Bay College Library drops the needle on record collection

ESCANABA — In a time when MP3’s and online streaming are usurping physical media as the common means to listen to music, one library in Escanaba is helping preserve a classic format thanks to a generous donation.

The Bay College Library is now home to a number of vinyl records. Community member Doug Matthews and his wife recently offered the large cache of vintage music as a donation to the library, and library officials thought it would be an interesting addition to their collection.

“There’s been a resurgence of vinyl within the last five to seven years, and we think it has some benefit here in the library, and we’re excited about it,” said Digital Technology Coordinator Shawn Curtin.

“It kind of became a possibility to maybe draw in a younger group that, you know, they’re just starting to see this as the thing to do, as well as potentially drawing some of the older individuals who, you know, they’ve heard this,” Director of Library Services Oscar DeLong said. “This is the music they grew up with.”

In addition to potentially getting people interested in the library, DeLong said the numerous discs could be of use to music appreciation students. The vinyl collection is mainly composed of jazz and big band music.

“There’s a lot of history in some of this music,” Curtin added, “jazz especially, being one of the great American art forms.”

The library at Bay College is open to the public as well as students. Library officials are still working out the details of how the check-out process for the vinyl collection will work, but they hope to have that complete by this summer. In the meantime, they are still sorting through the assortment of classics.