The Upper Arlington Public Library will launch a five-week series of free concerts next week to showcase original music being created by Columbus-area musicians.
A common belief about libraries is that they are places where visitors are more likely to be "shushed" for excessive noise instead of being hot spots to catch a rock band.
Starting Jan. 30 and for four subsequent Thursdays at the UAPL's main branch, 2800 Tremont Road, guests of the "Live at the Library" concert series will be able to catch performances by Columbus-area pop and Indie bands in the library's Friends Theater.
The concerts will begin at 7 p.m. and will run for one to two hours, according to organizers.
The Andy Shaw Band, a reggae- and blues-influenced Columbus rock band, will perform Jan. 30. According to library officials, the band played 135 shows in 2012 throughout the U.S., including a performance at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.
It also charted at No. 12 nationally on Jambands.com.
The series is part of an effort to highlight Buckeye State musicians that includes establishing a new compact disc collection at the main library.
"The main library has started building a new special collection that is sure to please fans of the local music scene," said Shahin Shoar, UAPL media services manager. "Our media services department is home to a small selection of CDs by Ohio musicians, representing a variety of genres from rock to classical to jazz.
"While this music has always been available classified by specific genres, this marks the first time it has been housed together under a common call number, making it easier for those interested in all kinds of local artists to discover."
Jennifer Faure, program coordinator for Live at the Library, said the concerts mark the resumption of a nearly 30-year UAPL live music series, formerly known as "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" that featured performances by traditional folk artists, as well as classical, jazz and opera musicians.
That monthly program was stopped several years ago, Faure said, when budget cuts forced the library to reduce its Friday night hours.
"We tried moving the program around to other nights, but without the Friday nights, we just weren't successful with that format," Faure said. "We are going to try a different type of music program on Thursday nights and see how it works."
Faure said staffers hope to enrich patrons' library experiences through the concerts and provide another venue for local artists who don't rely on covers of well-known material to draw fans.
"In order to highlight that (Ohio musicians) collection and also to help showcase some of the great local, original music being created by Columbus bands, we decided to create a concert series that focuses on local, original music," she said. "As I began listening to music by some of these bands who we were considering for invitation, I was amazed by the level of talent of these musicians.
"I'm really excited about the band lineup."
In addition to The Andy Shaw Band on Jan. 30, the concert series will include The Saturday Giant on Feb. 6, Angela Perley and the Howlin' Moons on Feb. 13, The New Salty Caramels on Feb. 20 and Maza Blaska on Feb. 27.
Ohio-based musicians interested in having their work circulated at the UAPL can contact Shoar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Some performances will be acoustic and some will be electric and some a combination of both," Faure said. "These will be comfortable events and our theater is (set) up in such a way that it is easy to speak with and meet the musicians after they play.
"The musicians that we have coming in are all very friendly and I am sure that they will be excited to meet the people who come to listen."