Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Curating a World-Class Music Library - Your Pledge at Work

One of the questions I'm asked most often is, "how many CDs are there in the library?". I wondered myself a few years ago so I counted them. But I soon realized that was a much better exercise for providing an estimate than a hard number, because of the constant stream of new recordings coming in every day.

The reason? There are actually two, and they work together: one is the serious committment VPR has to building a multi-genre, world-class, music library;
the other is the listener-funded music budget that supports that vision.

Listener support also helps to pay for subscriptions to periodicals like BBC Music, Opera News, F-Roots, and Down Beat magazines. These are great resources for finding out about the newest releases around the world, as well as new venues and new artists on the scene, emerging styles and performance techniques, and industry trends.

Every music host at VPR is a curator in their specialized area of the library.
Based on their reading and the years of experience and expertise they bring to the job, hosts send me suggestions and requests for new recordings. My part of the process is placing the orders and managing the annual acquisition budget to make sure everyone's accommodated. (I admit it, I'm never shy about including a few of my own picks as well!)

It says a lot about the dedicated support of VPR's listeners that I've never before had the scope or depth of resources available to do the job I do at VPR. That translates into direct benefits for all of us: more new recordings, a better variety of choices, deeper cuts, and an expansive, ever-growing range of repertoire and performances.

Thank you for making it all possible! And yes,
we definitely take requests.

(By the way - the answer is "around 35,000". Today.)

Cheryl Willoughby
Dir. of Music Programming

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