Nebraska Library Enhances Community Space with Outdoor Musical Installation

Thanks to a new musical installation by the local public library, the community in a Nebraska city can now enjoy playing music in the great outdoors.

Funded by the City of Plattsmouth’s Capital Improvement Funds, Cass County Tourism, and the Nebraska Legislature, Plattsmouth Public Library has been working on the music project since the fall of 2022 after visiting other libraries in the Nebraska area that had musical elements for visitors to enjoy, specifically Percussion Play’s outdoor musical instruments.

Ready to play, the instrumental installation includes five Rainbow SambasOutdoor Drums, Diatonic Calypso Chimes , a Rainbow Cavatina, along with an accompanying Music Book with eight familiar songs to play. To top off the project, the library will soon provide a rubberized surface material to make it easier to access the instruments in all types of weather.

Karen Mier, Plattsmouth Public Library Director, spearheaded the project, with the aim for all visitors to enjoy creating music, either individually or in a group setting.

Karen comments on the new music installation; “I was inspired by what I saw at a couple of other libraries in the Nebraska area, so I came back to our library full of ideas to create a fun, engaging musical installation for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Percussion Play had exactly what I was looking for - brightly colored instruments that would sound beautiful when played by anyone, regardless of their musical ability.”

Visitors of all ages are now enjoying Percussion Play’s outdoor musical instruments at Plattsmouth Public Library, and feedback from the community has been extremely positive. Karen Mier is looking forward to the spring when more visitors will enjoy the instruments on the library's grounds. Karen says, “My office is situated overlooking the instruments, so I just have to hear the music to know that our decision to install the instruments was the right one. Not only do they sound beautiful, but hearing the joy of visitors whilst playing them makes me happy in our decision.”

Incorporating outdoor musical instruments into library grounds offers a myriad of benefits, enriching the library experience for visitors of all ages. These installations not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the library's outdoor spaces but also create an interactive and inclusive environment that encourages community engagement. By providing access to musical expression without the need for formal training, these instruments democratize music-making, making it accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Furthermore, the integration of music into outdoor areas promotes wellness and creativity, offering a tranquil retreat where individuals can experiment with sounds, collaborate with others, or simply enjoy the ambient melodies. Libraries, as cultural hubs, stand to benefit greatly from such vibrant, sensory-rich environments, which further their mission to educate and inspire the public.