Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Support Your Libraries!


image by Christopher Busta-Peck

You might have heard the recent furor about the library system in Philadelphia. While the state was unable to pass a budget, the libraries became the victim – the “Doomsday” plan would have laid off 3,000 city employees and closed the entire Philadelphia library system. While this scenario was thankfully averted by the passage of Bill 1828 just in time, it made for a timely reminder that libraries are vital to our social, economic, and educational life. If you’re looking for someplace to explore – with your family or without – consider checking out your local library. Baltimore’s libraries are full of exciting events, resources, and people.

I’m a Baltimore County girl, and I’ve got major love for the Catonsville library. It reminds me of the small-town, community-centered library I grew up going to with my dad. In addition to a startlingly wide selection of books – not to mention the Baltimore County Library system’s awesome hold and transfer system – the Catonsville branch offers book clubs, seminars, kids’ events, and a great Maryland History section (made even more intriguing by its location smack in the middle of the historic area of Catonsville).



I’ll also confess to a love of the county library’s headquarters, the intimidatingly huge Towson library. They have EVERYTHING, and a cool building (the rotunda, pictured above, is inspired by the Guggenheim Museum) to boot! The Enoch Pratt main branch, in the Baltimore City library system, is another amazing library – if you’ve never been, it’s absolutely a Baltimore sight worth checking out. Take the kids!

What’s your favorite library?

7 comments:

shellydaly said...

I'm with you on this! I love our libraries and make good use of them. Irregardless of my overdue fines, it has probably saved me thousands of dollars just since I've been in Baltimore. Did you know, if you can't find a (design, craft, technical...) book, they will locate it at another library system including college system and borrow it for you? Librarians are right up there with nurses in my book!
An aside, if you haven't seen it, there's a great video series on d*s about artists/makers collaborating with the resources at the NYCPL. It's called Design by the Book. This is the first of four.
http://www.designspongeonline.com/2008/11/video-debut-design-by-the-book.html

Heidi said...

I live in Towson and I swear the place I go the most often is the library. I would be beyond saddened if any of the public libraries closed. I'd gladly live with a bumpy York Road in order to have a functioning library.

Lauren said...

I'm happily married to a librarian. It's been difficult for him to find full time employment right now with the recession, though at least he does work at a great library - just that it's in Fairfax County! I have to say that my favorite library is the central branch of Enoch Pratt. I just love the old building and how it twists and turns. I've spent a lot of time in the Maryland room there to do research, and it's a real treasure.

Designs by Leslie said...

The library is one of my favorite places. Always has been, always will!

Jenni~ Lana Bella said...

My favorite Baltimore Library is the one right in the first picture the Orleans street branch mostly because its walking distance from our house! Secondly because being homeschoolers the librarians there are SOOOO helpful and love my kids!

Anne said...

Though I retain a loyalty to the Canton Branch (oldest in the city), my favorite is the new Southeast Anchor Library. It's a beautiful facility, and the staff are always welcoming, always helpful, always just wonderful. I love to spend a quiet interlude browsing and reading. But I also really make use of the Pratt's online capabilities. I search or browse for books I want, request them, and they arrive at Southeast as soon as they're available. I then get a phone call or an email, and I can go and pick up my books. These are hard times. We need MORE library services!! And we all need to SUPPORT OUR LIBRARIANS. They're working hard for us.

Kathy said...

The library is the lifeblood for my household! My husband is a public librarian outside of Baltimore... we are so thankful that he hasn't been laid off (knock on wood). Thanks for the lovely post about the importance of libraries.