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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


Active Hope

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Art & Culture | Government

Active Hope : A facilitated conversation

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Spring — a season of renewal, a season of mud.  April seems to me to be a perfect time to engage in reflection about what sustains our civic engagement when the cold persists, the mud tracks in, the rain falls.   We keep at our community projects in part because we believe that the sun will shine on us again and that the outcomes will be meaningful and worth our time and attention. However, we also keep volunteering or keep on with activism because the alternative is to give up a sense of optimism and connection and even identity…. Activism is an antidote to despair about civic problems, but even the most intrepid activist experiences discouragement, frustration and burn-out at times.

This 2-part workshop stems from work by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone and their book Active Hope,  but it is not necessary to read the book to participate! We will also draw on many other resources, included some shared here.

We are offering two distinct sessions – come to one or both!

Saturday April 12th 10:15am – 12:00pm — Meeting Room 5 –> explore the spiral of the work that reconnects including our biggest concerns for the future and our greatest hopes.

Tuesday April 29th 3:30 -5:00pm — Meeting Room 5 –> explore exercises designed to help sustain hope during dark times and to promote individual and collective self-care without encouraging a turning away from social problems.

Both of these public conversations are intended as starting points – an opportunity for developing and sustaining an Active Hope group will be considered by the group.

Free and Open to the Public - Preregistration is requested to help us plan.


Best Free Online Reference According to Library Journal

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Online Services | Adults | Teens | Seniors

Best Free Reference 2013

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Each year Library Journal shares what they feel are the best online, free reference resources. This year, Cynthia Etkin and Brian E. Coutis did not disappoint with their suggestions. The following descriptions are excerpts from the article.

 

 

CIA–Central Intelligence Agency  “Experience the CIA’s history through its museum of artifacts, stories, and an interactive time line. Learn how a pigeon gathered intelligence, read about the final hunt for bin Laden, and see what was in an operative’s “Escape and Evasion Survival Kit.” The CIA’s online library is rich with publications on the history of the intelligence community, the Cold War, and declassified collections such as “From Typist to Trailblazer: The Evolving View of Women in the CIA’s Workforce.” With more than 8.5 million pages, the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government records were part of the largest single-topic declassification effort—and they are available here. The World Factbook, the agency’s most popular reference title, and the CIA Maps page offers downloads. There’s a Kids’ Zone, too.”

EUROPA–European Union  “Visit this site to learn how the EU works, explore what it does in its wide array of activities from agriculture to science and technology (and everything in between), and discover why the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012. Want to live in or do business in the EU? Ever wonder what Europeans think about biodiversity or train service there? This site will tell you what you need to know. Find official documents, studies, and resources for teachers. Search Eurostat for statistics, Eurobarometer for public opinion surveys, and newsroom databases for press releases and audiovisuals.”

FORVO: All the words in the world pronounced   “This site’s audio clips tell users how to pronounce things. It includes words you might find in a dictionary but also names and places related to current events. Since it depends upon user submissions, it’s only as good as its community. However, more than 300 editors are kept busy handling all the new entries. By early 2014 the site included 2.3 million words and slightly more pronunciations, in 306 different languages. German, English, Tatar, and Russian have more than 100,000 entries among them. The site was selected by Time as one of the 50 best in the world last year.”

French Culture  “Cultural Services is a division of the French Embassy. With bases in New York City, Washington, DC, and eight other cities in the United States, it’s dedicated to creating transatlantic dialog in the arts and education. You can click on “French Culture” for the latest news on books, films, visual and performing arts, grants and programs, and events. The “French Language” section offers information on teaching or learning the language. “Higher Education” covers teaching and studying in France and related grants and fellowships.”

Health Happens in Libraries  “This program helps library staff meet the demands for information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare). Access webinars about health information resources or how your library can support patron ACA needs. Under “Resources,” find links to federal and state sites for application and enrollment; guides created by and for libraries; and links to state sites that provide more localized support. Sign up to receive alerts for new resources and training opportunities.”

NOAA—FishWatch  “This site, maintained by the leading authority for managing the nation’s marine fisheries, is designed to provide accessible, science-based facts to help consumers make smart seafood choices. Click on “Seafood Profiles” to find out how your favorite fish are faring. “Farmed Seafood” discusses the status of our domestic freshwater and marine aquaculture, an industry still in its infancy. There are also tips on buying and eating seafood (recipes are ­included).”

Performance History Search: Carnegie Hall  “Carnegie Hall has hosted 50,000 events in its three auditoriums since 1891. In 2013, it made an online performance archive available directly to the public for the first time. As of early 2014, records spanning 1891 to 1950 were published, covering more than 15,000 benefits, lectures, symphony orchestra performances, and more.”

PolitiFact  “Ever wished for a way to determine the truth regarding politics? Researchers from PolitiFact, a Pulitzer Prize–winning website launched in 2007 by the Tampa Bay Times, examine statements made by members of Congress, the president, governors, mayors, lobbyists, and anyone else in American politics who makes their voice heard. Their Truth-O-Meter rates statements as true, mostly true, half true, mostly false, false, and the wonderful “Pants on Fire.” Use the Flip-O-Meter to identify those who have changes in voting patterns or a reversal of stands. The recently added PunditFact applies the same scale to the statements of pundits, columnists, talk show hosts and guests, and political analysts. Both sites can be searched or browsed by personal name or Truth-O-Meter rating; PunditFact is also browsable by TV network.”

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics  “The criteria for inclusion in this resource, which began as a print title in 1973, is that data must be reliable and methodologically sound, national in scope, and presented by regions, states, and cities of the United States. Information comes from more than 100 sources, primarily state and federal agencies, research centers, and universities. Data is presented in six sections: Criminal justice characteristics; Public opinion; Crime, victims; Arrests, seizures; Courts, prosecution, sentencing; and Parole, jails, prisons, death penalty. The alphabetical list of topics and the table lists are most helpful in identifying the needed statistics. Data is available for multiple years and presented as both PDF and CSV files. Each section can be viewed or downloaded in its entirety.”

StopBullying.gov  “This site provides information from various government agencies defining bullying and cyberbullying, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to the problem. The site is governed by an editorial board that includes representatives from the departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice. Under “News” is the U.S. departments of Education and Justice’s “School Discipline Guidance Package,” released in January 2014. The “policies & laws” section is useful for finding a model policy for your district. The site also provides information for parents and children, and a “Get Help Now” button offers quick assistance for victims.”

Any resources you would add to this list? Please share!

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