PPL: Highlighted Teen eResources
Free Online Resources for Teens
Compiled by the Teen Services Staff of Portland Public Library.
Updated every Wednesday.
PPL To Go is ongoing for your check-out needs! You can arrange for curbside pickup at all of our locations.
Sorry, we’re closed: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Portland Public Library locations, including the Teen Library at Monument Square, are closed in compliance with city and state orders. While this situation may be new, overwhelming and scary, your librarians are here for you. It’s our job to provide factual and relevant information… and in times like these, we need that more than ever!
We miss the Teen Library and our teen patrons. Please stay in touch through email or Instagram. Message us if you have questions, need information, recommendations, or just to say hello. Be safe friends! -Ms. Blue, Megan & Sarah
Books & Reading
Teen Summer Reading 2020, Happy Birthday Maine, is live all summer long.
Click here for full details.
We will pick out a book (or movie, or video game) just for you! Try out “Your Next Great Reads: Kids & Teens” and get a personalized list of ideas. You can either email us at email@example.com, fill out our form online, or print out a paper form and drop it off.
- Stamped from the Beginning, Ibram X Kendi’s bestselling, in-demand book on the history or racist ideas, is now available for free on the Spotify app. Login/open Spotify to search for the title. Bonus: watch a recent interview with Dr. Kendi and one of our favorite YA authors, Jason Reynolds, here. Jason adapted Stamped for young adult readers.
- The Brown Bookshelf Generations Book Club is looking for readers of all ages (including teens) to read and engage with books by Black creators this summer. On the 1st and 15th of June, July and August, they’ll feature a themed list of books by Black creators for the youngest readers through YA to adults with related links and resources. Join in the celebration by reading, writing reviews, spreading the word!
- Read Black YA Fiction or nonfiction for teens on Black history and contemporary experiences with these reading lists from PPL Teen staff. Many of these titles are available digitally on our cloudLibrary app.
Webcomics for Tweens & Teens: School Library Journal has compiled a list of free webcomics for middle grade and teen readers, including some of our personal favorites like On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden.
Teen Book Cloud: an online collection of ebooks, enhanced novels, graphic novels, videos and audio books, which offers teens all reading levels access to an amazing range of content. Just click on the link – no library card needed!
cloudLibrary: download new, popular and bestselling audiobooks and eBooks with your library card! Download the cloudLibrary app to your device for free, enter your library card number and go! PPS students and teachers, here is a guide Ms. Blue put together for how to use cloudLibrary with your SEED #.
Need help finding a good book to read? PPL Teen staff have created and maintained book lists on every teen topic under the sun! Check out our Staff Picks page and look for Teens. Questions? Email us or DM us on Instagram and we’re happy to make personal recommendations based on your interests.
Education & Jobs
PPNNE is looking for new peer educators. Teens interested in becoming an educator can sign up here for a new, fully online training. “Our program equips young people with knowledge and decision-making skills to achieve and promote sexual and reproductive health for themselves, their peers, and their communities. Peer Educators act as a resource by sharing information with friends, peers and family.” The training will be entirely online through Zoom and Google Classroom, so you can join the program whether you live in the Greater Portland area or not. Applicants must be between 14 and 18, be able to commit to the program for one year, and have adult permission if not a legal adult.
A gift for graduating seniors: MSCC is offering free online community college classes for any Maine student graduating high school in 2020. Visit mccs.me.edu for information on who qualifies, what to expect, and how to apply.
Portland Public SEED Numbers: don’t forget your SEED Number! All Portland Public Middle and High School students have a special Portland Public library number that gives them access to all of our digital online content listed here and more. To make your SEED Number, combine the prefix 21220980 + your unique school lunch number. For more information about this program, visit our SEED Number page.
Digital Maine Library & High School Teen: a curated collection of educational and informational databases for high school students from the Maine State Library. Easy to access via geolocation or, in some cases, your library card or SEED number.
Learning Express School Center: tutorials, homework help and practice tests for Elementary, Middle and High School level mathematics, English language arts, social studies, science and more. Create an account with an email address to keep track of your progress. Maybe you’re interested in Career Exploration, SAT/ACT or TOEFL Test Prep, or even College Level Courses? Learning Express has those options as well! Learning Express also offers a whole series of classes, homework help, and practice exams in Spanish.
Do you need information about qualifying and applying for unemployment benefits? Our Business & Government librarian has created this page to help.
Art & Entertainment
New: It’s time to sign up for The Telling Room’s Young Writers and Leaders program! This annual group, which is being held virtually this year, brings together teens in grades 9 through 12 from South Portland, Westbrook, and Portland high schools. Participating teenagers write their own work, receive feedback from writing coaches, and perform their pieces. Check out The Telling Room’s website for more details.
New: Teen artists can have their work featured at the Portland Museum of Art through their Susie Konkel Gallery for Kids! The gallery is entirely digital – fill out the entry form and submit your artwork to their website here.
Comic-Con@Home may be over, but many of the programs and events were recorded and are still available to view online! Browse the archives and find something fun to watch on the Comic-Con@Home website.
First Second’s Sketch School is a series of free drawing lessons entirely online! The lessons include videos from Ngozi Ukazu of Check, Please! and Gene Luen Yang of Dragon Hoops. Watch some amazing comic artists work and draw along!
Do you miss Dungeons and Dragons at the Library? We do, too! Until we can meet again, try out some of these one page role playing games. There are no handbooks or props required, and each one only has one page of directions – easy to pick up and try for an evening! For a start, check out “Honey Heist“, in which players roleplay some mischievous honey-stealing bears; “Adventure Skeletons“, which flips the adventuring genre on its head as the skeleton players explore the human ‘dungeon’; and “Oh, Dang! Bigfoot Stole My Car With My Friend’s Birthday Present Inside“, which says it all with the title. These are all free to play, with the option to donate money to the creators. Happy gaming!
Or you could teach yourself 13 Levels of Beatboxing: Easy to Complex with 2005 Female World Beatbox Champion Butterscotch. In this Wired YouTube Channel, she explains the art of beatboxing starting with just the bass drum and layering on more and more…!
Check out PPL Health Librarian Becca’s page on COVID-19; updated regularly with news and information you can trust.
NAMI Maine has established a Teen Text Support Line during this time, providing a peer-to-peer support network for young people. Visit www.namimaine.org/page/teentextline or text (207) 515-8398 to start a conversation (please note that this is not a crisis line; if you or someone you know is in crisis, please call or text (888) 568-1112.
Medline Plus Teen presents high-quality, relevant health and wellness information that is trusted, easy to understand, and free of advertising, in both English and Spanish. A service of the National Library of Medicine.
Teen Health & Wellness provides middle and high school students with up-to-date, nonjudgmental, straightforward curricular, and self-help support. Topics covered include diseases, drugs, alcohol, nutrition, mental health, suicide, bullying, LGBTQ+ issues, and more.