Check out guitars at library |

Check out guitars at library

Jessica Cabe
Glenwood Springs resident Todd Ambrose tries out one of the guitars recently donated to the Glenwood Springs Branch Library. Cardholders can check out the three guitars or vihuela (mariachi instrument) for two hours in the library
Courtesy of Sue Schnitzer |

The days of a stuffy librarian shushing you seem to be over — at least that’s the case at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library.

For the last three weeks, patrons of the library may have heard some live acoustic guitar playing, or may have played themselves.

A friend of branch manager Sue Schnitzer’s donated three guitars and a vihuela, a mariachi instrument, for cardholders to check out and play in a study room. One of the guitars stays out by the fireplace, welcoming any visitors to the library to play it.

“They can play it anywhere — inside, outside,” Schnitzer said. “We’ll let them take them out on the plaza. I see three or four people a day just sitting over there playing. It’s kind of fun.”

For now, the guitars can only be checked out and played at the library for two hours at a time. But one of the guitars, an Ovation that needs some bridge work, will be available for cardholders to take home for a week at a time once it’s repaired.

Todd Ambrose, a Glenwood Springs resident who has tried out the guitars, said he thinks it’s a great program for a library.

“I like it a lot,” he said. “I like it because I can play, and I can also play music that I think is setting-appropriate.”

He said he’s conscious of the people around him and wouldn’t play if he thought the noise was bothering anyone, but so far nobody has complained.

Schnitzer, who has already incorporated ukulele playing in children’s and summer programming, said she thinks the library is a perfect place to encourage musical growth.

“Libraries these days are community places,” Schnitzer said. “And music is actually related to literacy in a way, especially in early childhood, which is why I love the ukuleles because during the summer we have kids out there playing them. And there’s definitely correlation between music and learning and, I think, between music and math — patterns, patterns, patterns. It’s just a fun thing, and it gets people in the library. It gets them doing community things together.”

Schnitzer said two ukuleles can also be checked out and taken home for a week at a time, and she hopes to provide even more instruments to patrons in the future; right now she’s interested in getting ahold of an electric keyboard that people would be able to play with headphones.

“If anyone has a keyboard to donate, electric keyboard, we’ve got the headphones,” she said. “We’d love to have that, too.”

Ambrose, who is in a real estate course, said he has carved out a study spot at the library, and being able to play guitar after a study session is a nice reward.

“Tomorrow I’m going to be in the library studying, and after I finish studying I’m sure I’ll play a few songs at least,” he said.

Schnitzer said she’s already seen a sense of community growing because of the guitar by the fireplace.

“It’s just fun because when you see somebody playing, you usually see people listening — kids especially,” she said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.