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ThisWeek Community Newspapers

Vinyl records are back at the Grandview Heights Public Library.

Last Friday, the library began offering a small collection of 30 LP record titles available for checkout.

"We're always ready to try out new things, and when we saw the overall numbers coming out about the renewed popularity of LP records, we thought we'd try it out on a very small scale and see how it goes," said Canaan Faulkner, the library's coordinator of adult programs and web content.

U.S. vinyl sales rose 14 percent in 2010 while CD sales were down 20 percent for the fourth consecutive year, he said.

"I think a lot of younger people are beginning to find vinyl LPs cool and they're buying turntables," Faulkner said. "At the same time, older people are bringing out their records again.

"When you watch David Letterman and he holds up an LP cover when he's introducing a band, you realize records are being sold these days," he said.

Half of the library's LP collection was checked out by the end of the day Friday, Faulkner said.

Most of the records were obtained by the library from Lost Weekend Records, Spoonful Records and Used Kids Records, he said.

"We really appreciate the assistance from those record stores," Faulkner said. "Our budget for this is really minuscule."

The 30 albums include releases from new and classic rock bands, including the Rolling Stones, The Clash, Arcade Fire and The Black Keys, as well as several jazz titles, he said.

The library got first hand evidence of vinyl records' popularity about a year ago when a classic jazz CD it purchased for the collection included a vinyl record, Faulkner said.

The vinyl record circulated as well as the CD, he said.

Until about 20 years ago, the library circulated thousands of vinyl LPs, Faulkner said.

"It was the format of choice" until cassettes and then compact discs began to dominate and appeared to make LPs obsolete.

"It's nice to see people able to have the experience of using LP records again," Faulkner said.

To search the library's LP collection, patrons should enter "vinyl LP" as a keyword search in the library's catalog.

LPs check out for two weeks and are renewable.

Patrons can check out three records at a time and place five holds at a time.

LPs must be returned to the circulation desk and cannot be returned in the book drop.