When I get home from work one of the first things I do after taking off my shoes is to put on a record. It’s a relatively new habit but I find that the act is a subtle but important transition in my day, from work to home, that emerged during the pandemic when work and home merged for my family, as it did for many of us.

These small rituals can be relaxing and a form of self care at the end of a long day. Selecting a record by flipping through the bin, sliding it from the sleeve, carefully placing it on the turntable and then — ahhh, music while I prepare dinner.

The record store experience is also a special delight for music lovers, and if you’re a fan you already know the zen feeling of riffling through record bins unbothered, but did you know you can get that same thrill at your Northfield Public Library?

We have a fantastic, curated record collection featuring an A to Z of hits, classics, and lesser known essentials. From ABBA to Zupfgeigenhansel, and everything in between, we are sure to have what your ears need. Kendrick Lamar, Cat Stevens and The Cure? Lizzo, Taylor Swift and Joni Mitchell? Morphine, The Smiths and Van Halen? You betcha.

Music lovers will also soon have the opportunity to listen to their selections right in a cozy chair in the library at our new listening station. I have it on good authority that the sound quality can’t be beat. Come, chill with us.

If records aren’t your preference, we have a terrific collection of music on CD. As the leaves change and the air crisps, it’s the perfect time to load your mobile device with your favorite jams and head out for a long walk through the Arb. And if you really can’t be bothered with physical media, Hoopla has an excellent selection of music to borrow and listen to right on your phone through their app. Take advantage of two bonus borrows we’re offering on Hoopla for the month of September as we celebrate Library Card Sign Up Month.

I love telling people all the surprising things their library card can do with them and Library Card Sign Up Month is a great time for that. Also this month we’ve embarked on a new strategic plan for the library and we want to hear from you! We have a community survey on our website and available at bit.ly/3BRIt3e. It should take about 15-20 minutes to complete and will really help guide us in developing collections, services, and programs as we grow with the community.

Back to music, if you prefer it live and on stage, join us in Central Park for our fourth annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 18. There will be plenty of live music plus dancing, art and craft, food and drink. There’s even a Zumba class before the main event!

Natalie Draper is the Northfield Public Library director and staff liaison to the Arts and Culture Commission. Reach her at natalie.draper@ci.northfield.mn.us.

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