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Join the conversation: Burbank Branch Community Meeting

posted: , by Sarah Campbell
tags: About the Library | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors

Burbank_front_4On Wednesday, April 2, from 7:00-8:30 pm, Portland Public Library will host a community forum at the Burbank Branch to discuss ways of improving our Burbank Branch facility which will undergo a remodeling later this year.

The Burbank facility, created in 1995, is itself the 6th busiest library in the state, operating well beyond the capacity imagined twenty years ago. The planned renovation will reconfigure and update the branch to reflect changes in how Burbank patrons use the library, address building infrastructure issues, and solve long-standing ergonomic challenges for library staff.

Scott Simons, whose firm is the architect for the renovation, will facilitate the conversation.

For more information or to share your thoughts before or after the forum, call 871-1700 x759 or send email to

Refreshments will be served. The Friends of the Portland Public Library are sponsoring this event.

VIDA Count

posted: , by Jim Charette
tags: Adults

“In 2014, celebrate Women’s History Month all year with your favorite women writers—or with women writers you have yet to discover! This March we’ve taken a look at the VIDA Count, which collects yearly statistics around how many women have been published in literary forums like “The New Yorker,” “The London Review of Books,” “The Atlantic,” or “Harper’s.” The results have often been staggering. Even outside the VIDA Count, it’s easy to note other differences in numbers. As of March 2014, Nobel Prizes in Literature have been awarded to 97 male writers. Nobel Prizes in Literature awarded to female writers? 13. Why does this disparity occur? Why does it matter? With the facts in mind, what could our response be?

If you’re interested, join the conversation around 2014, “The Year of Reading Women.” Start with the stats behind the VIDA Count, or with Joanna Walsh’s article describing the hopes behind her Twitter hashtag #readwomen2014.  Put a hold on the brilliant and popular “Americanah,” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which just won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award. Look for new ways to contemplate classic authors—discover “The Gorgeous Nothings,” a stark and beautiful book that offers up a collection of Emily Dickinson’s poetry-scrawled envelopes. Read transgender author Jennifer Finney Boylan’s “Stuck in the middle with you: a memoir of parenting in three genders.”  And…if you’re still looking for inspiration to get your reading started, don’t forget to check out PPL’s City of Readers lists of Contemporary Authors (Who Just Happen to be Women…) here and here.

Or find your own way, and send us your thoughts! We hope you’re looking forward to all of PPL’s new materials in 2014, and we’d love to hear from you.”

By Elizabeth Hartsig Learning Center guides and tutorials

posted: , by Gabrielle Daniello
tags: Adults | Genealogy

From census records and city directories to passenger lists and military records, contains an abundance of information. Sometimes, though, that abundance can be overwhelming. The Learning Center can help. Five-minute YouTube video tutorials offer help on topics such as using agricultural schedules to better understand ancestors who were farmers and finding clues in cemetery inscriptions. Free Research Guides provide guidance on conducting African American family research and offer tips on how to make sense of all the information contained in census records. There are dozens of these videos and guides available for you to peruse – one of them just might have the answer to a question that has been hounding you!

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