Inspiration

The Vinyl Library

So this lady here is Elly Rendall, and she and friend Sophie run The Vinyl Library. For £10 per month members get to rent out and listen to their choice of thousands of vinyl records at home. They can also have a go on the decks and listening stations and lounge about on the sofas. It’s an open community space and hosts workshops, bespoke music events, as well as an open platform for people to experiment on the decks or piano and share music stories with one another face to face. It’s a Not for Profit so any revenue past running costs goes straight back into the community outreach programmes like free mixing lessons for local young people (with a focus on encouraging more girls!). Josh Jones is neither a girl or can DJ but still had a chat with her.

Wotcha – where and how and why did you come up with the idea for The Vinyl Library?
We (Elly Rendall and Sophie Austin), the vinyl librarians, came up with the concept for The Vinyl Library when we were DJing together. We were looking to explore the world of vinyl so we could move on from playing CDJs, but didn’t have the experience or the financial means to delve in. We thought of the concept as we needed a place to explore, meet people, borrow equipment and learn more (we both also love the feel of libraries)… as it didn’t exist already we started one ourselves!

Do you fine people if they bring records back late?
Yes if they are late we fine people. But we are understanding if people live far away and sometimes allow a little longer than a week for lending records. If people are really late they answer to the county librarian. And she don’t take no prisoners. You have been warned…

What’s the most popular rental?
The most popular rental at the moment is rock, psychedelic, prog-rock. Six months ago it was disco. It goes in trends. It’s very interesting from a librarian’s point of view seeing trends in music taste. Funk and soul, and jazz seem to be consistently popular. And since the sun came out we’ve been hitting the dub and the reggae. I’m feeling the ‘Lover’s Rock’ at the moment – Summer vibes!

How much vinyl do you have in the library?
We have around 6,000 – 7,000 solid ‘good’ records and 2,000 more we will be shifting on once we’ve sorted them. We want 10,000 excellent records by the end of the year. That’s our aim. AND YES WE ACCEPT DONATIONS (good records only please – we can’t take anymore trance or bad house). Contact elly@thevinyllibrary if you want to donate. Whatever you donate you can take out the equivalent before paying membership…

Have you ever had a DJ come in and rent their entire set for that night from you?
Yes we have DJs taking out little sets of 7s often. In fact we hand select and play a great library selection at Bar Scenario on Thursday nights. Our next event there is May 8th from 8pm. You should all come down and see what we got going awn. People can sign up with us there and rent out some of the selection after!

Join up with the library by popping in or going online or our Facebook page or Twitter.

Photo: Tom Medwell
Interview: Josh Jones