Library begins lending guitars, banjos, and bongos

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / dotshock

The London Public Library is breaking down musical barriers for those who have ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument, but don’t have the cash to buy their own.

As of Monday, a long list of musical instruments can be borrowed from the library’s central branch on Dundas Street.

“This is really something that is happening all over Canada right now. It is very popular for public libraries to be immersed in the musical literacy aspect and making sure that everybody has the opportunity to put their hands on a musical instrument,” said Colleen Harris, manager of fund development at the London Public Library. “There are many libraries doing this already and we’re just excited that Londoners are now able to share in all of the musical love.”

The library’s musical instrument collection will include acoustic guitars, electric bass guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, bongos, djembes, congos, and amplifiers. All of the instruments will be placed in the library’s catalogue and can be checked out just like a book. Holds will also be allowed on the musical devices and can be made online, over the phone or in person.

The library was able to purchase the extensive collection of instruments thanks to a $30,000 investment it received from the 2019 London Juno host committee following last year’s awards show held at Budweiser Gardens. The library worked closely with the committee and the London Guitar Shop to identify which instruments would be the most popular with the public and require the least amount of repair and maintenance.

Anyone who loses or breaks an instrument will be required to pay to replace it.

While a full line of string instruments will be available immediately, Londoners will have to wait a little longer to borrow a percussion instrument as they won’t arrive at the library until later this month.

“We anticipate a really high level of interest in these instruments. So I am sure they will be out the door before we know it,” said Harris.

To browse the instrument list or place a hold click here.