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Civic Valentines

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Adults | Government

Last October, the Choose Civility Initiative offered a series of “Civic Writing” lunches, with the intention of supporting public participation through writing — that is, writing letter’s to the editor, op-eds, blog posts — even tweets!  I was so pleased to recently receive an email from a participant who did in fact write a letter and get it published in the Portland Press Herald (read it here, and then consider keeping the conversation going with a letter of your own).

She followed up by noting that once she’d written her LTE, it was easy to convert into a letter to her Senators, too!

We hope her experience is inspiring to you, too.  This snowy Valentine’s Day is a great day to engage friends and families in a civic art / civic writing project — let policy makers and your fellow community members know what is on your heart and mind by making them a Valentine!

For support / inspiration check out these links:

The University of Kansas’s Community Tool Box offers some excellent resources for prompting letters to Legislators and To the Editor.

Portland Press Herald Online LTE form

Use this online site to find out how to contact your  State Senators and Representatives or HERE for the Congressional Delegation  or make and send Valentine’s to the addresses below!

Governor LePage
#1 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0001

President Obama

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

If you would be interested in joining a civic writing workshop in the future, share your ideas by emailing simmons@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


Black History Month & Civil Rights Act of 1964

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Library Collections | Online Services | Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Government | Portland History

Black History Month offers us many invitations for learning.  We’re encouraged to learn more about the contributions of individuals in history who may not have originally made our history lessons :  black artists, inventors, authors…

P.S. Be Eleven

We’re also encouraged to learn about American history through a lens of race relations.  Understanding more about the experience of slavery, more about the experience of segregation and desegregation, more about the civil rights movement, etc.  allows us to make clearer sense of how racism exists today and allows us more tools to address racism in our society.

Finally, Black History Month brings race into our collective awareness, providing us with more opportunities to directly consider race and racism and to commit to new strategies for anti-discrimination.  This is a particularly interesting year, as 50 years has passed since the landmark Civil Rights Act was passed which made segregation illegal and paved the way for the Voting Rights Act and the end of the Jim Crow era.

BlindspotLearn more about Implicit Bias at the  ProjectImplict  website and the new book Blindspot  Watch American Promise online  – a POV documentary about race, class, education and growing up
Bookmark this Civil Rights Act calendar which details programming happening throughout 2014

 

 These resources only skim the surface of possible places for learning… share your favorite texts, films, websites, and programs in our comments section!

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