Libraries are an amazing yet underused resource. Too many people associate libraries with school, so once they’re out in the real world, they stop using them. This is unfortunate when libraries offer so much to the public.
Plus, for some reason, even people who use libraries once they’re out of school tend to not think of them as useful tools for their career. Let’s take a moment to reconsider that thinking though. Libraries offer awesome tools for every career path, and musicians are no exception. Here’s how libraries can help professional musicians.
There are numerous free and creative resources for learning a language, especially online. Still, nothing can beat the price and options a library gives you. Not only do many libraries have popular tools like Berlitz to help you learn a language, they often have more books and recordings on any language you could want to learn than you could imagine. The best part is, they’re all free to you (provided you don’t procure any overdue fees!).
Curate Amazing Programs
Once we’re out of school, it can be incredibly difficult to discover new music. When we’re not attending performances as often, where do we find new works? In addition to the numerous recordings libraries offer, they usually have scores (or can get scores through Interlibrary Loan) for you to peruse new options.
Make Smart Music Purchases
Similarly to finding new music, libraries can help you decide if you want to buy new music, and what edition you might like. Obviously you’ll need to purchase music to perform it for pay, but if you’re uncertain if the piece is right for you, you can proof it beforehand through your library.
Get Help With Grants
It’s really amazing how many services local libraries offer. I was amazed to discover that the Free Library of Philadelphia has a whole department that just helps people write grants. When coming up with an amazing new music project, grants can be a great way to supplement that project. Why not get help writing yours?
Get Business Smart
Like learning languages, the amount of business resources available in a library are astronomical, both as books and as courses. After graduate school, I began checking out a steady stream of business books. It allowed me to figure out what I didn’t know about business and what I needed to know without breaking the bank. Plus, many libraries offer workshops and seminars on business as well.
Let’s face it – being a professional musician can be stressful. The library can offer you a ton of ways for you to relax for free. In addition to having wonderful books, movies, and CDs for you to check out, libraries often hold fun events that make for a nice break from the daily grind.
The best way to find out what your local library has to offer you is simply by going. If you need help finding your closest library or a list of libraries in your area, check out this search from WorldCat.
How have libraries helped your career as a musician?