It’s the season of giving, and the Thompson-Nicola Regional Library (TNRL) is giving the gift of music to celebrate this holiday season.
In partnership with award-winning Riversong Guitars of Kamloops, the TNRL has announced the launch of a new Ukulele Lending Program. It is similar to the TNRL’s highly successful Guitar Lending Program, which was launched in April 2022, and enables patrons to check out a Riversong guitar from any TNRL branch, including the Mobile Library and the branches in Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Savona, Clinton, Barriere, and Clearwater.
With the new ukulele program, library patrons can now place a hold on one of the ukuleles handmade by Riversong Guitars, which are available at all library branches within the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
The Guitar Lending Program has seen exceptional demand, with holds in place on each guitar since the program was launched.
“We struck a chord with the Guitar Lending Program, and with making music more accessible to library users in our communities,” says TNRL Chief Librarian Judy Moore. “We suspect that launching the Ukulele Lending Program will also be a successful initiative, and a great fit for library users.
“Both of these programs have been made possible thanks to the generous contributions of Riversong Guitars and Mike Miltimore,” Moore adds. “We are thrilled to continue growing our partnership, which benefits our communities.”
“Music is healing,” says Riversong Guitars CEO Mike Miltimore, whose company recently won a prestigious award from the Musical Merchandise Review magazine for building the North American acoustic guitar of the year.
“At Riversong, we are proud of the partnership that brings quality instruments into the hands of anyone who has a library card.”
The TNRL has continued to expand access to music in 2022, with its lending programs and with the first-ever Musician in Residence series, which featured local performing artists Jeremy Kneeshaw and Margit Gossage. The third and final musician is Tina Hebner, who was on hand for the grand reopening of the Ashcroft Library on Dec. 7.
Hebner was also at the launch of the Ukulele Lending Program in Kamloops on Dec. 14, along with members of the Ukulele Orchestra of Kamloops. The orchestra, which has more than 100 members, is an open and diverse group of fun-loving ukulele enthusiasts, and everyone is welcome, whether they have a long history with music-making or are just embarking on the journey.
Anyone who is bitten by the ukulele bug as a result of the TNRL’s new program is invited to join the orchestra at their group get-togethers for some easy strumming and singing, then expand their skills with lessons and performance opportunities. The orchestra provides multiple ways for people to enrich their ukulele experience, and provides a safe environment where people can discover their very own style.
The ukuleles available for borrowing from the TNRL are concert-sized, and designed for the perfect balance of tone and strength. They are free to borrow for anyone who has a TNRL card in good standing, and can be borrowed for a period of up to six weeks, with one renewal. Ukuleles can be returned to any TNRL branch.
To learn more about the library system’s new Ukulele Lending Program, visit www.tnrl.ca/ukulele-lending, where you will find a multitude of ukulele resources, including a video teaching the fundamentals of the ukulele. For more information about the Ukulele Orchestra of Kamloops, visit https://ukuleleorchestraofkamloops.com/.