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The public library is so muchmore than just about books |

The public library is so muchmore than just about books

Editor’s note: This is a weekly column written by staff and supporters of the Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library

By Joel Meador


HCMPL Director

For Sharon Gibbs, public libraries are more than just books. Job seekers can write resumés and submit online applications. Children can begin their lifelong journeys toward a love of reading and learning. Libraries are always evolving to address the unique needs of their communities. As the library’s adult collections and development coordinator, Gibbs has discovered this means thinking beyond library stereotypes and having the foresight to expand the public’s access to more nontraditional materials.

“Take and Bake,” HCMPL’s new cake pan lending library, is Gibbs’ latest brainchild. Already, the collection has 35 cake pans, including a variety of character cake pans such as Elmo, My Little Pony, Darth Vader, and Lightning McQueen from the movie “Cars.” It also has more standard bakeware like round cake pans, cupcake pans, cookie sheets, and cake decorating tips.

Gibbs says that cake pan donations are accepted, provided they are Wilton brand and are in excellent condition.

Gibbs said that three things led to her decision to begin checking out cake pans. One was that she noticed other public libraries checking out

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cake pans. The second two reasons, she said, hit closer to home.

As a child growing up in rural Dawson Springs, Gibbs’s family did not have a lot of money. Specialty birthday cakes cost more than her family could afford. “I remember going to a birthday party when I was about 8 or 9 years old and seeing one of my friend’s Wonder Woman birthday cakes. I always wanted a cake like that, but I can’t ever really remember ever having a birthday cake.”

Gibbs said that she imagined there could still be children in the community today who also aren’t able to have a birthday cake.

“If the library can help just one child to have a very special birthday with a cake that they really love, then it’s all worth it,” she said. “Hopefully, with the library having specialty cake pans that people can borrow rather than buy, then that might make it more affordable for parents to help bring a smile to their children’s faces.”

The thing that really reinforced Gibbs’ idea to begin checking out cake pans happened one day while she was shopping.

Gibbs said that while she was admiring some cookware, she struck up a conversation with a woman who needed a mini cupcake pan for a birthday party but did not want to spend money on it since it would only get used once.

“I asked if she had a library card. She said she did. I said, ‘Well, come to the library, because you can check one out.’ So, that’s what she did.”

Gibbs said that she loves moments like those because they make her proud of her job and the work that the library does.

“We’re more than just books,” Gibbs said. “We’re an investment in the community.”

For more information about the Take and Bake collection and borrowing policies, contact the Library at 270-825-2680.

Category: Cookware Pans  Tags: ,  Comments off
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