A few good words about a 122-year-old public servant

Check out what the Pratt Library has been doing

For the Record

April 18, 2004|By Jennifer Lehman | Jennifer Lehman,SUN STAFF

Since 1882, librarians at Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library have catered to millions of inquiring patrons, digging up information on subjects from hang-gliding to archaeology to veterinary medicine to theology.

Those who tap the library's resources, though, probably know very little about the library itself. In celebration of National Library Week, which kicks off today, we dug up a few facts and figures about the Pratt at age 122. We're pretty sure they're right - we got them from the library itself.

Number of librarians in Baltimore's system: 114

Number of items checked out per year: More than 1.5 million, including books, audio books and videos

Most checked-out children's book: World Book Encyclopedia, 556 times since last April

Most asked-for children's books: Anything by Dr. Seuss, fairy tales or books about dinosaurs

Most popular children's program: Mother Goose on the Loose

Most popular teen books: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling; The Gossip Girl series by Von Viegesar.

Most popular adult books: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown; Addicted by Zane.

Most popular videos: Any HBO original movies or programming, such as Sex and the City or Six Feet Under

Most popular cassette tape: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, checked out 858 times

Most popular CD: Stax Soul Singles, Volume 3, checked out 280 times.

Maryland Department's most common topic of inquiry: Genealogy research

Maryland Department's busiest day: Tuesday

Most frequently appearing author: Harriette Cole, author of Jumping the Broom (five times in past three years)

Largest audience at a Pratt event: 600, for Dexter Scott King appearance, January 2003

National Library Week programs at the Enoch Pratt Free Library include a Fairy Tale Festival (all month); a student recital from the Music Teachers Association of Greater Baltimore at 2:30 p.m. today, a writer's workshop at noon Tuesday and comedian Michael Rosman, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. More information is available at 410-396-5430, or online at www.epfl.net.

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