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Maryland libraries evolve into community spaces

Monday - 9/5/2011, 5:33pm  ET

BALTIMORE - Libraries across Maryland are reinventing themselves from the silent, stuffy archives to be more inviting for patrons to meet, read and even snack.

This month, Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library system is opening its first small eatery in a neighborhood branch. The Baltimore Sun reports ( http://bsun.md/nvsnyE) the Southeast Anchor branch will get a David and Dad's café. When it was first built in 2007, officials considered tapping into the popularity of coffee shops in bookstores.

Later this year, Howard County will unveil a new 63,000-square-foot library with a high-tech computer classroom, a historical center and a garden that designers hope is charming enough to host weddings. It will also include "quiet rooms" for study.

Libraries in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County also plan to lend e-readers pre-loaded with best-selling books.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com


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