Courtesy notice: the Microkorg is due in one week
March 21, 2016 9:34 PM   Subscribe

Are you looking to try out some classic synthesizers? Perhaps you're trying to find that perfect fuzz bass tone or psychedelic delay/loop pedal. Well come on down to Guitar Center the Ann Arbor District Library!

Branching out beyond the standard library offerings, AADL has some unusual collections available. The Music Tools catalog is host to a range of synthesizers, drum machines, guitar and bass pedals, amplifiers/PAs, and ancillary equipment. The Science Tools catalog contains microscopes, oscilloscopes, and electromagnetic meters. If you like to have a constantly rotating collection of pictures for your walls, the Art Prints collection is for you! Home tools, telescopes, and assorted other offerings are also available.

Other libraries with unusual collections:
- Check out some musical instruments from the Forbes Library in Northampton, MA, or the Lopez Island Library in Washington state
- The Oakland Public Library has an assortment of tools available for checkout, including sledgehammers, conduit benders, and concrete saws
- The Pima County (AZ) Public Library, among others, has a catalog of seeds for checkout
- Check out a plot of land at the LibraryFarm, a service of the Northern Onondaga Public Library

Partially via Innovative Library Services In The Wild
posted by Existential Dread (33 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is a good post and you should feel good.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:59 PM on March 21, 2016 [7 favorites]


So jealous.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:04 PM on March 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've been wanting to get my hands on an OP-1 for like a year. Totally jealous that there's one just hangin' out in somebody's district library...

This is hella awesome, and a great example of librarianing in a braver newer digitaler world.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:11 PM on March 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Your library is not as cool as my library. Mine has cameras synthesizers.
posted by axiom at 10:15 PM on March 21, 2016


I would consider moving to Ann Arbor for this.
posted by naju at 10:25 PM on March 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


…or at least go to college, there...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 10:54 PM on March 21, 2016


Telescope - Orion Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Dobsonian Telescope

There are currently 10 available and 3 requests on 27 copies

They have 27 reflector telescopes that people can just borrow? Every few years I think about buying a telescope, but know that I will never use it enough to justify the cost. I would check one out from the library in a heartbeat.

And where do you go to pick one up?

Available Copies: Downtown 1st Floor Tools Shelf

I want to browse the stacks.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:55 PM on March 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


I moved here to attend college *cough* years ago and never left. I regret this not a whit.
posted by axiom at 11:06 PM on March 21, 2016 [4 favorites]


- The Oakland Public Library has an assortment of tools available for checkout, including sledgehammers, conduit benders, and concrete saws

Also, I feel strongly that my dad borrowed a sledgehammer from the
West Berkeley library in the early 1980s, but I could be wrong.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:10 PM on March 21, 2016


Nice selection of pedals, too.

I spent a lot of time in Ann Arbor years ago, and nearly moved there, but the fates chose a different path for me (actually, I was going to move in with my girlfriend and we broke up). In all the years I was there I had no idea the AAPL was so awesome.

The Oakland tool library is great, but I wish there were also a place for the public to use as shop space. I'd love to get a bunch of their hand woodworking tools, but I'd have no place to use them.
posted by teponaztli at 1:09 AM on March 22, 2016


This strikes me as the sort of thing people could make happen for themselves. I've seen maker spaces come together with good collections of tools and equipment donated/on long loan from people with more spare stuff than comfortable places to put it, and why not for musical instruments and the like?
posted by Devonian at 4:04 AM on March 22, 2016


The AADL is an awesome institution. They've a long history of trying new things and setting up interesting panels and programs. There are several "Metafilter's own" running the place.
posted by klarck at 4:49 AM on March 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


those are some legit synths. it hurts.
posted by Zerowensboring at 5:21 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


That's a really impressive list of music tools. Totally jealous. Plus several of the guitar effects pedals are from a small Ann Arbor company.

Although given the condition of a lot of things I've gotten from the library systems in my area, I do wonder what (if any) process and budget they've set aside for maintenance, repair, or replacement.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:59 AM on March 22, 2016


I know a handful of local Ann Arbor musicians who make good use of these. I wish they had them back when I was a student and living a block away. At least I got some early pressing Throbbing Gristle vinyl at an AADL book sale!
posted by p3t3 at 6:09 AM on March 22, 2016


And my library system won't even carry DVDs.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:41 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


See also: http://www.theannmag.com/artist-interview-dave-menzo/:
I’m thrilled to say that I’m almost done with my next album Shhh… which was recorded entirely using instruments and equipment that has been checked out from the Ann Arbor District Library.
posted by bfields at 7:06 AM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


And, a much more modest effort than Dave Menzo's: at some point: I decided I wanted to check out each item from the collection and make one ringtone with it. I ran out of patience for that project after 10 or so ringtones. They're not great, but they're short, and they loop seamlessly, and I've used most of them on my phone at one point or another:

Music Tools 4
Music Tools 3
Music Tools 2
Music Tools
posted by bfields at 7:32 AM on March 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


I've been wanting to get my hands on an OP-1 for like a year.

If you're on the fence, save up and pull the trigger. It's just the best thing ever. I'm constantly rediscovering mine.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:35 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


The photos on the Secret Lab twitter account also show some of the programs events that AADL have done over the last few months. Heck; they have a Electronic Music Production Workshop.
posted by Wordshore at 8:57 AM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


This strikes me as the sort of thing people could make happen for themselves.

Having a public library do it pretty much IS the people making it happen for themselves, isn't it?
posted by jessamyn at 9:07 AM on March 22, 2016 [16 favorites]


I've been wanting to get my hands on an OP-1 for like a year.

Just to second Sokka shot first - get one!

Teenage Engineering let me borrow one for a bit (to write a review which I was only writing so I could ask to borrow one). It's really good and I wish I'd bought one - but it is expensive!
posted by CjEggett at 10:05 AM on March 22, 2016


I've been wanting to get my hands on an OP-1 for like a year.

Wow, I love the look of this thing. I've been formulating a plan for a music room of synths, drums, guitars, etc for my twins (and for me), who are just 18 months now but before I know it will be ready to start experimenting with instruments. I want a Microkorg, and now I see I need one of these.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:17 AM on March 22, 2016


I would consider moving to Ann Arbor for this.

Our fantastic library system plus access to all the libraries in Michigan's eLibrary system is one of my favorite things about living here. C'mon over!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:33 AM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I have an OP-1 and can confirm it is hella dope. My only complaint is the keyboard is less than two octaves, so you can't play a bassline and a melody simultaneously like you can on a piano. You have to record one and then play it back while you play the other, but then you can only improvise one side at a time.

I wish they made a version with twice as many keys that is otherwise exactly the same.
posted by foobaz at 12:35 PM on March 22, 2016


I wish they made a version with twice as many keys that is otherwise exactly the same.

Though one of the appeals is the nearly-pocket-sized form factor. I checked one out to bring on a trip in my carry-on last year and passed my flights playing with it on my tray table.

They are adorable.
posted by bfields at 1:55 PM on March 22, 2016


The AADL was awesome when I last lived in Ann Arbor ten years ago and it looks like they've just gotten even better since. Great to see a public library -- as so many are that don't have AADL's profile or resources -- innovating the hell out of library services and not giving a rat's ass about Koch-inspired stereotypes of what public libraries are and what they represent.
posted by blucevalo at 2:08 PM on March 22, 2016


I used to live around the corner from the West Berkeley Tool-Lending Library (our backyard bordered it) and I would be forever going around the corner to check out a tablesaw or a router + router table and carrying it back to the house (heavy stuff), plugging it in in the backyard, sawing some stuff or routing some stuff, then unplugging it and carrying it back to them before they closed at the end of the day. The gear wasn't always in good condition, ok, it wasn't ever in good condition, but I bought my own router bits and it was pretty sweet to be able to do that. Real benefit to the community since honestly who wants to own all the wood-working tools you need to get anything done. Love it.
posted by doteatop at 3:23 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


My library system (i.e., I work for it, and I live in the community it serves) is making plans to open up a small tool library as we speak (and one of our other locations has a circulating collection of (acoustic) musical instruments). I am beyond happy to have a part in this process.
posted by box at 3:45 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is such a fantastic idea. The OP-1 especially. I would love to try that out.
posted by umbú at 8:14 PM on March 22, 2016


This thread is now mentioned on the AADL media mentions blog, as written by AADL librarian and new MeFite valerieclaires.
posted by Wordshore at 9:36 AM on March 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hello, valerieclaires, and welcome to MetaFilter.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:59 AM on March 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Welcome! I found out about the Music Tools collection specifically through a good friend who's on the AADL staff and loves it.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:29 AM on March 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


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