Montrealers can now take out a guitar, along with their book, the next time they visit certain public libraries. With the help of the Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library Program, eight public libraries in Montreal are taking part in the experimental program to make music more accessible to the general public. Sun Life Financial is providing $108,860 in funding and is donating 100 instruments to the city of Montreal.
The program was initially launched in Toronto and Vancouver and has proven to be very successful. Approximately 1,500 instruments have been borrowed and 500 people are on a waiting list.
In Montreal, those who have an adult card (14 & up card) can borrow an instrument. There are guitars, violins, keyboards, ukuleles, xylophones, and a few types of drums. They can be taken out for three weeks and renewed three times, for a total of 12 weeks. The libraries taking part are Du Boisé, Georges-Vanier, La Petite-Patrie, Maison culturelle et communautaire, Plateau-Mont-Royal, St. Leonard, Saul-Bellow and Verdun.
Montreal public libraries will also be running an instrument-donation drive until Dec. 24. Owners of new or slightly used instruments can leave them at the participating libraries, with the exception of the Du Boisé and St. Leonard.
For more information, visit bibliomontreal.com/musique.