NU Music Library offers CD checkout

Jessica Allen

Tucked away on the second floor of Deering Library is a room for music lovers where students, faculty and staff can now check out up to five CDs a week. The Listening Center of Northwestern’s Music Library is lined with cubicles sporting ’80s throwback headphones and a wall of shelves where the mustard green and purple “Jimi Hendrix Experience” album is stacked next to “Switched-on Bach.” The Center houses more than 30,000 CDs ranging in style from Dylan to Debussy. The collection’s variety spans most of the classical and jazz spectrum, said Greg MacAyeal, assistant head of the Music Library. Prior to this year, people could only listen to the library’s music in the cubicles.”It wasn’t set up to allow people to use the CDs effectively,” MacAyeal said of the Center prior to its new check out policy. “We’d gotten a lot of feedback from students themselves that they would really like to be able to take them out on loan.” Although a good number of people have already checked out CDs, many have yet to learn the extensive collection and new loan policy exist, said Music freshman Christina Chintanaphol, who recently began a work study job in the center.”I play violin, so if I see anything that’s from a violinist, it attracts me,” Chintanaphol said. “There’s almost 30,000 CDs back there – that’s a strength in itself. If you’re looking for something, it’s most likely there.” Music students make good use of the CD collection, to which the center is always adding, MacAyeal said.”We are constantly looking for new recordings,” he said. “It’s a growing collection and it grows quickly.” He said the collection is often utilized by professors in the Bienen School of Music. Chintanaphol said she has also seen a number of graduate student TAs frequenting the library to find music to use in their classes. It’s not just music students who are visiting the learning center, though, MacAyeal said.”There have been a lot of people coming in to check out CDs,” he said. “And, anecdotally, it seems there are more people looking for sound recordings – not just music students.”Weinberg senior Katharine Kosin said she stopped by the listening center to check out a CD for a history class on the Vietnam War. Though she has taken music classes before and has known about the listening center for some time, Kosin said the new loan policy provides a greater incentive to visit. “It’s a pain to listen to them here,” Kosin said, adding that she will probably make more use of the collection now. “Hopefully this will be something that will help promote the collection to the rest of campus,” MacAyeal said. “Not just the CDs, but the (rest of the music library). We have one of the largest musical libraries in the country, and people outside of the music school just don’t know about it.” [email protected]