A longtime practice of checking out cake pans at libraries in Kansas, particularly in rural areas, has increased as people look for a way to save money while still providing treats for special occasions.
“I just love watching people’s faces when they ask, ‘You have cake pans?’ Yep, we do,” said Cara Negaard, head of the library’s reference department.
Great Bend is just one of dozens across Kansas with such a collection. The library in Sabetha has a collection of 168 cake pans, while the Coffey County Library in eastern Kansas has 389 cake pans among its six branches.
Employees at the State Library of Kansas did not have information on how many libraries in the state have cake-pan collections. The News called the state’s seven regional library systems and found that at least 32 libraries across Kansas have cake-pan collections, although there could be more if some libraries have not catalogued their collections.
Is a cake-pan collection absent from your local library? Those in need of a pan can simply inquire about an interlibrary loan. Through the loan system, libraries can acquire a variety of materials – books, photocopies of articles, even cake pans – from other libraries, which typically obtain the materials at no cost to residents, Rippel said. She said the Great Bend library even loaned cake pans out of state a few times in the past year.