Life of the Library

What’s new?


Choose Civility and Constitution Week!

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Business | Government | Portland History

The topic of civil discourse has emerged as a central concern in Maine and the Nation, during the past several years.  MPBN recently held its annual “Civility in Politics” call-in show, Colby College held a summit on the topic “Civil : The Way Politics Should Be”  (listen to the rebroadcast on MPBN) and the Maine Council of Churches has called for candidates to sign a “covenant of civil discourse.”  Much of this emphasis is on civility as respect and integrity in conversation.  Sometimes, calls for civility are used to discourage challenging conversation, but the best civic discourse allows a pathway for the most difficult conversations to occur productively,

Another way to think about civil discourse is that it is conversation meant to  promote a stronger Democracy.  In that way, civility is about giving people the information, tools and skills they need to understand community issues. Civics involves claiming the rights and responsibilities associated with citizenship (defined broadly).  Civil discourse involves understanding how public issues and policy decisions effect people differently and understanding the various arguments or ideas surrounding an issue.  Libraries hold a unique role in promoting civility, in that access to good information is essential to a free society.

At Portland Public Library, the “Choose Civility” initiative is not a mandate — that’s not how library’s roll – but instead an invitation to join in a community-wide reflection on what civility means in different contexts, what conditions promote civic engagement, what obstacles prevent us from participating in our communities as fully as we might like. We have great books and films, a lot of programming, and a lot of gratitude –  to the Lerner Foundation for their support of this work, and to all those who are attending public conversation programs, sharing your stories and listening with respect and curiosity to others.

This fall, we are hoping that you will join us for an even deeper look at what it means to be a community and what we can all do to promote civility in our everyday lives and in our organizations.

Portland Public Conversations

Coffee & Networking 7:30am

Program 8:00am – 10:00am

September 3oth: Portland’s People, Who Lives Among Us?

Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us?
Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us? (Main Library 8am, doors open at 7:30) – In 2004, Journalist Bill Bishop coined the phrase “The Big Sort” to describe growing segregation, both physical and intellectual, in the USA.  10 years later, political scientists agree that this phenomena is growing.  How are we sorted in Greater Portland and what can we learn from crossing divides?  This program will include an opportunity to reflect on the most current Census Data about our demographics and to engage in an exploration of stories and perceptions about each other with director of the Office of Minority Health Lisa Sockabasin.  Ample time will be allowed for facilitated table conversation.  Click here for our flyer: Choose Civility Portland Conversations – See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/highlight/choose-civility/#sthash.3uuejQEg.dpuf

November 25th: Participating Portland, Opportunities to Get Involved!

December 9th: Picturing Portland, Visioning Our Shared Future

September 30th :  Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us? (Main Library 8am, doors open at 7:30) – In 2004, Journalist Bill Bishop coined the phrase “The Big Sort” to describe growing segregation, both physical and intellectual, in the USA.  10 years later, political scientists agree that this phenomena is growing.  How are we sorted in Greater Portland and what can we learn from crossing divides?  This program will include an opportunity to reflect on the most current Census Data about our demographics and to engage in an exploration of stories and perceptions about each other with director of the Office of Minority Health Lisa Sockabasin.  Ample time will be allowed for facilitated table conversation.  Click here for our flyer: Choose Civility Portland Conversations

Save the following dates for more in our series: 
November 25th:  Participating Portland: Practical Opportunities to Get Involved
December 9th : Picturing Portland: Visioning Our Shared Future

- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/highlight/choose-civility/#sthash.3uuejQEg.dpuf

September 30th :  Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us? (Main Library 8am, doors open at 7:30) – In 2004, Journalist Bill Bishop coined the phrase “The Big Sort” to describe growing segregation, both physical and intellectual, in the USA.  10 years later, political scientists agree that this phenomena is growing.  How are we sorted in Greater Portland and what can we learn from crossing divides?  This program will include an opportunity to reflect on the most current Census Data about our demographics and to engage in an exploration of stories and perceptions about each other with director of the Office of Minority Health Lisa Sockabasin.  Ample time will be allowed for facilitated table conversation.  Click here for our flyer: Choose Civility Portland Conversations

Save the following dates for more in our series: 
November 25th:  Participating Portland: Practical Opportunities to Get Involved
December 9th : Picturing Portland: Visioning Our Shared Future

- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/highlight/choose-civility/#sthash.3uuejQEg.dpuf

Please tweet your thoughts and best hashtag ideas to

If you use Facebook, please consider “liking us” and “joining” our first event page.

 

 


Munjoy Observer (1962-1965) added to Digital Commons

posted: , by Gabrielle Daniello
tags: Adults | Portland History

In 1962, the city of Portland launched its third urban renewal project – the Munjoy South Urban Renewal Project. Intended to address what was perceived as “urban blight,” to use the language of the day, the project encompassed 79 acres of land between Congress, Mountfort, and Fore Streets, and the Eastern Promenade, and identified buildings and blocks that would be demolished entirely, as well as individual structures that needed to be improved or rehabilitated. The agency that oversaw this project, the Portland Renewal Authority, published a monthly (more or less) newsletter called the Munjoy Observer. Through the newsletter, the agency hoped to provide information and address concerns about the project. Today, the newsletters provide an interesting look at how the city coped with change fifty years ago.

Munjoy observer_Summer 1963_1 The Portland Room has digitized our issues of this newsletter and uploaded them to Digital Commons.

To read individual issues, click here: http://digitalcommons.portlandlibrary.com/citydocs_pra_newsletters/

 


Woman’s Literary Union on Digital Commons

posted: , by Gabrielle Daniello
tags: Adults | Portland History

The Woman’s Literary Union was organized in 1889. The organization’s stated goal was to promote the intellectual life of its members through lectures, entertainment, and community work. The Portland Room has a small collection of pamphlets and ephemera pertaining to this organization, which we have digitized and uploaded to the library’s Digital Commons platform: http://digitalcommons.portlandlibrary.com/wlu/

Though small in scope, the collection offers tantalizing glimpses into the lives of some of the city’s women. It also provides opportunities to explore other online historical resources.

receipt

Annual Dues Receipt

For example, Mrs. Hubbard’s annual dues receipt gives her address. A photograph of her house as it appeared in 1924, a year after the date on this receipt, can be seen on the Maine Memory Network web site. The digitization of the 1924 tax photographs was a collaborative project involving the City of Portland, the Maine Historical Society, and the Portland Public Library.

Gail Laughlin, whose name appears on a 1926 list of officers, had an illustrious career as a lawyer, women’s rights advocate, and politician. You can see census entries and city directory listings for her by accessing Ancestry.com through the Portland Public Library’s computers (http://www.portlandlibrary.com/research/) (Incidentally, you can also find a photograph of her house in the 1924 tax records collection.)

We did not pursue every lead in the collection or track down every name. We leave that for other researchers. We just hope the collection will spark interest or get you curious about other historical collections. As always, call us (207-871-1700 x747), email us (portlandroom@portland.lib.me.us), or stop by if you are curious about Portland history or library resources!

The Portland Room is open Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm and Friday 10am-6pm.

View Posts by Date:
Filter Posts:
Connect with the Library: