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Science of Character – March 20th

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Health

On March 20th, a national project organized by Let It Ripple will launch community conversations about the “Science of Character” all over the country.  PPL’s Choose Civility Initiative is pleased to screen the 8 minute video.

Thursday, March 20 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Location: Main Library – Rines Auditorium
Bring your lunch!
  • What character traits do we value the most in ourselves and in others?
  • What kinds of character building experiences do we offer our kids, ourselves, and each other?
  • What kind of projects might we support as we build the character of individuals and our larger community?

If you can’t make it to our public conversation, consider participating online through social media (#CharacterDay), by reviewing Let It Ripple’s online resources or check out a book from PPL’s Choose Civility collection!


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!


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

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