To meet the growing needs of the vinyl community, the library is introducing The Vinyl Room at Merriam Park
Vinyl records have seen a vibrant resurgence in popularity in recent years and the culture and sales of vinyl are thriving in the Twin Cities. From record stores dotting Saint Paul and Minneapolis to local musicians pressing their albums there is no doubt that people are responding to this once declining listening format. To meet the need for the vinyl community and to share its unique value to new users, the Saint Paul Public Library is introducing The Vinyl Room at Merriam Park. Did you know that the system has a circulating vinyl collection with over 600 albums? These items are housed at three locations in Highland, Merriam Park, and Rondo but can be put on hold through the catalog by any library user to pick up at their most convenient location. The Vinyl Room will add to this already robust collection with the creation of two new features at Merriam Park:
Listening Room: Merriam Park has a listening station where you can close the door, put on a set of headphones and spin an album or two. A library card is not needed and no reservations are required. Just stop at the front desk to sign up! This is a perfect spot for those who don’t have a turntable at home or just want a quiet space to listen to music. Staff member suggestion: if you don’t have a turntable but really want to listen to the new Lizzo LP (for instance), put it on hold to pick up at Merriam and head into the listening room - if you like the album, order the CD version to listen to at home! In January we will host a listening room contest – the more you use the space the more chances you will have to win a turntable! More info to come.
Dig Bin Collection: In addition to the regularly featured collection, Merriam Park is also home to a unique Dig Bin collection of over 300 albums which are not in the catalog and cannot be placed on hold, which means you never know what fun and interesting albums you'll come across! Crate digging is a popular pastime at record stores and can lead to quirky find you may not have thought of – looking for Mahler Symphony no.1 or perhaps you’re more in the mood for Tina Turner’s Private Dancer? From Songs of the Loon to Buffy St. Marie, the Dig Bin collection is your go-to for unexpected spins.
To kick off the new space Merriam Park will be hosting Hymie’s Vintage Records for a brief presentation on the history of this iconic record shop, some info on the Twin Cities vinyl scene and a listening session with some of Hymie’s rare finds. Bring one or two of your own unique albums to donate to our Dig Bin collection!