With the Canton library under renovation for the next two years, local bibliophiles were looking at a long wait – or a long walk – if they wanted to borrow the latest bestseller.
But starting on Fridays, after Nov. 1, the Enoch Pratt Free Library will be bringing the books to them, says Carlotta Young, Pratt’s Mobile Services supervisor.
“The bookmobile will come to Canton, the corner of S. Ellwood Ave. and O’Donnell St., on Fridays from 2-3:30 p.m.” says Young. (Note: There will be no stop on Nov. 9, when Bookmobile maintenance is scheduled.)
According to Darryl Jurkiewicz, president of the Canton Community Association, the Friends of the Canton Library had been working with Pratt to bring a Bookmobile stop to Canton since the spring, when the library closed for renovation.
The Canton stop is one of about 15 Bookmobile stops around Baltimore. The Pratt Bookmobile, which has been in existence for more than 60 years and was at one time a horse-drawn wagon given by Baltimore’s Arabbers, serves areas of the city that do not have a library within walking distance.
“Our service area fluctuates, depending on which branches are under renovation or repair,” notes Young.
The 28-foot-long library on wheels carries about 2,500 items, including a laptop for the public’s use.
Current bestsellers are especially popular, says Young, particularly those by James Patterson, Tom Clancy, and Laura Lippman, local mystery writer and novelist.
“We try to carry something for everyone. “ says Young, who adds that the Bookmobile has collections in Russian and Spanish as well as audio books and DVDS and that patrons can call her office and request materials of their choice be put on the Bookmobile for them.
“They should do this about three working days before the scheduled Bookmobile stop,” Young says.
Rosemary Frisino-Toohey, a playwright who lives near the closed Canton branch, says she’s happy to have a Bookmobile stop close to home.
“My husband and I both used the Canton library frequently. It was across the street and I miss it. The branch at Conkling and Eastern Ave. is a distance for me,” she says.
Frisino-Toohey says that while she loves technology, she prefers reading a physical book to obtaining a book via an e-reader such as a NOOK.
“When it comes to reading, I’m pretty traditional. I love the feeling of a book in my hands.”
by Danielle Sweeney