henrymusicHere’s a great idea that I never thought would work well, but obviously seems to – at least it does at the Forbes Library of Northampton, MA. They’re circulating a ukulele. Read about it in this LibraryJournal.com article.

The inexpensive uke was donated by a local music store. Here are the details:

Any library card holder in 6th grade or older can check out the ukulele for three weeks and then renew it once. “If someone loses or damages it, or the instructional DVD, we will charge for replacement the same as with other circulating materials,” [the FPL’s Art & Music Dept. head Faith] Kaufmann told LJ. It is worth about $50, on a par with many audiobooks, for example. So far patrons have taken excellent care of it.”

There’s a waiting list of 24, which I find pretty amazing.

I don’t know if I would like to see what would happen in a bigger city library, but I think circulating a uke is an extremely cool idea, especially if several of of them could be provided for kids and a community volunteer would be willing to hold, say 30 – 60min programs each week to teach kids and adults to accompany themselves on simple songs. With so many kids unable to have music lessons through school any more, it could be a really appropriate service. More libraries should be taking chances like these.