The Brooklyn Public Library launches a vinyl lending library. (all photos by Gregg Richards, courtesy the Brooklyn Public Library)

The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is launching a new vinyl lending library for record aficionados and new initiates alike. Beginning today, patrons can listen to any of 400 records at newly-installed listening stations at the Central Library, and check them out for up to three weeks.

The Vinyl Lending Library joins existing non-textual collections like sheet music and its Musical Instrument Lending Library — the first public lending library of its kind where members can borrow instruments from violins to ukuleles and a triangle for up to a month.

A BPL spokesperson told Hyperallergic that the program was conceived in response to the resurgence of interest in vinyl. It’s been about a year in the making, between accumulating a record collection, installing stations, and combating challenges presented by COVID-19 and supply chain issues.

A listening station at the Brooklyn Public Library

The collection was built with an eye to representing the diversity of the borough, and a special effort was made to feature artists with connections to New York, with genres spanning hip-hop, country, rock, show tunes, classical, and more represented. Librarians scouted record stores and provided input on the selection of the records.

BPL will host August Lunch Beats, in which staff will spin records at the central lobby at noon every Thursday. On Tuesday, August 30, DJ Face Control will rock the library at 7pm. The library is also slated to announce programs on audio production, sampling, DJ’ing, and music coding come fall.

Jasmine Liu is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she studied anthropology and mathematics at Stanford University.