Before Spotify, there was the public library.
In the pre-digital era, music fans could build a collection with a library card and a CD burner. The Multnomah County Library will soon make it even easier—and put a spotlight on local music.
This spring, the library is launching the Library Music Project, a streaming platform featuring music exclusively by Portland artists.
Based on similar projects in Seattle and Nashville, the website's collection will be made up entirely of new music submitted to the library and selected by a curated listening panel. The first round of submissions opens Feb. 14.
The goal is to open with 50 albums and expand to 100 within the year, says Javier Gutierrez, the library's director of collections. And you won't even need a library card.
"It's re-envisioning what people think the library is," says Gutierrez. "People think it's a building with books, but really it's everywhere."
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