the Mercer County Library System is stocked with plenty of wonderful CDs, including David Bowie’s The Platinum Collection, which features Bowie classics like “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Heroes,” and “Let’s Dance,” many of these same songs can be found in a downloadable digital format through Freegal Music and hoopla. Like everything else at the Mercer County Library System, these music services are free, and cover a wide variety of materials including full albums, individual songs, music videos, eBooks, and even some comics, like this one, Icons of Rock and Roll, found on hoopla.
Icons of Rock and Roll

Of course for our dedicated readers, the Mercer County Library System has plenty of biographies on musical artists, such as David Bowie: Starman by Paul Trynka. This book explores David Bowie’s career, including other musical artists he worked with as well as his influence on the entertainment business. David Bowie: Starman also features over 300 interviews with former managers, classmates, and even longtime friends.
David Bowie: Starman
And for those budding artists excited for the upcoming 58th Annual Grammy Awards, check out the Mercer County Library System’s The Grammy Awards: Song of the Year sheet music collection. Top hits from 1980-2009 can be found here, published by Hal Leonard for piano, vocal and guitar instrumentalists.
The Grammy Awards: Song of the Year

-Julia Cuddahy


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