A Little Library Music

Emily Vater works in the Reference Department as a Public Services Associate. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from NKU and has worked for Boone County Public Library for almost eight years.

Imagine an average day at the Library. It could be the middle of the week, a weeknight, or even a weekend. An impregnable silence penetrates the Library. Without notice, a cautious melody begins to play. The sound manages to break through the silence and soars through the Library’s dome. Capitalizing on its freedom, the melody trickles down and boldly plays until the Library is enveloped with music. Patrons and employees look up from their books, computers, and phones to wonder at the sound. Is someone’s cell phone ringing? Someone who forgot to plug their headphones into the computer? But no, the music is everywhere. As the notes wash over the building, they become accustomed to the artful performer and though it still feels a little foreign to hear music playing the Library, ears adjust and everyone settles in for an unexpected performance.

A little boy sits poised at the piano, fingers hovering over the keys, the anticipation making him wary to play. With a deep breath, and a glance at his music sheet, he begins. Today it’s Bach, but some days it’s Beethoven or Chopin. The classical notes are easy, but it’s the rock that has to be practiced. He pauses and switches gear to play “Heart and Soul,” a familiar tune for most, but to him it’s new and exciting. After twenty minutes, amid applause from the staff and those patrons around him, he rushes upstairs, a giddy smile betraying his humility.

This is not a typical noise for a public library. Long heralded as a place where “shhing” was as common as the grouchy librarian with a stiff bun atop her head, the Main library has ushered in a different way for patrons to enjoy the Library. Come and show off your talent underneath the Library’s dome where the upright piano awaits its next performer. This is the chance to showcase your talents, whether you are a seasoned player or a newcomer who is eager to test out the acoustics of the building. Classical minuets, movie soundtracks, even Charlie Brown arrangements have made appearances. Young or old, classic or contemporary, fan favorites or original, all pieces are welcome. Don’t know what to play? Feel free to choose from our selection of piano books, all poised and ready on the piano.


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