Special Collections

Special Collections

The library hosts several special collections of unique items you can borrow from the library! These collections are often made possible with the help of community partners and organizations. 

Musical Instrument Library

Huronia Symphony Orchestra Logo

Our Musical Instrument Library includes guitars, keyboards, violins, viola, ukulele, and mandolin. Instruments can be borrowed from and returned to either location by visiting a Service Desk with your library card. We also have 'learn-to-play' books and DVDs available to get you started.

To find the instruments in our catalogue, search for 'Musical Instrument Library'. 

Loan Periods & Fees

  • Library members may borrow one instrument at a time for a period of 3 weeks.
  • You may renew instruments up to two times, if there is no hold on it
  • If an instrument is returned damaged, with accessories missing or not returned at all, a damage or replacement cost will be assessed

Thank you to Huronia Symphony Orchestra, who has kindly purchased the instruments and will provide all regular maintenance.

Barrie Seed Library

"Borrow" seeds and get your garden growing at the BPL Seed Library located at both library locations. Do note that seeds are donated, and so supplies may be limited. Community gardeners can 'borrow' up to 3 packets of seeds to plant and grow.  

We welcome donations throughout the year. When you harvest your plants, please save some seeds to donate back to the library. Before you donate seeds, please label the envelope with the seed type, the date the seed was harvested or purchased, and your contact information. 

Bike Locks

We are glad when patrons ride their bikes to the library! If you don't have a bike lock when you get here, both locations have locks available to check out for up to 4 hours while you are visiting the library. Locks are available at the service desk on a first-come, firsts-served basis. Replacement cost will be charged to your account if a lock is not returned.

Fishing Rod and Tackle - TackleShare program

Through the TackleShare Program, library members are able to borrow a fishing rod and tackle box kits! This collection is available for all Barrie Public Library members at both locations. For pick up at Painswick, place a hold and we will deliver it.  The program runs from the May long weekend to the end of the summer. 

All library card holders can borrow a fishing rod and tackle box. For ages 18+ we encourage you to have your own fishing license (which is a requirement by the province of Ontario). For under 18, a free Youth Fishing License card is available to give youth the experience of having a fishing license. 

One TackleShare kit is allowed per library card, for a loan of 1 week. Up to 3 renewals are allowed if there are no requests. Visit our online catalogue to place a hold on a fishing rod and tackle box kit.

The TackleShare Program is offered in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and is sponsored by Ontario Power Generation.   

For more information visit http://www.tackleshare.com

Multicultural Book Club Kits - offered by Simcoe County Libraries

Books are a great way to learn about, and gain appreciation for, other cultures. In an effort to celebrate Simcoe County’s diversity while providing a resource for building cultural competency, Simcoe County Libraries have teamed up to provide book club kits with titles designed to educate and enlighten readers from all backgrounds. The themes of inclusivity and tolerance are central to all the titles. They feature multicultural characters who face inter-cultural challenges. Titles include popular novels such as Kite Runner, as well as foreign-language international titles that have been translated into English. The kits are designed to spark conversations about inclusion and acceptance within books clubs and groups of friends across Simcoe County. The kits are available for loan to members of any Simcoe County library, including BPL, through an online booking system on the Simcoe County Libraries Multicultural Book Club website. Bookings can be made up to one year in advance. Check the calendar on the website for availability.

Each kit consists of ten (10) copies of the book, discussion questions, and a canvas book bag. Replacement fees will be charged for any book or canvas book bag that is not returned.  The kits circulate for six weeks with no renewals and can be picked up at either BPL location with your Barrie Public Library card.  Note: you must have a membership with the Barrie Public Library to pick up these kits at the Barrie Public Library.

There are currently just over 30 kits and Simcoe County Libraries intend to expand on these kits with time. They plan to include titles and authors from as many cultures as possible so be sure and check back often for new titles and authors!  In the meantime, if you have suggestions, please email them to library@simcoe.ca.

Ontario Parks Vehicle Permit

Visit any Ontario Park for free by borrowing an Ontario Parks Vehicle Permit from the library!

Permits allow park entry to any provincial park for one vehicle and its passengers for the day.

Loan Period & Fees

  • Library members may borrow one permit at a time for a period of 7 days.
  • No renewals
  • Replacement fee $225

To find the permits in our catalogue, search for "Ontario Parks Vehicle Permit"

Get outside, explore our beautiful province and learn more about the nature that surrounds us! 

Please note: Vehicle Permit does not guarantee park entry. Park capacity limitations will apply.

For more information about Ontario Parks, visit: