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Individuals Make a Difference

posted: , by Wendy Nowell
tags: About the Library | Director's Updates | Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Portland History

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


PPL Cardholders Now Have the “Advantage” with eBooks and eAudiobooks

posted: , by Kathleen Spahn
tags: Library Collections | Online Services | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Business

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.

OverDrive Advantage logoYou’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: soucy@portland.lib.me.us


“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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