• freegal halloween

    There are two holidays that stick out in my mind as having the best music. Christmas, of course, and Halloween. Nothing gets me in the haunting mood like a creepy minor chord.  Freegal, which allows you to download 3 songs a week with your Provo City Library Card, has a wonderful collection of those classic creepy tunes you are looking for.

    Here’s a list of some of the best for your spooky playlist!

    By Michael Jackson

    By Bobby Boris Pickett

    By Ray Parker Jr

    By Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

    By The Clovers

  • stars

    There is probably no summertime activity more iconic than hanging out under the night sky and stargazing. In our Utah desert, you have a great view of the Perseid Meteor Shower in August, as well as general constellations, and maybe even the Milky Way if you are lucky. If you are not up for camping under the stars, check out the BYU Planetarium ( for their Friday night shows. At the library, we have lots of books on astronomy and astrophysics in the 520s. Check out some of the titles from our collection to prepare for your big night out under the stars! 

    8.8 Stargazing for DummiesSTARGAZING FOR DUMMIES 
    By Steve Owens

    This is a great place to start if you know nothing about stargazing or astronomy in general. This guide teaches you how to read star maps, a little of the history of astronomy, and an overview of any equipment you might want.  




    8.8 StarfinderSTARFINDER
    By Carole Stott

    This one is by far my favorite star book in our collection because it has a moveable star map right on the front cover! There are also great photos and illustrations in the first half with more details monthly star maps in the second half. Definitely check this one out just for the novelty! 

    Some people prefer to stargaze in the peace and quiet of nature, but I prefer to have a little background music. I like to think of it as part of the soundtrack of my life. If you want some nice instrumental stuff, go to Gustav Holst’s iconic THE PLANETS album. For something more modern, check out anything by Coldplay. Really, I think that most albums by Coldplay have a sort of cosmic, I-feel-connected-to-the-universe vibe, but I may be biased. Definitely listen to A SKY FULL OF STARS, YELLOW, and the SPEED OF SOUND. If you are feeling adventurous, try THE RACE FOR SPACE by Public Service Broadcasting. All of these titles can be found in our catalog by clicking on the links provided.  

    No matter how you prepare for your fun night under the stars, be sure to take some flashlights, blankets and pillows, bug spray, and have fun!

  • Freegal christmas


    Did you know that your library card gets you streaming music and downloads for free? This Christmas, we’ve complied the ultimate present unwrapping playlist that’s absolutely free.  

    For fans of a cappella music and interesting harmonies...

    A Pentatonix Christmas

    If you like your Christmas songs with a dose of pop and vocal acrobatics...

    Wrapped in Red
    Kelly Clarkson 

    Merry Christmas
    Mariah Carey

    If you're looking for instrumental background music...

    A Family Christmas
    The Piano Guys

    If you're going for a hipster-vibe...

    Christmas Party
    She & Him

    Feeling nostalgic for the late '90s? Try...

    Home For Christmas
    *N Sync 

    If you're looking for that classic mid-century Christmas sound (Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Perry Como)...

    Christmas with the Crooners
    Various Artists

    What A Night! A Christmas Album
    Harry Connick Jr.

    Christmas With the Stars
    Various Artists

    Elvis Presley's Carols
    Elvis Presley


  • Guitar

    Do you dream of making it big as a musician? Do you enjoy singing or playing an instrument and want to share your talents? Or maybe you’re just looking for a fun, free weekend activity? Well here’s your opportunity!

    The Provo Library is now hosting a monthly open mic night in The Attic. Every first Friday, join us at 7:00 on the fourth floor of the Academy Wing for Friday Night Live, a free evening of song by local musicians. If you’re interested in performing, sign-ups start at 6:30 pm. We provide the sound system, piano, and acoustic guitar, and anyone is welcome to participate.

    The best part of Friday Night Live is that it’s totally free. Unlike many open-mic venues, there’s no cover charge for musicians or audience members, so bring as many friends as you’d like to cheer you on!

    This Friday we’ll also be opening a new exhibit, The Image Hunter, in The Attic, so come a bit early to check out the artwork. In late 2015, Italian artist Hitnes embarked on a road trip throughout America with the goal of retracing the endeavors of John James Audubon to document all of the birds in North America.  

    Audubon’s ambitious goal was to document all of the birds in the country, and these well-known drawings made up his book THE BIRDS IN AMERICA. Captivated by the enormous scope of Audubon’s goal, Hitnes traveled across the country, aiming to cover in three months what Audubon did in as many decades.

    The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon from Halsey Institute on Vimeo.

    Along the way, Hitnes created sketches, paintings, murals, collages, and etchings of the beautiful natural scenes that inspired Audubon. This is one of the most stunning art exhibits we’ve ever hosted, so be sure to see it before it closes at the end of November. In addition to Friday nights, the exhibit is open Monday – Friday from 3:00 – 9:00 pm.

    So, if you’re looking for a great date night, family activity, or just a fun evening for yourself and friends, join us this Friday, October 7th for Friday Night Live and fantastic art!

    If you have any questions about Friday Night Live, call Dave at 801-852-7691.For questions about The Image Hunter Exhibit or to schedule a tour outside of normal Attic hours, contact Erika at 801-852-7685.

  •  Eliza

    May 20th is a special day for me. No, it’s not because it’s World Metrology Day or the feast day of Saint Ivo of Chartres. It’s because it’s Eliza Doolittle Day!

    As any musical or classic film fan knows, Eliza Doolittle is the aspiring “lady in a flower shop” and star of Lerner and Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY. The original 1956 Broadway production won seven Tonys, with the 1964 film going on to garner eight Academy Awards, and a current revival is up for 10 more possible Tonys. It’s an almost guaranteed critic and crowd pleaser.

    MY FAIR LADY has been my favorite film for nearly 20 years now, and as an Audrey Hepburn obsessive, I have a soft spot in my heart for the song “Just You Wait.” Unlike most of the songs, which were dubbed by Marni Nixon, it features Hepburn’s actual singing voice with only a small section of dubbing. Skip to 1:31 for the establishment of this important international holiday.


    So here are a few options for celebrating Eliza Doolittle Day:

    Watch the film

    5.17 My Fair LadyMY FAIR LADY
    Directed by George Cukor

    Number 8 on the American Film Institute’s list of the Greatest Movie Musicals, Number 12 on their 100 Years … 100 Passions list, and number 91 on their list of the 100 Greatest American Movies Of All Time. It’s just that good. 


    Listen to the original cast recording

    Music by Frederick Loewe
    Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

    Even half a century later, there’s still a surprising amount of controversy over the casting of Audrey Hepburn in the film over Julie Andrews, who originated the role. Luckily, you can still listen to the original Broadway cast recording in all its undubbed glory. 


    Play or sing along

    Music by Frederick Loewe
    Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

    Why not try your own hand (or voice) at classic tunes like “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” and “I Could Have Danced All Night.” I’d argue that Alan Jay Lerner’s lyrics for MY FAIR LADY are some of the cleverest ever written for Broadway, and Loewe’s gorgeous, sweeping score stands the test of time. 


    Read the original

    5.17 PygmalionPYGMALION
    By George Bernard Shaw

    MY FAIR LADY is based on this classic play, inspired by Greek mythology. Nearly every clever line from the musical comes straight from George Bernard Shaw’s original, but be prepared for a very different ending. 


    Read about the Elizas

    Though many women have played Eliza, Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn are inarguably the women who defined the role. They are fortunately both exemplary role models in their own rights, and these biographies will give you wonderful insight into the women behind the role.

    By Julie Andrews


    By Sean Hepburn Ferrer

  • Hamilton

    Confession: after listening to the Hamilton soundtrack for the first time, I sobbed in my car for ten minutes.

    I had gone back and forth, listening first to the audiobook of the Ron Chernow biography that inspired the play and then to the soundtrack until I caught up chronologically with my reading. By the time I had finished the biography, I was deeply invested in the stories and personalities of early American history, but when the final song shifted focus to Eliza … I was a goner. It was quiet, unexpected, meaningful, and so incredibly moving. I think it’s the best final number in musical theater history, and I will fight you on that.

    There was no going back for me. I was obsessed.

    If you care about musical theater at all, you already know that Hamilton is coming to town. The national tour arrives in Salt Lake City in just a few short weeks, and the digital fight to get tickets was a bloodbath. Whether you were one of the lucky few to get tickets or you’re now considering selling a kidney in order to afford one on craigslist*, the library provides plenty of ways to become the ultimate Hamilton fan.

    1) Read the biography

    3.1 Alexander HamiltonALEXANDER HAMILTON
    By Ron Chernow

    The book that started it all. Lin-Manuel Miranda read ALEXANDER HAMILTON while on vacation in 2008 and spent the next several years gradually crafting the music, lyrics, and book for his musical juggernaut. Even if you’re not a big history buff, rest assured that Pulitzer prize winner Chernow is a master biographer who makes history come alive in an accessible, compelling way. 


    2) Listen to the soundtrack

    Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda

    If you haven’t listened to the soundtrack yet, stop reading and place a hold on it now.

    Seriously. Now.


    3) Learn the backstory

    3.1 Hamilton the RevolutionHAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION
    By Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

    Now that you’re knee-deep in the world of HAMILTON, it’s time to dive a little deeper. HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION, also affectionately known as the Hamiltome, gives an insider’s look into the making of the musical. Part of what makes HAMILTON so accessible to so many people is the way it blends hip hop with classic musical theater styling. It has so many subtle nods to rap and musical theater history, and the Hamiltome is the best way to catch them all. 


    4) Sing (and play) along

    Music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Even if you don’t have the velvety voice of Leslie Odom Jr. or the lyrical speed of Renée Elise Goldsberry, you can take your best shot at the music. We have both the standard piano/vocal music and an easy piano version for you to try. 


    5) Keep reading

    3.1 I Eliza HamiltonThe popularity of the musical has led to an explosion of Hamilton-related fiction in the past couple of years. For adults, there’s I, ELIZA HAMILTON, THE HAMILTON AFFAIR, and (later this year) MY DEAR HAMILTON, and teens can read ALEX AND ELIZA, HAMILTON AND PEGGY! A REVOLUTIONARY FRIENDSHIP, or ALEXANDER HAMILTON: THE GRAPHIC HISTORY OF AN AMERICAN FOUNDING FATHER.

    Everything you need if you're not quite ready to leave Hamilton behind.


    *The Provo City Library does not endorse selling human organs, even for Hamilton tickets.

  • True confessions of Carla:  I am not a music person.  I mean, I like music.  I enjoy a few tunes in the background while I am working or running.  I play the piano well enough to know I should never try to accompany or entertain anyone.  But when it comes to truly appreciating music like so many people do, I am just not there.  

    So, if I can get really excited about our newest online resource, I can only imagine how most of you more cultured and musically inclined folks will feel.  The Provo City Library now offers all Provo Library card holders access to Freegal!!  

    What is Freegal? Well, it’s a free music service. All you need is your Provo City Library card number and your PIN. With those two numbers you have downloadable or streaming access to more than 9 million songs, including Sony Music’s catalog of legendary artists. In total the collection is comprised of music from over 28,000 labels with music that originates in over 80 countries. There is no software to download, and there are no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions.  

    Each day, Provo Library Card holders can stream 5 hours of music from the Freegal site and each week, they can download 3 songs.  Those are three songs they can download and keep forever.  No checkout periods, no due dates, no overdue fines.  

    In the last few weeks, since we’ve started promoting the service, over 1,800 songs have been streamed and 223 songs downloaded by excited library patrons.  What are they finding?  Well, popular genres so far include alternative, classical, holiday, and pop.  And what songs are they downloading?  Here is a short list of some popular tracks:  


    Adele Hello
    Adele I Miss You
    Adele Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
    Rachel Platten Fight Song
    Pentatonix Winter Wonderland/Don’t Worry Be Happy
    David Archuleta O Holy Night
    Walk the Moon Shut up and Dance



    We hope that many of our patrons discover and enjoy this great new service.  Find it on our website with our other digital collectionsor download the free app for access on your mobile device.    I have already downloaded a couple Air Supply songs (because they were on one of the 7 8-track cartridges that I owned in high school that would play in my awesome dinosaur of a car), a few Christmas songs (because you can never have too many versions of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”), and some of Adele’s new songs (because I aspire to be better informed about new music). 

  • A Very Freegal Christmas

    If you don’t know what Freegal is, you are missing out. Freegal is like Pandora or Spotify but it’s better because it’s ad free and provided for you by your friendly local library!  To find more information about how to access and use Freegal, see videos here. To access Freegal through the Provo City Library website, click here. Or you can download the free app from your app store and login that way.   

    What will you find on Freegal? Music!! With your library card you can stream 5 hours of music each day and each week, you can download 3 songs to keep forever! That’s right! You get to download songs and play them whenever. 

    As a compulsive reader and book listener, I have to admit I’m not an avid music fan. I don’t listen to the radio much and other than my daughter’s favorite collection of lullabies, I don’t usually listen to much music. However, that all changes in December. During the holiday season I listen to Christmas music whenever I get the chance and I love being able to listen to the classic Christmas carols as well as new renditions by current artists. 

    That’s where Freegal comes in super handy. Here are a few Christmas Playlists Freegal has available to you and to me this very minute! 



    • All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey
    • Underneath the Christmas Tree by Kelly Clarkson
    • What Christmas Means To Me by Pentatonix
    • Must Be Santa by She & Him
    • And 83 more!  



    • White Christmas by Bing Crosby
    • The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
    • A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives
    • And 75 more!



    • Frosty the Snowman by The Ronettes
    • Santa Baby by Kellie Pickler
    • It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Noah Cyrus
    • Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan
    • And 71 more!
  • k pop books

    In a previous Friday Faves, I listed my favorite K-pop CDs, but this time I want to highlight some of the books that I picked up simply because of my love for K-pop and Korean culture. I’m not saying these are the best out there (there’s a LOT I haven’t read yet), but these are ones that I enjoyed simply because… well… Korea! If you’ve got some favorite books that are about Korea or take place there, leave a comment so that I know what to read next! 

    8.4 The Birth of Korean CoolTHE BIRTH OF KOREAN COOL
    By Euny Hong

    Going from a third-world to first-world country in a matter of a few short decades is no simple task, but South Korea managed it, and is now becoming one of the world’s top exporters of pop culture. Euny Hong describes her experience of moving to Korea when she was twelve in the 1980s and how she’s seen the country go from very un-cool, to ultra-cool in that time. This was a fascinating read to see how the country essentially rebranded itself. 



    8.4 K Pop NowK-POP NOW!
    By Mark James Russell

    There are a wide variety of factors that have contributed to the development and growing popularity of K-pop. Russell provides a broad overview that includes historical and cultural influences, as well as describing what makes the industry unique and different from Western music. From there, Russell provides overviews of some of the current hottest artists in boy groups, girl groups, and solo acts, then briefly ventures onto the future of k-pop and what to expect when traveling to South Korea. 

    8.4 Bride of the Water GodBRIDE OF THE WATER GOD
    by Mi-Kyung Yun

    In this manhwa, Soah’s village is suffering from a long drought. To appease Habaek, the water god, they must sacrifice a girl to be his bride. When Soah is chosen, she understands she will likely die. However, there is something unique about her, and Habaek decides to rescue her. As she adjusts to live in Habaek’s kingdom, she discovers that there are a lot of mysterious things going on, including some that surround her new husband. This is a beautifully drawn manhwa that will be made into a K-drama later this year. 


    8.4 RE JaneRE JANE
    By Patricia Park

    In this modern retelling of Jane Eyre, Jane Re is a half-Korean, half-American orphan who grew up in New York. She doesn’t quite fit in and becomes desperate to get away from her Uncle’s strict rules. Jane finds a job working as an au pair for two Brooklyn academics and their daughter, which presents its own unique problems and opportunities. When her grandfather passes away, a quick trip to Seoul for the funeral turns into an extended stay as she reconnects with family and discovers a modern Korea, completely different from the one her uncle left decades earlier.  


    8.4 Stars of K Pop GirlsSTARS OF K-POP: GIRLS
    By StarNews

    Through photographs, interviews, and statistics, this book highlights some of the biggest girl groups in the k-pop industry. Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, Kara, f(x), Secret, Sistar, 4minute, T-ara, Miss A, Brown Eyed Girls, Afterschool, Girl’s Day, A Pink, Rainbow, and Crayon Pop are all highlighted with individual member information and tons of pictures. This book is a visual feast for the k-pop fan.



    8.4 Stars of K Pop BoysSTARS OF K-POP: BOYS
    By StarNews

    Very similar to its above counterpart, this edition of STARS OF K-POP focuses on male idols and groups including Psy, TVXQ, Big Bang, Super Junior, Beast, SHINee, Infinite, 2PM, 2AM, CNBLUE, ZE:A, F.T. Island, MBLAQ, EXO, and Supernova.



  • christmas music

    As the holiday season comes around, much to the dismay of my husband, I am that person who starts listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween. I must admit this is my favorite time of year. I love the lights, wassail, cinnamon pinecones, my living room lit by the glow of a Christmas tree, and especially the music. So I thought that I would share my five favorite Christmas songs / albums and I hope that I can help you find some new favorites to spice up your Christmas Season.

    home for christmasHOME FOR CHRISTMAS
    by Celtic Women

    This album is a lyrical arrangement of some good Christmas Classics.

    thats christmas to meTHAT’S CHRISTMAS TO ME
    by Pentatonix

    I love this whole album but if you want something extra special, “Mary Did You Know” is amazing. Keep your eyes peeled for their new Christmas album which is also good.

    denver muppets christmasA CHRISTMAS TOGETHER
    by John Denver and the Muppets

    I love this entire album but I will admit I pretty consistently have “Christmas is Coming” stuck in my head. There is nothing like listening to Miss Piggy sing Christmas songs.     

    josh groban noelNOEL
    by Josh Groban

    I really like this CD full of beautifully arranged classics. My particular favorite is the duet he does with Faith Hill “The First Noel”. 

    by Sarah McLachlan

    I personally love the song Wintersong out of this assortment. Sarah McLachlan has a beautiful voice and her arrangements are very original and I like the changes she makes to the music.

  • k pop

    If you get to know me, you’ll quickly discover that I love K-pop (Korean pop music). My desk is on the verge of becoming a Hallyu shrine. EXO, SHINee, BTS, and Kim Soo Hyun all stare at me as I work. It’s glorious!

    With a bit of urging, the Library has slowly been increasing its K-pop collection. I know very well how hard it can be to find some full K-pop albums without actually buying one, so I did the work for you. Of what we have available, here are my favorites.

    ssai 6 kap6 GAP PT. 1
    by Psy

    Who doesn’t know Gangnam Style? Psy really thrust K-pop into the international spotlight with this catchy song and hilarious music video.  This is the album it originally came out on. There’s also a track on here I particularly like featuring G-Dragon of Big Bang.

    Girls GenerationTHE BOYS
    by Girls Generation

    As one of the most popular K-pop girl groups, I’m really glad we have something from Girls Generation. This is the international version of the album that includes the English version of the title track, as well as several remixes. I also especially like Mr. Taxi. Overall it’s a very fun, upbeat album.

    EXO XOXO First AlbumXOXO
    by EXO

    As one of today’s hottest idol groups, I’m really happy to be able to put EXO on this list. This is the Kiss (Korean) version of the album, rather than the Hug (Chinese). There are so many amazing tracks that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. Of all the K-pop albums that the library has, this might just be my favorite.

    Super JuniorA-CHA
    by Super Junior

    This is the repackaged version of Super Junior’s fifth album, Mr. Simple. I love catchy music that makes me want to get up and move, and this album has some of my favorite tracks including Superman, A-Cha, Mr. Simple, and Opera.

    by Big Bang

    Big Bang is the group that first got me interested in K-pop, and they keep getting better with each new album. While this isn’t my favorite collection of theirs (released only a year after their debut), it’s the only one the library currently has, so it’s on my list by default.


    k pop ost best choiceK-POP OST BEST CHOICE
    by Various Artists

    I’m putting this here for the K-drama lovers. Several times I’ve come across people watching K-dramas at the library. I didn’t want to be creepy and say anything, but I’ve always felt a kind of kinship with them. These are some of the hit songs from dramas and movies that were quite popular just a few years ago.  


    If you search for K-pop on Freegal you’ll find a lot of subpar covers and karaoke tracks, but there are some original tracks too. EXID, Crayon Pop, and Lee Min Ho (the actor) are just a few of the artists with songs available. There’s not a lot, but it’s worth a look and maybe they’ll add more in the future. Fingers crossed!  

  • kids albums

     A few months ago I got into the car and a CD started to play. I found myself singing along, enjoying myself, belting out the melodies and harmonies. Then I realized my kids were not sitting in the back of the van. They were at school and I was alone, driving to work. All. By. Myself. The CD was made for kids and here I was, an adult, with no kids in the car. I hadn’t cringed and turned it off when it came on or immediately switched the music. I actually enjoyed it enough to sing-along. 

    Sometimes you have to do a little digging to find music the whole family can enjoy. I listen to a little bit of everything, so I love exposing my children to a variety of music genres. Sometimes I do end up listening to music specifically designed for children, but I am picky about making sure that parents can also enjoy the music. It becomes something we do together as a family. Here are some of our favorites . . .   

    9.22 Snack TimeSNACKTIME
    Barenaked Ladies
    Desperation Records 

    Of all the albums, this is most definitely our family favorite. Classic Barenaked Ladies with fun harmonies and rhythms. The songs are clever and often laugh-out-loud funny. In “7 8 9” six is afraid of seven because seven ate nine! “The Crazy ABC’s” uses words that are correct but don’t sound right: like “m” for mnemonic (among others).  This album has upbeat songs mixed in with some ballads—something for everyone. It‘s just plain fun.  

    Jack Johnson

    One of the best things that can happen when parenting small children is when one of your favorite artists comes out with a children’s album. Jack Johnson was a favorite of mine before kids and this came out just in time for my children to listen to when they were young. 

    9.22 Family TimeFAMILY TIME
    Ziggy Marley
    Tuff Gong Worldwide 

    This album is full of fun songs with Jamaican rhythms that are enjoyable and stand out from the other albums. It also includes a couple of stories at the end read by Jamie Lee Curtis.  

    Lisa Loeb 

    This album has more of a camp-song feel, and the kids love singing along with her. The songs are catchy, and most of the words are simple to learn. Just be careful with this one: the songs will get stuck in your head.  

    9.22 Here Comes ScienceHERE COMES SCIENCE
    They Might Be Giants
    Walt Disney Records 

    Thank you “They Might Be Giants” for putting facts to tunes! These songs have a lot of teaching involved. They are basically scientific facts woven into fun music. This band has a lot of different fun kids music albums, so if you haven’t ever tried them, you need to.       

  • freegal

    In the world of online music streaming, there are a variety of options and each with its own quirks. For simplicity’s sake, I often find myself loading Youtube, finding a song I want to hear, and then letting the website automatically load more music as I go throughout my day. Unfortunately, I’ve been growing increasingly frustrated with YouTube’s ads and their odd recommendations (Youtube: “Remember that one time you listened to a Jimmy Buffet song? You love Jimmy Buffet now. Here are 20 other songs by him”). I’ve also tried Pandora and Spotify’s free services but the ads tend to drive me crazy. Happily, Provo City Library’s subscription to Freegal means that I can listen to 5 hours of ad-free streaming music every day! A big bonus is that if I find any songs I’m crazy about, I get three free downloads each week, so I can download them to my phone and listen when I’m away from data and wifi connections: perfect for summer hiking and camping trips.

    As I’ve been exploring Freegal’s music library, I’ve been creating a list of gems, some well-known and others I’d never heard before. I’ve tried to include a variety of genres below in the (likely) case that your music taste isn’t a dead-ringer for mine. Not every genre is covered as these are just my recent favorites, but try giving one or two a listen – you can hear them in their entirety via streaming, and if you really love it, you can download it for free! Just grab your library card so you can log in.


    7.18 Bohemian RhapsodySong: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY 
    Artist: Pentatonix
    Album: PTX Vol. IV – Classics

    Pentatonix’s YouTube channel is currently the 13th most-subscribed music video channel, so it’s fair to say they are popular, but their albums consistently top our most-checked out here at the library as well as among our patron’s downloads on Freegal. This album is their most recent release and features some of their best work to date – every track is recommended.


    7.18 LocationSong: LOCATION 
    Artist: Khalid
    Album: Location (single)

    Khalid is a classically-trained vocalist who hit the R&B scene last year with this single, which he wrote as a senior in high school, and later in the year it went platinum. The highlight of the song is his soulful voice, backed mostly by light prickles of strings, bass, and background vocals. The biggest appeal of this track is just how fresh it sounds – it’s R&B but it’s been elevated into something else.  A single from his latest album, American Teen, is also available on Freegal and is worth checking out as well.


    7.18 MalibuSong: MALIBU
    Artist: Miley Cyrus
    Album: Malibu

    When Miley Cyrus released this single a few weeks ago, listeners were surprised – it suggests that Cyrus is heading in a new artistic direction, leaning back into her alt-country roots. This song will undoubtedly be the sound of the 2017 summer for many young people around the world.


    7.18 God Only KnowsSong: GOD ONLY KNOWS
    Artist: John Legend & Cynthia Erivo featuring yMusic
    Album: God Only Knows

    Okay, so this is an updated cover of the classic tune by the Beach Boys, but believe me, it is WORTH checking out. John Legend and British actress-singer Cynthia Erivo sang it at the 2017 Grammys as part of the “In Memoriam” segment, and it drew rave reviews. Luckily, Legend had a studio version to share with the world. This rendition is stripped down, replacing the original lush production with simplicity and warmth that showcases the gorgeous voices of Legend and Erivo. 


    7.18 Feux dartificeSong: PRELUDES BOOK NO. II: FEUX D'ARTIFICE
    Artist: Claude Debussy, Krystian Zimerman
    Album: Maestros de la Música Clásica, Vol. I

    If you are a classical buff, I hope you can forgive me for only recently becoming familiar with Krystian Zimerman, the Polish virtuoso pianist who I am now obsessed with. All of the lofty adjectives that people use to describe musical genius – I need them ALL to describe him. If you’ve never had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with his work, I’d highly recommend checking out this track which will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions from the impassioned to the sublime.


    7.18 TrollsArtist: Various

    This album has been on Freegal’s “Most Popular” list since it came out last year, and if you’ve got kids they will love you for streaming this up-beat toe-tapping collection. Featuring many covers as well as a couple of originals, and artists like Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, Zooey Deschanel, and Ariana Grande, there’s something here for everyone in the family to enjoy.


  • Music

    How do our super patrons use the library?  They take advantage of all we have to offer, of course! The library offers a diverse amount of services, but today we’ll be talking specifically about how Super Music Lovers use the library.  As a music lover myself, I know the library might not always be the first thing we think of to satisfy our music needs, but the library offers several great musical resources!

    With just your library card, you can access Freegal, our music-streaming service that gives you access to five hours of ad-free music every day. Freegal has put together some playlists to choose from, or you can make your own playlists from the music available. This site also allows you to download three songs each week for free, and that's it: you own it. You can play it anytime from your music player on your phone or computer. 

    Music on CD and Sheet Music you can check out

    The Provo Library has thousands of albums on CD! We purchase CDs from a wide variety of genres and artists, and CDs have no fee to check out. We also have a growing collection of sheet music with hot titles like the complete libretto of the Broadway musical HAMILTON, and music from the motion picture THE GREATEST SHOWMAN.

    Monday Night Performances

    There’s nothing quite like feeling the energy of a live performance.  Luckily, performers and musicians from our community regularly come to perform at our library.  Some of our seasonal performances, such as the Utah Valley Handbell Ringers each December, are a community tradition!  These performances are always free, and you can see our upcoming schedule on our Monday Night @ the Library page.

    The Basement Creative Lab audiovisual production space

    Being a lover of music goes hand in hand with being a creator of music, when your passion pushes you to participate rather than simply enjoy!  Our new Basement Creative Lab provides a space for creators looking for a space to record sound and video, supplied with equipment and editing stations that is free for Provo residents to use. All you have to do to use it is take our free “Intro to Studio Production” class to get oriented with our equipment. We also periodically offer specialized classes on subjects like Audio Production.  More information and registration for our classes can be done on our Basement Creative Lab page.

  • illustrated songs 01


    I listen to a lot of music. I always have. I grew up listening to music on road trips with my family, I listen to music when I am with friends, and I almost always listen to music when I am alone. Even though I am not really musical, I love music and I love listening to music because I love the lyrics. I love to sing along with songs even when I don’t know them very well. The lyrics are the best part of a song for me, and I often feel like if people would only read songs and not hear them they would still like them just as much – maybe more.

    One trend in picture books that I really like are books that do just that – illustrated song lyrics, just for reading. These can be a good way to introduce kids to classic songs, and a good way to really appreciate some of your favorites. There are dozens in our picture book section but here are some favorites.

    forever youngFOREVER YOUNG
    by Bob Dylan
    illustrated by Paul Rogers



    what a wonderful worldWHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
    by  Bob Thiele & George David Weiss (Most famous as a Louis Armstrong song)
    illustrated by Tim Hopgood


    coat of many colorsCOAT OF MANY COLORS
    by Dolly Parton
    illustrated by Brooke Boynton-Hughes



    octopuss gardenOCTOPUS’S GARDEN
    by Ringo Starr (Most famous as The Beatles song)
    illustrated by Ben Cort




    Plus, you can always use Freegal to listen to and download any of the new songs you discover for yourself!

  • Little Boy Headphones 

    Music is magical. It can also be beneficial to our health and wellbeing. Music can be a mood lifter, it can help us feel better, more energized, or even calm us down. Can you imagine watching a movie without any music playing in the background or going to an aerobics class to work out without any music?               

    We benefit from music in so many ways and children can also benefit from exposure to music. Music is fun and encourages movement.  You may have noticed your child dancing or moving to their favorite songs. As they move to the rhythm of their favorite songs, they also develop small and large motor skills. Jumping up and down helps with the development of their large muscle groups and if you are dancing with them, they often will try and copy what you are doing. Giving instruments to a child, even just a spoon to tap or a rattle, will help them with their hand eye coordination as well as grasping items and holding them.                 

    Music can also help toddlers develop their language skills. They may not understand all the words of a song but they will learn sound patterns, repetition, and try to mimic what they hear.  An example of this idea is the ABC song. As they get older, they learn to associate the lyrics of songs to things that they know. Singing or listening to nursery rhymes put to music can help children identify stories or storytelling in music. There are just so many ways that listening to music can benefit the listener.               

    The CDs listed below are just a few of our favorites available through the library. Normally we'd tell you to check them out from us, but in this time of social distancing, we're including youtube videos from each of the artists as well. If you really like one of these artists, look them up on youtube, where they've all shared many of their songs and live performances.

    In addition, you can use your library card to access Freegal, which will give you three free songs downloads each week. Freegal is also allowing 24 hour streaming right now, up from their usual five hours a day, so now's the perfect time to listen to their children's playlists, like this one from Brookfield Public Library. They also have a wide selection of music for all ages and genre preferences.

    Lots of different studies have been done on the effects of music and new ones are coming out all the time but we all know that life without music would just be flat. So, grab your favorite CD or check out some of the music available through the library and enjoy the magic that is music.

    Composer: Laurie Berkner Band



    Composer: Caspar Babypants



    Composer: Dean Jones



    Composer: Alphabet Rockers



    Composer: Okee Dokee Brothers 


  • Headphones freegal music listening

    We library staff have been working hard to make sure you know all the great services you can access with your library card. If you visited us in the last few weeks, I bet you heard us talking about Freegal Music, a downloadable streaming music service. Freegal Music gives you access to millions of songs (and even music videos!), with five hours of AD-FREE streaming per day and three FREE downloads per week. Use online or by mobile app, with no extra software or subscription needed. And for those of you already enjoying this awesome service, Freegal just got a makeover on April 4th, making it even easier to use!

    To get started:

    1. Access Freegal Music online via the link above, the Digital Services page of the Provo City Library website, or by installing the Freegal Music mobile app onto your device. It’s free!

    2. Sign in with your library card number and PIN

    3. Browse and search for music!

    4. Enjoy 5 hours of ad-free streaming daily and 3 downloads weekly 

    Like many of you, music played (ha! accidental pun but I’m keeping it) a large role in my family’s culture. Both my parents adore music and many of us kids play instruments and sing. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in the high school’s auditorium, watching my siblings perform in concerts and musicals and of shivering on icy metal bleachers for marching band half-time shows. Calling shotgun was a more extreme sport than even our most grueling nerf battles, since the coveted seat also came with radio station/cassette tape/cd selection powers. You’d think that this would make long car trips torturous, with six kids vying for musical control, but funnily enough it wasn’t a problem. Despite the wide range of tastes in our family of eight, we all agree: our road trip tunes were awesome. Even now, if we hear one of our family favorites, we’ll burst into song. Memories like that make life special, don’t they?

    With spring cleaning, summer road trips and barbecues on the horizon, there’s plenty of occasion to bring more music into your life. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming either - between Freegal Music for tunes on the go and our collection of cd’s at the library, you’ll never lack for the perfect soundtrack.

  • Music Books

    Music is important in our house. I play a little piano, my husband plays the guitar and ukulele, my children are taking piano lessons, and we all love to sing. We own a lot of music books and sheet music, but as much as I would love to have my own full music library, it isn’t possible.

    Thankfully, the library has tons of music! There are many compilations, anthologies and a huge span of books from classical to currently popular artists and musicals.

    I love checking out music from the library. It adds variety to what we own. I have a chance to try out music I am considering to purchase. I am not an accomplished pianist - I'm mediocre at best - and I often need to see if the book will be enjoyable for me to own, based on how well I am able to sight-read the music (though if I would just buckle down and practice more often I would be able to play the more advanced stuff). 

    Here are a few of my favorites from the library I have tried.

    2.12 NewsiesNEWSIES
    Composed by Alan Menken

    I was probably a little obsessed with the movie Newsies when it came out. My friends and I basically watched it every chance we could and memorized all the songs. The library has the original motion picture music as well as the new Broadway adaptation music book. I may have also recently shown the movie to my children and given my daughter the soundtrack on CD. It makes my heart happy to have the obsession continue to the next generation and have the music playing in my home. 


    2.12 The Man from Snowy RiverTHE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER
    Composed by Bruce Rowland

    When I was in high school I learned to play “Jessica’s Theme” and “The Man from Snowy River: Main Title Theme”. I just had the sheet music for those two songs. I love that the library has the entire book of music from the movie. 


    2.12 Disneys Princess CollectionDISNEY’S PRINCESS COLLECTION
    By Walt Disney Company

    This “Big Note Piano” version is available in the children’s department. If you have a princess lover, this is the collection for you. This is a simplified version even beginning piano students can successfully play. 


    2.12 The Greatest ShowmanTHE GREATEST SHOWMAN
    Composed by Benji Pasek

    Greatest Showman songs exploded last year. I loved that it was a well done movie, with amazing music AND I could share the entire experience with my children. We listened and sang along with the music together. It has been fun to extend our experience and fill our home with the music on the piano and guitar.  


    2.12 La La LandLA LA LAND
    Composed by Justin Hurwitz

    I have always loved musicals and I am glad they are popular again. Although I haven’t yet shared this movie experience with my children, I love tinkering around and singing along to the jazzy songs on the piano. 

  • top albums 2016

    The music landscape has been changing drastically over the past decade or so, and 2016 was the most unusual year of all. CD sales dropped by over 10 percent, downloads dropped by almost 30 percent, and instead more people than ever are streaming music.  In 2016 alone, 45 billion audio tracks were streamed, which is a huge 68 percent increase over the previous year.  

    Though CD sales might be declining in the larger market, they are alive and well here at the Provo City Library.  We're glad that we're able to give access to current popular (and even older and more classic) music for our patrons.  Thinking on this, I ran the numbers on our best new albums from the past year.  Below is the list of the top 20 circulating albums of 2016 for the Provo City Library – this is what our community is listening to and checking out the most.

    Oh and one extra thing: the streaming bug has hit the Provo City Library as well!  Through our new resource, Freegal, you can stream five hours of music every day!  Freegal has put together some nice playlists that you can choose from (with no ads like Pandora and Spotify), or you can make your own playlists from the music available.  This site also allows you to download three songs each week for free, and that's it: you own it.  You can play it anytime from your music player on your phone or computer.  Cool, huh? 

    Without further ado, here's our list of the Top Albums of 2016. 

    20. LEMONADE by Beyonce


    18. RIPCORD by Keith Urban

    17. LOVE YOUR LIFE by Hilary Weeks

    16. ANTI by Rhianna

    15. IF I'M HONEST by Blake Shelton

    14. DEATH OF A BACHELOR by Panic at the Disco

    13. WILDFIRE by Rachel Platten - available on Freegal


    11. A PENTATONIX CHRISTMAS by Pentatonix- available on Freegal

    10. NINE TRACK MIND by Charlie Puth

    9. THANK YOU by Meghan Trainor - available on Freegal

    8. THIS IS ACTING by Sia - available on Freegal


    6. LUKAS GRAHAM by Lukas Graham

    5. CLEOPATRA by The Lumineers

    4. UNCHARTED by The Piano Guys - available on Freegal

    3. ILLUMINATE by Shawn Mendes 

    2. A HEAD FULL OF DREAMS by Coldplay 


    It's no surprise that Hamilton comes in at #1 on the list!  The Broadway show has been taking the world by storm, and in 2016 they released an edited version that we were able to add to our collection!  Many of the others are understandable, although a few surprises like Love Your Life by Hilary Weeks are shaped by our unique community.  If you have a favorite that isn’t available on Freegal, don’t dismay, you can still check it out from our library and enjoy the music for free.

    A few things that didn’t make the list but are definitely honorable mentions: 

    TROLLS ORIGINAL MOTION SOUNDTRACK - Available on Freegal – This soundtrack features a host of top musicians and artists, and is catchy to boot!   Your kids will love you for downloading a few of the tracks.

    25 by Adele - Available on Freegal – This couldn’t quite make the list as it was released on 20 November, 2015, but it’s circulation has been one of the strongest all year, and it being available on Freegal is a particular boon!

    THE VERY BEST OF PRINCE – All of our music by Prince surged after his death in April 2016.

    BEST OF BOWIE – The same happened for David Bowie and we needed to buy extra copies of his albums early in 2016.