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Enoch Pratt

The City That Reads (Baltimore. Yes, hon, Baltimore.)

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1Esta1923
Sep 14, 2007, 5:35pm Top

Aha! As a former Ballmer resident I have happy memories of Pratt library. Shall we share? Esta1923

2jeane
Sep 16, 2007, 9:24am Top

Sorry, I don't have memories of the Pratt library. I live on the edge of Baltimore between Catonsville and Arbutus, so I usually go to one of those two libraries. Arbutus, mostly...

3Esta1923
Sep 16, 2007, 1:15pm Top

In my day (from @ 1927) all the public libraries were part of the Enoch Pratt system. Children could get cards if they could sign their name in ink regardless of age. My brother and I were allowed to go to nearby branch library alone, and I can still (at age 84) recall our joy at finding books by ourselves. As an adult I worked part-time as "non-professional help," on call, as needed. Two odd moments: one librarian scolded me for answering a patron's question. Tho I had been correct she insisted only SHE was to dispense information. Another: when I came to a far-flung branch on short notice, the librarian alerted me, as she walked out, "If you have any trouble call the firemen next-door"!! Esta 1923

4shaunas
Sep 22, 2007, 12:51am Top

Hey, I'm also a former Balmeran. My experiences are from the 70's and the 80's. At ages 7-8, being a latchkey kid, I spent hours after school at the downtown Enoch Pratt in the separate Children's section. I made friends with the librarians, hung out by the indoor goldfish pond and the little outdoor courtyard/garden. I think they introduced me to the books of Edward Eager, and somehow left me with the impression that I wasn't allowed in the adult section of the library. This impression kept me away from adult books in libraries until I was 12 or 13! In the 80's I frequented the Waverly & Govans branches as well as the Central library.

5SqueakyChu
Sep 29, 2007, 8:07am Top

Every Saturday, rain or shine, my mom would take me by bus downtown to shop. Part of our trip was to visit the main Enoch Pratt Free Library. I remember choosing books about Baron von Munchhausen or about Babar the elephant.

6aznstarlette
Nov 12, 2007, 12:48pm Top

i grew up and attended school in roland park, and i remember sitting on the steps of the enoch pratt as i read a favourite book or watched people across the street. i once saw my latin teacher bump a car behind him as he left a parallel parking spot. a baltimore love tap, he called it, and promptly sped away. haha

7MDLady
Edited: Nov 12, 2007, 2:31pm Top

I too was a "Baltimoron". I say that lovingly..:o)
I was born in the mid 60's and stayed there until 1999.
I lived in Pigtown and we had a branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library one block from where I lived. We used to go to the library on small field trips in school,(which was also a block from where I lived), because our school didn't have a library. I have great memories from that library.

8SqueakyChu
Nov 12, 2007, 2:32pm Top

Do any of you remember the BookMobils? They were great, too!

9TeacherDad
Nov 12, 2007, 6:04pm Top

Esta 1923, thanks for bringing back a great memory -- my Dad was born and raised in Baltimore, and as soon as I read your group name I could hear Grandmom calling me "Hon" ...then I heard the sound of her opening a Pabst out on the front stoop...

10MDLady
Nov 13, 2007, 7:47am Top

#8

Wow, talk about a memory. I remember thinking bookmobiles were the greatest thing ever invented. And, since my elementary school didn't have a library, that was just another way I got my fill of books. To me, it really was like Christmas.

11JFBallenger
Nov 20, 2007, 9:34pm Top

I lived only two bittersweet years in Baltimore (2002 - 2004). Baltimore is a place that quickly makes a big and deep impression (scar?) on you. Or at least that's what it felt like to our family after being hit by a car and attacked by a neighbor's pit bull in our first two months. And with all of that, I can honestly say I still fell in love with that crazy city.

Anyway, as to the Enoch Pratt, I frequented it and I have to say that you could still get a sense of what a great library it had been. But years of budget cutting had clearly taken its toll and made going there (which I often did) a decidedly mixed experience. So much so that when I saw the motto for which this group is named emblazoned on a park bench, I amended it as follows: "Baltimore, the City that Reads -- But Get Your Own Damned Book!"

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