Ann Arbor’s Synth Lending Library Lets You Check Out Synths, Drum Machines, A Theremin & More


We recently featured the Lawrence, Kansas Public Library, which has a recording studio you can check out and is getting a large-format monster synth.

Another library that is innovating by letting you check out creative tools is the Ann Arbor District Library. The library features the usual books, DVDs & CDs – but they also have a comprehensive Music Tools collection.


AADL’s Music Tools collection lets Library members check out and use a variety of uncommon musical instruments, including gear from Moog, Korg, Roland, Teenage Engineering, Critter & Guitari and more:

  • Need an MS-20 mini?  Check it out with your library card!
  • Need a Bass Station II? Check it out with your library card!
  • Need a Sub Phatty to lay down some bass? Check one out!
  • Want to try out the new Roland Boutique synths? They’ve got them all!
  • Keytars, Volcas, Electribes, a Circuit Bent Omnichord, freaky folktronic gear, and even a Eurorack modular are all available, along with effects pedals, amps and a lot of weird acoustic instruments.

There are a few limitations on the Music Tools library:

  • Music Tools are not renewable;
  • They are not requestable; and
  • They only can be checked out for one week at a time.

An index of the gear they have is available at the AADL site. Check it out and let us know what you think the idea of libraries lending electronic music gear!

11 thoughts on “Ann Arbor’s Synth Lending Library Lets You Check Out Synths, Drum Machines, A Theremin & More

  1. As a board member of an up-and-coming tool library, I wish my community could support something like this! Very, very cool!

  2. I think this sort of stuff is the way to help libraries survive. There’s a lot of assorted hardware that’s useful once in a while (in general, not just music), and is cost-prohibitive for a lot of people. If my local library had a recording studio and/or a machine shop, I’d be going there a lot more often (that’s not saying I don’t use my library anyway; I’d just use it more)

  3. awesome i wish this was in the uk ,only trouble is i’d need a van to go to the library do they deliver?

  4. I would love to be able to check out something like the s2 that seems neat but I wouldn’t want to spend the money on and sample out from if there are things I want to do with it

  5. You’re not even seeing the half of what’s on the website.
    I think other things of awesomeness are in store for the AADL.
    I donated my elektron Machinedrum sps-1uw last year to the AADL!!

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