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Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist donates computers to the Pratt Library in wake of city unrest

5/22/2015, 3:15 p.m. | Updated on 5/21/2015, 11:54 p.m.
Gift valued at $170,000 of computers for all Enoch Pratt Free Library Branches. Ferguson Municipal Public Library also receiving donation
Marc and Laura Andreessen (Courtesy Photo)

— The Enoch Pratt Free Library today announces a computer donation valued at $170,000 from Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and his philanthropic partner and educator wife, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen.

The gift of Hewlett-Packard computers, laptops and printers was donated after the couple heard all Pratt Library branches, including the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch located at the epicenter of the unrest, stayed open during the riots and the days after. The couple is also donating computers to the Ferguson Municipal Public Library in Missouri.

“We are deeply touched by this truly generous gift from Marc and Laura Andreessen,” said Carla D. Hayden, Chief Executive Officer of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. “They were one of the first people to contact us after the riots and were eager to support the library even if they were on the other side of the country. They understood the value of libraries as a safe haven for the community and the importance of the access it provides patrons. Their gift will help us continue providing computer and Internet service to the thousands of Baltimoreans including children, teens and job-seekers who still don’t have access at home.”

"This gift is about the extraordinary acts of personal philanthropy we witnessed in Ferguson and Baltimore,” said Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen. “The library staff and volunteers went above and beyond to serve their communities. This personal generosity inspired our financial investment, which, in turn, is inspiring HP's product and employee investment—thus the philanthropic ripple effect went from grassroots to global."

The computer equipment is expected to arrive in Baltimore in mid-June.

For more information about the Enoch Pratt Free Library, visit our website at www.prattlibrary.org. Also look for the Pratt Library on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.

Remember at the Enoch Pratt Free Library: “Your journey starts here.”