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Libraries have a reputation as places where eating is discouraged and outside food is frowned upon, but at the P.D. Brown library in Waldorf residents Saturday were treated to a cake-decorating class.

The Wilton method of cake decoration was demonstrated for a crowd of around 30 at the library as a part of the debut of the library’s newest feature, a cake pan lending library.

Branch Manager Cindy Thornley said the idea was born about three months ago, and that she and the other employees kept it quiet for a while as it proved to be an entirely new feature for libraries not just in the county, but in the state.

“We baked cupcakes in the kitchen all morning to get the smell circulating through the library and to get people interested in it,” Thornley said. “It worked really well. We got a fantastic turnout, and we’re excited to offer this to the community.”

The demonstration was given by Nicole Spivey, who teaches cake-decorating classes at A.C. Moore in Waldorf. Spivey spent nearly an hour demonstrating various icing techniques before selecting six volunteers from the crowd to ice their own cupcakes up front, while the cupcakes and other baked goods the librarians had made in the morning were distributed in the back near the main desk.

Janice Eargle of Waldorf said she first heard of Saturday’s events through the library’s website and newsletter.

“I’ve taken cake-decorating classes before, but it’s been about oh, 10 years or so since I last did it,” Eargle said. “It’s nice to have the refresher. It’s good to see the enthusiasm here, and it’s inclusive of all ages, which is nice. It’s good for the community, too.”

Eargle said she also is excited about the addition of the cake pan library.

“With a lot of pans, you use them once and then have nothing else to do with them and they just sit there,” Eargle said. “I’ve got a couple I plan to donate, but I also plan to check some out from here and start decorating again.”

The cake pan library was primarily coordinated by P.D. Brown librarian Sara Margiotta, herself a baking enthusiast. Margiotta said the library has received more pans for lending than they anticipated.

“We expected to have 15 or 20 to loan, but right now we’ve received around 50,” Margiotta said. “And people tell us they want to donate more, so who knows how much it will grow? It’s great to see that this is so well received.”

Pans can be checked out from the library and taken home for three weeks at a time. They are cataloged in the system the same as books, Thornley said. Thornley said she also hopes to post pictures of available pans online so that those interested can know what’s available before coming in.

“I noticed most how excited the children were about today, and I think it’s great,” Thornley said. “We’re thrilled to have this.”

lrenner@somdnews.com