AS OF SEPT 14: We have made schedule changes at Riverton and Burbank in order to expand their pickup hours. See the new schedule here -- PPL To Go Place a hold. Wait for your pickup notice. Then make an appointment to pick it up. We look forward to seeing you! Our COVID-19 page continues to have links to current health information in multiple languages. Reference will be answering questions Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm, 871-1700 x725. If you would like to get a library card, please email
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Updated June 1, 2020

The following information addresses immediate FAQ’s and highlights how PPL is responding to the current situation.


Portland Public Library Opening Book Drops June 1

Portland Public Library, in accordance with the City of Portland, the State of Maine, and CDC guidelines, will begin a phased approach to re-opening its services to the public beginning June 1, 2020.

The first step in resuming services is to reopen the book drops so patrons can return library items they checked out before the Library closed its locations. Exterior book drops at all branches will be open on June 1. The Library requires that all patrons and staff practice safe physical distancing and wear face coverings. The due date for all currently checked out materials is June 29 and no fines or fees are being collected until after that date so there is no immediate rush to return them. All returned materials will be quarantined according to the current guidance which is seven days before being returned to the shelves and available again to the public.

Reference Librarians continue to be available to answer your calls
Monday – Friday, 10 am – 4 pm, 871-1700 x725.

Since the Library closure on March 13, PPL has been offering a robust selection of virtual programming, including regular story-times and children’s programming, virtual author talks, an online book club, and installments in the ongoing Sustainability Series. PPL has also offered an increased variety of digital options including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eResearch, and eReference. Our website, is our online branch and it never closes. People who do not have a library card and would like to open a temporary eResource library card, please email us at All of these services will continue alongside reopening activities.

The Library expects a gradual return to broader services, with the next planned stage offering PPL-To-Go pickup of reserved books starting the week of June 8. PPL will post Information about the phased resumption of library services on our website as well as on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

“We know that there is tremendous pent-up demand to access the vast collection at the Library,” says Sarah Campbell, the Executive Director of PPL. “We miss our patrons and look forward to providing access in a safe and welcoming manner in accordance with the latest scientific data and guidance.” This guidance includes the US CDC, Maine DECD Checklist for Public and Community Buildings, the Maine State Library Prevention Checklist, and OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.

During the closure, the Library’s cleaning and maintenance staff has conducted a thorough deep-cleaning and disinfecting of all four branches.

What if I do not have a PPL Library Card?

We can help you! We are offering short term eResource library cards if you do not have a library card. To sign up for an eResource library card, please email us at

Can I still place holds on items?

No. We are not yet able to accept or process holds.

Can I reach Portland Public Library staff?

Reference staff are answering questions via email, chat, and phone, 10am-4pm, Monday through Friday. To reach us, email or phone 871-1700 x725. To reach us by text,  text the word portlib to 66746, and then send us your question. We will get back to you as quickly as possible.

For Patron Account questions other than eResource cards, Lending is available by phone (871-1700 x731), Monday through Friday, 10am-4pm. To request a short term eResource library card, please email us at

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you again for your understanding and patience during this challenging time.

Stay well!

PPL Staff

© 2020 Portland Public Library