Post updated 2/24/17

A baker friend of mine recently told me that the Bucks County Free Library has a cake pan collection. Books, DVDs, music CDs— this we all know about. But cake pans? I couldn’t even picture it.

I sat down with Christina Snyder, District Consultant and Technical Services Manager for the Library, to learn more. Snyder gets excited about cake pans, not something you would expect from a librarian. But it’s all part of a bigger effort to increase what the library has to offer.

“We want the library to be more involved in the community,” Snyder explained. “We want people to be creative in many ways, and this is one more way we can offer free resources for people to do so.”

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From Spring Form pans to Glo Kitty cake molds, the library now has over 90 cake pans in its collection, all available to borrow for three weeks at a time. Why buy a special cake pan for your child’s birthday when you can borrow it for free? The collection includes cake pans to create Blue’s Clues, a Pirate Ship, Dora Explorer and Spiderman, among others. There are also pans for special occasions like communion or baby shower. How about a silicone butterfly pull-apart cupcake pan? Or a Cake-sicle pan? The library has it.

“One of my favorites is the Valentine’s Day pan,” says Snyder. There’s a heart in the middle to fill with chocolate cake, all surrounded by vanilla cake. Want something even more ambitious? Try the 3-D Rubber Ducky. The mold comes in two pieces, creating two cakes that are joined together to create a “3-D” cake. Pretty impressive.

But it’s not just for serious bakers, Snyder says. Let’s say you want a fun afternoon activity with the kids. Using the library’s free mobile app (look up “Bucks County Free Library”) you can check the catalog online, find the pan you want and stop by the library to pick it up. You can even download some of the library’s cookbooks to your iPad to make things easier in the kitchen.

All of the cake pans are in the library’s catalog system with descriptions. Each pan is kept in a plastic bag and comes with instructions as well as any links to web sites to provide more ideas (many of the pans are made by Wilton). Although many of the cake pans reside in the Doylestown main library—right in the cookbook section—you can put a hold on any pan and have it sent to your local branch. The borrow time is three weeks and they request that the pan be returned clean.

Snyder also encourages bakers to take pictures and post the finished cakes on the library’s Facebook page, a place where both amateur and serious bakers can share ideas.

Has your child outgrown your cake pans? The library is also accepting donations of pans. Here’s your chance to clear out the cabinets and be a part of a larger community.

The cake pan collection is part of a larger plan to increase free resources for the community. You can also borrow “Exercise Bags.” A “Zumba Bag” includes DVDs and all the equipment you’d want to try out the exercises. There’s one for Pilates and yoga too. “It balances out the cake pans very nicely,” adds Snyder with a smile.

To learn more, visit the library’s website or stop by the main branch in Doylestown. There you will find lots of pans in the cookbook aisle. Go get inspired.

Post updated 2/24/17

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