SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - Studies have shown that reading stimulates your brain, reduces stress, and improves your memory. But did you know that listening to music can improve cognitive performance, reduce stress and even help people perform better in high-pressure situations as well? 

Fortunately, through the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ), keeping your mind and mood engaged is free and easy with a valid library card. SCLSNJ offers lots of music options, whether it is reading about music or an artist or listening to a new recording.

“People often immediately think of books when they hear the word ‘library’ so we’re making it our mission to get them thinking about music, too,” said Yvonne Selander, collections management supervisor for SCLSNJ.

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With an SCLSNJ library card, patrons can access NAXOS Music Library and the NAXOS Music Library Jazz and stream music for free. NAXOS Music Library, the world’s largest online classical musical library, currently offers streaming access to more than 112,728 CDs with more than 1.6 million tracks of both standard and rare repertoire and that number continues to grow with over 800 new CDs added every month. Additionally, NAXOS Music Library Jazz, SCLSNJ’s most recent addition to NAXOS Music Library, offers over 92,200 tracks of jazz from more than 8,600 albums with over 32,000 jazz artists represented and includes catalogs of Blue Notes Records.

NAXOS Music Library and NAXOS Music Library Jazz can be accessed from computer and mobile device, anywhere, anytime. With iPhone/iPod and Android mobile apps, subscribers can access the service on the go, and the HTLM5 player can stream music though the standard Internet connection of most phones and tablets. To gain free access to SCLSNJ’s NAXOS resources, visit any one of SCLSNJ’s 10 library branches today or, for more information, visit and search ‘NAXOS.’

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With over 51,000 CDs from across all genres, chances are SCLSNJ also offers patrons the chance to check out something that suits their musical tastes. Cardholders can borrow the latest in-demand items currently on shelves, including Now That's What I Call Music! 54 - Various Artists; The Waterfall - My Morning Jacket; Wilder Mind - Mumford & Sons; How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful - Florence + the Machine; Dale by Pitbull; or Drones – Muse. Additionally, SCLSNJ also offers a wide selection of newer releases from old favorites such as Blow Up the Moon - Blues Traveler; New Glow - Matt and Kim; No Pier Pressure - Brian Wilson; Second Hand Heart - Dwight Yoakam; Glean - They Might Be Giants; Kindred - Passion Pit; Twice Told Tales - 10,000 Maniacs; Now #1s - Various Artists; Sol Invictus - Faith No More; The Purple Album – Whitesnake; Silverball by Barenaked Ladies; and One Lost Day by Indigo Girls.

“We are your music spot,” said Selander. “Latin, pop, rock, classical, soundtracks, compilations, country, world, you name it we have it. There is always something new, or old, or different to listen to at your library. Nowhere else will you find this wide a variety of music CDs available for your listening pleasure.”

Selander added, “Your library is a great place to rediscover the music of the past and we encourage you to find your new favorite bands. Take out handfuls of CDs of genres you love or try a genre you never thought you would enjoy. CDs circulate for two weeks so you have 14 days to enjoy your selections risk free. If you love them, you can always check them out again.”

For those who want to read about the people behind the music, Morris Balacco, collection management librarian at SCLSNJ, recommends checking out the latest bios available. Balacco recommends Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg; Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams, and Rumors by Zoe Howe; True Love by Jennifer Lopez; Rocks: My Life in and Out of Aerosmith by Joe Perry and David Ritz; Words Without Music: A Memoir by Philip Glass; It's a Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson and David Ritz; Autobiography by Morrissey; Girl in a Band: A Memoir by Kim Gordon; Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys: A Memoir by Viv Albertine; Anger Is An Energy: My Life Uncensored by John Lydon; Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol; and I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy from Anthrax by Scott Ian, among others.

Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) partners with you to connect, to explore, to share and to discover. SCLSNJ branches can be found in Bridgewater, Bound Brook, Hillsborough, Manville, North Plainfield, Peapack & Gladstone, Rocky Hill at Mary Jacobs Memorial Library, Somerville, Warren Township and Watchung. Additionally, there are two SCLSNJ reading stations in Branchburg and Washington Valley. Visit for further information about library services offered at SCLSNJ.