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The Arlington County Public Library has decided that vinyl records are going the way of the dinosaur; it has put its entire 4,000-album collection up for sale. The offerings pretty much cover the field: opera, musicals, jazz, blues, rock & pop, folk, gospel, ballet, and spoken word. When asked what albums are nestled under rock & pop, a librarian threw out a few titles: Ronnie Milsap, Lionel Ritchie, Frank Sinatra, Carole King, and Louis Armstrong.

There are certain to be at least a few gems among the cutouts; there usually are. But there’s a catch: Music geeks interested in the offerings must pony up the cash to buy the entire collection. The library will sell the albums as one lot, with proceeds going to support the library and its collection and services—and the continued acquisition of music on compact disc. Individuals are requested to submit sealed bids by Wednesday, April 7. The collection will go to the highest bidder.

“Our decision to no longer maintain a record collection reflects the market shift to compact disc and DVD formats,” says Lisbeth Goldberg, an audio-visual specialist at the Central Library. “Circulation of records is very low. People prefer the newer formats for their clarity and durability.”

Library staff report that in 1998, only 2,000 records were checked out by patrons, compared with 48,000 CDs.

To evaluate the condition of the records—considered to range from “good to fair,” potential bidders are invited to stop by the Central Library during regular hours.—Dana Hull

For more information, contact the library’s audio-visual division at (703) 228-6340.