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.

Audubon’s Wildlife Gardening Workshop

Spring has sprung and it’s time to start thinking about your outdoor space again. The type of garden you create will invite different birds and insects to your space. The library has books to assist your outdoor beautification, or you can attend a library program to inspire your gardening adventures.

We had a full house for Audubon’s Wildlife Gardening Workshop at the Roland Park Branch. Participants explored strategies for creating gardens that feed birds and butterflies in Baltimore spaces, large and small. “We discussed specific plants that offer seeds, berries, nectar, and insects to Baltimore birds,” said presenter Susie Creamer.

Spring workshops also took place at the Patterson Park Branch and Canton Branch. One more “advanced” gardeners’ workshop awaits you at the Hamilton Branch on April 12 at 5:30pm. Please register in advance: baltimore@audubon.org. More info here.