Foundation gives Pratt $500,000 grant


Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library has received a $500,000 grant from the Carnegie Corp. of New York -- the legacy of 19th-century public library philanthropist Andrew Carnegie -- to improve services to youth, parents and caregivers.

Surveys of Pratt patrons have found that more than half of those surveyed are parents and that a significant portion of those are single. Nearly 20 percent of library users, the survey found, bring children with them on library visits.

Part of the money will be used to expand the "Family Place Project," which offers parent-child workshops and a parental collection, from two branches to eight.

The one-year grant -- which duplicates the $500,000 the steel tycoon gave to Baltimore in 1906 to build neighborhood branches of the Pratt -- will also be used to upgrade the library's foreign-language collection.

In addition to purchasing educational videos in Spanish and English, the funds will help upgrade the collection of African-American literature and resources for the city's Russian, Greek, Italian, Hispanic and Asian populations.

Similar Carnegie grants were awarded to 24 other urban library systems in the United States, from Boston to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Pub Date: 6/10/99

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