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Derivative can be a good word

posted: , by Sarah Campbell
tags: Director's Updates | Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Science & Technology

Derivative tends not be a compliment as it implies lack of creativity or more recently a bad financial instrument. But let’s be honest, many great ideas in all areas aren’t new (like bookmobiles) and libraries mostly work with the basics of those ideas and spin them to serve some niche.  PPL like other libraries lends a variety of unexpected materials including telescopes (brought to us through our partnership with Cornerstones of Science), Kill a Watt energy detectors (given to us by a private donor),and most recently ukuleles modeled on the idea first demonstrated  by the Newport (Maine) Cultural Center and neighboring Falmouth (Maine) Memorial Library.

Even Isaac Newton acknowledged the contributions to his work of those before him. It is a pleasure (and an ethical obligation) for us to acknowledge this tradition of public libraries.


conversations about conservation : thursday june 28th, 6pm @ PPL

posted: , by Abraham Schechter
tags: Programs & Events | Adults | Seniors | Art & Culture | Portland History

Roll to Codex to Kindle: Books and Libraries in the Age of Digitization

Lecture and conversation with James Reid-Cunningham,

from the Boston Athenaeum

Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 6:00pm ~ Free

at Portland Public Library Rines Auditorium

The future of books and libraries seems increasingly uncertain. During the last fifteen years, the digitization of cultural materials has become a central focus of research libraries such as the Boston Athenaeum, just as the popularity of e-readers and digital texts has led to endless speculation in the media about the death of the book as a format for communication. The transition from paper to pixels is the third major development in the physical form of the book, paralleling two earlier changes in book technology.

This historical survey of the nature of the book over two millennia will explore whether a zero-sum game now exists between digital technologies and paper books in codex form, and how research libraries will address these challenges in the years ahead.

All are welcome to this free lecture, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Mr Reid-Cunningham.


“…to the Spring and its glorious happiness”

posted: , by Abraham Schechter
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Portland History

Yes, they’re playing and singing a toast to dear old Maine, in 1937, with the famous Rudy Vallee at the baton! Clicking in the image to enlarge it, you’ll see the name “Stein Song” on the kids music sheets. (The auditorium appears to be in the old Lincoln Junior High School- today’s Lincoln Middle School- which was the original Deering High building.)

This image is part of the Library’s Archives, being processed and indexed in the Portland Room.

Happy Spring, Everyone!

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