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Toronto Public Library creates city's 1st musical instrument lending program

Starting Thursday, the Toronto Public Library will begin lending musical instruments.

Parkdale branch has 100 instruments to lend

The Toronto Public Library system is accepting instrument donations at the Parkdale branch and Long and McQuade music stores. (photo courtesy flickr user Daniel S.)

Toronto has a tool library, a library for kitchen implements and one for gardening tools. It's getting a library of things soon, as well.

There's also the regular library, the one that lends out books.

But not to be eclipsed by all the borrowing opportunities in this city, starting today, the Toronto Public Library will also begin lending musical instruments.

So if you've ever wanted to try your hand at the ukulele, or the tabla, or the violin, but you're not quite ready to buy an instrument, head to the Parkdale branch. That's where the Toronto Public Library is starting its instrument lending program.

"Musical instruments and libraries aren't an immediate connection, but when you take a look at the direction the public libraries are going in, it makes perfect sense," said Ana-Maria Critchley, the manager of stakeholder relations with the Toronto Public Library.

"Libraries are about connecting people to opportunities and breaking down barriers to access."

The program is in partnership with Sun Life Financial, which approached the Toronto Public Library about creating the city's first musical instrument lending library some time ago.

The Parkdale branch will begin with 100 instruments and the library is immediately looking to expand that with a public donation drive. They are asking anyone with a "gently used" instrument to donate it so it can get back into use through the library's instrument lending program.

The library is accepting musical instrument donations at the Parkdale branch and Long and McQuade music stores.

All you need to borrow an instrument is a library card.

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