Library chief names assistant director to work with branches and computers

November 04, 1993|By Rafael Alvarez | Rafael Alvarez,Staff Writer

Enoch Pratt Free Library director Carla D. Hayden, continuing a methodical shake-up of the ineffective system she took over in July, announced a major addition to her staff last night during a community meeting in Canton.

Dr. Hayden told the annual meeting of the South East Community Association that Baltimore native James Wellbourne will join the Pratt as her assistant director on Monday.

She also announced that the Patterson Park branch at 158 N. Linwood Ave., now closed for repairs, would reopen Jan. 29.

Mr. Wellbourne, late of the Carnegie Public Library in Pittsburgh, will replace Florence Brown as chief of the Pratt's 28 neighborhood branch libraries.

Ms. Brown, who has headed the branch system since 1986, will now report to Mr. Wellbourne, Dr. Hayden said.

The new chief will also be responsible for children and youth programs and teaching the public how to tap into the Pratt's huge reservoir of information with computers.

"He's the new wave of public librarian. He's an activist who combines library skills with community development," said Dr. Hayden, who met Mr. Wellbourne when they were both on staff at the University of Pittsburgh, where she taught library science. "He'll be the person putting the electronic library of 2.6 million titles into our branches."

Last night's meeting was held in the community room of the Pratt's 107-year-old Canton branch, one of four original neighborhood libraries given to Baltimore by Enoch Pratt. Scheduled for closing in 1990 under former Pratt director Anna Curry, the Canton branch was spared after residents banded together with SECO to save it.

"We were a community that didn't appreciate what it had with a library system that didn't take care of what it had," said Jean M. Albrent, president of the Friends of the Canton Library group.

Dr. Hayden was given a copy of Norman Rukert's "Historic Canton" as a welcoming gift.

She told the waterfront neighbors that they will soon be able to take advantage of Mr. Wellbourne's accomplishments to tackle future problems.

She said that one of Mr. Wellbourne's first jobs will be putting a program he developed, "Neighbor Line," into Pratt computers for public use.

The program is a collection of solutions and information on problems such as graffiti and truancy culled from community organizations around the country.

"Don't let us plan services without you because we don't want to," said Dr. Hayden, who charmed a community that for three years has often viewed the Pratt administration as the enemy. "We'd like to hear from you. What do you want?"

Democratic state Del. Cornell N. Dypski, who grew up using the Canton branch, told Dr. Hayden, "This library was dear to Enoch Pratt's heart and we ask you, from the southeast corner of our hearts, to keep it open forever and a day."

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