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
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.
You’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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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…
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.
Learn 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!