Toronto music library

What about a Toronto music library?

Amongst its literary holdings, the Toronto Public Library houses a massive number of audio recordings and written sheet music. Spread across the city's many libraries, the TPL's music collection doesn't often get the love or attention it deserves, but that could be set to change thanks to a motion to create a dedicated space to showcase the library's key holdings. A Toronto music library could take shape as a complete repurposing of one the library's existing 99 branches or as a dedicated space in a branch that will otherwise function as normal.

It's an exciting idea, but library staff don't appear to be on board, citing the costs affiliated with the creation of a dedicated space. Although Michael Foderick, chair of the Toronto Public Library Board and the person behind the motion to have staff explore the notion of Toronto music library, told the Star that "we can safely say we're going to move forward with this idea in one form or another," library staff favour a more promotional approach, one which highlights the TPL's musical holdings and online streaming options.

It's an intriguing debate to have, particularly given the degree to which so many personal music collections have been digitized and migrated to the cloud. Staff would like to see the library's efforts directed toward the creation of a "virtual music library" in favour of a bricks and mortar space. That certainly sounds smart, but one wonders if the two ideas are mutually exclusive. A dedicated space for the TPL's music holdings, even if it's just housed within a portion of an existing branch, could pair very well with efforts to highlight the the library's digital offerings.

What do you think? Is a Toronto music library a good idea?


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