Kitchener Public Library unveils new instrument lending library
Guitars, pianos and hand drums are all items you can now check out with your library card in Kitchener.
A new instrument lending program was launched Monday at the Kitchener Public Library, thanks to a 150-instrument donation from Sun Life Financial.
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It's all part of the library's mission to transform from book lender to cultural hub, CEO Mary Chevreau told CBC K-W.
"I see the instruments as just another expansion of our literacy mission," Chevreau said.
"We also are looking at literacy in a broader, more of a renaissance term of literacy. So we're looking at digital literacy, of course very seriously here, but also cultural literacy and arts and music."
Library patrons have said they want the opportunity to create their own content, Chevreau said during Monday's launch.
Instruments and instructions
Sun Life Financial vice president philanthropy and sponsorships Paul Joliat said the company wants to make the arts more accessible. The program already runs in Toronto and Vancouver and Joliat said they wanted to bring it to Kitchener because this is where the company's head office is located.
The library will not only offer the instruments, but will also have all the resources to help people learn how to play them, including how-to videos on the KPL website.
"There's no other activity that youth can engage in that has the developmental benefits, the cognitive benefits, that learning an instrument does and playing with other people," Egan told Craig Norris, host of The Morning Edition, Monday before the official launch.
Sample of instruments available for people to check out, there are 150 in total and also includes full-size keyboard pianos <a href="https://twitter.com/KitchLibrary">@KitchLibrary</a> <a href="https://t.co/K5mrwIi9wd">pic.twitter.com/K5mrwIi9wd</a>—@FloraTPan
'It will change lives'
Canadian musician and Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy was on hand for the announcement.
He said musical education in school is "endangered" and a program like this will help spark musical creativity in young people.
"A program like this that will allow kids to just try something, maybe [they] want to try an electric guitar," Cuddy said.
"There's a great joy in being able to just grab an instrument and take it home and be in your bedroom and listen to it talk to you for a little while."
Cuddy added the program will go on for years as the instruments will last 25 years or more.
"This program can go on and on, and who knows how many lives it will change, but it will change lives," he said.
With files from the CBC's Flora Pan