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Changes to the GED Test

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: About the Library | Online Services | Adults | Teens | Careers & Jobs

The current version of the General Educational Development test will be changing  January 2, 2014. The test changes every 10 years. The updated test will be on the computer, so no need to remember your #2 pencil!  Here is some more info:

  • Your current GED® test scores will expire in 2013—they will not carry forward -. this means that anyone who has started working through the five-test program, but still has tests to take, will have to complete his or her current program by the end of the year, or that student will have to start all over under the new 2014 edition.
  • You will ONLY be able to take the new test on a computer. There will no longer be a paper-and-pencil version of the test.
  • The new test will assess only four content areas—reasoning through language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  • Test-takers will have to write two essays instead of one.
  • The science and social studies content will be more rigorous.
  • The GED® Math test will include more advanced topics, like algebra and statistics.
  • There will be a number of new item types, such as short answer, fill-in-the-blank, drag and drop, and more.
  • The content will also assess career- and college-readiness skills.
  • In many states, the test may be more expensive.

Don’t let these changes worry you, PPL has you covered!

We have ordered multiple copies of print books to study for the 2014 version of the test. The books should be arriving shortly.

Also, with your PPL card you have access to the Learning Express Library. If you are currently using the Learning Express Library,  the current GED® Test Prep Center will be removed on January 2, 2014. Please finish up all work in progress. New GED® products will be available in January in the new High School Equivalency Center.

For more information about the GED® 2014 test, please visit the official GED® Testing Services website http://www.gedtestingservice.com

For more information on how to use the Learning Express Library or other PPL services please call (207) 871-1700 x 725,  email reference@portland.lib.me.us,  or text the word  portlib to 66746 and then send us your question.


Welcome to the new PPL website

posted: , by Sarah Campbell
tags: Director's Updates | Exhibits & Displays | Library Collections | Online Services | Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Science & Technology

Welcome to the new PPL website. We like to think of it as a Virtual Branch!

It used to be that websites were just layers of pages under a header of some sort that over time became more and more dense. For an information organization like the library, the more pages meant the better the site.  What has become much clearer for PPL over the last 18 months is that the website is our virtual branch — complete with its own unique opportunities and challenges, like a physical library location. It is also a unique opportunity to create a way to recognize our users as being many kinds of people  and needing to be served in many different ways.

We hope that this new online library environment and experience is exciting and productive for you and just maybe you’ll find what you seek and be exposed to the unexpected!

Please tell us how we can make it better by dropping us a note at web@portland.lib.me.us.

We thank our friends at Vont Web Marketing, our partner in conceiving and creating this site, and the Sam L. Cohen Foundation without whose support we could not have completed this effort.

Enjoy your explorations!


Buried Musical Treasures from the PPL Archives

posted: , by Sarah Campbell
tags: Exhibits & Displays | Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Portland History

When not being used in the Lewis Gallery, our nineteenth-century vitrines (glass display cases) are hosting displays from our collection in the Main Library Lower Level – Information Desk area.  Our first display, on view now through November, is a selection of sheet music from the Portland Room Archives.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth century musical life revolved around the family piano, and sheet music was provided for home performing mostly from publishers in New York’s Tin Pan Alley.  But most large cities had their own small music publishers (who were usually instrument and sheet music sellers) and many songwriters would publish with local firms or simply publish their own works.

Portland could boast several such publishers, including the Paine family, whose most distinguished member, John Knowles Paine, was Harvard’s first Professor of Music. J.K.’s father Jacob and uncle William sold instruments and music at 113 Middle Street. The Paines published many of the compositions of Hermann Kotzschmar, the leading Portland musician of the period.  Cressey and Allen had a music shop at 566 Congress Street; Cressey was also a composer and published many of his own pieces.

Many of the compositions featured in our exhibit were on local subjects: dance pieces named for Portland landmarks: the Forest City Polka, the Diamond Cove Waltz, and others in that vein.  Others were hymns to local pride: Somewhere in Maine, Down in Maine.  Patriotic compositions were standbys of the home music collection, and we have several from the Civil War to World War II.

We’ve included two items published “away”.  The first, Kathleen Mavourneen, was a sentimental pseudo-Irish ballad popularized by tenor John McCormick.  It was written by Frederick Nicholls Crouch, an English musician who lived and taught in Portland until his secessionist leanings made him unpopular in 1861; he joined a Virginia regiment as a trumpeter.  The other New York publication is perhaps the most familiar college song of the 1920s, Rudy Vallee’s Maine Stein Song.

We hope that local music lovers, local history buffs, and everybody else will stop by the lower level and see this exhibit!

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