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Library of Things available in Park Hills

When most people think of borrowing from their local library they think of books or even DVD’s. For patrons of the Park Hills Library the list of items available has increased to include cookware.

It’s called a “Library of Things,” and has been totally supplied by donations from the community according to Library Director Lisa Sisk. She said the Library of Things can appear in different forms at different libraries, but in Park Hills the first step is pans and utensils.

She said the program is not only a way to provide a service to patrons, but to bring in new patrons who might not have made use of the library before.

“They’re non-conventional items that you can check out of the library,” Sisk said. “When most people think of the library they don’t think about going and getting a cake pan from the library. It’s one of the different services that we’re always trying to come up with to keep up with changing things in the community.”

She said the donations came from members of the community over time, since they first began asking for donations in June.

“All of our cake pans were donated by one person,” Sisk said. “Cookie sheets and Pyrex baking bowls were donated by one person. And the other things trickled in. We’d get a couple of things here and a couple things there.”

In addition to offering pans, bowls, utensils and measuring cups for borrowing, the library is also running a promotion called Baking for Books.

“It will run the entire month (of August),” Sisk said. “It’s kind of to celebrate and get the word out about our Library of Things. You just have to have a library card. You come in, check out a cookbook, you bake a recipe from it, then bring the cookbook back with proof that you baked something.

“You can take a picture for proof, and we ask for a small review — if it turned out well or if was tasty, for example. Then you get a free book, and we have books for early readers all the way up to adults.”

While there’s not room for a ton of donations, Sisk said the library is still accepting certain items for the Library of Things. She said it’s best to call the library and check before bringing items in to donate.

“We could always use a rolling pin,” she said. “Or cookie cutters. Around the holidays people bake a lot, so anything like that that anyone has extras of in their cabinets, as long as it’s in good shape they can donate it to the library.”

She said depending on the response, the Library of Things may be expanded to include additional items of a different sort.

“I was thinking if this does well, maybe we’d do small hand tools,” Sisk said. “Like saws, hammers or screwdriver sets. Anything that doesn’t require maintenance that we could provide to the community. But that’s in the future, so we’ll see.”

Sisk said even in the Library of Things doesn’t expand, it will at least provide baking utensils for the foreseeable future.

“We always say we’ll try anything once to see if it works,” she said. “And we’ll keep this going, regardless of whether we have the circulation for it. If one person in six months comes in and checks something out, then that one person has made use of it.”

For more information contact the Park Hills Library at 573-431-4842.

The items available from the Park Hill's Library's 'Library of Things' include pans, bowls and other utensils used for baking.

The items available from the Park Hill’s Library’s ‘Library of Things’ include pans, bowls and other utensils used for baking.

A catalog of the Library of Things' available items is on hand at the front desk of the Park Hills Library.

A catalog of the Library of Things’ available items is on hand at the front desk of the Park Hills Library.

Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at

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