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A great idea: Cake Pan Library or Exchange

In our city, there are tool libraries that have grown into huge resources for our community.  What about a cake pan library?   An urbanMama recently emailed:

What a great idea - I am having a star wars themed party for my son on April 10th and was looking to get an R2D2 cake pan - but they are over $60.  That's when I came across these "cake pan libraries" that are associated with local libraries, like this one in Indiana.  Does Portland have anything similar?  Do any uranMamas have a R2D2 cake pan I could please borrow?

What a great idea!  How can we get a cake pan library started?  Perhaps we could just help to facilitate a cake pan exchange?


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Loved the part of the book "Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World"...when she talked about how libraries were responding to community needs beyond just books and one way was with cake pans. I wonder if one of the kid friendly cafes would be willing to jump on board this and help facilitate (ideally one with a central location) and house such a thing? Cafe Au Play doesn't look like it will have lots of storage space to house this...but something like that would be great.

Hello all -
I am the original poster & still desperately looking to borrow a R2D2 cake pan by this Friday - the party is on Saturday. My email: liz.mom@gmail.com
(thank you in advance!)

I also previously emailed the Multnomah County Library to see if they would be willing to do a cake pan library. I volunteered to help with the start up. They are suprisingly common in the midwest with county libraries.

Thanks + stay tuned, Liz

I hope you find a cake pan in time! What an excellent idea by the way.
I bookmarked a few websites recently that may be helpful if you don't find the cake pan. I thought I'd share just in case.


There is a home goods library in St. John's hosted by Swap-n-Play and one will be another home goods library opening up in NE portland soon. Both libraries have place settings for parties, canning kits, dehydrators, etc. They do not have cake pans, but would be a welcome addition. Liz, we should work togther because it would make sense to have the cake pans be a part of one or both of these libraries and I can help you do that. I will e-mail you... Mychelle

Sorry I don't have an R2D2 pan...but I love the idea of a homegoods library that includes things like cake pans. I have Easter pans, heart pans, etc. that are taking up space. Also, I would love to borrow a pasta maker occasionally or an ice cream maker. Things that I would probably use once or twice a year and just don't really want to store!

This is such a good idea. But it brings to mind something a bit off topic. When I go to the library for holiday books a couple of weeks beforehand, they're all checked out. And according to the youth librarians, they've been checked out for weeks. Enterprising moms (or preschools/daycares?) check them out way in advance and keep renewing them. At the two branches I frequent, there were no Valentine books at the end of January, no St. Patrick books in early March, no Easter books in late March. I know of another city that limits people to one holiday book per card to prevent exactly this problem. I'm not saying it would necessarily be a problem with the cake pans. I'm just saying that for holidays, I'm learning that I need my own supplies.

Here is how one mom made an R2D2 cake: http://smartmama.blogspot.com/2008/03/how-to-make-r2d2-cake.html

And, another, both without special pans: http://www.birthday-cake-central.com/r2d2-cake.html

I've heard about toy libraries, too. Wouldn't that be cool to have in Portland?

About books, I know that there are toy and clothing exchanges in Portland, but what about a book exchange? That would be great! We have a lot that my son is bored of reading.

I think that it would also be fun to have a party library where you can get wine glasses, table cloths, cloth napkins, silverware, plates, cake pans, whatever you need without having to spend the money to rent or being wasteful with disposable items.

My son's birthday is this weekend, too. Glad he isn't wanting an R2D2 cake. :) Good luck!

What a fantastic idea. I just got rid of a second pasta maker (duplicate wedding gift that I dragged around with me for years). I'd much rather have donated it to a cause like this! We're also reducing our dishware -- four of each thing. So I have sets of matching mugs and plates to give away. And then there are the canning supplies, the extra blender, a duplicate crock pot, lots of nice flower vases ... I'll be watching this thread to see if I can give to this cause instead of hauling it all to Goodwill!

I would gladly contribute a waffle-maker to the cause and flower vases. I am sure there are other very worthwhile things I can contribute also. I, do, however, have occassional needs for things like table linens and extra glasses for dinner parties. This would be great to get started.

According to me it is good idea because I have never think like this and also even heard about this.

Hello Everyone, I am in florida near lakeland and i am in need of an r2d2 pan i will gladly rent it from someone or buy if it's not to expensive i need one for the early part of march HELP !!!! Thanks so much for any info.

I just got rid of a second pasta maker (duplicate wedding gift that I dragged around with me for years).

Since this thread is a little old, I wanted to bump it up to let people know about Kitchen Share SE (www.kitchenshare.org) currently located at 2800 SE Harrison in the St David of Wales Episcopal Church. They currently do NOT have cake pans but they have canning supplies, dehydrators, springform pans, etc... No serveware like the North Portland Preserve and Serve (www.preserveandserve.org).

I just checked them out on Facebook and Kitchen Share SE is now collecting donations for serveware.

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