News / Edmonton

Library music project gets national award

Capital City Records named the 2016 recipient of the Canadian Library Association’s Award for Innovative Technology

The Edmonton Public Library in 2014.

Metro file.

The Edmonton Public Library in 2014.

An Edmonton Public Library project celebrating the local music scene has received a national award for innovation.

Capital City Records was created almost two years ago as a free online collection of curated local albums available to any music fan with an Internet connection.

This week it was given the Award for Innovative Technology from the Canadian Library Association.

Visitors to the website can stream albums curated by a jury pulled from the local music community or view a collection of over 200 digitized posters from local gigs dating back to the 70s.

Library cardholders get an extra layer of access and have unlimited track downloads.  

In a release, the CLA points out that it’s Canada’s first digital local music collection created by a library, and calls the project “an innovative example of leadership within libraries in the realm of digital content.”

EPL CEO Pilar Martinez says the project was born out of a desire to create a digital public space where people could engage with the local music scene.

“There was an interest in celebrating Edmonton’s fantastic community and local music scene—and the history too,” she said.

Martinez points out that the public library has long had a large collection of music, but what Capital City Records does is curates its and makes it accessible at the tap of a screen.

“We’re really just interested in sharing great resources,” she said.

This is the latest in a string of accolades for EPL—most notably, they were the first Canadian institution to be named Library of the Year by Library Journal magazine in 2014.

Martinez chalks up the success to an “incredibly ambitious” strategic plan, “fantastic” staff, and a commitment to letting the community have a lot of input about what they want.

“We’re trying to keep our hand on the pulse of the community and be responsible and proactive in terms of meeting its needs. And celebrating it.”

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