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'Vinyl listening room' now up and running at Minneapolis Central Library

The opening coincides with a new series of "Vinyl Revival" events at the library

If you've been yearning to get in on the vinyl craze but don't want to spend the money on your own turntable, audio gear and record collection, the downtown Minneapolis public library will let you satisfy the urge. 

On Saturday, the Minneapolis Central Library on Nicollet Mall kicked off what it's calling "Vinyl Revival," a series of curated events such as "artist residencies, programs and listening opportunities" all celebrating old-school records.

Toki Wright, a rapper and educator, hosted the inaugural event on Saturday by spinning records from the library's collection, sharing "tips and techniques for crate digging," and introducing the new vinyl listening room, the library said. 

There'll be no shortage of vinyls to listen to, either. As the Star Tribune reports, there are thousands of records stored on the library's third floor.

The paper says they'd been in a "remote room, far from where patrons usually look for books, CDs and movies," but thanks to the conversion of a meeting room, the public will finally be able to access the library's collection.

If you want to reserve the room yourself, you'll have to go to the library in person, as it doesn't seem to be listed on its website yet.  

Though this might seem like the library is giving a good home to another dying form of media, it's actually a pretty hip move — considering how hot vinyl is, in spite of digital competition. 

As Forbes points out, the vinyl industry is thriving — and that's just accounting for sales of new vinyl records.

New data shows that because of used album sales, "the true size of the vinyl market is more than double" recent industry figures, the magazine says.

Last year, Pitchfork Media predicted that the vinyl comeback is likely "here to stay," and no longer just a "quirky, look-at-those-hipsters novelty."

But let's not give the Minneapolis Central Library all the credit for being hip; about a year ago, the St. Paul Public Library opened its own vinyl collection — and they let you check them out, too.  

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