Reserve your spot at this year’s Booklovers’ Breakfast

The annual event will feature James Forman, Jr., author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

The Booklovers’ Breakfast kicks of Black History Month at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Tickets for the popular event go on sale TODAY!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

8:30am – Noon

Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel

700 Aliceanna St.

Former public defender James Forman Jr. is a leading critic in mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. Since 2011, Forman has taught constitutional law and a course called “Race, Class, and Punishment” at Yale Law School.  A graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School, he worked as a law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Advanced registration is required. Deadline for registration is January 29. All seats are reserved in order of receipt of registration and payment. 

Looking to the Stars for One Book Baltimore

by Alex Lawson, Young Adult Librarian

At the beginning of November John Maple, an educator from Baltimore’s Space Telescope Science Institute, came to the Roland Park Branch to host a Star Party. Mr. Maple talked to an audience of children, teenagers, and adults about STScI’s work with the Hubble Telescope. He used LEDs and special glasses to show everybody how scientists use light and color to explore the universe.
Then, after eating dinner, we all went up to the library’s terrace to look at the sky with a telescope. It was a cloudy night, but everybody was excited to see the top of Roland Park Elementary/Middle School’s bell tower through the telescope.
This program was one of many programs at Enoch Pratt ran as part of the One Book Baltimore initiative. Programs related to restoring peace, anti-violence and the One Book initiative is scheduled at various Pratt locations across the city. The grand finale will be a conversation with author Nic Stone, December 12, 2018, 6 p.m. at the Northwood Branch.

One Book Baltimore at the Pratt

by Demi Gough, Library Associate II

One Book Baltimore is a new citywide initiative and collaboration among multiple local organizations connecting families and members of the community through literature by reading the same book.  The One Book Baltimore selection committee chose Dear Martin, by Nic Stone, hoping to inspire meaningful dialogue about experiences and challenges faced in everyday life as well as promoting peace and anti-violence.

In the series of One Book activities, the Waverly Branch held a special showcase joined by partners: WBAL-TV, Ceasefire Baltimore, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, Baltimore City Public Schools, T.Rowe Price Foundation, Maryland Humanities, and Media Rhythm Institute. The evening began with a unity meal, followed by a group conversation about ideas presented in the book, moderated by WBAL anchors Andre Hepkins and Ashley Hinson. Some of the ideas and questions discussed were based on race, identity, respect of oneself and others, building up communities, and practicing mindful living, along with discussing how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would feel if he were still alive today.

The Media Rhythm Institute gave a preview of upcoming programs that would be based on Dear Martin through music, film, and dance created by youth. MRI teaches young people how to become future media and entertainment moguls. They learn how to express themselves through writing and producing music, conducting

interviews, making films, and dancing while preserving the Baltimore Club dance scene.

Programs related to restoring peace, anti-violence and the One Book initiative is scheduled at various Pratt locations across the city. The grand finale will be a conversation with author Nic Stone, December 12, 2018, 6 p.m. at the Northwood Branch.

Studio 54 Inspiration at the Pratt

by Eben Dennis, Fine Arts and Music Librarian

If you haven’t heard, the upcoming annual gala hosted by the Pratt Contemporaries, The Black & White Party, will have a Studio 54 theme. It is time to get ready. The way I see it you can be (a) prepared, (b) really prepared, or (c) completely immersed. Just being prepared is fine of course. You can even use our resources without leaving your home. The books Inside Studio 54 by Mark Fleischman and I’ll Never Write My Memoirs by Grace Jones are both available on ebook. You can even stream the movie 54 from the 90s starring Salma Hayek and Ryan Phillipe through our Hoopla app. Using these titles as a source of inspiration, you can put the finishing touches on your groovy John Travolta, Cher, or Grace Jones inspired costumes. This is a good start.

But if you really want to be prepared you need to have the anecdotes and stories to go with the costume. You will be walking the walk so why not have the talk too? This means you need to come down to the Fine Arts Department (or call us and have us send books to your local branch) and start your research. Turn the Beat Around: the Secret History of Disco by Peter ShapiroHot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture by Alice Echols; and Life And Death On The New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983 by Tim Lawrence are all recommended reads. If you have some musical ability and want to get in the mood you can even borrow some sheet music: The Disco Era: Piano, Vocal, Guitar.

For the truly dedicated, The Andy Warhol Diaries–by the Studio 54 regular himself–is required reading. Due to regular harassment from the IRS, Warhol kept track of his daily life and spending habits by dictating his previous day’s encounters and observations by phone to his longtime friend Pat Hackett. From 1976 until five days before his death in February 1987, Hackett dutifully typed Warhol’s private thoughts and impressions (aka juicy gossip) right alongside what he paid for cab fare. Posthumously published with an introduction and light annotations in 1989, the Diaries are a nearly decade long who’s who of New York culture and celebrity life.

From the decadent to the depraved (or the other way around) Warhol spent time with everyone from future president Donald Trump (another Studio 54 regular) to Lou Reed. With Studio 54 serving as the prominent backdrop, political figures such as Ronald Reagan, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and even the Shah of Iran mingled with pop stars like Madonna, Prince, and Mick Jagger. Baltimore connections include John Waters and Divine make cameos as well as the notorious document thief Barry Landau–who would be apprehended at the Maryland Historical Society here in Baltimore nearly three decades later.

This book is not to be consumed in one sitting. My reading instructions: (1) place this on a coffee table (or waiting area), (2) rely heavily on the index, and (3)consume in 15 minute portions. You won’t be disappointed and you will have way more insight into the Studio 54 era of New York than you will ever need.

Or you can just be a contrarian and read This Ain’t No Disco: the Story of CBGB by Roman Kozak- either way works.

Learn more about the Pratt Contemporaries. The 10th Anniversary Black & White Party will be held on January 19, 2019 at the Assembly Room. Find more information about the event here. On January 3rd, all active Pratt Contemporaries members will receive a members-only link to purchase up to 2 tickets per member. Those member tickets will be available at a discounted price of $100 each. Finally, on January 4th, a limited amount of tickets will go on sale to the general public for $150 each. Last year public tickets sold out in minutes!

Honor Native American Heritage Month at the Library

November is National Native American Heritage Month

The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people.

On November 5, the Roland Park branch will host Women on the Go: A Celebration of Intrepid Women at 6:30pm. Featuring Sacagawea, enjoy a slide-illustrated talk about women travelers, explorers and pioneers, past and contemporary, from around the world.

On November 8, the Waverly Branch will host Maryland Cooking: Historic Cookbooks of the Old Line State at 6pm. Learn about the influence of multiple cultures on Maryland cuisine, including Native American influence and recipes with corn and pokeweed.

On November 15, the Forest Park branch will host a Family Storytime called Indigenous Voices at 5pm. Enjoy a special Native American storytime with stories and songs from different tribal traditions in North America.

On December 1, the Herring Run branch will host a Genealogy Circle Meeting. Learn how to find out more about your heritage.

Check back later this month for more library resources, recommended reading, and a look inside Native American materials in Special Collections.