In November I went to the French Alps with my family for a vacation. We went to the town called Bourg-Saint-Maurice, which serves as a transport hub for the Paradiski ski area and has direct trains from London and Amsterdam during the winter.

While exploring this little town in the dead of the season, we stumbled upon the local library and of course I had to visit. I talked with the librarian for couple of minutes to get some information about the library and learn something new.

The Library is serving around 2000 members, but during the season this number jumps much higher, since the tourists also use the library. The season includes December – February when people are skiing and June – August when people are biking in the mountains.

The library is in a new building, only couple of years old and it’s sharing it with a ludotheque. They will soon merge into one entity.

What caught my eye in this library was a music section. It was not the biggest one ever, but there were CDs and CD players mounted on the wall with the big speakers. I never used those in the library so I tried. It was fun!

Then I saw that you can borrow MP3 music! Never saw this idea!

The music is loaded into a MP3 music player which is packed into a plastic CD case with the USB cable for charging the battery. Music is grouped by genre and the music is in public domain. The genres I saw are: pop rock/electro, tutti frutti, folk/blues, classic/jazz and in each MP3 player there are six albums. I think it’s a truly great way to discover some new music. Unfortunately there was no metal or rock.

I started asking who is organizing this collection and how did they got the idea for this awesome concept, but it became busy in the library and the librarian had to help some members. I had to leave also, so I don’t have more information about how do they organize and maintain this collection. Not a problem, it inspired me to search for more public domain music in my life :)