Staff at the Park Hills Public Library are asking for donations for a new type of service they are hoping to offer to library patrons — a “library of things.”
This library of things, according to Library Director Lisa Sisk, will be a baking center.
“It’s a new service that we would like to provide,” said Sisk, “but it’s going to depend on donations. We’re not going to put forth any funds to purchase anything, so it’s going to tie in with our reading program theme this year, which is ‘Build a Better World.’ So it’s going to be kind of a community project and we’ll be relying on donations to get it up and running.”
To create the baker’s library, staff are asking for donations of “gently used” or new mixing bowls, measuring spoons and cups, rolling pins, cake and muffin pans, cookie sheets and other items used for baking. All of the donated items will be catalogued into the library’s system and patrons will be able to check them out just like books.
Offering baking supplies will allow someone who may not have a certain item to borrow it from the library or provide a way for someone who doesn’t have anything with which to bake to try their hand at it without having to go out and buy a bunch of supplies.
“It would be perfect for someone that’s just starting out in housekeeping that may not have everything,” said Sisk. “And if they wanted to make cookies or bake a cake and they didn’t have what they needed, they could come and get the cookie sheets or the mixing bowls from us and check them out.”
“Libraries of things” are not an entirely new concept.
“A lot of the libraries in bigger cities have libraries of things,” Sisk said, “but theirs may be, for example, a sewing center where you can check out sewing machines, or they have power tools or things like that. But we weren’t sure how well this was going to go over and we didn’t want to get in over our heads.”
A baking center, however, doesn’t require much maintenance or upkeep and seemed a practical way to get started and see if library patrons were receptive to the idea.
“So we’re starting out small just to see if it will take off,” said Sisk. “We’re gonna see how it works out.”
Staff are reaching out to the public in the spirit of the summer’s Build a Better World theme and are counting on the support of the community to make this new service possible.
Donations can be dropped off during normal library hours: Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call the library at 573-431-4842 or visit the circulation desk. The Park Hills Public Library is located at 16 S. Coffman St.