News / Ottawa

Ottawa Public Library channels 'School of Rock' with instrument lending program

Anyone with a library card will be able to take out an instrument for up to 12 weeks.

Young musicians were on hand, performing a classical arrangement of the Game of Thrones theme song, to announce the Ottawa Public Library's Musical Instrument Lending Library Program.

Kieran Delamont / Metro Order this photo

Young musicians were on hand, performing a classical arrangement of the Game of Thrones theme song, to announce the Ottawa Public Library's Musical Instrument Lending Library Program.

With a little starpower on hand, Ottawa Public Library announced a new musical instrument lending program designed to give those wanting to jam the tools to do it.

The Ottawa Public Library announced the new program, which will allow anyone in the city with a library card to rent an instrument from the downtown or Nepean Centrepointe branches. 

Singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan was on hand Tuesday for the announcement to support the program and even donate a guitar to the cause. 

“I don’t know what I would have done without music in my life,” said McLachlan. She criticized the way music education has been cut from school curriculums worldwide, adding that “I think we all need music in our lives,” and that the “means and opportunity [to learn an instrument] should be available to everyone.”

The program is sponsored by Sun Life Financial, who are donating $140,000 and 150 instruments to the program. 

“This took a lot of effort on everyone’s part,” said Danielle McDonald, CEO of the Ottawa Public Library. “I think I can say this is one of the best days we’ve had.” 

Library card holders will be able to take out a range of instruments, including guitars (both electric and acoustic), violins, and keyboards. They will be able to take out one instrument at a time on a three-week loan, with the ability to renew it up to three times. 

“I can imagine a recently retired grandmother, borrowing a guitar just to try it out,” said McDonald. 

The library is also kicking off a donation drive for instruments—residents with something to donate can drop it off at either the main or Nepean Centrepointe branch, or the Long & McQuade on Hunt Club Road. 

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