If you needed even more proof that vinyl is back, consider this: The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, which decades ago primarily purchased vinyl recordings for its audio collection and then stopped when the format appeared to become obsolete, has started buying vinyl once again.
"Vinyl" recently turned up as a category under the Media section of the New Arrivals page on the Library's website. It lists 25 records acquired in the last two months. They are a mix of brand-new releases by major names (Paul McCartney's Egypt Station, Lenny Kravitz's Raise Vibration) and older ones by such all-stars as Marvin Gaye, Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, Pearl Jam, Isaac Hayes, The Ramones and Michael Jackson. But it isn't only legendary and mainstream titles — such new recordings by more cutting-edge acts as Mitski (Be the Cowboy), The Internet (the double-LP Hive Mind) and the metal band Sleep (The Sciences, with a beautiful cover depicting a seated astronaut floating in space) are also part of the new vinyl additions.
"The library has recently evaluated popular music trends and decided to once again purchase new vinyl LPs for our collection," says Ella Mulford, the Main Library's Popular Library Department Manager, via email. "Our strategic plan states that we will 'provide a collection of resources that is current, expansive and aligned to your interest.' With the resurgence of vinyl popularity, we thought this was a great opportunity to provide something new and fresh to our customers."
To mark this everything-old-is-new-again change, the Main Library is partnering with Shake It Records at 2 p.m. on September 22 for a program called “Celebrating Vinyl.” It will highlight the Northside record store's own label, which releases titles on vinyl, as well as the library's collection. Besides the new acquisitions, the library still has vinyl recordings purchased previously and now receiving new interest. Since many of the new purchases are older recordings (often getting new release on vinyl because of the resurgence of interest) you can tell what are new acquisitions by looking at the "Call Number" in the catalog. New purchases only have “LP” in front of the name of the artist; older records don’t have the names of the artists as part of their Call Number, plus have variations on “LP” such as SLPX or LPX, for instance.
Any recordings in the catalog can be put on hold at the library's website and sent to any branch. More information is available at cincinnatilibrary.org.