Check it out: libraries loaning out musical instruments

Posted on: January 21, 2020

The Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library “goes beyond a place to read and rent books,” writes Julia Hotz in last Tuesday’s (1/14) Nextcity.org. “There, it becomes New York City’s only library branch where patrons can take home musical instruments—for free…. Instruments … range from electric guitars and keyboards to drum pads and cowbells. The library also boasts on-site recording studios, where borrowers can freely play. ‘It was so popular right away—we started with 20 instruments and in the first 24 hours, the instruments were all booked up,’ said Peter Otis, manager of the music lending program and a librarian within Brooklyn Public Library’s arts and history division. The program launched in May 2018…. In Philadelphia …. the city’s Free Library … has run an instrument lending service since 2016 and currently has 45 instruments available … In California, Jason Cool, a musician and construction worker, has [created] a ‘library truck’ … [traveling] around Sonoma County and letting onlookers take home his instruments, or live-test them then and there…. ‘Since running the program, I’ve only lost two, and I’ve had 600 instruments donated,’ said Cool.”