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Berkeley Public Library adds culinary equipment to lending list

An ice cream maker sounds fun … until you remember what you spent on the bread machine gathering dust on the counter.

Fortunately, the Berkeley Public Library understands, and wants to spur culinary creativity by adding kitchen items to its tool-lending library.

The library announced Tuesday that it’s now lending those ice cream makers and other items like sous vide cookers, air fryers, pasta makers, dehydrators, canning equipment, novelty baking pans and more.

Kathy Huff, the executive director of the Berkeley Public Library Foundation, said in a statement:

“Berkeleyans love food and their public library. … The library foundation is delighted to be able to provide resources that support the launch of the new culinary collection. It will allow so many more people access to what they enjoy.”

Adding the items is an extension of the library’s efforts in recent months to offer culinary-themed virtual programs with noted chefs and cookbook authors. Many of the items used in those demonstrations — like coffee roasters, Instant Pots, tortilla presses and food processors — are now available for checkout.

Supervising librarian Dan Beringhele said:

“This has been an excellent opportunity to fill a need in our community. … The tool lending library gives our patrons a way to try out a new gadget without spending money or creating waste. The kitchen tool collection allows for home cooks to explore their creativity and experiment with new recipes and techniques.”

The library has also added a new dedicated tool online catalog to search and put holds on tools of all kinds. The library asks people who have never used the tool library to learn more about registration by calling (510) 981-6101.

Items can be picked up in front of the tool lending library, located in the Tarea Hill Pittman South Branch, at 1901 Russell St. (on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way). Check the library’s website for more information at For questions about the tool lending library, call (510) 981-6265.

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