We’ve extended CD loan periods and are now lending USB CD/DVD drives

A small sample of recently acquired CDs at the Heilbrun Music and Media Library.

A small sample of recently-acquired CDs at the Heilbrun Music and Media Library. Photo credit: Beth Smedley.

Good news from the Heilbrun Music and Media Library, music lovers! CDs loan periods have now been extended to 2 weeks (with one 2 week renewal beyond that) for undergraduates and graduate students and staff. Faculty can continue to check out CDs for 120 days.

Why did we lengthen the loan period?

One of the reasons for the discontinued period is that CDs at one point were heavily used, so turnover needed to be quick. To no one’s surprise, in the past few years CD use has decreased—and we thought increasing loan periods would encourage more people to use our extensive collection. Also, some people have complained that the previous loan periods did not give enough time to listen to, for example, entire operas or a CD boxed set.

But I don’t have a way to play a CD anymore—my computer doesn’t have a drive!

We recognize that many of our users don’t have a way of playing CDs—for example, laptops and cars don’t often come with CD players anymore. Because of this, the Music and Media Library is now checking out USB CD/DVD drives.

A USB CD/DVD drive

A USB CD/DVD drive that you can check out for 7 days. Photo credit: Beth Smedley.

These drives should work with whatever audio or video software you already have installed in your computer, but you can also download the VLC media player for free. We also have high-quality CD players for use on site at the Music and Media Library, along with a host of other equipment for checkout like laptops, iPads, chargers, microphones, and DSLR cameras. All this equipment can be checked out at the 4th-floor Music and Media desk in the main Woodruff Library.

A hidden collection

Did you know we have over 22,000 CDs in the Heilbrun Music and Media Library? It is not immediately obvious, because the CDs (along with around 30,000 DVDs and Blu-Rays) are stored behind the 4th-floor desk. That means you have to look the titles up in DiscoverE, write down the call number, and bring that call number to the Music and Media desk. Unfortunately, you can’t browse the CDs like you can the books.

In short, we have a lot of music, especially classical music—but also jazz, popular music, musicals, soundtracks, audiobooks, and more. And we recently bought hundreds of CDs of Atlanta-area artists, especially in hip-hop. Can’t find what you want on Spotify? Try us! (There are extensive audio and video streaming options available through the library, too.)

5 reasons to check out physical CDs instead of just streaming

  1. Not everything is available streaming (really!).
  2. Even if it is available for streaming, it is sometimes behind a paywall.
  3. Streaming services often have very limited metadata (information about the music recording). Do want to know who is playing what instrument on each track? What the actual lyrics are? Who wrote the music? Who did the sound mixing? When it was recorded and where? The CD case is often the best source for that information.
  4. Do you want to see the cover artwork bigger than a thumbnail, and see the CD booklet design? You need the physical object.
  5. Sound quality is generally higher with CDs than with streaming.

Please continue to turn in CDs (and other technology and media) directly to the Music and Media desk, and not in library drop boxes.

Happy listening!

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