Digital Music in Public Libraries

E-books in libraries are certainly attracting a lot of attention these days. The public seems both fascinated and horrified by the idea of “bookless libraries”, while the library profession itself grapples with the manifold challenges raised by e-books. Access versus ownership, digital rights management, and ever-changing file formats and technologies are key issues at library conferences around the world.

Meanwhile, a similar revolution is taking place on the library’s CD shelves. MP3 players and streaming audio are a constant presence in our daily lives, and digital formats are finding their way into the library’s music collection. Just as for e-books, the introduction of digital music to libraries presents certain challenges and opportunities.

For academic libraries, especially those focusing on classical, jazz, and traditional music, Naxos Music Library and Alexander Street Press provide excellent services. With popular music, however, things become more thorny