Scenic Regional Library Introduces Outdoor Musical Instruments to Several Branches Thanks to 'Friends of the Library' Funding

Scenic Regional Library has provided over fifty years of access to books, audio-visual materials, and story times for its community in Missouri, and now they are providing access to music!

The library consists of nine branches across the three counties, with the Union branch being the first library to benefit from outdoor musical instruments.

When the new building was built for the Union branch, this included a brand new space for children where the library aims to develop pre-literacy skills. Having come across Percussion Play instruments at an event a couple of years ago, the library board fell in love with the idea of creating a space, especially for outdoor musical instruments, for everyone to enjoy.

The library was fortunate to receive money to purchase the first set of instruments, a Soprano Quartet Ensemble. This ensemble includes the Cadenza, a Small Babel Drum, and Soprano Pentatonic Freechimes

The Quartet is enjoyed by everyone at the library, from children to elderly patrons. The 'All Abilities Rainbow Center,' which helps adults with learning difficulties, regularly enjoys the instruments. They said, “We loved the children's area; we went and played all the instruments which we thought were great!”.

Christy Schink, Associate Director of Youth and Outreach Services Librarian, says the instruments have become a focal point at the library. She says, “It’s so lovely to hear chimes outside. The noise created by children playing the instruments provides a pleasant background noise at the library. There were concerns about how loud the noise might be, but the sound doesn’t carry, and we all enjoy the gentle chimes”.

With the library consisting of several branches spread across the tri-county area, more communities are due to benefit from outdoor musical instruments. The Wright City branch is scheduled to receive Freechimes and Pair of Congas, with the St. Clair branch and Hermann branch having recently purchased instruments for their outdoor children's patios.

The library has undoubtedly come a long way from its creation as a bookmobile service in 1957, and we hope more libraries in its region will be able to benefit from the joy of outdoor musical instruments.