Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Thank You Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore!

Baltimore Libraries Stay Open Through Riots, Because ‘The Community Needs Us’
All library locations, including those at the epicenter of the riots, are welcoming patrons today.

You can find more than books at the Baltimore public library today, as all branches remain open and fully staffed in the wake of protests and riots that have rocked the city.
With a state of emergency declared and schools closed citywide Tuesday morning, the Enoch Pratt Free Library has chosen to stay open, providing a hub of comfort and community to all Baltimore neighborhoods, including the ones most affected by the mayhem.
“It’s at times like this that the community needs us,” library Director of Communications Roswell Encina told MTV News. “That’s what the library has always been there for, from crises like this to a recession to the aftermath of severe weather. The library has been there. It happened in Ferguson; it’s happening here.”
Reports of violence, looting, and coordinated gang activity have been coming out of Baltimore since Monday night, erupting within hours of the funeral of Freddie Gray. Gray died late last week from injuries he apparently sustained while in police custody, resulting in an outpouring of anger from protesters who point to his death as the latest in a nationwide epidemic of police violence against unarmed black men.
At the time that we reached Encina, he and other members of the Pratt Library leadership were on their way to the library’s Pennsylvania Avenue branch — a location which is right at ground zero for the worst of the devastation, including the widely-televised burning of a neighborhood CVS Pharmacy.
“We’re across the street from that,” Encina said of the fire. “We just want to show the folks we’re there for that community.”
The Pratt had already received an outpouring of support on Twitter early Tuesday morning, with users from all over the city and the U.S. praising the decision to keep the doors open.

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