Music and sound is not just entertainment – it’s also emotions, memories, feelings, a language. I love music and I love how it can help us connect with different kinds of atmospheres and make a bridge from one state of mind to another.
The academic library deal with people, students and researchers, and the job is about providing them with information resources, supporting information literacy, making a good and diverse study environment e.g. Besides these core tasks I think there is an important job for libraries in looking at students and researchers life around campus in a more holistic light and see what you can do to support them in others ways. If you are a city campus you might have lots of students on bikes who need air from time to time – install an air supplier for that. If the library get’s hot in the summer get some water coolers. Do you see students bringing there own food look at getting a refrigerator. Lots of small simple things who makes life around campus and library better and easier. Music has a part in that I believe.
At The Faculty Library of Social Sciences’ Digital Social Science Lab (a lab to connect academia with technology, tools and methods to handle data) we have just landed a great pile of LP’s with different kind of animal sounds; birds, whales, frogs and my favorite – the owl. There will be for free use with a turntable, headphones and a big comfortable armchair. The scenario is this: A stressed out student, let’s call him Eric, is trying to figure out how to get his dataset (a Twitter scrape) ready for a text analysis in NVivo. Eric needs a break to get his head straight. He let’s himself slip into a big comfi armchair, choose a LP with ‘Bird songs in Cuba’, but on the headphones, closes his eyes and.. it comes in many forms but you all know the feeling: your mood is transforming, different emotions pops up and when you are done your state of mind. After 15 minutes in Cuba with bird singing Eric is ready to give it a try on that dataset again.
Final note: This blog post was written while listening to some Tranquil birdsinging