For the record: vinyl records available to check out from HBLL

The Harold B. Lee Library provides vinyl record players to BYU students. Students and staff can check out records from the sizable collection housed on the fourth floor of the library. (Joshua Rust)

The Harold B. Lee Library has nearly 70,000 vinyl records for students to check out.

A year and a half ago, vinyl checkout services were only available to BYU professors, according to Carter Glass, a library employee. Student vinyl access was restricted to the Special Collections services.

Now, however, students can include records in their 50-item checkout limit at the library.

“I don’t think people necessarily know because they aren’t kept out like on the floor on what we call the stacks. There’s a specific room that we have to go out to and retrieve them,” Glass said.

A room on the fourth floor of the HBLL houses most of the vinyl record collection at the university. BYU library employees can retrieve records for student checkout from the collection. (Joshua Rust)

While students cannot procure and check out records themselves, they can inquire at the HBLL fourth-floor help desk or search online through the library website under “audio,” using the “musical recordings” filters.

After checkout, students can utilize the record-playing stations provided at the library or use personal record players at home.

Glass also mentioned plans to remodel the fourth-floor music section in the HBLL to make the record stacks available for student browsing.

“They’re basically doing like a complete overhaul of the whole thing, which is going to unify the music section,” Glass said.

Vinyl records stole the spotlight among many music listeners last year, as they sold more than CDs, according to Annalise Drewes, a library employee.

“I think that they (vinyl records) are making a resurgence. I think part of it is people like collecting them and the physical aspect. I think there’s definitely something for audiophiles as well,” Drewes said.

Record playing stations at the BYU library come fully equipped for students to listen to records. After checkout, students can use the stations or bring the records home. (Joshua Rust)

Michael Luce, a former library employee, explained the appeal vinyl records have among some millennial and Generation-Z collectors.

“There’s a certain sense of identity that comes from music. And I think by owning that music, it becomes even a more tangible part of your identity,” Luce said.

Luce said he collects vinyl records because of the aesthetic appeal and the support he can offer artists through record sales.

“It’s a great way to support the artists I listen to, especially if I’m getting more modern music. … I’m able to go to the artists website and directly buy their music, it’s a great way of supporting them,” Luce said.

Glass and Drewes encouraged students to utilize the record checkout services, especially during the slower work weeks before the start of the semester.

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