Back in November, the Library upgraded its public printing system to include a slew of services… never before seen at PPL. By way of late introduction, we would like to share a little more about what that looks like for our patrons.Where we once offered a simple black and white printer, and a single-function copier, we’ve installed something a little snazzier, higher functioning, and of the twenty-first century. It’s the Lexmark X790, it’s here to help, and we are here to help to you use it.
Never fear, the new machine is capable of the same basic tasks as our old ones. We’re assisting patrons who need to print and copy everything from asylum applications and résumés, to guitar tabs and holiday cookie recipes—not much has changed in that department. The main features that are newly available are: color printing, faxing, wireless printing, and scanning.
First up, at twenty-five cents a pop, you can now print and copy in color at the library. Whether you want to print out your favorite digital photos or spruce up your event poster to catch a few more eyes, you can graduate from gray scale for half the price of a postage stamp. We are also pleased to be able to provide faxing capabilities to library users. You can print your document and fax it out in one fell swoop. The first page costs a dollar, and each page after that is an additional twenty-five cents. It’s a quick and user-friendly process that the staff on desk are glad to walk you through.
Wireless printing is also a newcomer on the Public Computing scene. As more and more people are hooked up to their own tablets, laptops, and smartphones, it can be a hassle to print documents from one of the library’s public desktops. It is now possible to cut out the middleman by sending files from your personal device right to the printer.
Finally, behold: the power of scanning! The world is increasingly turning to scanning over faxing, and with good reason. Scanning is an efficient way to digitize and store important documents in one convenient, portable location that makes sharing easy, and best of all, it’s free. Our new machine allows you to scan directly to—and also print directly from—your own flash drive. Don’t have one? We have some for sale ($7) at the Public Computing desk, as well as a few for patrons to borrow in house.
And if all this new equipment is just a little too flashy for your taste, the old black and white copier is safe and well upstairs in the Portland Room, while its twin still reigns supreme in the Reference area on the Lower Level. To learn more about any of these options, check out this page for more information.
There is one word that makes a librarian especially happy, and yesterday it was said again and again. “Neutrality” was the word of the day, as the Federal Communications Commission agreed to recognize Internet infrastructure as a public utility. This is exciting news. It has been an issue for over 10 years, starting in 2005 when the FCC voted to reclassify DSL broadband service, away from being an “information service” to instead be called a “telecommunications service,” effectively allowing Internet service providers to hide their infrastructure allowing it to be riddled with unfair practices.
But yesterday’s decision ensures that access to the Internet will be based on fair and equitable practices. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says: “the landmark open-Internet protections that we adopted today should reassure consumers, innovators and financial markets about the broadband future of our nation.”
So, next time you access Netflix, Twitter, Google, or one of Portland Public Library’s own digital resources, rest assured you’ll be connecting to each of these sites with the same network speeds available—not faster tiered levels of service (with companies paying for higher speeds) that prioritize network traffic to ensure streaming services are better quality and pages load faster.
The Portland Public Library is thrilled to announce Makers @ PPL—the first Maker Fair event to take place in Portland, Maine. It will take place on Saturday, April 25 from 11 am to 4 pm. In true maker spirit, we’re opening up the event to public contribution, asking: what skill have YOU got that you can teach to others? We know Portland is brimming with creative energy, technical expertise, and unique crafters, and it is time to come together to share these skills, pick up some new ideas, and walk away with a tool belt full of new ways to engage with the community.
Everyone has a hobby. Some people make cat beds from old computer monitors, while other people can make mini battle robots!
If you have a passion for creation, and can boil it down into a workshop style presentation (hands on encouraged!) we’d love for you to fill out this form to be a part of the event.
The event is themed like a conference, so participants can take part in a specific track (Entrepreneurship, Creative Arts, Science & Technology, Local History, and Food & Drink). There will be an exhibit hall in the auditorium for people to display and present creative endeavors that are not suited to workshop style presentation. Special programs for children and teens will happen too.
Get you application to present in by January 15, and be a part of the Presentation Team putting on this exciting event. Fill out the form here to submit an application. You’ll be notified by February 1 if you’ve been selected. The Library will be unveiling some cool new tools that we’re adding to our collection…so stay tuned!