We are happy to announce that Bouchercon 2008 will be working with two Baltimore Institutions to raise funds for their operating budgets.
The first is the Enoch Pratt Free Library. In 1882 Enoch Pratt offered the City of Baltimore a Central library, four branch libraries and an endowment of just over a million dollars to establish a library, "for all, rich and poor without distinction of race or color, who, when properly accredited, can take out the books if they will handle them carefully and return them."
Baltimore's Pratt Library has been at the forefront of library services ever since. Currently there are 22 branches and a bookmobile service. The goal of the Pratt continues to be making books and other resources available to all of Baltimore's citizens. Located just blocks from our host hotels, on the 400 block of Cathedral St., the Central Library is a site to warm the cockles of any book lover's heart. We hope our membership will help us to support this ambitious and well loved library system at a time when budgets for libraries are being challenged across the nation. For more information on the Pratt you can visit www.prattlibrary.org/.
Our second charity is a program near and dear to our American Guest of Honor's heart. The Viva House is a Catholic Worker House of Hospitality and Resistance in the tradition of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. The house opened in 1968 and attempts to "do the works of mercy" and "resist the works of war."
They serve a late afternoon meal 2 days each week and operate a food pantry for their neighbors in South West Baltimore. An average of 240 people are served at each meal and they try to provide at least 125 families with a 3-day supply of food each month.
Two worthwhile causes.. The most generous community we know.. It's bound to be a success.
Ruth & Judy