Through The Eyes of Teens: Wide Angle Photography Workshop

by Alex Lawson, Young Adult Librarian

On Wednesday June 20, two educators from Wide Angle Youth Media, Eboni Sellers and Emma Bergman, came to the Roland Park Branch to lead a photography workshop for teens. Ms. Eboni and Ms. Emma began the workshop by talking about photographs as pieces of art that invite different interpretations. They challenged the teens to form their own interpretations of one particular photograph (Gordon Parks’ American Gothic), saying to “break it down, unpack it,” and then to “treat it like an equation–when you add all those pieces together, what do you get?” The beauty of photography is that, unlike math, anybody’s solution to that equation is valid.

Ms. Eboni and Ms. Emma then turned that idea on its head by showing the teens how to compose their own photographs by manipulating individual elements like light, angles, lines, focus, and reflection.
Then, after learning to operate Wide Angle Youth Media’s sophisticated cameras, the teens went outside to take their own photographs. They walked around the neighborhood for over an hour, snapping pictures and applying what they’d learned, before returning to the library.
There, over pizza, the entire group critiqued and complimented everybody’s photographs. Many of the pictures were beautiful, and it was easy to see that their quality improved over the course of the hour that the teens spent practicing their technique.
There’s still a chance to participate in future photography workshops #atthepratt. RSVP to a Wide Angle Photography Workshop in August.

A Royally Mysterious Afternoon at the Roland Park Branch

by Julie Johnson, Roland Park Branch Manager

On Saturday June 23, former Roland Park resident Eleanor Herman returned to her childhood library for an intriguing presentation on The Royal Art of Poison:  Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, Filthy Palaces and Murder Most Foul.

Herman explained that actual poisoning may have been hard to detect because royals used arsenic, lead, gold, and mercury in their cosmetics (got to keep that dewy, soft complexion, you know), did NOT use their chamber pots, decorated with lead paint, and physicians were certain that mercury, blood-letting and dead birds split in half and placed on the head of the patient would save the royal life. All those fatal practices create a conundrum for investigators.

The program got fantastic reviews.  One attendee said, “This was a wonderful experience!”  Another called it “a fabulous program” while a third said it was “thoroughly enjoyable.”  The forty-plus attendees were treated to photo-illustrated talk with Ms. Herman in Renaissance dress.

Fans lined up afterward to buy a signed copy at The Ivy Bookshop’s table. Check out these short, fascinating videos from the book.

Join us for more Writers LIVE author programs #atthepratt. And of course, check out more titles by Eleanor Herman at the Pratt Library. Just click on the cover!

A Night of Laughs with Jeff Dugan

by Julie Johnson, Branch Manager, Roland Park Branch

Jeff Dugan, former television producer for the Discovery Channel, is a funny guy. He started his June 7th program with a throw-away joke or three and then headed straight for the other funny bone with a few readings from his book, Ins & Outs: A Life in Television.

Who knew that being the unintended camera pool feed for ALL the networks at Pope John Paul II’s entry into Giants Stadium could be so entertaining? Well, at least in the telling. At the time, perhaps “terrifying” is a better adjective.

How about the best way to get a French television company to cough up the “clean tapes” for a television program? Why, have your local fixer pretend to be you having a full-scale meltdown in the office, of course.

And yes, he did work with Oprah while she was in Baltimore.

You’ll have to read to book find out more. Click on the cover to check out his book in the collection.

Summer Challenge 2018 Is Here!

June 13 – August 15 at all Pratt Libraries

Our Summer Reading program is now the Summer Challenge. This year’s theme: Libraries Rock!

Why participate?

  • The Summer Challenge is a fun way to prevent “summer slide,” the loss of academic skills that students may experience during summer break
  • Earn prizes by reading or attending library programs
  • Open to all ages and reading levels, including adults
  • It’s free!

How it works

Ask a librarian to get you started, or visit prattlibrary.beanstack.org to register.

Program specifics by age group