This post originally appeared on the LAIP in December 2014.

by Laura Damon-Moore

Barbary Sanderson.

Barbary Sanderson.

Licking County (OH) Library card holders can now check out a guitar from the library! The new guitar collection launched in mid-December, Barbary Sanderson tells us, and there’s already a waitlist forming on the six guitars. Barbary, who is a Teen Services Assistant at the library, is a guitar player herself who proposed guitars as a possible “alternative collection” when the library was looking for ideas earlier this year.

There are six guitars available for checkout to Licking County Library cardholders with accounts in good standing; patrons who are under sixteen need a parent’s permission to check out the instrument. The guitars are available at the main library only at this time. The collection is already quite popular, with a holds list forming and several people have come forward to donate additional instruments to the collection.

Says Barbary, “We have worked with a handful of local businesses in this process as well. All of our guitars were purchased from our local guitar store, Guitar Guys in Heath, Ohio. They secured an educational discount through Fender for us and have been helpful every step of the way. We had our guitar bags embroidered by a local company called Got Gear 4U and received a $250 donation from the First Federal Foundation (local bank) to help with start up costs for the collection.

“People are so excited,” says Barbary, “that is the neatest part.” Patrons who are checking out the instruments range from those who’ve never picked up a guitar in their life, to people who have played but don’t have access to an instrument at home. One gentleman who came in, says Barbary, mentioned that he used to play guitar all the time, but no longer has any instruments. Having access to a guitar through the library means that he’ll be able to play for his family at Christmas time this year.

At this time there are no imminent plans to add different types of instruments to the LCL’s collection, but the library has tentative plans to start a group instruction program, where people can use the library’s instruments or bring in their own to practice playing at the library.

Says Barbary, “It was important to put [the guitars] into people’s hands; it’s something that they wouldn’t otherwise have, a big investment and commitment on the library’s part that’s been totally worth it.”

Librarians and library staff: Interested in viewing LCL’s policy language for their guitar lending program? Download the library’s guitar lending guidelines here.

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