An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Over a dozen public libraries in the U.S. and Canada have begun offering their own music streaming services to patrons, with the goal of boosting artists and local music scenes. The services are region-specific, and offer local artists non-exclusive licenses to make their albums available to the community. The concept originated in 2014 when Preston Austin and Kelly Hiser helped the Madison Public Library build the Yahara Music Library, an online library hosting music from local artists. By the time they completed their work on Yahara, they were confident they had a software prototype that other interested libraries could customize and deploy. “That became kind of the inspiration for building MUSICat,” Austin told Motherboard, referring to the software platform he and Hiser created under a startup called Rabble.
Now, public libraries in Pittsburgh, Nashville, Fort Worth, and most recently New Orleans have