Tag Archives: Baltimore

Baltimore Libraries Stay Open Through Riots, Because ‘The Community Needs Us’

“You can find more than books at the Baltimore public library today, as all branches remain open and fully staffed in the wake of protests and riots that have rocked the city. With a state of emergency declared and schools closed citywide Tuesday morning, the Enoch Pratt Free Library has chosen to stay open, providing a hub of comfort and community to all Baltimore neighborhoods, including the ones most affected by the mayhem. “It’s at times like this that the community needs us,” library Director of Communications Roswell Encina told MTV News. “That’s what the library has always been there for, from crises like this to a recession to the aftermath of severe weather. The library has been there. It happened in Ferguson; it’s happening here.” (via MTV)

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Baltimore’s iconic Enoch Pratt Library is getting a 100 million dollar makeover, but where are all of the books going?

“In the great wainscotted conference room on the second floor of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Dr. Carla Hayden, the library’s longtime director, apologizes for her casual dress, declines to be photographed, and launches into a history of her library, which became something of a national icon. The building was completed in 1933 and was designed to look like a department store. This was an innovation on the previous “temple of learning” theme that featured big, sweeping stairways. The Pratt library, by contrast, was all on one level, making it accessible to everyone, and featured wide aisles, broad, open areas, and display windows very much like those found on Howard Street’s best stores.” (via citypaper.com)

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Longtime Baltimore County library chief retires

“Jim Fish had a knack for management from a young age, former colleagues say — and in his 43 years as a professional librarian, he never worked as anything but a library director. The longtime administrator of the Baltimore County Public Library stepped down last month, having witnessed many changes in library technology — and in American society itself. When he began his adult career more than four decades ago, people still used card catalogs. There were no Kindles or other e-readers. And people didn’t visit the library for all the reasons they do today.” (via Baltimore Sun)

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Librarians question Baltimore County plan to shift IT positions

“Public library advocates are questioning a Baltimore County plan to transfer library information-technology services to the county government’s IT office, saying it could set a precedent that threatens the library’s autonomy. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s budget includes the transfer of 28 positions in the Baltimore County Public Library system to the county’s Office of Information Technology starting July 1. A County Council vote on the budget is scheduled for Thursday. Administration officials say the move is part of a long-term strategy to make government more efficient. The technology office will assume control of the library’s IT operations and related budgets, and no jobs will be cut, officials said.” (via Baltimore Sun)

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Weinberg Foundation Baltimore City school library project to double in size

“Community, education and political leaders gathered Monday at Arlington Elementary/Middle School to celebrate a partnership that is providing thousands of city students new libraries — an effort that could eventually transform learning spaces at two dozen schools. Arlington and the Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary are the fourth and fifth schools to get newly renovated libraries built by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. The organization had pledged $5 million to build new libraries in high-poverty schools by 2015, but on Monday said it would double that contribution and bring improvements to 24 schools.” (via baltimoresun.com)

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Balto. Co. libraries expand hours, services at all 19 branches

“Baltimore County officials on Thursday announced an expansion of library services that include full-time hours at the Loch Raven Library and year-round Sunday hours at each of the county’s 19 library branches. The changes are part of a service increase across all of the county’s satellite branches, including those in Hereford, Lansdowne and Sollers Point, and ensures that beginning Sept. 8, all 19 Baltimore County Public Library branches will be open on Sunday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., officials said. “We have a great staff, we have great collections, but if you’re not open, what good is it?” Jim Fish, director of the Baltimore County Public Library system said during the Thursday press conference at the Loch Raven branch, with about two dozen people in attendance.” (via Baltimore Sun)

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Balto. Co. libraries embrace new technologies, adapt to demographics – baltimoresun.com

Alaina Grubb, 31, wanted to do something stimulating and fun with her young niece and nephew the other day, so she took them to the county library in Woodlawn. Seriously. The library. Specifically, the Arbutus woman took Hayden Grubb, 5, and her 4-year-old brother Lincoln to Storyville, an elaborate, interactive, “magical town” designed for young children from newborns to 5-year-olds. Its great, a wonderful resource, and they love it,” said Grubb, standing in the towns play kitchen watching Hayden arrange plastic pizza slices in a tray and Lincoln stack colorful dishes in a sink. “It gives them a chance to play with things they ordinarily wouldn’t play with.” (via Baltimore Sun.com)

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Learning to Love a New Library

“A branch of the Baltimore County Public Library opened in Owings Mills and it has that gaseous, exciting new building smell of cellophane, and carpet remnant. All the books are new: so glossy, so brand-spanking, so fresh that when you open them they rustle. Getting my paws on them would be like plundering the New World or, my version of it. I’ve never experienced a library like this: scrubbed, suburban. The walls were emphatically white. All the libraries I’ve known have been scruff-beige, smelled like wet newspaper, leather, and other people’s hats; all their books have been signed out a thousand times and bear evidence of that experience in accidental dog ears, pen strokes and coffee drips. Old city libraries. College libraries. In other words, shrines.” (via Book Riot)

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