by Meghan McCorkell, Pratt Library Communications Director
I admit it. I should have known better. But, as the Library Communications Director, even I didn’t know how easy it was to download library books to my Kindle. But, I can tell you, now that I’ve done it, I will never go back. In just a few clicks, I have the hottest eBooks and eAudiobooks at my fingertips. All you need is a library card. And if we don’t have the title you want, you can hit the “Recommend” button. I recommended a book, and two weeks later it was available. We put together a video that breaks it down for you.
And, it’s not just books. Looking for your favorite magazine? Check out RB Digital Gateway for online access to full color digital magazines anytime, anywhere. Tired of paying for a streaming service? InstantFlix offers thousands of movies at the click of a button. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out all our Downloads and Streaming Services here and you can put money back into your wallet.
The kids are back in class across the state of Maryland. Do you or your child need a leg up as you hit the books? Just log on to the Pratt website!
We have live tutoring available online during after-school hours. Expert online tutors are available Monday-Sunday from 2pm until 11:55pm EST to help with homework or writing assignments. The online SkillSurfer can help students sharpen their classrooms skills from home. There’s even a Language Lab for students learning a foreign language. Check out all of these free services on the Pratt website.
Did you know at Digital Maryland, you can find a history of sports in our state? From Alan Ameche’s overtime touchdown that won the Baltimore Colts the NFL Championship to the history of Pimlico and the Preakness, you can find it all. The collection includes thousands of items from professional, collegiate and amateur sports in our state. Pieces are drawn from the Ephemera Collection of the Maryland Department at the Enoch Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center. Check it out now!
We often refer to libraries as “safe havens.” That is certainly what our colleagues in Texas are now providing for their communities.
While many are still assessing the damage to their own facilities, they’re reaching out to find ways to serve their customers.
As Hurricane Harvey battered Texas, two Houston libraries were used as temporary shelters for displaced residents. This week, the library system will reopen 19 of it’s 42 branches to offer customers free Wi-Fi and assistance filling out applications or FEMA forms. They’ll also provide yoga classes, family-friendly movies, books, games and crafts. Library archivists will also lend a hand, showing people how to preserve family photos, books, and memorabilia that may have been damaged in the floods.
In neighboring Harris County, library officials set up a pop-up library inside an evacuation shelter. Librarians held story time for kids, brought a 3D printer to conduct a STEM program, and even provided laptops for people to contact their loved ones. This week, Harris County has also opened nearly two dozens of its public libraries for emergency relief services.
Libraries are the centers of many communities. And in Galveston, neighbors, staff and volunteers showed up to help clear the water from the Rosenberg Library after the storm.
So many facilities have been destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Harvey. As libraries look to rebuild, the Texas Library Association has set up a Disaster Relief Fund. You can donate here.
FIRST CARD: For children six and under, the First Card is fine-free. Featuring popular Olivia the Pig, the First Card allows you to bring home enough books to keep your littlest readers entertained until your next library trip.
CHILDREN & TEEN CARDS: For ages 7-17, the children and teen cards enjoy reduced late fees of just 10 cents a day.
TEACHER CARD: Baltimore City School educators and registered home school parents can check out 30 items that can circulate for 6 weeks and be renewed once.