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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


New year, new plans – Part 1

posted: , by Stephen Podgajny
tags: About the Library | Director's Updates | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors

Spend just a few minutes in any one of the Library’s branches, and you quickly see how many activities we host every day. Story times for our emerging readers, our Brown Bag Lunch series with local authors, exhibits and lectures on a range of topics – just to name a few. All our programing has its roots in our robust collection holdings, but these offerings also depend on having enough flexible space.

PPL has been working for some time to develop a long-term collections management strategy. While the Library has been the fortunate recipient of donated storage space over the past five years, we knew this was not a long-term solution. Our firm commitment to our print collections – which we will continue to expand alongside our eResources – meant we needed to find a sustainable solution to collections management. We found that one of our close, long-time collaborators, Maine Historical Society (MHS), was grappling with the same issues – how to maintain and grow collections, how to house materials appropriately while having them available for circulation or exhibits, how to ensure programs have enough space to flourish.

The more we spoke with our friends at MHS, the more both Boards felt that a joint solution would be ideal. On November 15, following a lengthy and exhaustive due-diligence process, the Library and MHS jointly purchased a property at 1000 Riverside Drive in Portland that will ultimately serve as a shared collections management center (SCMC). The 35,000 square foot building is in the process of being developed on a timetable that will allow both organizations to move in sometime early spring.

PPL and MHS are sharing all purchase and renovation-related costs equally, and our financing was arranged accordingly. No taxpayer funds are being used to acquire or refurbish the building, and our fundraising plan does not anticipate any public monies. There are a number of individuals and private foundations who are very excited about this collaboration and its impact on the ways the PPL and MHS can serve the city of Portland from their Congress Street locations. Some of those folks have already stepped forward to support this project while others are considering how they’d like to be involved.

I am excited both about this collaboration between two of the city’s cultural anchors and the implications this has for our respective programs as well as the evolving dynamic of Congress Street. For us here at the Library, the SCMC will be critical to our ability to move sections of our holdings off-site so we can offer engaging, educational programs for all ages in our branch locations. We will be able to continue to build our collection – including the strongest fiction collection in Northern New England – knowing that we have quality storage available for items, easily accessed for circulation to our sites and around the state. The SCMC will also serve as the headquarters for the Library’s Bookmobile, which continues to provide materials and programing to those Mainers – seniors, the recent immigrant community, those on the economic margins – who face physical, cultural, or practical barriers to reaching a Library branch location.

While this may seem like a new effort for the Library, it is really just the latest expression of our core values: our long-standing commitment to enrich our community, to steward our collections, and to offer programing that enriches, enlightens, and engages.

Watch for Part 2 of this post next week, with an update on our Burbank and Riverton branch locations.


Welcoming : Energizing Community

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Seniors | Government

On December 4th, Portland Public Library’s Choose Civility Initiative hosted a public forum on the topic of Welcoming : Energizing Community. Organized as a World Cafe conversation, facilitators from Institute for Civic Leadership walked the almost 50 participants through three sets of questions, with the purpose of helping to share many perspectives while deepening the conversation.

The three questions asked:

1) On a scale of 1-10, how welcoming do you find Portland and why?

2) How does your rating shape your community engagement?

3) If we envision a Most Welcoming city, what might we highlight and what might we change?

If you have answers to these questions, please leave comment below or send them to simmons@portland.lib.me.us

Themes from the break-out session are inspiring and encourage more conversations about how we move to action!

People seek more opportunities to connect with others… and especially strangers who might share a new way of thinking about the common good. Participants agreed that Portland offers significant opportunities to be among people but deeper interactions can feel awkward or discouraged.

Welcoming is an active practice… a truly welcoming community does more than invite people to the table, it encourages a cultural literacy among all members of the community, institutionalizes best practices for encouraging the greatest level of public participation and
enhances shared public space where interaction is normal, easy, supported and encouraged.

A shared vision for a common good needs to be articulated… we likely share more in common than we might realize, but many experience incivility as an effort to separate us and emphasize our differences.

Civility in the Political Process is Important… Our political discourse should be friendly, welcoming and respectful of dissent and agreement.

Choose Civility Portland aims to build momentum on these suggestions by hosting public conversations on important community topics, skill building workshops for engaging in Democracy, and by maintaining and amplifying our commitment to the Library as a space where interaction and integration occur.

Choose Civility Portland recent press:

Check back frequently for program updates!

 

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