Library: The Streaming Service

One of the greatest achievements in the past decade has been the ability of local public libraries ability to shift to offering more and more digital items. In a world where many of our books, movies, music, and other things are digital they have kept up. Now in a very cool twist, some libraries have launched their own music streaming service for patrons. Claire Woodcock at Vice has more.

Over a dozen public libraries in the U.S. and Canada have begun offering their own music streaming services to patrons, with the goal of boosting artists and local music scenes. The services are region-specific, and offer local artists non-exclusive licenses to make their albums available to the community.

The concept originated in 2014 when Preston Austin and Kelly Hiser helped the Madison Public Library build the Yahara Music Library, an online library hosting music from local artists. By the time they completed their work on Yahara, they were confident they had a software prototype that other interested libraries could customize and deploy.

Now, public libraries in Pittsburgh, Nashville, Fort Worth, and most recently New Orleans have launched their own community-oriented streaming services using MUSICat’s open source software.


The part I love about this is the intent to support local artists and keep things regionally focused. While these services may not rival Spotify or Apple Music, it is fantastic to see something innovative come to fruition that can provide a wonderful service.

Libraries are amazing places and with a card (even just a digital card) you have a plethora of video games, digital books, music, audiobooks, movies, and more. I cannot stress the amazing app that is Libby enough and that is only a portion of what your library offers. I hope you can find enough value from yours as I have with mine.

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