You Should Check Your Local Library Before Buying New Kitchen Tools

Question for you. Do you PBS parents and kids remember when the show "Arthur" dropped the library card song and how cool libraries seemed all of a sudden? Well, that's because libraries are cool — really cool. If your hometown is blessed with a local public library, we implore you to patronize it. The late great author Ray Bradbury, a lifelong library advocate, once said, "[Libraries are] the center of our lives." And this is from a man who substituted a college education for years at a local library, eventually becoming a legendary best-selling author. (via Public Libraries Online).

Though libraries are excellent sources of literary and filmic entertainment, they can also be fundamental for the enthusiastic home cook. Most libraries will have sections dedicated to cookbooks, instructional DVDs, cooking magazines, or books about food's role in life and culture. But what about kitchen tools? Not the basics, like whisks, cutting boards, or knives, but tools that you don't often have a use for. The ones, as MyRecipes puts it, that aren't really accessible or affordable for most home cooks. Well, friends, we have news for you. You can potentially find and borrow these tools either at a local library or what's known as a tool library. 

Community affordability

There's a certain amount of trepidation all cooks face when approaching a new recipe. For instance, there could be a tool that you don't necessarily want to buy that is essential for the recipe. How many of us can justify spending hundreds of dollars on a new kitchen gadget we will likely use only once? But this is where the kitchen tool library steps in to help. As MyRecipes explains, kitchen tool libraries exist so you don't need to spend all that money to create that special meal. 

There are two kinds of kitchen tool lending systems. The first type is a subscription service; the Maine Tool Library of Portland is one such type that uses a sliding scale for its recommended donation. The idea is that, as the library is a community resource, those who can contribute more, should. With your $75 family membership, you can access their entire inventory of tools, including kitchen appliances. The second type works within the local library system. As the Washington Post notes, there are numerous local libraries nationwide. One is the Berkeley Public Library in California, which loans everything from cake pans to air fryers. So, the next time you're thinking of purchasing a new tool for your kitchen, contact your local library and see if it has one available to borrow. You'll save money and support one of the greatest public institutions in the nation.