Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"Music collector finds sales outlet at library"

from news-record.com - by Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane

GREENSBORO, NC — Bill Trotter carries a carton of vinyl record albums and CDs into the downtown Central Library.

Trotter isn't returning loans. He is stocking his small niche of collectible music for sale in its Booklovers' Shop.

This is an experiment for Trotter and Friends of the Greensboro Public Library, which runs the shop selling coffee, snacks and gently-used books to raise money for the library.

Now it also has a section of Trotter's secondhand and new LPs and CDs, at prices ranging from 50 cents to $10.

Most feature hard-to-find classical recordings. But browsers also will find jazz, soundtracks, folk and pop.

Trotter splits proceeds with Friends of the Library. Since he set up shop in mid-December, sales have totaled nearly $200.

"That's better than I thought," clerk Lucy Leary says. "I am rather surprised."

Want a rare 1954 vinyl recording of George Malcolm conducting J.S. Bach orchestral suites? Trotter has one for $5.

How about a 1929 recording of Leopold Stokowski leading the Philadelphia Orchestra in Brahms Symphony No. 2? That's $10.

"Hopefully, I am doing a service for music lovers who can't find these anywhere else in town," Trotter says.

The shop itself is somewhat unusual among libraries, library director Sandy Neerman says. Although library friends' groups nationally hold annual book sales, having a book and coffee shop is more unique.

Now it's giving Trotter — author, music critic and former record-store owner — an outlet for 8,000 albums and CDs that overflow his storage unit.

Just a year ago, Trotter was selling them at Collectables, one of a handful of local shops selling vintage vinyl records.

But burglaries prompted the owner to close the West Lee Street shop last March.

Aside from his Web site (www.trotterbooks.com), Trotter had no sales outlet.

The longtime library patron thought about The Booklovers' Shop. "The demographic of clients who come in here is perfect," he says.

The shop had sold a donated collection of rare albums several years ago. When Trotter made his proposal, the quality of his collection sold the idea.

"It seemed like a good fit," librarian Beth Sheffield says.

For those interested in the music but not on vinyl, Trotter will burn it onto a CD for $10, complete with custom covers by his artist wife, E.A. Lustig.

Browsers and buyers get more than music. They get Trotter's commentary, written on each selection.

"Listen to great '60s musicians before the '60s became the sixties! $7.50." he writes on the CD "Hootenanny '64," with Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and others.

"Terrific live performance, only $3," he says about Mahler Symphony No. 10, conducted by Simon Rattle.

There is the quirky "Eugenia Mayantz Sings a Pot-pourri of Russian and Gypsy Melodies," a vinyl bargain at $4.

"If you're turned on by the idea of 45 minutes of unaccompanied (and tonally very appropriate) singing by an old Ukrainian lady, here ya go!" Trotter writes.

Then there's the popular 1977 soundtrack to the movie "Saturday Night Fever."

"Here's a decent, playable copy for fifty cents. That's how desperately I want to get rid of it!"

photo by: H. Scott Hoffmann/News & Record

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