Tuesday, 22 October 2013
Need a pricey kitchen gadget? There’s a library for that
Is this the future of public libraries? Where lending and makerspace come together? By: Graham Slaughter Toronto Star News reporter, Published on Fri Oct 18 2013 The library is a stocked with high-end kitchen accessories — food dehydrators, pasta rollers, a frozen yogurt maker — usually only found in a chef’s arsenal. Members pay $50 a year to access the library items, which are loaned for five-day periods. “A lot of the items I try to find are really inaccessible to people, price-wise or space-wise,” explained founder Dayna Boyer, 29. “They are things that are expensive that people don’t use too often.” Boyer, a self-professed amateur chef, was inspired by the Tool Library, a similar non-profit that loans hardware such as hammers and saws. “When the Tool Library started taking off, I started hearing more and more about how the sharing economy can help people and how it’s really great for community building,” she said. When Boyer approached the Tool Library with her idea, they gave her space inside their storefront at 1803 Danforth Ave. She then posted ads around town for donated appliances. In the end, she received 30 pieces of culinary hardware, from juicers to punch bowls. She stockpiled them in her living room until the library’s official opening Tuesday. It’s a one-of-a-kind concept for Canada. The only other kitchen library that Boyer knows of exists in Portland, Ore., “probably because they’re cool over there,” she joked. The Kitchen Library is a non-profit organization that Boyer, a communications officer for George Brown College, started as a passion project. “I’m passionate about food. Talking about food, cooking food — this just gives me more of a chance to talk about it,” she said. “It was something that I saw was missing from Toronto.” And the library has already garnered some local fans. Adrienne Van Halem, 27, lives in the Danforth neighbourhood and took out a waffle maker the day the library opened. “I’m excited for the ice cream maker, the pasta roller machine. We’re hoping that they’ll get a deep fryer,” she said. As a corporate librarian for a gold mining company, Van Halem naturally likes the idea. “People are much less inclined to rent a waffle maker than to borrow it from a library. It makes a mental difference that I think makes it seem more accessible,” she said.