Free music downloads available to Tulsa library card holders
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Thursday, January 31, 2013
1/31/13 at 4:55 AM
With the addition of a new music service, Tulsa City-County Library users can get something free from the library and won't have to worry about taking it back.
Beginning this week, library card holders can download as many as three free songs a week using the service Freegal Music. Anyone who lives or works in Tulsa County is eligible for a library card.
The library started the six-month pilot program Monday, and the free music service includes more than 3 million songs from 10,000 labels.
The service is provided by Library Ideas, a company that works specifically with libraries, and free music downloads are one of their new products, said Charlotte Frazier, director of support services for the Tulsa library.
Frazier said library personnel had been looking into offering a downloadable music service.
"There was a trending in this area as we've been watching it over a year," she said. "Other libraries had done it. We're pretty excited about it."
The program is called Freegal because it's free and legal for library users to download the songs.
"We're bringing the library into the 21st century," Frazier said. "We're trying to reach out to people who love music as much as people who love books."
Mike Weibel is the youth librarian at Zarrow Regional Library, and he's been telling visitors about the new service.
"They're used to downloading music off the Internet, but they also want it free, which means they were probably downloading illegal, pirated music," he said. "They were skeptical at first; they thought it might be only classical music. But once I started showing them, they saw Beyonce and 'Gangnam Style,' (and) they were more excited."
Weibel said he's optimistic that Freegal will be a hit with young library users.
Downloadable music services are still relatively new for libraries, Frazier said, but it's the direction library materials are going.
"We have had such a good response from our e-books, we continue to grow that particular collection, it seemed to be a natural next step to look at music," she said, adding that it won't stop there. "We're looking at other downloadable materials. You hear about streaming videos now."
The Freegal pilot program is funded by the Tulsa Library Trust. After six months, library staff members will assess the program and possibly offer the service long term, depending on its popularity.
To see the Freegal music collection or download songs, go online to tulsaworld.com/librarymusic
Original Print Headline: Tulsa library card holders can download free songs
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465