Musical Instrument Lending Library Comes to HHPL

A musical instrument lending library arrives at the Hastings Highlands Public Library. As of June 24, library users will be able to take out an instrument with a valid library card to try it out and see if they please. Wendy Sue Keating, CEO and Chief Librarian, says the community support for this project has been tremendous, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and she and her staff are excited for it to get started.

Keating says Hastings Highlands is a community that loves music and they want to help grow that love.

“Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try the ukulele but don’t want to invest in one until you know you love it. Our musical instrument lending library is a collection of instruments that you can borrow using your HHPL library card, just like you borrow books, and it’s free,” she says.

Keating says the musical instrument lending library will open June 24 and will have a ukulele, fiddle, guitar, accordion and tambourine.

“We had the ukulele. Otherwise it was community donations and Steve [Wright] guitar nuts [in Bancroft] definitely helped too, so that was good. I wanted to come down and tell Steve, you know we got this thing going. Maybe people will check it out, find out they like an instrument and if they 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 to his store and explained what they were doing at HHPL.

“I thought it was a great idea and did what I could to help. Music has been a big part of my life from a young age and I hope I can do more for it. project in the future,” he says.

Not only does the HHPL share instruments, but it also has many other initiatives that Keating is proud to share. They have a seeding library, an exhibit showing their Artist of the Month Rocky Green, an Indigenous History Month exhibit, a Pride Month exhibit, the TD Reading Program, park passes Ontario Provincial Parks and an outdoor terrace with Muskoka chairs where customers can read or work while enjoying their coffee or tea, drinks that the library also offers in front of their reception.

“Our volunteers also share their skills and knowledge, through workshops and programs. [like the musical instrument lending library], and all of that builds and strengthens our community,” she says. “So it’s great that people are sharing their knowledge, and I think it’s going to be quite popular.”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times

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