In August, the Livingston Parish Library introduced Culinary Kits for patrons to check out.  

"Whether patrons are looking to bake a special character cake for their loved one’s birthday or want to impress their friends and family at their next dinner party, the LPL has the tools they need. Borrow, bake, return. … It’s just that simple," the library said in a release.

The Culinary Kits, along with Learning Kits, comprise the library's Real World Collection, items introduced to meet the needs of the Livingston Parish community and help ease the financial burden that some families would face when purchasing these items for their personal use.

"The Livingston Parish Library is committed to meeting the diverse needs of the community. This includes growing our collection to provide more non-traditional resources and items such as Mobile Hotspots, graphing calculators, cake pans, musical equipment, telescopes, 3D printers, virtual reality, microscopes, and more," the release said. "This is part of a new initiative by the library called 'More Than Books,' a strategic effort to help reshape the mindset of what libraries are and showcase the many resources available."

To check out the baking pans, patrons, must have a current Livingston Parish Library card. Items from Learning Kits and Culinary Kits can be checked out for seven days and can be renewed once.

All five branches of the Livingston library house items from both Learning Kits and Culinary Kits. Patrons can visit the branch or visit the online catalog to view a complete listing of available items and reserve them to be delivered to their local branch. Type “Learning Kits” or “Culinary Kits” to view a full list of items.

Where did the idea come from? Is this something that other libraries have done?

We are constantly looking for new ways to expand our collection. We are driven by meeting the needs of our community and often collaborate with neighboring parish libraries. When we thought about growing our collection to include culinary kits, we contacted Calcasieu Parish Library since they had introduced a similar program earlier.

Were these purchased by the library?

Yes, these pans were purchased by the LPL. Patrons are more than welcome to donate cake pans to add to this collection if they’d like.

What books does the library have to use along with the pans? 

The LPL has a variety of books on baking and decorating. Additionally, patrons also have access to an online database that offers more than 7,000 recipes from 174 countries. Two branches of the LPL, Albany-Springfield and Main Branch in Livingston, host culinary book clubs every month. Patrons can learn more about the book clubs at mylpl.info/book-clubs.

Email Leila Pitchford at lenglish@theadvocate.com.