Digital Resources

I don’t post  a lot about digital resources in libraries anymore because 1) I really don’t care for debating the pro/cons of every digital resource 2) I’d rather focus on doing something cool for the community than talking about stuff all the time 3) I just really don’t have the time.

However over this past weekend I signed up for a 48 hour trial of Spotify Premium and felt compelled to write something.  I downloaded their app onto my iPhone to take advantage of the new Spotify Radio, which is free for all Spotify users to use .  With that, I also got 48 free hours to listen to all of the music in the Spotify catalog.  I can only use one word to sum up how I felt about this: awesome.

I came to a few conclusions about digital resources this weekend:

  1. I’ll be signing up for a Spotify Premium account soon.  Who doesn’t want access to as much music as they can digest at all times?  I’ve also got Netflix at home and while I don’t have access to everything that I want at the click of a button, I’m more than happy with their selection.
  2. Libraries have very little place in the world of streaming content.  I can’t imagine any scenario where any kind of library product (Freegal, Overdrive, Alexander Street Press) would be better than something like Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and even YouTube.
  3. Having access to Spotify for 48 hours reaffirmed  just how important these excellent words from Mick Jacobson are when it comes to libraries moving forward.

I dig the fact that I can share music with the click of a button.

The snag in my argument: all of these services cost the individual money (plus some kind of internet/data connection) and some people may not be able to afford these services (like all of the teens that I serve).  The only comeback I have to this: in the grand scheme of things, these services are relatively cheap (Spotify is $9.99/month, Netflix streaming is $7.99/month) for the amount of quality things you get.

Conclusion: I just can’t see any reason why I would want to invest any of my library budget in any kind of digital resource at this time when there’s so much better stuff out there that isn’t tailored towards libraries.  I’d rather pay $18/month for Spotify and Netflix and move the library towards a place where cool stuff can happen.


  1. I have a personal account to Pandora and when I want a genre of music (nothing specific) this is where I go. I do an e-resource like Naxos also gives a library options — not too expensive, but with the ability to listen to any renditions of a particular musical piece (I guess I should use the RDA terms, but won’t). I will say though that Naxos has little popular music — mostly jazz and classical. This is not a commercial….even if it sounds like one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s