Recently I overheard a library patron tell a Periodicals Department staff member that he was visiting from New York and that he loved the Pratt Library, even more than the New York Public Library.
Well, I couldn’t let that go. I had to interview him. Turns out that Fred Glueckstein lived in Sykesville for ten years before moving back to Long Island in 2011. While residing near Baltimore, he frequented the Pratt Library on weekends to research his first book, The ’27 Yankees, an historical account of Babe Ruth and his teammates on, what Fred calls, "the most legendary and revered team in the annals of baseball."
Fred used the Library to research the Baltimore-born Babe’s life. Since then, he has written a second book—this one for young adults—Mickey Mantle: Rookie in Pinstripes. Both books are available in the our collection.
When I met Fred last week, he was there to find an article in The Times of London on Winston Churchill’s 1912 trip to Ireland’s Blarney Castle, where he kissed the Blarney Stone. Fred said, "My research at the library once again resulted in top professional and personal assistance, and the availability of a wide range of references. As a writer, access to Enoch Pratt Free Library’s extensive databases was important to me. Thus, in NY, I purchased an out-of-state library card, which gave me access to the databases. Based on my overall experiences at Enoch Pratt Free Library, I consider it the finest library I have had the pleasure of using, even surpassing the highly acclaimed New York Public Library."
Using the Pratt Library’s set of indexes to The Times, Fred soon found the article on Churchill’s visit to Ireland as First Lord of the Admiralty.
It was published on Wednesday, July 3, 1912, and was the only published account of the visit. The title read: The Admiralty Visit to Queenstown. It subsections were (1) Development of Haulbowline (Harbor), and (2) Mr. Churchill at Blarney Castle. The Times article presented a wealth of information for Fred’s upcoming piece for The Finest Hour: The Journal of Winston Churchill.
Fred was pleasantly surprised to find that staff members remembered him from his previous visits and grateful for the excellent help provided to him at the microfilm desk by Reba Pile and Marian Johnson. He looks forward to his next visit.