Can You Play Stairway to Heaven?

I’m sure you have probably already heard about the East Palo Alto Library’s plan to start lending electric guitars complete with amps and music lessons. To me, this seems a very interesting interpretation of creating a library that fosters community and learning and that is about much more than those seemingly obsolete printed books.

Guitar lending, as well as events like the Denver Public Library’s Frock Out fashion design contest, the University of Minnesota library student video contest and countless libraries hosting video game tournaments for teens help to reinvigorate library offerings and most importantly, reinvent the very idea of a library.

Why not start lending items like handbags for aspiring fashionistas? After all, for profit companies like Bag Borrow or Steal have been successfully renting designer bags for years now. If the guitar experiment is a success, it may open the door for libraries lending items beyond e-readers as well as encouraging participation and support from an expanded user base.

I wonder if this all came about because Keith Richards wants to be a librarian?


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