It ‘s not often that Pennsylvania libraries are highlighted by the Smithsonian. What caught their interest this time? Ukuleles!
Thanks to Melanie Ramsey, children’s librarian at the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library, libraries across Pennsylvania are loaning ukuleles and providing free classes on how to play.
Hollidaysburg Area Public Library was the pilot library. Nearly all Blair County libraries now have free ukuleles for their library cardholders to check out! Seven librarians from four Centre County libraries also received free training and two ukulele kits per library from the Allegheny Ukulele Kollective, thanks to Ohana Ukuleles and PA Council on the Arts. Access the Centre Daily Times coverage. To get the free ukulele kits, libraries must send a staff member to one of the free trainings. The next training will be held in February in Bedford County. More counties are getting on board soon! The Allegheny Ukulele Kollective’s newsletter includes information about the lending program.
Ramsey, a children’s librarian, did a poster session in conjunction with the Allegheny Ukulele Kollective at PaLA in October.
Ramsey says that ukuleles are for ” all ages, all levels, all interests. It’s not a little kid thing. It’s for everybody!” This is a video of one of the Ukulele Crash courses held at the Hollidaysburg Area Library. Seventeen particpants, all beginners played their first song after 22 minutes of instruction by Allegheny Ukulele Kollective member Louise Troxell. Ramsey says that people can borrow ukuleles at the library if they don’t own one.
Here’s an aritcle in Ukulele magazine about the program.