Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Amazing Library

Part I:  You've got nothing better to do.

by Kat Clift, Music Library Intern

Face it.  The internet has finally run out of pictures of cats.  Robot Unicorn no longer spikes your adrenaline.  Even that picture of the man squatting on the top of a statue of a pigeon has failed to give you a smirk.

Might as well face it, you're addicted to lolcats.

When the witty computer box in your room has run out of things your friends haven't sent you on facebook, it's time to try something new. Why not an adventure in the music library?

Wait! Stop! Hold on!

I know your mouse went toward that familiar red X in the top corner, but hear me out! You'll thank me for this when it gets you a date.

Today, several websites are shut down in protest of the SOPA/PIPA acts, the most notable of which are: Google, Wikipedia, Vimeo, and there are many others.  If passed, these worse-than-four-letter words will pretty much destroy the internet as we know it. So, for 24 hours, your internet experience will theoretically be hindered in a similar way to what it would have been like to be in the dark ages.

Don't panic, though, I'm not saying that you won't be able to find something to do in the meantime, but it might be kind of lame.  Compare said lame website/game/[censored] to several petabytes of music and dvds, biographies of great musicians (classical to rock to probably even dubstep!), and more!

You would be able to check out any kind of sheet music for almost any kind of ensemble you could dream of.  Books upon books of the greatest literature, and some of the worst, relating to music and art. You can even check out scores of those great symphonic works you heard on Fantasia when you were little and see what everyone is playing! 
Sure, you say, that stuff is what libraries are supposed to have!


There's plenty of stuff you wouldn't expect libraries to have.

Shh.. do you smell something?

Certainly I'm not going to tell you all of it; that's for you to discover on your own. I can, however, give you a few of the treasures I've found while rummaging through the stacks with no goal in mind.

That door people disappear through by the checkout desk? Sure they come back, but if you've never been down there, some of the greatest recordings ever done are just waiting for someone to dust them off and become inspired. 
Have you gone to the very back of the library yet? We have different sized items back there, including miniature scores and enormous scores.  Ever seen an enormous score? They look like this. 

This is Lauren; She works here!  She's teeny, and the score is huge!

There are even storybook versions of composers lives, ready to be presented to your cousin's daughter for the next holiday.  Imagine presenting them with the life of Brahms in a friendly, imaginative way, while keeping the accuracy of the investigation discovery channel.

Because when they were this age, they couldn't even pronounce unrequited. .

Maybe you're not convinced.  Didn't I mention this getting you a date? Oh, it can. You may as well use all of this to your advantage, right?

Imagine this.  You wander over to Tate Street Coffee, for once without your laptop because you can't do much with it right now.  As you sip your overpriced latte, you listen to a piece by Schubert that you streamed from the library's online databases, all the while turning the pages of the score.  Someone stops and asks "What's that you're listening to?" And you regale them with the name of the piece and how Schubert's romantically tragic life has really caught your attention recently.

Now compare that with you, sitting on your laptop, clickety clacking, looking at pictures of cats with your ear buds in, but no sound, as you crunch into your brownie. Just like everyone else.

Which one would you want to go out with? And really, what kind of person starts a conversation at the coffee shop about that cat picture they found on the internet? ;) 

See also these links regarding SOPA/PIPA (take a minute and please sign the petition!):

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Sarah.

    Here's another link to add to the 'anti-censorship' sites:

    I'm a Jacksonville attorney and found you're blog doing some research. Keep up the good work.