A musical instrument lending library is coming on Hastings Highlands Public Library. As of June 24, library patrons will be able to take out an instrument with a valid library card to try it out and see if they like it. Wendy Sue Keating, the CEO and head librarian, says the community support for this project has been great, the response has been very positive and she and her staff are excited for it to get going.
Keating says that Hastings Highlands is a community that loves music and they want to help grow that love.
“Maybe you’ve always wanted to try the ukulele but don’t want to invest in one until you know you like it. Our musical instrument lending library is a collection of instruments you may borrow using your HHPL library card, just like you borrow books, and it’s free,” she says.
Keating says that the musical instrument lending library will be starting up on June 24, and will have a ukulele, violin, guitar, accordion and tambourine.
“We had the ukulele. Otherwise, it was donations from the community and Steve [Wright] from Guitar Nuts [in Bancroft] definitely helped out as well, so it was nice. I wanted to go down and tell Steve, you know we have this thing going on. Maybe people will check it out, discover they like an instrument and if they do like it, we know where you can go in town where there’s a music store,” she says.
Wright told Bancroft This Week on June 12 that Keating came into his store and explained what they were doing at the HHPL.
“I thought it was a terrific idea and did what I could to help. Music has been a big part of my life from a very early age and I am hoping to be able to do more for this project in the future,” he says.
Not only does the HHPL share instruments, they also have many other initiatives that Keating is proud to share. They have a seeding library, a display showing their artist of the month Rocky Green, an Indigenous History Month display, a display dedicated to Pride Month, the TD Reading Program, Ontario Provincial Parks passes, and an outdoor patio with Muskoka chairs where patrons can read or work while they enjoy their coffee or tea, beverages which the library also offers opposite their front desk.
“Our volunteers share their skills and knowledge too, through workshops and programs [like the musical instrument lending library], and all of this together builds and strengthens our community,” she says. “So, it’s great that people are sharing their knowledge, and I think this is going to be pretty popular.”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times