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This Library-Themed Student Album Makes for A+ Study Music

Geisel Library photo

In these times of remote learning, many college students have found themselves missing the campus spaces they once called home, including their much-loved libraries. University of California, San Diego undergraduates Donald Liang and Terry Feng have gotten creative to stay connected to their school’s Geisel Library: composing an electronic album inspired by their favorite study spaces.

“I think the idea really hit more during spring quarter, when we were all just at home and it was just hours and hours of Zoom lectures,” Feng told thisweek@ucsandiego. “I missed so much of just being able to hang out with people, even just study together. That’s what college students do: spend long hours at the library.”

“Library of Dreams” features eight tracks, each one inspired by a different floor of the library. From “Floor 1: Memes and Chill” to “Floor 8: Nap Time,” each track musically evokes the unique atmosphere of the space it represents. Liang and Feng, both music majors, drew on their own memories of the library while crafting the album, as well as surveying their classmates on social media.

“It was nice to have those answers to further inform how we wanted to characterize each floor, and to give a little more information about how other people perceived the library,” Liang shared. “Something that I’m particularly interested about is how the music inside our…heads gets shifted onto either pieces of paper or onto a computer program.”

“it’s really interesting and enjoyable work,” said Erik Mitchell, UC San Diego’s University Librarian. “I continue to be amazed by the innovation and collaboration exhibited by our campus scholars, and its projects like this that tell the story of how the UC San Diego Library has remained a source of inspiration to our academic community for the last 50 years.”

2020 has been a surprisingly big year for libraries and music. This summer, Duke University’s “Library Takeout” music video went viral for its synth-pop explanation of COVID safety procedures. And earlier this year, the Library of Congress commissioned 10 original musical compositions inspired the pandemic; the resulting pieces serve as a sonic representation of life during COVID.


Photo by Erik Jepsen, courtesy of UC San Diego Communications. Subscribe to the I Love Libraries newsletter for more great stories about America’s libraries.

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