On Wisconsin, the magazine for alumni and friends of the University of Wisconsin–Madison published by the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA), has an article titled “Wisconsin Vinyl” in the Spring 2019 issue, noting that retail sales of vinyl records have increased in the United States for 12 consecutive years. Tom Caw, Music Public Services Librarian, is quoted: “I think part of the allure for the vinyl listening experience is that it’s a physical interaction with a device, and I think people are used to having access online to streaming media,” Caw says. “The interactive physical experience is something you can’t replicate online.” The article highlights our vast vinyl collection, and includes a mention of the 78rpm records from Paramount Records that are included in our Wisconsin Music Archives.
We have definitely seen an increase in interest in our LP collection in recent years. We have turntables for patrons to use in the library, and we are happy to teach folks how to use one. We often tell patrons that if you haven’t listened to a record on a turntable before, you have the chance to do something for the first time in your life at Mills Music Library. We do not circulate our 78rpm records, as they are extremely fragile, but we do circulate our LPs to students, faculty, staff, and community members with either an Annual Fee Card, a Courtesy Card, or a Friends of the Library Card.