FLORENCE — There are plenty of books, videos — even electronic readers — that can be checked out at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, as one would expect.
But something new will be added to the shelves soon: Guitars.
That’s right, guitars.
Library Director Nancy Sanford said it’s another way to expand the library’s mission as a learning center. And after all, she said, the Muscle Shoals area is famous for its music.
“We will begin checking out guitars this summer, along with teaching materials to go with them,” she said.
Details are still being worked out, but, like the library’s decision in the past to expand the number of computers with Internet connections for patrons, adding guitars to the list of services makes sense, Sanford said.
“Checking out books and videos will always be part of our core business,” she said, “but we were also the first library in Alabama to check out Kindles, and that has worked fine.
“I would like to see us check out other things that offer more variety. I would love to offer a sewing class.”
For the cash-strapped budding musician, the availability of guitars at the library could open new realms of learning and arts explorations.
Jimmy Nutt, president of the Muscle Shoals Music Association and owner of NuttHouse Recording Studios, said having a public library that checks out musical instruments is truly innovative.
“The thing that strikes me about it is that while all the government agencies are cutting music programs, the Florence library is adding one,” he said. “That is a testament to this area and the love of music we have here.”
Robert Palmer can be reached at 256-740-5720 or robert.palmer@TimesDaily.com.