Re-experience the music of your youth at the library

By now, you’re probably aware of the recent Facebook trend of sharing a list of 10 albums that influenced your teenage years. Perhaps you've even made one yourself.

While many see it as a way to reflect on the music that shaped their youth in a meaningful way, others have viewed it as a self-absorbed opportunity to present a revisionist version of one’s past. I’ll take it as an opportunity to promote the library’s CD and digital music collection.

I've written before about my undying obsession with Jewel. From her 1996 debut, "Pieces of You," to her pop-infused "0304," Jewel’s music influenced the entire span of my teenage years. This isn’t revisionist, I promise. I have notebooks filled with bad poetry (with blatant plagiarisms) to prove it.

Now imagine my delight when I discovered that her entire discography is available to stream or download on Hoopla. Haven’t heard of Hoopla? Simply install the app on your mobile device and register with your library card, and you can instantly borrow free content, including eBooks, audiobooks, movies, TV shows and full albums.

So yeah, my list could have been mostly Jewel. But from that first post, you could also guess that I was obsessed with many '90s female musicians. In fact, when I sat down to type up my list of albums, all 10 were by female artists. To cut to the chase, here’s my full list:

  1. "Pieces of You" by Jewel
  2. "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie" by Alanis Morissette
  3. "This Fire" by Paula Cole
  4. "Ray of Light" by Madonna
  5. "Tidal" by Fiona Apple
  6. "Sheryl Crow" by Sheryl Crow
  7. "Firecracker" by Lisa Loeb
  8. "Ophelia" by Natalie Merchant
  9. "Surfacing" by Sarah McLachlan
  10. "A Few Small Repairs" by Shawn Colvin

Now, if you're like me, there may have been a time in your life when you needed some extra cash, and those albums gathering dust on your shelves went straight to Half Price Books, Hastings or eBay. (Who am I kidding? I still have every album by Jewel ever produced.) No worries, though. Depending on what era your teenage years were in, there’s a good chance many of those albums are available in our CD collection or on Hoopla. Take a look.

— William Ottens is the cataloging and collection development coordinator at the Lawrence Public Library.

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