A couple of years ago, a local Barnes & Noble hosted an author program for librarians. We were using a little seating area next to their cookbook collection. When the program was about to start, our organizer wanted to make an announcement, but didn’t want to give the impression that this event was open to the general public.
A call went out over the loudspeaker inviting members of our group to join her in the 641s. (Oh, librarian humor!)
If you’re a public librarian, there are some call numbers you quickly get to know by heart – American History: 973; Sports: 796; Cooking: 641.
Hinsdale Public Library patrons check out hundreds and hundreds of cookbooks every year, so we make sure to stock them on every topic under the sun. We have your standards: “Joy of Cooking,” “The Silver Palate Cookbook” and “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
And, of course, we have all the bestsellers you’re seeing in the bookstores, in the newspaper and on TV, including “Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook” by Alex Guarnaschelli, “The Wheat Belly Cookbook: 150 Recipes to Help You Lose the Wheat, Lost the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health” by William Davis, “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” by Deb Perelman and “Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health” edited by Gene Stone.
Too busy to commit to a whole book? You can check out back issues of popular magazines, such as Fine Cooking, Cook’s Illustrated, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times and Bon Appetit. (Use Zinio, our online magazine service, to read Food Network Magazine or Saveur on your computer or tablet!)
We also bring great chefs to the library to share their expertise. Last month, we gave our residents the opportunity to get the inside “scoop” with Chef Gale Gand. Guests learned about Gale’s career, how she got started and her work with celebrities while sipping a root beer float served with “Gale’s Root Beer” and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. (Gale had lots to dish – she’s worked with Julia Child, Martha Stewart, Oprah and more.)
Karen Kleckner Keefe is executive director of the Hinsdale Public Library