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Community Conversations: “Being Mortal”

posted: , by Emily Levine
tags: About the Library | Director's Updates | Programs & Events | Adults | Seniors | Health | News

being mortalOver the past several months, PPL has held a range of discussion groups on the best-selling and oft-borrowed Being Mortal by Dr. Atul Gawande. Made possible by a generous grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation, our program engaged nearly 500 individuals – from independent seniors and family members, to assisted living residents and staff, to medical professionals

Our goals for the program were to help participants have wider understanding of the end-of-life experience for most Americans in this era, to have a way to develop and articulate their own perspective on the question of quality of life vs. quantity of time remaining, and to feel empowered to have thoughtful, necessary discussions on end-of-life issues with their families and caregivers.

We have received tremendous feedback from host facilities and from participants alike. PPL takes very seriously our vision of helping citizens be more literate, informed, and engaged, and we are gratified by participants’ appreciation for the our help in framing these critical conversations.

Maggie Richards Editor at Henry Holt, has provided us with the outline and discussion guide that Dr. Gawande uses himself when he speaks with groups about the book. This guide will be included in the upcoming October release of the paperback but is not in any of the current editions; we are delighted that Dr. Gawande’s publisher has entrusted it to us. You can download the guide here.

Additional discussion group guidelines – developed by our facilitators and with various audiences in mind – will be made available on our website shortly. We hope other libraries, individual book groups, and organizations that wish to initiate these critical conversations will find them useful.

If your book group would like to explore this topic, please be in touch with us by email at gilliss@portlib.org or at 207-871-1700 ext. 717 for details on how to borrow multiple copies of Being Mortal and use our supplied discussion guides to begin conversations.


Peaks Branch renovation plan takes big step forward

posted: , by Sarah Campbell
tags: About the Library | Director's Updates | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors

We are thrilled to announce that on April 25, the City Council approved the FY2017 Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget – including the $250,000 needed to complete the funding for the renovation of the Peaks community center and branch library!

This $650,000 project is the result of a thoughtful process that engaged the Peaks community all along the way. We are excited at how the renovated facility will continue to serve as the “heart of the island” while meeting the evolving needs of the entire Peaks community. We are thankful for the support and commitment of City leadership for their partnership, and we absolutely could not have reached this point without the commitment of more than 250 Peaks households and businesses who pledged over $200,000 towards this effort.

We also are delighted that part of the unique public-private funding collaboration for this project included a commitment of $200,000 from an “angel” donor with a family history on Peaks and deep ties to both the library and the Recreation Department. In recognition of this generosity, the renovated building will be named The Kennedy and Carter Family Community Center & Branch Library.

This spring and summer, we will be working behind the scenes with our partners in the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Facilities to begin the bid and permitting process. We will also be in touch with our generous New Vision Campaign donors and will make the plans for relocating library programs on the island during construction. We expect renovation work to begin before the end of the year, and we will continue to share those details as they become more fixed.

There are plenty of wonderful library moments when we see our patrons engage in learning, creating, experimenting, researching, and expanding their horizons. It’s even more exhilarating when PPL and those we serve collaborate to expand the horizons of what is possible for our entire community. This feels like one of those moments.

Thank you to all of those who have lent their voice and dedicated their effort and support to this “new vision”!


Videoport DVDs now available at PPL!

posted: , by Sarah Campbell
tags: Director's Updates | Library Collections | Adults | Art & Culture

When Portland fixture Videoport announced last month that they would be closing after 28 years, many saw a silver lining: the store planned to donate more than 18,000 DVD titles to Portland Public Library. (See their blog post.)

Videoport's Criterion titles are now available at PPL

Videoport’s Criterion titles are now available at PPL. Find them across from Lending at the Main Library.

We join the community both in lamenting the loss of Videoport and celebrating their generosity to PPL.

We are tremendously honored that owner Bill Duggan believed PPL was the perfect home for the collection, and this gift adds a tremendous depth to the Library’s film holdings. Bill described his customers to us as “folks who live and work on Portland’s peninsula, islands, and neighborhoods. They are active participants in the life of the city.” This is exactly who we serve here at PPL, as well. We are thrilled to report that the first portion of the Videoport collection is now available on the shelves at the Main Library.

We encourage you to browse the collection and enjoy the rich offerings, which will continue to grow as more and more titles are incorporated into our holdings.

We also encourage you to check out our other film-related resources:

-          Enjoy Hoopla digital streaming (available to all PPL cardholders)

-          Join us to watch one of the acclaimed POV documentary films

-         Ask us for our video picks (we also plan to create lists of suggestions based on the Videoport collection — underrated gems, foreign classics, or just-plain-strange films)

We look forward to enjoying this collection with you. It’s a wonderful gift to all of us!

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