The Library will be closed Monday, April 21 in observance of Patriot's Day. We will re-open for regular hours on Tuesday, April 22.
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Life of the Library » Recommended Reads

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Portland Public Library’s mission is to serve the Greater Portland Community by providing a diverse collection of books and other resources, with access to information resources worldwide. The library’s services support the educational, informational, and recreational interests of all community members.


March – Women’s History Month

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Recommended Reads | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Government

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:

To engage with others, consider attending a Women’s History Month event:

  • The University of Southern Maine’s Women and Gender Studies program highlights many community events happening in March and beyond.
  • The Maine Jewish Film Festival and community partners offer a Women’s Filmmakers event.
  • Maine Law School’s Justice for Women lecture takes place on March 18th and is free and open to the public but registration is required.

Portland Public Library offers a huge array of materials so support more learning including this book list of picture books and this list of books and films related to women’s suffrage serve as starting places!


Black History Month & Civil Rights Act of 1964

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Library Collections | Online Services | Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Government | Portland History

Black History Month offers us many invitations for learning.  We’re encouraged to learn more about the contributions of individuals in history who may not have originally made our history lessons :  black artists, inventors, authors…

P.S. Be Eleven

We’re also encouraged to learn about American history through a lens of race relations.  Understanding more about the experience of slavery, more about the experience of segregation and desegregation, more about the civil rights movement, etc.  allows us to make clearer sense of how racism exists today and allows us more tools to address racism in our society.

Finally, Black History Month brings race into our collective awareness, providing us with more opportunities to directly consider race and racism and to commit to new strategies for anti-discrimination.  This is a particularly interesting year, as 50 years has passed since the landmark Civil Rights Act was passed which made segregation illegal and paved the way for the Voting Rights Act and the end of the Jim Crow era.

BlindspotLearn more about Implicit Bias at the  ProjectImplict  website and the new book Blindspot  Watch American Promise online  – a POV documentary about race, class, education and growing up
Bookmark this Civil Rights Act calendar which details programming happening throughout 2014

 

 These resources only skim the surface of possible places for learning… share your favorite texts, films, websites, and programs in our comments section!


“Participation! It’s what all my work has been about.” – Pete Seeger

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Recommended Reads | Adults | Art & Culture

Pete Seeger has died at age 94.  His January 27th 2014 passing leaves a hole in the hearts of many but his legacy asks us to memorialize him by participating in our own communities and standing up for our common good with bravery, joy and music.

Learn more about Seeger by watching The Power of Song on DVD or reading a book by or about Seeger.    Or read the Smithsonian Folkways tribute to him, complete with links to music.

Watch Bruce Springstein and Pete Seeger sing This Land Is Your Land on the Lincoln Memorial steps during the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

If you’re so moved, consider checking out a PPL Ukulele (see Teens for more info) and plucking a few famous Seeger tunes (here’s a link to a tutorial for If I Had a Hammer on Ukulele).

Commemorate Pete Seeger by choosing to participate! FMI: www.peteseegermusic.com

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