Here at the Pratt Library, we interact with a lot of interesting—even (dare we say) "unusual"—people who frequent the library on a regular basis. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Sights & Sounds (SAS) Department on the main floor of the Central Library.
Not only is this department a busy passageway between the Central Hall lobby and the Annex's Public Computer Center, but it's also home to a large collection of both educational and popular entertainment audiovisual materials—everything from fiction audiobooks and music CDs to DVDs of popular television series, Hollywood movies, critically-acclaimed foreign films and award-winning documentaries addressing every conceivable topic.
Naturally, we get lots of people just looking for the latest popular entertainment titles—be it this year's Oscar-winning movie Argo, the new album by Justin Timberlake, an audiobook version of Fifty Shades of Grey, or the latest season of Downton Abbey. But we also tend to attract a number of regulars that might best be described as "creative" or "artistic" types—film, music, and literature fanatics who veer off the well-beaten track to traverse the roads less travelled.
Their ranks include local musicians Caleb Stine, Eddie Chabon of The Swingin' Swamis, and Jason Sage of Telesma; independent filmmaker and Maryland Institute College of Art instructor Allen Moore (a frequent cinematographer for documentarian Ken Burns); Sondheim Award-winning artist and 14-Karat Cabaret performance space founder-curator Laure Drogoul; and experimental filmmaker-instructor Karen Yasinsky, to name but a few. We consider them to be not just Pratt patrons, but our friends as well. But not everyone is a celebrity. Some of our most frequent visitors are just regular citizens.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will feature three of our best regulars as part of the Pratt Profiles Series. First up: Peter Geier, Blogger.
When he's not talking Orioles baseball, former Pratt volunteer and life-long "cinemaniac" Peter Geier is foraging through our Foreign Film and Documentary racks to find more material for his impressive film review blog, Moom Pitchers Not To Miss (which is old Baltimorese for "moving pitchers").
Though this well-traveled writer has lived all over the world in the past, he currently lives within walking distance of the Central Library, so he visits our department almost daily. After stocking up on our DVDs, Peter usually heads to the Annex in the Central Library to power up his laptop, jump on our wi-fi, and post his latest review.
Peter most enjoys discovering lesser-known movies in our collection, be they early "pre-code" Hollywood films, 1950s British Free Cinema documentaries, post-war productions from communist East Germany's DEFA Studios, or Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin's rarely seen American independent features Little Fugitive and Lovers and Lollipops/Weddings and Babies.
In addition to knowing a lot about film, Peter's a polyglot who speaks four languages, including Russian, German and Turkish. In fact, when we received some Russian language-only movies, it was Peter who checked them out and told us what they were about!
He's probably seen more of our collection than our staff, so in future we might have to use him as a Viewers' Advisory resource!