Libraries are one of the few inclusive public spaces where everyone is welcome to access library materials, public computers and to be a creative learner. As Portland Public Library’s new Social Worker in Residence, I look forward to drawing on both my educational and professional experiences to work collectively with library staff on becoming a more trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive space.
I have over 18 years of experience helping people access food, housing, and healthcare and working with people experiencing substance use, mental illness, and poverty. I enjoy putting my social work skills to use and working with communities on program development, outreach, and engagement, and relationship building all with a trauma-informed and strengths-based perspective.
Library patrons experiencing homelessness have very few places to seek refuge during the day. The Portland Public Library is a safe, quiet, welcoming space that is open to all. Many people go to the library when they don’t know where else to go. I hope to be that person who can listen to people’s stories, provide answers to their questions, and help connect them to the social services and resources in the community that will meet their needs.
Michelle Lamm, MSW, received her Master in Social Work from Boston University in 2000. Before joining the PPL staff, Michelle spent 9 years working as the Preble Street Maine Hunger Initiative Program Manager. Michelle has a wide range of experience working with children, families, and seniors. She has extensive knowledge of food insecurity, homelessness, and poverty.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 700 cases of measles have been reported in the United States this year. With Maine’s first confirmed case in two years, you may have many questions about how it was reintroduced, and how to take care of yourself and your family.
Here are some librarian-approved resources to help answer your questions:
What is measles? How is it diagnosed and treated?
MedlinePlus is run by the National Institutes of Health, and it is a go-to website for quality health information. They are providing a page with comprehensive information about measles, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
Who is contracting measles, and how?
Interested in getting the facts about the current outbreak? The Centers for Disease Control offer information on outbreaks, including where cases have been reported and information about the origin of each outbreak in the United States.
How can I keep young children from being exposed to measles?
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers advice on keeping babies who are too young for the MMR vaccine from measles exposure.
Where can I find more current information about the measles outbreak?
The Health & Wellness Resource Center is a database offered for free through the Maine State Library. You can use it to find current newspaper and magazine articles about measles.
Where can I find more information about vaccines?
Explore this list of books and online resources to learn more about the past, present, and future of vaccines and vaccination.
Who can I contact for more information?
What should you do if you’re exposed to measles? How effective is the measles vaccine? How does the CDC respond to measles cases? Find answers to frequently asked questions on the CDC’s Measles FAQ page.
If you have personal health questions, it’s best to contact your healthcare provider. You can also contact your local health officer of the Maine CDC with any measles-related questions or concerns.
Are you doing research on measles, vaccines, or other health-related topics? If so, please contact Rebecca Starr, PPL’s Health Librarian with your questions. I’m happy to help you to get informed!
Portland Public Library unveiled a new look on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
It’s a big week at PPL! We are making some noise! Noise, you say, in a library? Yes!
Did you know that Portland Public Library is the most visited cultural institution in all of Maine? Over 600,000 people visit PPL each year at our four locations (not counting all who use our online services for language-learning, practice tests, small business info, Consumer Reports, and more!).
Did you know that PPL offers over 1,000 workshops, discussions, exhibits, and events throughout the year?
You already know we have great wifi, but did you know we lend wifi hotspots to take home? How about hosting free tax filing support? Ballot issue discussions? Coding workshops? And Legos!
PPL is constantly evolving to mirror the dynamic community we serve, growing and changing as we facilitate the vibrant conversations of our city. We provide the rich experiences and access to resources you’d expect from a big city library tailored to the unique flow and interests of life in 21st century Portland.
When you have a library card, you’re a Library insider. And even library insiders don’t know all this about PPL, so chances are our friends and neighbors throughout Greater Portland don’t know about it either. Help us spread the word. We are excited to change our logo, colors, and messaging to boldly speak out about the Library’s evolution as an epicenter for lifelong experiential learning, civic and cultural gatherings, and partnership in community-wide innovation. Today’s PPL is vital to our great city, that is on-the-move in so many ways!
There is literally something for everyone at today’s PPL, whatever your stage of life. And it is FREE. Enjoy our expert staff, services, collections, and programming. Our storytimes, performances, business seminars, computer help, music-making, telescopes, 3-D printer. Our amazing partnerships with creative leaders and thought trailblazers. It’s all to share, discover, and build more…together.
Welcome to PPL!