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Borrow an instrument—for free!—from BPL


In the interest of patrons' and workers' safety, our Musical Instrument Lending Library service is currently suspended. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

All library materials that had been checked out or renewed between January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020, including musical instruments, have had their due dates extended to March 15, 2021 and will not accrue any new fines. Patrons who currently have musical instruments checked out on their library card accounts are welcome to hold onto the library’s instruments as late as March 15, with no penalty to the patron. Read more about the Library's response to the COVID-19 pandemic here.

If you currently have a musical instrument checked out to your account, and would like to return it to Central Library prior to January 19, 2021,  please contact us to set up an appointment time. You can reach us by emailing [email protected] or calling 718-230-2100.


The first-ever public musical instrument lending library in New York City is at Brooklyn Public Library, and is open to all adult patrons. Want to learn to play the guitar? Need a piano for your next composition? You may now borrow select instruments from the library for one month.

To get started, select an instrument that you would like to borrow from the list below, and place a hold through your library card account.  When your instrument is ready for pickup, you will receive an email telling you to come to the Art and Music Room at Central Library to borrow your instrument.

BPL's Musical Instrument Lending Library was designed in partnership with The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

Patrons may also be interested in the amateur recording studio located in the Info Commons , open to library cardholders working on audio or video projects.

We hope you enjoyed this new service and we would greatly appreciate your feedback!

Our Instruments

Percussion Instruments
String Instruments
Electric String Instruments
  • Two Electric Guitars With Amplifiers (Weights 20lb) [Types: 1, & 2] (Place Hold on both the Guitar & Amplifier)
  • Two Bass Electric Guitars With Amplifier (Weights 12lb) [Types: 1, & 2] (Place Hold on both the Guitar & Amplifier)
  • Seven Electronic Keyboards (Weights 13lb) [Types: 1, 2 & 3]


We are not accepting instrument donations at this time. Thank you for your continued support!


Frequently Asked Questions

Any adult patron with a current BPL library card account and less than $15 in fines can check out an instrument.

We have full-size violins, acoustic guitars, ukuleles, electronic keyboards, drum pad (one pad) and steel pan drums. Each instrument comes with its own set of accessories.

Patrons may check out up to three instruments at a time. A music stand would be counted as one instrument.

To get started, please select an instrument from the list above to see if the instrument is available or if you need to put a hold on it.

All transactions related to the Musical Instrument Lending Library, including picking up and returning borrowed instruments, take place at the reference desk in the Art & Music Division on the third floor of Central Library at 10 Grand Army Plaza.

No, only the cardholder can pick up an instruments from the Musical Instrument Lending Library.

All instruments are borrowed for a period of four weeks from the date of checkout.

Once the instrument is borrowed, you may renew it as long as you do not owe more than $15 in fines and no item you are trying to renew has been requested by another patron. However, patrons may return instruments early if they would like to do so.


Borrowers must keep the instruments in a safe, climate-controlled location. Instruments should not be left in the weather, extreme hot or cold, or extremely humid or dry environments. When transporting your instrument, please keep it under climate control as much as possible, and do not leave instruments in vehicles for prolonged periods. Extreme temperature and humidity variations can affect not only the instrument’s health, but your ability to effectively play the instrument. Patrons should also handle instruments with care, and ensure their hands are clean and dry before handling an instrument.


BPL's Musical Instrument Lending Library is a BKLYN Incubator project. BKLYN Incubator was founded in 2015 with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and continues to operate with funding from the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

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