Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

TREND #1: MORE THAN JUST BOOKS: You'll Let Me Check out What from the Library?

Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

TREND #1: MORE THAN JUST BOOKS: You'll Let Me Check out What from the Library?

Article excerpt

Books, music and DVDs aren't the only things lent out at some Eastern Iowa libraries.

Some also have more unusual items nestled among their stacks.

Several - including libraries in Vinton, Elkader and North Liberty - lend out cake pans. North Liberty has been lending cake pans out since the late 1980s, according to Jennifer Jordebrek, assistant library director.

"All of cake pans have been donated. We have 379 in our collection," Jordebrek said. "We have special shelving for them and patrons can put them on hold and reserve them and we lend them out to other libraries."

Jordebrek said the pans were checked out 845 times last year, and the most popular pan was one shaped like the character Hello Kitty. The No. 1 cake pan also is popular, probably because it is used for first birthdays, Jordebrek said. "People definitely do come to our library for them, " Jordebrek said of the cake pans.

Virginia Holsten, library director in Vinton, said the cake pans there are checked out most often when holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, roll around.

As in North Liberty, all of the cake pans in Vinton were donated, Holsten said, adding the library has been lending them out for more than 30 years.

Lisa Pope, library director in Elkader, said in addition to cake pans, her library lends out puzzles and "grandma kits," with supplies for different activities. "You can use them with children to play grocery store or dress up," Pope said. "Some of them are artistic, have arts and crafts supplies in them. Sometimes parents or grandparents don't have those things on hand."

Ely's library doesn't have cake pans, but they do have a somewhat food-related item available for checkout: seeds.

Sarah Sellon, Ely's library director, said the seed lending program started in March 2012. "Seeds get borrowed from our library at the beginning of the season, they grow out, and a new crop of seeds get donated back to the library," Sellon said. …

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