Mystic Drumz visited us last week at the Carleton Place Town Hall Auditorium, and we had so much fun!  There were plenty of different instruments, lots of laughter and great interaction with the audience. Our young friends had a great time!


We laughed ourselves silly when the “alien” visited! Take me to your leader!


We can’t wait until our next fun library event!

The Beyonce Debate

The music world is very much like the book world in many respects. Big names garner huge sales without much effort, and little names usually need a lot of publicity to make their mark. In December, a music great did something not many people would have the nerve to try, and it worked out for her spectacularly!

If you haven’t heard about Beyonce and the self-titled album she released in mid-December, you probably don’t listen to Top 40 radio. But she did something daring—instead of months of promotion leading up to the album release, Beyonce used Instagram and posted a video and the word “Surprise!” on the day of the release. Nothing more. No one knew about the album, it had an exclusive release on iTunes (meaning, you could only buy it there), and best of all, she did no other marketing at all. The one photo caused an all-out frenzy and people went directly to iTunes to download, making it one of the top selling albums of 2013, even though it was only released in the final few weeks of the year. Amazing, by any standards!


Of course, she’s such a superstar and has such a following that it wasn’t impossible for this to succeed in her case. It was risky, but it paid off. The debate is on now, however, about other musicians doing something similar, and whether or not it would work now that it’s been done. Was it great just because it was a gimmick? Could she do the same for her next album and still do as well? Only time will tell, but the idea of not spending money on marketing has got to be throwing publicity departments everywhere into a tailspin.

The question here is whether or not companies need to be throwing HUGE publicity/marketing money behind sure-sellers who have proven themselves to have enormous followings. This idea is starting to make the rounds on forums and websites galore. Can they go with minimal marketing and still sell high, while that money could be thrown into lesser-known acts who often get very little in the way of marketing funds and publicity? Sure, record companies want all of their acts to sell big, but they don’t want to “waste” marketing money on someone who might not sell as many albums. It’s a tough decision, and certainly one that’s just been challenged.

This can all be applied to authors and publishing companies as well. If an author has already sold well and has a proven track record, more money will be spent promoting the author’s books in stores, online and through whatever media necessary.  But a new author—even one with a lot of buzz—will traditionally get less backing from their publisher for marketing. That seems a little counterproductive. Beyonce’s experiment has many wondering whether this is an old idea that might do well to change. If publishing companies spent less sending bigger authors out on book tours etc., would we stop buying those books? I can’t imagine that I wouldn’t keep looking for new books from my favourite authors just because I haven’t seen a full page ad in a magazine talking it up. But I WOULD be inclined to pick up a book by a new author that has some promotion behind it. Often, we find out about these books through word of mouth. It’s not enough, in my opinion.

The world is changing, and social media is becoming the way to connect authors/musicians with their fans. One tweet, one status update or one selfie on Instagram is often enough to generate thousands of likes and hundreds of comments. Maybe we’d do better to start focusing some social media marketing on well known names, and leave the traditional marketing to promote the lesser known.

What do you think about new creative ideas for promotion and marketing? Do you think lesser known authors would benefit from more backing, while not taking anything away from high-profile authors? Do we need to change our thinking behind promotion and social media? Join the conversation!

Art on a Monday


After seeing this beautiful post by Dana on The Wonder Forest blog, I thought I had to share.  Have you ever thought about printing on something other than plain white paper?  How about using old pages from a book, or sheet music, or even paper lunch bags (yes, you can feed those through your printer…who knew!)

Just feed your selected paper into your printer and make any adjustments for size.  Then go ahead and print your favourite photos! It’s a gorgeous effect! What a great idea….


In a mood? Find a song!

I actually found this on our library catalog main page!  Sometimes, it will suggest webpages that are interesting or that many people are visiting.  Today, it was a site called Stereomood.

This site claims to help you select music according to your mood.  Just select from a long list of adjectives and it’ll take you directly to a list of songs found on their internet radio site!  Not only does it choose from current radio hits, but also from oldies and various genres.  This could be a great way of choosing music.  As my husband and I painted our kitchen and living room this past weekend, I was thinking that it’d be good to be able to choose from tunes that reflected our mellow mood.  Now we can.

Turkey Rhubarb is coming!

New Image

We’re excited that musical group Turkey Rhubarb is coming to Carleton Place on Thursday, August 13th!  The Carleton Place Public Library will be welcoming this diverse group from Guelph, Ontario with a show at the Carleton Place Town Hall Auditorium at 10am.  Tickets are already on sale at the library for $4.00 each or you can buy them at the door the morning of the show. We are expecting a nice crowd that morning so come and join us for some music, fun and laughter.  This program is appropriate for kids ages 3 – 12 and parents will enjoy it also.  You can find out more about the group, listen to some music and even purchase a CD at their site Turkey Rhubarb.ca

Now playing at Carnegie Hall……

Last week, I was cataloging a new book for the juvenile section about learning to play the guitar and I was thinking that we don’t carry many books for kids about learning an instrument.  We do have a wide assortment of books in the adult section about playing the guitar, piano, and various other instruments, but fewer for children.  I guess that is because children who start an instrument are not doing so on their own, but rather are shipped off to music lessons by their parents.  Adults, on the other hand, often pick up an instrument later in life and try to learn on their own, which is why they need instructional books.  Music has been such a large part of my life that I am always on the lookout for a great music story.

Google and YouTube recently began a contest of sorts whereby amateur musicians submitted videos of themselves playing their instruments for people to view.  Thousands of people across the world were vying for their one chance to play at Carnegie Hall with what is being called “The YouTube Symphony”. Ninety-six people from 30 countries were chosen, sent music to learn and on April 15th, will gather in New York City at the world’s most famous musical venue to perform.

Google, who owns YouTube, generously paid for the tickets for each performer to join the rest of the symphony, which was decided upon much like American Idol.  Over 3000 submissions were narrowed down by music professionals to 200 finalists.  Then, YouTube watchers voted on their favourites and the 96 winners were decided.

CNN has a great video describing what went into the process, along with a few interviews with some of the winners that you can watch right here.  But if you’d really like to get into the minds and hearts of the people that submitted their videos, you’ll have to spend a few minutes watching this great video:

You can purchase tickets to this bound-to-be-great event from the Carnegie Hall website if you’ll be in New York on Wednesday night.  They’ll be performing a very eclectic program from Mozart, to Villa-Lobos to 20th century composer John Cage and a piece by Tan Dun known as his Internet Symphony #1, the “Eroica” movement.  You can hear this movement in its entirety performed last year by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Will there be more events such as this where people from around the world can do something amazing together, all being brought together through YouTube?  Probably.  Watch your computer screen for more….