The Library will be closed Monday, April 21 in observance of Patriot's Day. We will re-open for regular hours on Tuesday, April 22.
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Life of the Library » Library Collections

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Portland Public Library’s mission is to serve the Greater Portland Community by providing a diverse collection of books and other resources, with access to information resources worldwide. The library’s services support the educational, informational, and recreational interests of all community members.


National Poetry Month at PPL

posted: , by Jim Charette
tags: Library Collections | Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture

April is National Poetry Month—a time to celebrate poets and poetry, the beauty of language, and the richness poetry brings to the Portland Public Library and to our community. Special programming around poetry this month includes poetry you can carry in your pocket, poetry you can see on the bus (more info soon!), and poetry that you can share with others at PPL.

“Your Favorite Poem” April 23
“Your Favorite Poem” is an event for library patrons to gather and celebrate their favorite poems and poets. On Wednesday, April 23rd, bring your favorite poem by a published author to recite or read aloud in the Rines Auditorium. Come at 6:30 p.m. to sign up for a time slot, talk poetry, and enjoy refreshments. The reading of poems will take place between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Guidelines: One poem per reader, with a time guideline – fans of “Howl” and “Hiawatha,” please bring a short poem to share so that everyone gets a chance!

“Poem in Your Pocket” April 24
On Poem in Your Pocket Day, people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. On April 24 Portland Public Library is helping to promote the Poem in Your Pocket initiative by printing and handing out poems at our public desks at the Main Library. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pplpocketpoem and #pocketpoem. Get your pocket poem at PPL on April 24—while supplies last.

And don’t forget to check out the collections of poetry at PPL!
For some ideas on getting started, take a look at a few of our staff lists for poetry. The Portland Room brings us a list of “Lesser Known Maine Poets,” City of Readers suggests “Phenomenal Women: Poets at PPL,” and Teen offers “If There Is Something to Desire: Poetry.” New books of poetry we’re looking forward to in 2014: Carolyn Forche and Duncan Wu’s anthology “Poetry of Witness;” Veteran Kevin Powers’ “Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting;” and a new collection of work from James Baldwin, “Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems.”

We hope you join us in celebrating poetry this month—and hope to hear you sharing “Your Favorite Poem” at the Main Library on April 23!

By Elizabeth Hartsig


Individuals Make a Difference

posted: , by Wendy Nowell
tags: About the Library | Director's Updates | Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Portland History

The funding model for Portland Public Library (PPL) is anything but intuitive.  The “public” in our name might give one the impression that government funding covers our entire operating budget.  However, at PPL, government funding (City of Portland, State of Maine and Cumberland County) actually makes up 87% of our $4.2 million operations budget.  These public funds pay for staff, utilities, and other infrastructure costs; they do not pay for anything related to our programs, our collections, or our outreach.  The books on the shelves, subscriptions to physical and online periodicals, our bookmobile –anything that falls in the 13% of our budget that is allocated to collections and programs is made possible by annual gifts to the Library, earnings from our endowment, foundation support, and fees.

In essence, what PPL is now and can be in the future – our margin of excellence – is the result of a true public/private effort.  Public funds ensure we have a building and staff; private generosity guarantees we have a collection and programing that serves every individual who comes to one of our branches or logs onto the Library’s website.  As a non-profit organization, PPL is able – indeed, obligated – to raise funds so that we can help all members of the Portland community to enhance their creativity and imagination, increase their level of knowledge, and fully participate in our common, civil life.

So it is with celebration and gratitude that we acknowledge the recent bequest of Franklin Talbot of Portland to our endowment.  Franklin Talbot was a colleague, having worked previously at the University of Southern Maine library.  His gift of $101,000 will establish the Franklin Talbot Fund and increase the Library’s endowment fund to approximately $5.4 million.

The yearly income from the Talbot Fund will be used to acquire materials and support programs and exhibits in the arts and humanities, with preference for biography, American history, and British history. Mr. Talbot’s gift will support our efforts to provide all Library patrons and visitors with access to materials and programs that promote a greater understanding of the human experience and of the creative process.

All gifts to the Library make an impact, and we are grateful that Mr. Talbot was both generous and creative in giving back to the community by supporting the Library.  If you are interested in establishing a named endowment fund at the Library or in including Portland Public Library in your estate plans, please contact Emily Bray Levine at 207-871-1700 x755 or Levine@portland.lib.me.us


PPL Cardholders Now Have the “Advantage” with eBooks and eAudiobooks

posted: , by Kathleen Spahn
tags: Library Collections | Online Services | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Business

Your PPL library card will now get you expanded access to eBooks and eAudiobooks available from the Maine InfoNet Download Library. Through a program called Overdrive Advantage, PPL has purchased additional copies of in-demand digital books and audiobooks for the exclusive use of our patrons. What does this mean for you? A shorter wait time to download that bestseller you’ve been wanting to read, plus a bigger selection of titles to choose from.

Important tip:  In order to get access to these PPL titles, you will need to sign in to the Maine InfoNet Download Library web site with your library card number as soon as you open the page on your computer or the Overdrive app on your portable device. Once you are signed in, Advantage titles become visible along with all the shared collections with other Maine libraries.

OverDrive Advantage logoYou’ll notice the Advantage icon next to Advantage items.

Patrons can easily browse for titles to borrow and enjoy on Windows® and Mac® computers, or on mobile devices like iPhone®, iPad®, Android™, BlackBerry® and Windows Phone. Users can read eBooks on the go with Kindle® (US only), Sony® Reader, NOOK™ and more. Once the lending period ends, titles will automatically expire and return to the collection. There are no late fees.

If you are new to eBooks and eAudiobooks, we suggest this easy-to-follow video as a way to get started: http://goo.gl/dnkN68

We’re always happy to help with specific questions, so for more information about eBooks and eAudiobooks, contact Portland Public Library’s Technology Center Desk at 207-871-1700, ext. 708, or email: soucy@portland.lib.me.us

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