Listening to music on vinyl is great, right? It sounds good, it looks good, and it’s much more fun to get out a stack records and argue about what to play with your friends than to flick through an iPhone attached to a pair of crummy speakers. Just one problem for Londoners short on cash and storage space: a vinyl habit can take up lots of both.
Here’s the latest solution: a not-for-profit lending library just for vinyl records. The Vinyl Library opened just off Stoke Newington High Street last week, and has already built up a hefty stock of music. From Monday July 8 you can become a member for an initial £1, with a monthly membership fee after that of £5 to £10 depending on your employment status – or you can donate your own records to the library in exchange for limited membership. After that, you can take out up to five records for a week at a time – more if you’ve proved yourself to be a reliable borrower.
It’s not just about the vinyl, either: the founders, Elly Rendall and Sophie Austin, are trying to create a space for people to share not only records but know-how, especially for women (for whom your average ‘High Fidelity’-style record shop can be pretty off-putting). If you’re looking to dip a toe into the vinyl revival, if you’re a DJ looking to change your set every week, or if you’ve ever picked up a weird old record in a shop and only been put off by the price, this is the one for you – and we’re pretty sure you don’t have to maintain the usual library silence, either. James Manning
The Vinyl Library is at Unit 1, Foulden Road, N16 7UR. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or make donations.