March is Women’s History Month and invites us to celebrate the unique contributions that women have made to American History while also considering the ways that sexism has shaped our collective history. There are many resources for learning more about women’s history and women’s role in political life. Among them:
Civil Rights Era Film Festival at PPL (all screenings are free and open to the public) :
Thursday, Febuary 27, 6:30 pm: In the Heat of the Night Friday, February 28, 6:30 pm: A Raisin in the Sun Saturday, March 1, 2:00 pm: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Saturday, March 1, 5:00 pm: To Kill a Mockingbird
Next week, the conversation about our racial history, present, and future continues with a Maine Humanities Council and Space Gallery offering : “Race in a Networked World.”
PPL’s City of Readers offers this book list for those interested in exploring African-American history through fiction, while a quick search of “Civil Rights Movement” yields great non-fiction resources.
Black History Month offers us all an opportunity to better understand the complexities of race in our country and to consider our current role in addressing and dismantling discrimination that persists. How are things similar or different from 1964? Come to our film fest, and then weigh in on Facebook or the comments section!
In the mean time, enjoy this trailer for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner:
The funding model for Portland Public Library (PPL) is anything but intuitive. The “public” in our name might give one the impression that government funding covers our entire operating budget. However, at PPL, government funding (City of Portland, State of Maine and Cumberland County) actually makes up 87% of our $4.2 million operations budget. These public funds pay for staff, utilities, and other infrastructure costs; they do not pay for anything related to our programs, our collections, or our outreach. The books on the shelves, subscriptions to physical and online periodicals, our bookmobile –anything that falls in the 13% of our budget that is allocated to collections and programs is made possible by annual gifts to the Library, earnings from our endowment, foundation support, and fees.
In essence, what PPL is now and can be in the future – our margin of excellence – is the result of a true public/private effort. Public funds ensure we have a building and staff; private generosity guarantees we have a collection and programing that serves every individual who comes to one of our branches or logs onto the Library’s website. As a non-profit organization, PPL is able – indeed, obligated – to raise funds so that we can help all members of the Portland community to enhance their creativity and imagination, increase their level of knowledge, and fully participate in our common, civil life.
So it is with celebration and gratitude that we acknowledge the recent bequest of Franklin Talbot of Portland to our endowment. Franklin Talbot was a colleague, having worked previously at the University of Southern Maine library. His gift of $101,000 will establish the Franklin Talbot Fund and increase the Library’s endowment fund to approximately $5.4 million.
The yearly income from the Talbot Fund will be used to acquire materials and support programs and exhibits in the arts and humanities, with preference for biography, American history, and British history. Mr. Talbot’s gift will support our efforts to provide all Library patrons and visitors with access to materials and programs that promote a greater understanding of the human experience and of the creative process.
All gifts to the Library make an impact, and we are grateful that Mr. Talbot was both generous and creative in giving back to the community by supporting the Library. If you are interested in establishing a named endowment fund at the Library or in including Portland Public Library in your estate plans, please contact Emily Bray Levine at 207-871-1700 x755 or Levine@portland.lib.me.us