More free music streaming from our local libraries


Hennepin County Library recently amped up its online music platform, MnSpin, with more than 70 additional albums by local artists. The new work includes standouts such as Atmosphere and Brother Ali, and brand new acts launching their first records. Added to the 50-plus albums shared last year, the whole curated collection of local artists’ albums is available to local library patrons and music seekers worldwide.

Inspired by models already cranking on library websites based in places like Seattle, Portland and Nashville, Hennepin County Library staff worked last year with Madison-based MUSICat to create a platform to accept submissions from musicians, and make the tracks available via the library’s website.

Good for musicians, good for listeners! Since the launch last December, library patrons and others have streamed and downloaded more than 20,000 songs. In a musician survey last spring, three-quarters of respondents said that participating in MnSpin had brought more attention to their music.

“We have been so pleased by the enthusiastic reception MnSpin has received, and by the benefit to our participating musicians,” said Library Director Lois Langer Thompson. “We hope that by participating in our rich and diverse local music scene, we will continue our work to make the library inclusive and welcoming to more people in our community and beyond.”

A playlist picked for you! For the latest round, the library worked with seven volunteer curators and three staff members to cull almost 300 contributions down to about 70 additions to the collection.

A ticket to listen. Your Hennepin County Library card is a ticket to stream or download music from MnSpin; and music lovers everywhere can discover and stream music created in our hometowns. For decades, Minnesotans have been musical innovators. Hennepin County Library is proud to play a part in spreading the word about new, sometimes undiscovered, and always varied music that is constantly being created in Minnesota.

The final MnSpin collection includes, rock, hip-hop, folk, country, R&B, jazz, international music, children’s music and more. Some of the artists who contributed work in 2017 are back again with new albums.

The artists being added to MnSpin include some who have been recording and performing in major venues for years, and others who are brand new to the Twin Cities scene.

PaviElle French, known by her music fans simply as PaviElle, decided to enter her album, Fear Not, after hearing about MnSpin by word of mouth.

MnSpin would not be possible without help from the Friends of the Hennepin County Library, the system’s funding partner, which along with other support, provided a $200 per-album stipend for each act.

Find the names of the other inaugural artists at MnSpin, or browse from