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October is Health Literacy Month

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Seniors | Government | Health

indexOctober is Health Literacy Month!

“Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” (Healthy People).   According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, only 12 percent of adults have proficient health literacy. This is problematic as  literacy impacts health knowledge, health status, income level, occupation, education, housing, and access to medical care (NNLM).

Here at PPL we have plenty or resources to help you find health information:

  • Health and Wellness Resource Center  -  provides information on the full range of health related information, from current disease and disorder information to in-depth coverage of alternative medical practices. For all levels of inquiry.
  • Health Source: Consumer Edition – provides access to nearly 80 health magazines, including American Fitness, Better Nutrition, Harvard Health Letter, Men’s Health, Muscle & Fitness, Prevention, Vegetarian Times, and more. Contains Merriam-Webster’s Medical Desk Dictionary. Also included is access to health-related pamphlets and more than 100 reference books covering topics such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes, drugs and alcohol, women’s health, and more.

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Here at PPL we want to ensure that you have the best access to medical information you can understand, don’t hesitate to contact a librarian if we can be of assistance!

A rich online resource for all levels of inquiry, this comprehensive consumer health collection provides authoritative information on the full range of health-related issues, from current disease and disorder information to in-depth coverage of alternative and complementary medical practices. Articles, streaming videos featuring medical experts, reference books, news feeds, links to key health websites, and more. – See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/research/?related_highlight=5601#sthash.zrjAAtiS.dpuf
Health and Wellness Resource Center »
A rich online resource for all levels of inquiry, this comprehensive consumer health collection provides authoritative information on the full range of health-related issues, from current disease and disorder information to in-depth coverage of alternative and complementary medical practices. Articles, streaming videos featuring medical experts, reference books, news feeds, links to key health websites, and more.

- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/research/?related_highlight=5601#sthash.zrjAAtiS.dpuf


New Collection Added to Digital Commons: Letters from the Relief Effort after the Great Fire of 1866

posted: , by Gabrielle Daniello
tags: Adults | Portland History
Telegram sent from Boston's Lamp Department to the Mayor of Portland

Telegram sent from Boston’s Lamp Department to the Mayor of Portland

 

“The oil will go by boat with agent this afternoon & Mr. Hibbard will go by rail Tuesday morning to light your streets tomorrow night.”

These are the words that the Clerk of Boston’s Lamp Department telegraphed to the mayor of Portland on July 9, 1866, just several days after the devastating fire of 1866 wiped out most of Portland’s downtown and left about 10,000 people homeless.

Stereoscopic view of Portland after the fire of 1866, taken by John P. Soule

Stereoscopic view of Portland after the fire of 1866, taken by John P. Soule

This telegram is part of a remarkable collection that is housed in the library’s Portland Room. The collection, Relief for the Portland Sufferers: The Great Fire, 1866, documents the relief effort that was carried out in the wake of the conflagration. Mayors of towns and cities around the country, as well as individuals, wrote letters and sent telegrams to Augustus E. Stevens, Portland’s mayor, to express their sympathy and to offer help. Donations ranged from $1 (“which may aid some suffering family. I earned it cleaning the snow off the sidewalks last winter”) to thousands of dollars from organized relief funds. People also sent food, clothing, and other goods and services, like the Boston lamplighter’s offer to light the darkened streets of the city. Among the goods donated: a chest of oolong tea, a case of forks and knives, three train car-loads of lumber, 1000 feet of hose for the Fire Company, a supply of disinfectant.

Other people wrote to inquire about work opportunities, hoping to be hired to help rebuild the city. Still others inquired after family and friends. A little girl named Annie wrote this on behalf of her little sister, Alice: “PS Alice says that if you know “Suzy” and “Prudy Paslin,” give the money to them if they have been burned out.”

The collection includes hundreds of documents. A small selection has been digitized and can be seen here:

http://digitalcommons.portlandlibrary.com/great_fire_relief/

Copies of some of the letters and telegrams are on display in the Portland Room, along with the black metal box in which the documents were stored for years, tightly rolled up, before Portland Room staff found them and rehoused them in archival folders and boxes. We invite you to come up and see them for yourself!

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


Choose Civility and Constitution Week!

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Business | Government | Portland History

The topic of civil discourse has emerged as a central concern in Maine and the Nation, during the past several years.  MPBN recently held its annual “Civility in Politics” call-in show, Colby College held a summit on the topic “Civil : The Way Politics Should Be”  (listen to the rebroadcast on MPBN) and the Maine Council of Churches has called for candidates to sign a “covenant of civil discourse.”  Much of this emphasis is on civility as respect and integrity in conversation.  Sometimes, calls for civility are used to discourage challenging conversation, but the best civic discourse allows a pathway for the most difficult conversations to occur productively,

Another way to think about civil discourse is that it is conversation meant to  promote a stronger Democracy.  In that way, civility is about giving people the information, tools and skills they need to understand community issues. Civics involves claiming the rights and responsibilities associated with citizenship (defined broadly).  Civil discourse involves understanding how public issues and policy decisions effect people differently and understanding the various arguments or ideas surrounding an issue.  Libraries hold a unique role in promoting civility, in that access to good information is essential to a free society.

At Portland Public Library, the “Choose Civility” initiative is not a mandate — that’s not how library’s roll – but instead an invitation to join in a community-wide reflection on what civility means in different contexts, what conditions promote civic engagement, what obstacles prevent us from participating in our communities as fully as we might like. We have great books and films, a lot of programming, and a lot of gratitude –  to the Lerner Foundation for their support of this work, and to all those who are attending public conversation programs, sharing your stories and listening with respect and curiosity to others.

This fall, we are hoping that you will join us for an even deeper look at what it means to be a community and what we can all do to promote civility in our everyday lives and in our organizations.

Portland Public Conversations

Coffee & Networking 7:30am

Program 8:00am – 10:00am

September 3oth: Portland’s People, Who Lives Among Us?

Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us?
Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us? (Main Library 8am, doors open at 7:30) – In 2004, Journalist Bill Bishop coined the phrase “The Big Sort” to describe growing segregation, both physical and intellectual, in the USA.  10 years later, political scientists agree that this phenomena is growing.  How are we sorted in Greater Portland and what can we learn from crossing divides?  This program will include an opportunity to reflect on the most current Census Data about our demographics and to engage in an exploration of stories and perceptions about each other with director of the Office of Minority Health Lisa Sockabasin.  Ample time will be allowed for facilitated table conversation.  Click here for our flyer: Choose Civility Portland Conversations – See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/highlight/choose-civility/#sthash.3uuejQEg.dpuf

November 25th: Participating Portland, Opportunities to Get Involved!

December 9th: Picturing Portland, Visioning Our Shared Future

September 30th :  Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us? (Main Library 8am, doors open at 7:30) – In 2004, Journalist Bill Bishop coined the phrase “The Big Sort” to describe growing segregation, both physical and intellectual, in the USA.  10 years later, political scientists agree that this phenomena is growing.  How are we sorted in Greater Portland and what can we learn from crossing divides?  This program will include an opportunity to reflect on the most current Census Data about our demographics and to engage in an exploration of stories and perceptions about each other with director of the Office of Minority Health Lisa Sockabasin.  Ample time will be allowed for facilitated table conversation.  Click here for our flyer: Choose Civility Portland Conversations

Save the following dates for more in our series: 
November 25th:  Participating Portland: Practical Opportunities to Get Involved
December 9th : Picturing Portland: Visioning Our Shared Future

- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/highlight/choose-civility/#sthash.3uuejQEg.dpuf

September 30th :  Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us? (Main Library 8am, doors open at 7:30) – In 2004, Journalist Bill Bishop coined the phrase “The Big Sort” to describe growing segregation, both physical and intellectual, in the USA.  10 years later, political scientists agree that this phenomena is growing.  How are we sorted in Greater Portland and what can we learn from crossing divides?  This program will include an opportunity to reflect on the most current Census Data about our demographics and to engage in an exploration of stories and perceptions about each other with director of the Office of Minority Health Lisa Sockabasin.  Ample time will be allowed for facilitated table conversation.  Click here for our flyer: Choose Civility Portland Conversations

Save the following dates for more in our series: 
November 25th:  Participating Portland: Practical Opportunities to Get Involved
December 9th : Picturing Portland: Visioning Our Shared Future

- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/highlight/choose-civility/#sthash.3uuejQEg.dpuf

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