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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

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

New Report : Volunteering & Civic Engagement 2012

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Adults | Careers & Jobs | Government

The Corporation for National and Community Service has released a report on the state of volunteerism in the USA and the States in 2012. Overall, Maine is doing great, ranking 14th in the Country.  However, we have some places where we could improve and the Choose Civility Initiative hopes to encourage even more participation in coming years!

A few highlights:

In 2012, one in four adults (26.5 percent) volunteered through an organization, demonstrating that volunteering remains an important activity for millions of Americans. In Maine, 32.5% of residents volunteer, combining into a total 43.8 million hours of service!  And, more than 1/2 of Mainer’s report contributing financially to charities of some kind.  If this moves you to consider volunteering in 2014, check out Volunteer Maine to learn about opportunities around our State.

While Maine reports very high voter-turn-out, only 9.9% of volunteerism is within a civic realm, and  18.8% of residents report participating in public meetings –what could we do to encourage greater participation in our civic life?  Please share your ideas in the comments section!

Portland Room’s Children’s Collection

posted: , by Gabrielle Daniello
tags: Adults | Portland History

Among the treasures of the Library’s Portland Room is the Children’s Collection. These antique children’s books were part of the circulating collection of the Portland Public Library when the library was in the Baxter Building, but now, because of their age and fragility, are kept behind glass in the Portland Room.

Image of Baxter Building, ca. 1890

Baxter building, ca. 1890

Portland Public Library Annual Reports provide glimpses into the reading habits and preferences of an earlier era. In 1897, the library opened the Young People’s Reading Room. In 1899, the Librarian wrote that “while the unruly element has not been altogether lacking, the children have as a rule been well behaved…” Among the books the young patrons may have looked at are these:

Image of the cover of The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers

The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers


Image of the cover of Nos Enfants

Nos Enfants

In 1935, the Library’s Young People’s Room asked children to vote for their favorite books. The five that ranked highest were: Little Women, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, Secret Garden, and Black Beauty.

In 1940, children and their caregivers increasingly requested stories which had been made into films, such as Pinocchio and Swiss Family Robinson. Adult reading habits were changing, too. Librarians found that adult patrons, concerned about the war, were reading less fiction, while books on such topics as aviation, diesel engines, and radio were in high demand.

When the library moved to its new quarters at 5 Monument Square in 1979, the older children’s books – by then, many of them genuine antiques — were taken out of circulation and put in the Portland Room for safe keeping. This is where you will find them today. With their beautiful bindings and lively cover art, they are a pleasure to browse. We invite you to stop by the Portland Room and take a look.

The Portland Room is open Monday through Thursday from 10-7 and Friday from 10-6.


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