Around The Region


July 10, 2009

Senator owner lauded by theater group

Senator Theatre owner Tom Kiefaber, whose financially troubled North Baltimore landmark is scheduled to go on the auction block in 12 days, is being lauded by the Theatre Historical Society of America for his devotion to the 70-year-old movie house. Karen Noonan, president of the society, said her group will be making a presentation to Kiefaber during its visit to the Senator, set for 1:45 p.m. today. In the 20 years since Kiefaber bought the Senator from his family's theater business, it has become a showpiece among the nation's few remaining single-screen theaters. "He's given his all, his everything, for the Senator Theatre," says Noonan. The group also hopes to "throw some support" behind efforts to keep the Senator open as a film and arts showcase even after the auction, she said. The auction is set for 11 a.m. July 22 at the theater. Baltimore City, which purchased the note from previous mortgage holder 1st Mariner Bank in May, will set a minimum bid the morning of the auction.

- Chris Kaltenbach

Baltimore County libraries hit 12-year circulation high

The Baltimore County Public Library circulated more than 10 million items for the fiscal year that ended June 30, reaching its highest total in 12 years. Patrons at the system's 17 branches borrowed 10,189,347 books, CDs, DVDs, video games and magazines for an increase of 6.6 percent over the year before. The Cockeysville library led the other branches, lending 1,176,298 items. The Pikesville and Towson libraries circulated 999,969 and 943,828 items, respectively. The number of people who visited county libraries also increased 6.5 percent for a total of 5,833,270.

- Mary Gail Hare

Library of Congress adds to storage space at Fort Meade

The Library of Congress opened an expanded, environmentally controlled storage facility Tuesday on the grounds of Fort Meade. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, assisted by acting Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers, cut a ribbon at the storage modules, which include cold-storage rooms. Some 33 million items from the library's special collections, including maps, globes, manuscripts, prints and photographs, as well as sheet music and microfilm, will be housed in the modules. A library representative said that storage units would extend the lives of collection items for decades. The site took 28 months to build, and cost $40.7 million. The library said materials stored at Fort Meade will be accessible to readers, with twice-daily deliveries from the off-site storage facility to the library's main buildings on Capitol Hill. Additional storage modules are to be built at Fort Meade.

- Jacques Kelly

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