Hi David:

I can't see how your argument makes sense. Every time ANYONE -- trained or not -- plays an LP, it 
degrades the surface. Sure, an optimum turntable will degrade it less (and a laser turntable 
theoretically won't degrade it at all), but real-world experience says most people are too rough on 
rare records even if they read an "LP 101" sheet. As I said in a previous post, if I had a public 
collection, I would NEVER circulate something no longer in print. Depending on what percentage of 
your collection that entails, it could mean a large transfer job. The way things are going, all of 
us with vinyl (and CD's) are going to have to face this because Big Music continues to take what 
they consider "non-mainstream" material out of print at an alarming rate. Plus, there was still an 
awful lot of non-rock/non-pop material that never made it to CD and is unlikely to given the 
continuing trends.

Your library did so well with your Edison cylinders. Why not assess your other grooved disks and 
start an aggressive transfer program for all that can't be replaced if a newbie scratched it or even 
an experienced hand dropped the stylus or the LP slipped out of the sleeve while one of your 
employees was putting it back on the shelf?

There was a TDK tape commercial that used to air on the old "King Biscuit Flower Hour" rock-concert 
radio show. The protagonist said "all my friends think I'm crazy" because he'd get a new LP and 
immediately record it to a TDK-SA cassette and then listen to the cassette. The idea, of course, was 
to claim the cassette sounded as good as the original (um, not in my experience), but the concept 
sure seems ahead of its time nowadays. When I get new-old or minty-old vinyl now, I VPI clean it and 
then play it once into a high-rez digital transfer. The digi-file is what gets played from then on. 
Sure, I love to look at the sleeve and appreciate the larger-font liner notes vs most CD's -- and if 
CD remasters sounded better I'd have the CD in the first place, assuming it's in print. But I 
consider that vinyl non-replaceable and treat it as such.

Side note: a lot of CD's you bought in the earlier era (late 80's, early 90's) are now out of print, 
too. Some have been replaced with different or even better remasters, but many are simply out of 
print. In the jazz world, for instance, a lot of old Verve and Mercury albums that were on CD's 
originated from Japan are now available only as (YUK) itunes downloads! There is a similar situation 
in the classical world, too. Alas, I think every version of "Cindy Lauper's Greatest Hits" is still 
in print.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Seubert" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 24, 2006 11:12 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Vinyl use and access policies

And to expand on what Bill said, if you don't have staff to play LPs for
people, it's important to ask patrons if they are comfortable playing
LPs and not assume they know how to use a turntable. We provide
assistance to patrons who need a refresher (or have never seen an LP!)
and we have printed cards with "LP 101" tips on proper handling and
playback that we borrowed from our music library. A five minute intro on
how to play an LP is a lot faster than making a CD copy and gets you
pretty much the same results as far as preserving the collection goes.

David Seubert

Bill Schurk wrote:

>  I'm responding by echoing what David S. has written.  We at the Sound Recordings Archives at 
> Bowling Green State University have NEVER circulated nor have we ever allowed the handling of any 
> recordings for the public listening booths by anyone except our own trained staff.  We now have 
> eight turntables.  When we opened in 1967 we had two plus a transcription table that we still have 
> and use today!  We could never find staff time to make digital copies nor can we find space to 
> even house them if we had them.  We are nearing 110,000 separate cataloging records in OCLC, 
> downloading to our own BGlink.  Way over 100,000 pieces are vinyl with the rest are CD's, DVD's, 
> and VHS tapes.  And, yes, I remember those first cataloged slabs o' vinyl I entered into the 
> collection in late 1967 and early 1968.  They are still being played and are still in verrrrrry 
> good condition.  We get so many gifts of LP's from that era that we also upgrade wherever 
> possible.  We still have most of our
> original Beatles, Stones, Doors, Hendrix, Moody Blues, Pearls Before Swine, and Wayne Fontana and 
> the Mindbenders pieces.  We have to watch out that we never replace those original pressings 
> though for newer repros that are of less intrinsic value and many time have special packaging or 
> label of container info that newer issues don't have.
>  And then what about the still to be cataloged 200,000+ LP's we (i.e. I) have to catalog??  And 
> the 300,000+ 45's?
>  Bill Schurk
>  Sound Recordings Archivist
>  Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives
>  William T. Jerome Library
>  Bowling Green State University
>  Bowling Green, OH  43403-0179
>  [log in to unmask]
>  Bowling Green, O