Girls Rock Dublin Gear Library Update

Eoin Meegan

Last year we reported on an initiative that started in Pearse Street Library where teens can loan out musical equipment, the brainchild of Rossella Bottone and Girls Rock Dublin. We are happy now to announce that post covid the scheme is not only still going strong but has been extended to Ballyfermot library, already the location of Creative Studios, a free-to-use recording facility. Bottone established Girls Rock Dublin in 2016, as part of the world-wide Girls Rock movement, which began initially in the States. The goal of the umbrella group is to empower young women in the music industry. “We all share the same values, such as supporting each other, fighting sexism, sharing skills and resources, and providing opportunities, particularly for girls and gender non-binary people,” she says.
Electric guitars, short-scale basses, drum kits, synths, mics and mixers, along with a supply of plectrums and amps, are just some of the gear available on loan from the GRD Gear Library. Loans last for three weeks and can be renewed by phone. All the equipment can be viewed online, booked over the phone, and then collected in person from either Pearse Street or Ballyfermot libraries. This innovative scheme not only helps develop young musical talent – anyone up to 18 can borrow for free with a valid library card – it is also a huge confidence builder.
“Some people think they are weaker than others, but in fact they are stronger,” Rossella Bottone says, “it brings out what is inside them and makes them shine.”
Girls Rock Dublin is a non-profit group and the first ever girls rock camp organisation in Ireland with an aim to “create leadership opportunities, cultivate a supportive community of peers and mentors, and encourage social change and the development of life skills.”
How the scheme works is simple: Girls Rock Dublin organises the instruments, including checking the gear after it returns to make sure there is no damage, and the libraries deal with the lending end of things. To date, everyone has taken really good care of the equipment; damage has been minimal, and nothing stolen. And better news still, feedback from the parents thus far has been nothing but positive. Many report seeing children who were shy, or maybe being bullied, grow in confidence and change as a result of learning to play an instrument. This demonstrates what a positive and self-empowering idea the lending gear library is.
NewsFour says well done to Pearse Street and GRD, and the very best of luck to the new venture in Ballyfermot.
You can contact GRD at