Books and…Pancakes!

One of the things I love most about reading is the depth of understanding one can gain about a place, its culture, and its history.

My friend Jennifer Finlay at the Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library in Edenton knows exactly what I mean. She is a wonderful librarian who loves to learn about the community she serves, and to preserve its past for future generations.

She shares her discoveries in her excellent column in the Chowan Herald, and you can swing by the Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library to seek her invaluable assistance in your own research!

Speaking of learning, Lynda, one of our library technicians, has been working these past few months to make take-home “bonus curriculum” packets to assist in distance learning.

These bonus packs have covered holidays celebrated all over the world, including Bodhi Day, Hannukah, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the Chinese Lunar New Year. This week we will be releasing a lesson on the history of Shrove Tuesday, also known as “Pancake Tuesday” in the British Isles. Joining other worldwide “Fat Tuesday” festivals including Mardi Gras and Carnival, this unique religious celebration sees the people of England take to the streets before Ash Wednesday to conduct foot races with a special rule: competitors must flip pancakes while they run!

This celebration took on the pancake angle when, according to legend, in 1445 a housewife in Olney, England was so busy making pancakes for Shrove Tuesday that she ended up being late for church.

Determined to have her pancake and eat it too (pardon the pun), she ran to church while flipping the last batch! There is so much more to this tradition (including the significance of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday) than I can include here, so give us a call at 252-796-3771 to request your lesson packet!

The history of Pancake Tuesday gives me joy, not just in the fact that it is a little quirky, but also for how it reminds me of my childhood. My mother, who worked as a daycare provider while I grew up, made pancakes every Friday for the entire daycare before the older children left for school.

This special end-of-week-treat was something that I always looked forward to, and every time I make pancakes, the memories make me smile. This is why I love learning about the world we live in—it connects you to other people on a human level that is always unexpected.

So why not come to the Library to learn more about the world? For the rest of this month, we have a number of fun and COVID-safe programs to help foster your passion and make learning fun! On Thursday, February 18th, we will post the latest lesson in our Virtual Computer Class on Facebook and YouTube. In this session, we will explore how to use the Library’s online catalog, and learn how searching with Boolean Logic works.

On Monday, February 22nd, Ms. Lynda will post another “Cooking With the Library” video on our social media. On Tuesday, February 23rd, Ms. Stephanie will continue her online “Chair Yoga Class” with tips for healthy living. On Wednesday, February 24th, Ms. Ashley will release a video on creative Glass Painting and, finally, on Friday February 26th, Ms. Megan will release another video in her “Creative Corner Crafting” series!

All crafting-related videos will have materials available for pick-up at the Library, and if you have questions or would like to participate just give us a call at 252-796-3771.

All videos will be made available for the public through our YouTube and Facebook pages. Have a great week, and we hope to see you soon!

Staff writer Miles Layton can be reached at