Do music libraries still have a place in an MP3 world?

The often-announced death of the CD and the fall in the number of users challenges the current model of music libraries, forcing library professionals to come up with an alternative in line with new modes of music consumption. It is important first of all to study how music functions spatially –in other words, to think about the intellectual and cultural models involved in our representation of music as a means of underlining its complexity. The next step is understanding how libraries and collections can be shaped to reflect this complexity by means of the forms of structural equivalence that are at the heart of all collections. Furthermore, it needs to be borne in mind that only when the user makes the space his own will it take on its full meaning. Librarians can therefore suggest avenues of thought, perhaps staging forms of dissonance that will establish the grounds for a dialogue between the audience and the material.