Palm Harbor Library's Outdoor Music Garden Fosters Future Musicians of All Ages and Abilities Post-Covid

Palm Harbor Library in Florida recently opened an outdoor music garden made possible through new funding. This idea arose during the COVID pandemic when the library's foot traffic decreased dramatically.

Palm Harbor Library has a history of promoting and supporting the visual and performing arts. Past and current collaborations include curated art pieces in the John Brock Art Alcove, a Children’s Art MakerSpace, an outdoor sculpture, a partnership with the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, and a musical instrument collection for loan. The new outdoor musical garden is another example of their commitment to nurturing future musicians within the community and encouraging people of all ages and abilities to come together and be creative.

Gene Coppola, Library Director at Palm Harbor Library, comments, “When Covid occurred, not surprisingly, the library’s foot traffic decreased dramatically. The usage of many hands-on services declined, and library resources as a whole were impacted. It was during this dark time that opportunity rather than despair presented itself. It got the staff thinking in new ways about how best we can still serve; how to overcome these obstacles to accessibility. One way was to create a drive-thru window, and the other was an outdoor musical garden. The thinking for the latter was that since there was still a concern about entering a building where many people may be congregating, why not offer a service where residents can still enjoy the arts? And like that, the “Musical Garden” was born!”

Six outdoor instruments from Percussion Play were installed along the library's west side adjacent to the "Reading Garden." These instruments include the Bell Lyre, Rainbow Cavatina, Cyclone, Rainbow Bongos,Sunflower Petal Drums, and Harmony Bells. The library's new addition was made possible through the estate of Dorothy & Frank Greenstreet, two community members who have given much to the library over the years. Their musical contributions through various programs accentuated the importance of the arts, providing so much pleasure to so many.