With schools and businesses closed around them, Baltimore’s public libraries remained open on Tuesday in order to provide area residents a welcoming space.
“It’s at times like this that the community needs us,” Roswell Encina, director of communications for the Enoch Pratt Free Library, told MTV News. “That’s what the library has always been there for, from crises like this to a recession to the aftermath of severe weather. The library has been there. It happened in Ferguson; it’s happening here.” On Facebook, the Enoch Pratt Free Library posted photos of children who came in Tuesday, writing, “This is why we are open,” and supporters from across the country left positive messages.
The Pennsylvania Avenue branch is across the street from the CVS that was looted and set on fire Monday night, and Encina said it was important it was open to “show the folks we’re there for that community.” Already, he’s seen people come together to start moving forward. “Everyone is doing their part,” he said. “There’s one little thing I saw — an older gentleman who showed up at the crack of dawn, just sweeping the streets, right there at that intersection where our branch is. If they can do that, we can, too.” Catherine Garcia