Today's Washington Post has Baltimore all over it. The front page story, "Baltimore puts out welcome mat for immigrants", focuses on the growing immigrant population in Charm City and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's strategy to welcome more immigrants through policies aimed at protecting their rights.
The Pratt's Southeast Anchor Library in Highlandtown is spotlighted in the article showcasing the library's efforts to help non-English speaking patrons in the city. "One of the first things they do is get a library card," said Southeast Anchor Library Manager Cindy Kleback to the Washington Post.
Several library branches have collections in many languages for all ages and offer a variety of programs for Spanish speaking families. Southeast Anchor Library's Spanish Storytime for children, Buena Casa Buena Brasa, has been well received by all families, English-speaking and Spanish-speaking, for more than five years. Buena Casa has been so successful that the Brooklyn Branch now offers it as well. Cherry Hill Branch also has a Spanish language storytime called Hola Friends=Hello Amigos.
Southeast Anchor Library hosts an exciting annual spring Latino Resource Fair called Feria Latina featuring more than 30 non-profit organizations that provide education, health, and community services to the Spanish-speaking community in Baltimore City and County.
The Southeast Anchor Library has been invaluable resource for the immigrant community. A refugee settlement center across the street guides families from countries as diverse as Nepal, French-speaking Africa, Iran, and Albania to the library.
Alexander, right in red, and other children listen to a story during a Spanish program at the Southeast Anchor Library in Highlandtown, Baltimore.
Photo by Sarah L. Voisin for the The Washington Post.