The Enoch Pratt is one of the oldest free public library systems in the United States. It was started by businessman Enoch Pratt in 1882 who ordered a gift to the Mayor and the City Council of Baltimore of a Central library, four branch libraries, and an endowment of $1,058,333.00.

“My library,” Mr. Pratt is attributed to have said, “shall be for all, rich and poor without distinction of race or color, who, when properly accredited, can take out the books if they will handle them carefully and return them.”

The library continues to evolve and partner with community groups like the Esperanza Center in its effort to serve Maryland’s diverse community.

Read more on this evolution in Baltimore Brew