Borrow an instrument once again—for free!—from BPL
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.
- Two Bongos [Types: 1 & 2]
- One Claves
- One Cowbell
- Three Drum Pads
- Two Steel Drum Kits
- One Guiro
- One Maracas
- One Tambourine
- One Triangle
- Four Banjos (Weights 14lb) [Types: 1, 2, 3 & 4]
- Two 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitars (Junior Size) [Types: 1 & 2]
- Five Acoustic Guitars (Weights 8-16lb) [Types: 1 & 2]
- Three Acoustic-Electric Guitars [Types: 1, 2 & 3]
- One Classical Acoustic Guitar
- Two Left-Handed Acoustic Guitars [Types: 1 & 2]
One Baritone Ukulele (New)
- Two Soprano Ukuleles
- One 1/10 Size Violin (size appropriate for children 5 and under)
- Eleven 4/4 Size Violins (Full Size) [Types: 1, 2, 3 & 4] (Check Out the Electric Violin Below)
Electric String Instruments
(We are Currently Updating Our Electric Guitar/Bass Electric Guitar Records)
- Three Electric Guitars (Weights 20lb) [Types: 1, 2 & 3] (Don't forget about the Amplifiers Below)
- Two Bass Electric Guitars (Weights 12lb) [Types: 1 & 2] (Don't forget about the Amplifiers Below)
- Nine Electronic Keyboards (Weights 13lb) [Types: 1, 2, 3 & 4]
- One Electric Violin (Full Size) (You can use an Amplifiers below with this Violin) (New)
We are not accepting instrument donations at this time. Thank you for your continued support!
Frequently Asked Questions
Any adult patron (18+) with a current BPL library card account and less than $25 in billed charges 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.
You can only borrow three instruments at the same time.
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 may be borrowed for a period of four weeks from the date of checkout. Instruments may be renewed if they are not requested by anther patron, and if you do not owe more than $25 in billed charges on your account. Patrons may return instruments before the due date.
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.