More than words on pages

This may be cliché, but one of my favourite parts about working at the library is learning new things. Working at the circulation desk at Millennium has introduced me to so many fascinating things – I love when patrons return a book they’ve just read, or a DVD they’ve just watched, and tell me how great it was. More often than not, I’ll put the item on my own holds list and anxiously await the email telling me it’s ready to pick up.

I love interacting with the library’s extraordinary catalogue on a daily basis. When I first started working here more than six years ago, I held the position of library shelver. I was responsible for putting materials back on the shelves, though I often got distracted by interesting titles or cover art and sometimes got too carried away reading!

It’s quite possible I love music even more than books. My favourite section for shelving was always the CD area in the Special Services department. Putting away armfuls of new, mysterious music everyday was an incredible introduction to strange new sounds and bands I’d never heard before.

I generally rely on online reviews and recommendations from friends for my musical enlightenment, but there was something special about blindly choosing something based solely on interesting cover art or an appealing name.

I discovered some of my favourite bands while putting away CDs at the Millennium Library.

The one that sticks out most is Sun Kil Moon, and their 2003 album Ghosts of the Great Highway. I was drawn by the haunting look of the picture on the cover and the lilting simplicity of the band’s name. I was not disappointed.

Ghosts of the Great Highway is everything I love in an album. Beautiful, gentle songwriting. Lovely and intricate acoustic guitar playing. And soft, earnest vocals, courtesy of Mark Kozelek. It’s music that walks the line between folk, Americana, and a little rock thrown in for good measure. You can’t go wrong with that, as far as I’m concerned.

Sun Kil Moon is my type of music, but in an attempt to expand my horizons, I’ve taken out CDs from other genres just to see what they were like. Time and again, I was blown away. Perusing the classical section, I met Mahler, Bach, and Mozart. Heading over to Jazz and Blues, I fell in love with Dave Brubeck and Miles Davis.

My discovery of music at the library reminds me that, although books are wonderful, libraries are so much more than words on pages. Within libraries we find magic to please all the senses – the visual, the auditory, the tactile. How lucky I am to be surrounded by these every day.

— Laina

[Find even more new (free!) music through our Freegal and NAXOS subscriptions!  – Editor]

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