The Top 5 Pratt Videos You Should Be Watching

by Vianey Becerra

Baltimore, we miss you. While we have all been practicing social distancing guidelines, the Pratt staff has continued creating educational and entertaining videos just for you. In addition to our daily schedule of virtual programs, we’ve rounded up a list of the Pratt’s Top 5 Videos that you can find on our Facebook page. 

So if you’re looking for DIY tutorials, activities to do with your children or by yourself while you stay at home, take a look at these videos and make sure to follow us on Facebook @theprattlibrary.

#1 Video: Baltimore We Are Here For You

This National Library Week, know that the Pratt Library is Always Here for You.

This National Library Week– know that the Pratt Library is Always Here for you.During the COVID-19 pandemic the Pratt has:- Hundreds of staff working from home- Live virtual programs including Storytime and Writers LIVE!- Live chat with a librarian- Digital resources like eBooks, streaming movies & TV shows- New learning tools for students- Staff using library sewing machines & 3D printers to make PPE for healthcare workers- One-on-one consultations for small business and the unemployedAnd so much more. We'll never stop finding ways to serve our community.

Posted by Enoch Pratt Free Library on Monday, April 20, 2020

Our doors might still be closed, but our resources have never stopped. Our e-Library has a collection of eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks, movies, and more. With 8 locations available for Sidewalk Service, you can check out and pick up books and other materials contact-free simply by making an appointment. Don’t feel comfortable stepping out of the house just yet? You can also have books mailed to you using our Books by Mail service. If you’re looking to access the internet, we also offer free drive-in WIFI at 8 Pratt branch locations.

#2: Hula Storytime with Miss Ryan and Kane

Hula Storytime with Miss Ryan & Kane

Join Miss Ryan and her brother Kane for a special Hula Storytime, celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Posted by Enoch Pratt Free Library on Monday, May 25, 2020

Even though we celebrated Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, you can still hear Miss Ryan and Kane play the ukulele, learn how to say words in Hawaiian, and read along with them to “Up in the Hawaiian Sky,” by Lavonne Leong.

#3 Virtual Genealogy Circle: Family Myth Busting

Virtual Genealogy Circle Meeting: Family Myth Busting

Julianne Mangin discusses her mother's French-Canadian ancestors, several of whom were mentally ill and committed to a state hospital. Ms. Mangin's talk interweaves family history with the genealogical methods that helped her uncover the secrets in the family tree. Ms. Mangin is a writer, researcher, family historian, and a former Librarian and website designer at the Library of Congress. Join in Crowdcast:

Posted by Enoch Pratt Free Library on Saturday, May 9, 2020

Uncover the secrets in your family tree, using genealogical methods with the help of Julianne Mangin. Ms. Mangin is a writer, researcher, family historian, and a former Librarian and website designer at the Library of Congress. In this video, she discusses her mother’s French-Canadian ancestors, several of whom were mentally ill and committed to a state hospital. Don’t miss our tutorials or weekly genealogy series, The Next Step, available now on our Facebook.

#4 How to Hula with Miss Ryan & Miss Kelly

How to Hula with Ryan & Kelly

Have you ever wanted to dance the Hula? In this video, Pratt Librarians Ryan & Kelly show you how!

Posted by Enoch Pratt Free Library on Monday, May 18, 2020

No beach? No problem! Learn some basic hula dancing steps with Pratt Children’s Librarians Ryan and Kelli and dance along to a Hawaiian song. 

#5: Tuesdays @ Two feat. Dariusz Skoraczewski & Marcia McHugh

Tuesdays at Two: Live Music Dariusz Skoraczewski & Marcia McHugh

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians Dariusz Skoraczewski & Marcia McHugh play classical music for cello & flute (the artists are sheltering in place together). Join us in Crowdcast:

Posted by Enoch Pratt Free Library on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Watch this mini-concert for cello & flute performed by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians Dariusz Skoraczewski & Marcia McHugh. Make sure to tune in every Tuesday for live music performances from local musicians. 

If you’re looking for more videos like this, follow us on Facebook and check out all of our upcoming programming. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and  Youtube.

Happy 4th of July

Great All-American Classics

This year, the holiday might feel a bit different than usual but we still wanted to highlight a few books to help celebrate. In between a plate (or two) of barbecue, check out this list of All-American classics. Some are older and traditional, while some are newer and more out-of-the box, either way we hope you enjoy them. 

Little Women
By Louisa May Alcott
The Testaments
By Margaret Atwood
By George Orwell
The Color Purple
By Alice Walker

Black Lives Matter: Community Reads on Overdrive

Push the conversation on antiracism, race relations, and social justice even further with eBooks on Overdrive. Here’s a quick selection of books that are available to download with no wait. 

This New York Times bestseller published in January 2020 is based on the viral #meandwhitesupremacy Instagram challenge and provides a framework for readers to dismantle the privilege within themselves.

The New Jim Crow
By Michelle Alexander

Named one of the Most Influential Books of the Last 20 Years by the Chronicle of Higher Education and winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction, Alexander’s critically acclaimed book examines racial disparities through the lens of mass incarceration.

The Hate U Give
By Angie Thomas

This bestselling young adult novel follows Starr, a Black teenager caught between the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these two worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.

Adult Summer Challenge Reviews, Imagine Your Story Part 1

Valerie S. on Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler: Another delicious helping of contemporary life in Baltimore — just before coronavirus — that ended too quickly and left me wanting more. Tyler’s main characters are usually funny and fallible. This novel is no exception. A perfect summer read.

Redhead by the Side of the Road
Anne Tyler

Michael M. on Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo: Evaristo opened my eyes with this gorgeous semi-prose book. Identity can be an obstacle, but it can also be a fountain of joy when fully realized. Many characters fall into unhealthy relationships with an imbalance of power. Past trauma, mistreatment, or marginalization leads the characters to trust and rely on people who ultimately take advantage of them. It’s a compelling and crucial read with as broad a range of emotions as possible.

Girl, Woman, Other
Bernardine Evaristo

Ashley S. on The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary: This is a must-read for every parent who is interested in helping their children blossom and grow.

The Conscious Parent
Shefali Tsabary

Rachel P. on A Summer in Sonoma by Robyn Carr: A book about friends whose ideals about love and marriage are tested and true friendships and true love are shown to hold up when communication and trust are a part of the recipe. A fun read!

A Summer in Sonoma
Robyn Carr

Stephanie H. on My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: A fast-paced and immersive read. Fun use of language and first-person narrative.

My Sister, the Serial Killer
Oyinkan Braithwait

Yana C. on White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo: …Truly required reading for every white person in America. She does a great job of clearly explaining concepts like prejudice, discrimination, racism, white privilege, white supremacy, and of course, white fragility. Straightforward yet will really challenge your views and get you out of your comfort zones, both for those who do not understand their role in the system but also for those white progressives who feel “woke.:”

White Fragility
Robin DiAngelo

Join the fun! For a chance to win fabulous prizes in the Adult Summer Challenge, create a free Beanstack account and log each book you finish between June 17 and August 12.

Gay Pride and Black Lives

By Emily Sachs, African American Department

Each year in June, Baltimore and other cities across the U.S. host Gay Pride parades and festivals.  These events celebrate LGBTQ+ lives and commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, a protest against police brutality that catalyzed the modern Gay Rights Movement. 

Sister Outsider
By Audre Lorde

By Charlene A. Carruthers


This year the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march is different, with many large, in-person Pride events cancelled.  The country is reeling under a historic pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black people and communities of color.  The health crisis is also occurring amidst a backdrop of ongoing protests focused on ending the killing of Black people by police, confronting systemic racism, and dismantling white supremacy.  

The Truth that Never Hurts
By Barbara Smith


How We Fight for our Lives
By Saeed Jones


Pride month has brought increased public discussion around the intersection of the LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter movements.    We see it acknowledged, at least aesthetically, by organizations who this year have opted to display Pride flags that include black and brown stripes, an acknowledgement of the unique inequities experienced by Black and Brown LGBTQ+ people.  We see it on the cover of Time Magazine, where Baltimore photographer Devin Allen captured a scene from a recent march against police brutality organized by the Black transgender community in Baltimore.  We see it in interviews with The Pride Center of Maryland (the host of Baltimore Pride) that discuss this year’s realignment of Baltimore Pride with Black Lives Matter.

Don’t Call Us Dead
By Danez Smith

Black on Both Sides
By C. Riley Snorton


With Baltimore Pride cancelled this year, Pratt Library staff will miss seeing you in the streets and talking to you in Druid Hill Park.  Instead we invite you to check out our books and movies to learn more about the intersections of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other social identities.

In addition to our books, eBooks and Audio books, below you’ll find a few film titles from the Kanopy catalog, but we have many more.  Write to us on Facebook or Twitter to share your own recommendations we’d love to hear from you. 

The New Black: LGBT Rights in African American Communities
Watch film
The Watermelon Woman
Watch film
Passing – Profiling the Lives of Young Transmen of Color
Watch film
Naz & Maalik
Watch film