BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Pratt Libraries will remain closed through the state of emergency, library officials announced Friday, but are offering a number of services to help the unemployed find jobs, students with online learning and tutoring and even making 3D printed protective gear for healthcare workers. That’s in addition to the eLibrary being operational 24/7.
Initially, Enoch Pratt Free Library officials said their buildings would remain closed until the end of March, but as coronavirus cases continue to grow in the state, the library extended its closure to prevent the spread.READ MORE: Scott Invites Hogan To Baltimore After Governor Calls For "Comprehensive Update" On City's Violent Crime Plan
“While it is difficult to have our buildings closed, the health and safety of our customers and staff remains our top priority,” says Pratt Library President & CEO Heidi Daniel. “The Pratt staff continue to be innovative in the ways we are helping our community throughout this pandemic.”
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Library officials report seeing an increased usage for the eLibrary, with more than 1,000 people signing up for an eCard in the past 10 days.
The public can live chat with librarians through their Ask Us Now service and via email.
There’s even an unemployment guide for those who have lost jobs due to COVID-19. Workforce Librarians available to help anyone one-on-one, just email email@example.comREAD MORE: With City Council's Ear, Baltimore Residents Urge Cuts To Police Budget Ahead Of Vote
The library has also launched a new Spring Reading program to keep kids learning. There will be taped storytimes on Pratt’s digital platforms and the libraries are working with city schools to bridge the digital divide of students.
The Pratt also provides free online live tutoring through the Brainfuse Help Now database.
The library is also working with the state to provide buildings that could potentially be used as childcare centers for healthcare workers. And Pratt staff are using the library’s 3D printers to create personal protective gear for healthcare workers with Open Works Baltimore.
“The Pratt Library is always here for Baltimore, and we’ll keep doing everything we can to help this city and our state through this difficult time,” says Daniel.
For more information, check out prattlibrary.org.MORE NEWS: Black Bear Sighting Causes Brief Scare At Westminster High School