Learn More about the Library in Spanish: Pratt en Espanol

By: Vianey Becerra, Social Media Manager

Do you speak Spanish? So do we!

This Hispanic Heritage Month, equal access to important resources and information for the Latinx community in Baltimore was a main priority. That’s why we created the new Pratt en Español Facebook group. Here you’ll find information on Pratt programming, services, books and more, completely translated in Spanish. Our weekly live program, Más Allá de los Libros, provides the most recent updates from the Pratt Library and hosts partner organizations to share local community resources. 

Scroll down to view some of our past posts on the Pratt en Español Facebook group.

To join our Pratt en Espanol Facebook group, visit our main Facebook page: @theprattlibrary. 

And don’t forget to set a reminder for Mas Alla de los Libros every Wednesday at noon EST.

¡Hasta luego!

Tiny Stories of Library Love (Part 2)

This summer we invited you to tell us a story involving a library in 100 words or fewer. Thank you to everyone who submitted a story! Here are some of our favorites.

Whitney C.:
When I was 15 I dressed up as the Cat in the Hat for Halloween. One of the librarians from our small town saw me and loved the costume. She asked me to do a special storytime dressed in costume reading Dr. Seuss books. I loved how excited the children were, and it made me realize you can do fun things to make a difference in your community.

Heather D.:
My tiny story involves a tiny library! I discovered the Little Free Library in my neighborhood while out on a walk, and now delight in finding them all over the city!

Jonina D.:
The first time I entered a summer reading program was after sixth grade. The wonderful Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – founded in 1890 – offered so much more than the suburban Whitehall Library – founded in 1963. I finished first: competitive reader that I am, though only for summer reading programs. Checked in for the big party, yet somehow I didn’t hear the announcement that the celebration was starting, so missed the whole thing. (Turned out okay, library staff consoled me by agreeing to help me start a new junior-high-school book-reviewing group.) What was I doing? Reading!

Ruby M.K.:
When I was 14, our family moved to Kenshaw Avenue.  My mother would walk to the corner of Kenshaw and Reisterstown Road and say, “This is a great place for a library.” She wrote a letter suggesting Enoch Pratt build a branch there.   They listened! Because I lived in Atlanta for 46 years, one of the first things I did when I moved back was walk into the Reisterstown Road branch and register for a card. Each time that I visit, I feel a special warmth that people are using the library that my mother helped build.

Inshirah W.:
Hi, my name is Inshirah, and me and my daughter always had these fun visits at the library. That’s where I was able to see her most times. It was hard for me but I knew that’s where we shared our most joy, happiness and all. Anissa took her first steps in the kids’ room of the library. When this Covid is over we plan to revisit the library and have those same memories.

Tiny Stories of Library Love (Part 1)

This summer we invited you to tell us a story involving a library in 100 words or less. Thank you to everyone who submitted a story! Here are some of our favorites.

Megan C.:
I walked the mile from my apartment to the Middle River library. Down the alley, through the right-of-way, past the Carberry’s house, past the Church of Christ, past the rec center, then across Compass Rd and into my refuge.

I signed out stacks of books, too many to carry, and I never brought a backpack. My arms ached and my face flushed with heat as I trudged home.

I carried my treasures upstairs to my room, poured myself a glass of sweet ice tea, and spent the rest of the sticky, sweltering afternoon in air-conditioned comfort in bookworld.


C. J. M.:
The last book in the series is finally out. I must find it. I check New Books. I check the regular shelves. The catalog says it’s here. The catalog is never wrong. Where is it?

“Can I help you?” asks a kind, wise voice behind me.

With the title and author name in hand, the librarian knows just the place. She leads me to the display case near the checkout.

At long last, my turn with this incredible book!

Teresa H.:
The ladies at the front desk always greet me with a smile one day I was so down I went into the library and I was crying my heart out one of the ladies came over to me and said whatever it is you will be ok and if you need to cry here all day do so I right here if you need me but at the end of your tears I must see you smile. After about another five minutes I went to the lady and we talk and smiled the rest of my visit.

Taína R.P.:
I doubt I would exist if it weren’t for the library.

My Father grew up in the Williamsburg of pre-gentrified 1955 Brooklyn. A Puerto Rican ten year-old, raised by a single mother with a sixth-grade education, he had zero statistical expectation of escape from those streets. The hood has never been designed for emigration. He should have been a factory worker, or a drug dealer, or a junky. Instead he became a scholar. All because he was gifted an old fat tire bike, and the library he found on his first ride.

Books to Check Out this Hispanic Heritage Month

¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana! We are excited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15). In honor of the many contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans to the country’s history, heritage, and culture,  Here’s a look at books to check out!

American Poison
By Eduardo Porter


Cemetery Boys
By Aiden Thomas

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
By Erika L. Sánchez

Book | eBook
Mexican Gothic
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

eBook | eAudio
Lost Children Archive
By Valeria Luiselli

Book | eBook
Love in the Time of Cholera
By Gabriel García Márquez

Book | eBook
With the Fire on High
By Elizabeth Acevedo
Book | eBook
Swift as Desire
By Laura Esquivel

By Ernesto Quiñonez

We are Not From Here
By Jenny Torres Sanchez

The Book of Unknown Americans
By Cristina Henríquez
Book | eBook
The House on Mango Street
By Sandra Cisneros

Book | eBook
In the Country We Love: My Family Divided
By Diane Guerrero


Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina
By Raquel Cepeda

Book | eBook

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
By Benjamin Alire Sáenz


Go Back to School with Film Fridays at the Pratt

By Tom Warner, Best & Next Department

No more pencils no more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks
Out for summer, out till fall
We might not come back at all
– “School’s Out,” Alice Cooper

Despite Alice Cooper’s wishful thinking, school is not out forever. In fact, as the traditional beginning of the new school year approaches this fall, school is in full session on Kanopy – Enoch Pratt’s free online video streaming resource that you can access using your library card – even if school buildings themselves remain closed due to the coronavirus. With that in mind, be sure to join Pratt librarians Tom Warner and Gillian Waldo online at noon on September 11 for their Film Fridays: “Back To School” talk about two Kanopy films that explore the world of the school room – one a tender documentary and the other a depiction of youth in revolt:  

To Be and To Have (2002)
In French with English subtitles

The film won the 2003 César Award for Best Editing and the 2002 Prix Louis Delluc. Click here to watch the trailer.

The one-room “single class” schoolhouse, where one teacher instructs several grades at once, is generally regarded as a quaint thing of the past and a symbol of obsolete and ineffective teaching methods. However, To Be and To Have offers an in-depth look at a small school in rural France where one remarkable man, the soon-to-retire Georges Lopez, has been doing the job of a small teaching staff for 20 years, and has taught several generations of bright and capable children along the way. This touching, award-winning documentary depicts how one teacher can make the all the difference in the world to his students, helping them move onto the next grade or the next school and to grow up to be kind, thoughtful people. According to Philadelphia Inquirer critic Steven Rea, “To Be and to Have is a movie every teacher should see, and every parent, too.”

If… (1968)

The film won the Palme d’Or at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for Best Direction at the 1969 BAFTA Awards. Click here to watch the trailer.

Taking its title from Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem of Victorian-era stoicism and starring a young Malcolm McDowell as “Mick the Rebel,” director Lindsey Anderson’s If... is a social satire that tells the story of an upper-crust British boarding school where the relationship between the students and the authorities becomes increasingly contentious, leading to a standoff. If… was made three years before McDowell’s international breakout role as nihilistic droog Alex in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and the two parts share some similarities: a rebellious refusal to play by society’s rules or to blindly obey authority figures. And both resort to violent fantasies, with McDowell’s Mick Travis proclaiming, “One man can change the world with a bullet in the right place.” If madness is the only sane response to an insane world, as psychiatrist R.D. Laing once famously observed, then Mick and his mates’ rebellion against the class-conscious oppression of the British public school system is a textbook case of normality. Anderson would reunite with McDowell in 1973’s O Lucky Man!

And, since tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of 9/11, Tom and Gillian will also discuss a short film available on Kanopy that explores the impact of 9/11 as seen through the eyes of a nine-year-old girl whose Tribeca childhood is shattered by the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

I Live At Ground Zero (2002)

Out of her classroom window, Isabella had seen bodies falling from the north tower, an unforgettable sight that instantly propelled her into a maturity beyond her years.

More Back-to-School Docs That Rock

As the nation prepares to go back to school (virtually or otherwise), it’s a good time to start thinking about our educational system and all the challenges facing students, teachers, parents and learning institutions themselves as we move forward. Before the actual school doors open, we can reflect on the way we learn by watching any of the 150 different Education documentaries that you can stream on Kanopy for free using your library card. Kanopy provides subcategories for various special interests, such as public schools, teachers, arts education, anti-bias education, and Special Ed

A few films have even looked at Baltimore schools, such as Richard Chisolm’s Cafeteria Man (2011), Amanda Lipitz’s Step (2017) and HBO’s Hard Times At Douglass High (2008); though the latter two films aren’t on Kanopy, you can still watch them on DVD using Pratt’s Sidewalk Service or Books By Mail resources.