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Musical Instrument Lending Library opens in Bath thanks to Joe’s MILL

Some of the instruments available through the Lennox and Addington County Libraries after a donation of instruments from Joe’s MILL. Submitted photo.

After a generous donation from the Joe Chithalen Memorial Musical Instrument Lending Library (Joe’s MILL), patrons of the County of Lennox and Addington (L&A) Libraries can now borrow music instruments using their library cards.

The Bath Branch of the L&A Libraries, located at 197 Davy Street, is now home to a variety of instruments, including electric and acoustic guitars, drums, wind instruments, and more, which can be borrowed for up to three weeks. There is also an option to renew your borrowed instrument if there are no holds on the item and, although the instruments are housed at the Bath Branch, patrons from all of L&A can request instruments and have them delivered to their local library branch. And like all items at the library, the instruments are free to borrow.

“Whether you are someone interested in trying a new hobby, or just exploring what musical instruments are available, this new collections presents local residents with a great opportunity to expand their musical abilities without having to make a significant investment,” L&A County said in a press release on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.

All of the instruments were donated by Joe’s MILL, the country’s first non-profit music lending library located in Kingston as a memorial to beloved local bass player, Joe Chithalen, who passed away in 1999.

“Libraries are champions of arts and culture so we’re delighted to be part of supporting the creativity of our local residents by making musical instruments more accessible,” said Catherine Coles, Manager of Library Services for the County of Lennox and Addington. “Thanks to the generosity of Joe’s MILL and the community, we’re able to connect more people with opportunities to learn about music and perhaps develop a new passion.”

For Bon Evans, Kingston-based musician and board member at Joe’s MILL, the donation makes perfect sense, and was the result of discussions had at Live Music Sundays, a concert series at Finkle’s Shore Park in Bath from May to October, which was founded by Evans.

“This idea sprouted from conversations at Live Music Sundays. Community members expressed which instruments interested them and Joe’s MILL was more than happy to accommodate,” Evans said. “We win when we work together.”

For more information about the program, including what instruments are available and how to place instruments on hold online, click here.

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