Uke Can Do It: Ukuleles at the Los Angeles Public Library


A California State Library LSTA grant program intended to facilitate easy duplication of successful projects

Informational Webinar

Description: This program provides circulating ukuleles and accompanying music education programs to community members. Trained staff and volunteers offer multi-session and one-off instructional workshops with accompanying audio-visual materials to library visitors of all ages.

Purpose: At a time when music education is often limited at local schools, and families seek arts education, this program aims to get musical instruments into the hands of patrons and offers opportunities to participate in music classes and entertaining programs.

Target Audience: The initial version of this program targeted children and teens, and Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) expanded the programming as it became apparent that ukuleles are appealing to all ages, including seniors, and especially welcomed by low income community members who can’t afford to purchase their own instruments.

Expected Outcomes: This program increases access to musical education and entertainment in low income communities. Participants experience increased confidence to pursue creative activities, learn to play a musical instrument, and engage with their community in a culturally-rich environment.

Partnerships: While there are no formal partnerships in this program, it is imperative that libraries reach out to local community organizations such as schools, senior centers, recreation centers, and early education programs. These groups have “built-in” audiences, can serve as hosts for programming, and can assist in marketing the program. Local music education programs can be a source for volunteers, and music stores a source of donations.

Budget Considerations

  • Ukuleles & Accessories (cases, tuners, books or DVDs included in circulating kits)
  • Materials related to having a circulating collection (a display shelf/case, tags)
  • Audiovisual Materials
  • Staff time (training and instructional programs)
  • Fees for outside instructors, if applicable

See original grant application (PDF) for more detail and staff estimates. This program is scalable to fewer branches than the original project; maximum funding amount, $18,000, allows for duplication of this program in up to four branches.

Implementation Steps