Wellington library hopes to strike chord with vinyl

(Getty / file)
(Getty / file)

It's a blast from the past for music lovers at Wellington City Libraries, as vinyl records go back on the catalogue.

You can blame it on the hipsters, but vinyl is back with a vengeance.

LPs have been spinning off the shelves, with Kiwi vinyl sales hitting $1.7 million last year, nearly double the previous year.

And Wellington City Libraries has decided to ride the wave.

"We've got 400 vinyl records, and that's across all kinds of genres, so we've got soul, jazz, popular music, hip hop, electronics," says Monty Masseurs from Wellington City Libraries.

Wellington will be the first city in the country to reboot record lending after a 15-year-long absence from the shelves.

Armed with a credit card and a list of staff suggestions, Mr Masseurs combed Wellington record stores.

"Having a certain amount of money, being able to put together 400 titles and to try and make a cohesive, curated collection was quite a thrill," he says.

Mr Masseurs headed down to Cuba St's Slowboat Records and assistant manager Jeremy Taylor says anything that makes people listen to music is a good thing.

"Nothing for me beats that tangible sensation of holding the record cover, putting the needle on the record, clicking into the groove and hearing the music start," he says.

"I think that's absolutely magic."

The library says it will be actively buying records to keep up with the latest trends, with customers only paying $1 to take home a record for a week.

There'll be a launch party in September complete with DJs, guest speaker and - of course - two turntables.

"We're hoping that it will strike a chord with all parts of the community and if that involves the hipster community, then so be it," Mr Masseurs says.

With record sales their highest since the 80s, it looks like the age of analogue is back.