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Enoch Pratt Library's Forest Park Branch Expands Technology Services

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The Enoch Pratt Free Library's Forest Park branch re-opened Monday, Feb. 7 with design renovations and six times as many computers as it previously had. Located at 3023 Garrison Blvd. in northwest Baltimore, the library will now provide online access to more community members conducting employment research and filing paperwork as they find potential work.

John Damond, manager of the Business, Science, and Technology center at the Enoch Pratt central branch on Cathedral Street in Mount Vernon, expects the thirty-two new computers at the Forest Park location will see heavy use. "There has definitely been an increase in searching for jobs and job application" using public PCs at the central library, he says.

Many companies that are hiring refer candidates to local public libraries for computer use, and since many human resource departments now operate exclusively online, these services are essential. In the central branch's PC Commons and Public Computer Center, as well as in subject departments and the dedicated Jobs & Career Center, Damond estimates that there are 75-100 computer workstations at his location. Newly overhauled branches like Forest Park, which now has 32 computers, or the Edmondson Avenue branch that reopened in June 2010, generally have dozens of options for job-seekers to get online and get back to work.

Organizational support for the city library system's expansion of computer services has come from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, and the David and Barbara B. Hirschorn Foundation.

Writer: Sam Hopkins
Source: John Damond, Enoch Pratt Free Library
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