BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Readers in Canton may have to look elsewhere for their books, at least for the time being. The Canton branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library is temporarily closing its doors.

Tim Williams has more on why.

It is the last of four original libraries opened by philanthropist Enoch Pratt back in 1886. Now, at 126 years old, the Canton branch is due for, and getting, a facelift.

“Approximately, it’s going to be closed for two years. A lot’s going to happen to this branch. It’ll go through its own little extreme makeover, but it’s gonna keep the integrity of the historic building as it is,” said Roswell Encina, library director of communications.

Improvements begin this Monday and will include upgrades that are electronics-friendly, expanded handicap accessibility and more space for neighborhood events like story time.

“When it reopens, there’ll be more computers. It’s gonna be more disabled-friendly for the handicapped,” Encina said. “There will be a new reference desk, a new information desk, a new meeting room, a gigantic space. So it’s gonna be really great for the community.”

Because of the three services, Pratt administrators have noticed an increase in the number of library patrons during the fluctuating economy. While those services will be improved, the tens of thousands who visit the Canton branch yearly will have to wait about two years to use them.

“We want to make sure when they walk in, there’s a major ‘awwww,'” Encina said.

Library-goers are encouraged to use the Highlandtown and Patterson Park branches during the renovations.


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