There will be NO TO GO SERVICES on Friday, July 3 in celebration of the 4th of July holiday. UPDATE JUNE 19: PPL To Go is up and running! 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 information 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 open a temporary eResource library card, please email us at lending@portlib.org
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Isolating Together : A Public Archive

posted: , by Abraham
tags: Adults | Seniors | Portland History


Greater Portland is a vibrant region, filled with creative and adventurous individuals. As a community, we are integral to one another, and the Library is integral to our community. Amidst this time of isolating during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, we invite you to send us your thoughts from your individual point of view describing how you are living with the present social distancing measures. We may now be physically distant but let us remain socially connected.

How are you weathering the challenges of this COVID-19 pandemic? Send your thoughts, poems, letters, diary entries, original artwork, doodles or comics (300 words or less, please), to isolatingtogether@portlib.org 
We’ll share your submissions here on our library blog and on our library social media. Archives provide future generations a richer view of history, first-person documentation of our times and lives. This is an opportunity to document our own histories for future historians and social scientists trying to make sense of it a hundred years from now!

The Fine Print: By submitting content through this email address you are granting Portland Public Library permission to disseminate, preserve, and use that content in connection with its educational and research mission, including promotional purposes, in all media in perpetuity. You retain ownership of and copyright in the material you share, in this particular project & collection. Our hope is to continue this project throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning March 2020. We will collect individual submissions, actively seek out relevant material for preservation from other sources, and create opportunities for our community to participate once we re-open our buildings to the public. When possible, please include the following information with your submission: your name, date of creation, your age, your location (town or neighborhood), how you self-identify (gender, identity, race, tribal affiliation, cultural affiliation, etc).

By submitting material, you voluntarily agree to contribute this item to the Isolating Together archive, affirming that
(1) you are 13 years of age or older, and
(2) you are the creator of this item.
Exceptions: This item is in the public domain, or you’re a parent or guardian submitting this item on behalf of your child.

 

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29 June 2020

Quarantine Kitten

Quarantine kitten, BlackBerry, came into our lives on Juneteenth.
Baby has a long and beautiful life to live.

 

from Leah P., Southern Maine Community College

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26 June 2020

sending words

from Abraham S., West End

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22 June 2020

 

Library To Go


PPL To Go sign, at 5 Monument Square

 

Printing Hold Slips for Library Patrons, Riverton Branch

 

 

Printing Hold Slips for Library Patrons, 5 Monument Square

 

 

Curbside Pickups at Peaks Island Branch

 

Little Water Girl holds forth, 5 Monument Square

from Raminta M., PPL Reference, and Kathleen C., PPL Maintenance & Security

 

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19 June 2020

 

Quarantine

 

After three months of quarantine during which we’d only seen our closest neighborhood friends from a distance, we had them over for dinner in our backyard. It was a warm spring evening. Their kids (5, 10, 12) and our kids (10, 12) played cornhole while we cooked and brought food out to the porch. We shared stories about the things in each of our lives that had become familiar that were completely unfamiliar to us before quarantine. Masks. Zoom. Telemarketers seeming kind and human. Daily talk about sickness and death.
They’d biked over to our house so when dinner was over we all got on our bikes—all 9 of us—and biked through the dark and mostly empty streets of Deering Center to Evergreen cemetery. We rode right down the middle of the street, a critical mass, and when we reached Evergreen, we rode down to the ponds, got off our bikes, and in the long unmowed grass beside the ponds we watched hundreds of fireflies dance in the dark. It felt miraculous to see these little insects light themselves up. We all stood there in awe feeling grateful.

 

from Lewis R., of Deering Center

 

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9 June 2020

 

Bird 

 

A bird flew to my window and caught me by surprise. One of its feet gripped the screen. Our eyes locked. It fluttered its wings as if quickly treading air. I was transfixed.

After about 30 seconds the bird flew off.

I wondered what it meant. My dream book (a good place for symbols) said one thing; our ancestors said another; and ornithologists have their own logical meaning.

I wondered if it was marveling at the human in a cage. But I prefer to think that it was a sign of hope. And freedom. Freedom from the virus and our cages.

 

from Diane L., of Scarborough

 

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8 June 2020

 

from the West End News’ Portland Palate


Face Masks Finally Arrived

 

Fran and James at the Waterfront/Old Port

 


West End garden pansies

 

from James F., West End

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Tuesday 26 May 2020

 

Covid Quarantine

Today is one of the warmest days we have had in quite some time, so I decided to take my office outside for the morning.

 

from Raminta M., of North Deering

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Thursday 21 May 2020

needles and hooks

Yesterday I finally had my acupuncture appointment after more than two months of waiting.  How great it feels, not only to be able to better manage my pain again but also to get out of the house for the first time (except for picking up my medications at CVS), beyond the building front stoop.  Meanwhile, I’ve been crocheting a large blanket, a few rows a day.  At the rate I am going, I will be half way through in a week or two!  I am so looking forward to massage and to knitting with my friends again, in Congress Square Park …

 

from Angelika S., West End, Portland

 

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Thursday 21 May 2020

 

sonnet

 

When I grow weary with Corona news,
Of health care workers reusing their gear,
While megachurches’ preachers all refuse
To shut down (“it’s the media spreading fear”),

 

Rates of morbidity and infection
On the rise, despite social distancing,
And all that our civic leaders have done
While President Trump’s done worse than nothing,

 

As I’m sequestered alone in my room
Images of my own death fill my head.
If this should prove the time I meet my doom
I hope in years to come, when I am dead,

 

That somebody will smile and think of me
When this shows up, a Facebook Memory.

 

from Jeff L., of Portland

 

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Thursday 14 May 2020

Resurgam

 

from Abraham S., West End, Portland

 

[Resurgam: “I shall rise again,” is the motto of the City of Portland, Maine.]

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Monday 11 May 2020

 

Johns Hopkins Covid 19 Map

 

What was your name,
number ninety-nine thousand, two hundred ten?
Was it Akmed or Chunhua,
Mustafa or Mike? Did your friends
call you Anna Maria or George?
Were you mother-blessed “Emma”
or street-baptized Blade?

Were you scared as you died 
alone in a hospital hall,
untended among too many to save?

Maybe you got a too-scarce ventilator, 
but though hovering, masked faces
checked oxygen levels and monitors, 
could you hear the beeping stop?
Did you see some of those faces cry?

Did you slip away in your room
at home, your family afraid to touch,
to kiss, to hold your trembling hand?
Were you first of your family to go?

Were you unnamed on admittance?
Was the street your home?
Did you end up with a toe tag,
boxed in wood, unknown, unmourned?

You, number ninety-nine thousand, two hundred ten, 
you’re lost to me here in tallies of countries. 
You shed an old story or stopped midway
when you became a number.  

Most important, dear human, please, 
say that you were loved, were loved
before Corona took your name.

 

from Susan S., of Portland

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Monday 11 May 2020

 

Jane

In mid-March, her memory-care home was declared off-limits to families, to keep residents safe from COVID-19.

She is a mother with a ravaged memory; we are her son and daughter-in-law. 

Time slip-slides, elides.  I wonder… when can we hug her again?  who will we be to her with more memories gone? 

Amid this strangeness, spring birdsong expands our soundscape, wildflowers flourish in the duff.  It is easy to forget that as life continues, so does death.  It happens like this:  a 95-year-old woman has a quiet morning, then lunch.  She lies down for a nap from which she doesn’t wake.

 

from Eileen M., of Woolwich

 

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Friday 8 May 2020

[from Portland’s In Her Presence educational initiative]

 

 

from Eugenie, Precieux, and Astrid, of Portland

 

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Thursday 7 May 2020

 

There Is No Insight Without Disorder

 

When we are driving in an unfamiliar city, we drive more slowly.

When we are reading an unfamiliar word, we read more slowly.

When we are making an unfamiliar recipe, we make more slowly.

When we are in new terrain, we are our most present selves.

Are we ever in new terrain right now.

It’s unsteadying terrain. But the presence we can bring to it is nothing short of holy.

There is no transformation without awareness, and this presence is a threshold to awareness. To notice what we’re missing from our ordinary life – the things that matter to us. To notice what we’re not missing from our ordinary life – the things that don’t matter to us. To reorganize our life, as much as possible, around the former and release, as much as possible, the later.

There is no insight without disorder.

So here we are in insight-rich terrain. And if there were a password to access it, I suspect it’d be something like goslowbegentle.

https://www.thelightningnotes.com/blog/2020/4/10/being-in-insight-rich-terrain

from Caitie W., West End, Portland

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Monday 4 May 2020

 

Thank you for the opportunity to share reflections / responses to our collective current circumstance.
I’ve provided a sculptural response to the critical shortage of PPE for our frontline providers.

 

from Cathleen M., of Parkside, Portland

[*PPE: personal protective equipment]

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Monday 4 May 2020

 

My Easter 2020 painting : Perspective

from Holly L., of Portland

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Sunday 3 May 2020

 

We want to offer for archives this original creation we made early March 2020 with seaglass and pebbles. It was inspired by the need to establish connections.

Thanks for offering this platform, it inspires togetherness.

from Brigitte and Gail, of Saco

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Friday 1 May 2020

 

Here I Stand

 

The buds on the tree
Are talking to me they’ve
Weathered worse winters before
They’ve danced windier mornings
Than last summer’s storm remember
The fall the hurricane came it’s spring
Here I stand in bloom again

 

from Nathan B., of Portland

 

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Monday 27 April 2020

 

Isolating Together collage

 

from Joel B., of Portland

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Friday 24 April 2020

 

letter-writing interlude

from Abraham S., West End, Portland.

 

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Friday 24 April 2020

 

Over the past 6+ weeks I’ve been through such a range of emotion. I’ve been sad, scared, angry, hopeful, despairing, and even happy at times. My daily routine has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 crisis, while my spouse continues to work a modified schedule. I’ve loved spending more time with my dogs and have gotten some projects done around the house but it feels like things are deteriorating across the country. I’m grateful to be living in a smaller city where I can get outside and where it’s not too crowded, but I don’t know what our country is going to look like on the other side of this. I’ve been so encouraged by the neighborly spirit I’ve experience from the people living nearby that I am doing my best to harness that hope for us to use as we think about how to rebuild our society and economy once we defeat this virus.

 

from Adam K., of Portland

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Tuesday 21 April 2020

https://shinebolt.com/
from
Jessica E., of Portland
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Tuesday 21 April 2020

 

As I sat in my makeshift home office with the window slightly cracked, I heard the sound of beeping horns. Is that a parade? Maybe it’s over! I ran into living room and told my mother that I had heard cars and horns! We looked out the picture window – nothing but the rain. I laughed and my eyes filled with tears. I told her I had thought that maybe it was a parade… I walked back to my home office. I allowed myself one sob – time to get back to work.

 

from Diane L., of Scarborough

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Friday 17 April 2020

 

“Longing for Strangers”

The exquisite decadence
Of sitting at a table
Guessing which date number
The young couple across the room is on
The clank of a dropped fork 
The din of twenty conversations

The bracing aroma
Of your favorite coffee shop
The artsy barista and
That lady whose life story
Seemed fascinating based on
Her glasses and the way she held herself
As she read her book

The movies, all buttery popcorn
Collective laughter
Sticky fingers 
Smiles and knowing looks as 
Families exit and 
Children become the heroines and heros

And the annoying person
Who stands in front of the one item
Left on the grocery list
Taking an infinity to decide
Between spinach and arugula
I miss you, too.

from Jennifer K., of East Deering, Portland

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Friday 17 April 2020

 

A woman discovers her husband is deep into the men’s rights movement. His verbal abuse escalates. Strangers on Twitter tell her to be careful as she leaves; they advise communicating and searching for resources on public library computers where records can be erased. They tell her to act as if he’s already tapped her e-mail and phone. Now the strangers praise a different woman who’s healthy, as far as she knows, but isolates as if she has COVID-19. How can you plan for the worst when it shifts guises? Where will the first woman go?

 

from Amy B., of Portland

 

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Monday 13 April 2020

 

When I, alone beweep my cloistered state
And social distance practice in my home
Thinking on the plague and cursing fate
Fearing whate’er apocalypse may come,

 

As travel halts and businesses shut down
And all the world seems toilet paper crazed
All the antibacterial scrub is gone
At empty grocery shelves I stare amazed

 

Beset by worries for my dear ones far
Or that I might infect one in my home
Because I touched some dirty thing somewhere
And couldn’t bear to leave my face alone,

 

Then haply I may think of writing this
And for a time my cares are turned to bliss

from Jeff L., of Portland
(
I have been reading Shakespeare with Ian Doescher’s Shakespeare 2020 project (https://iandoescher.com/shakespeare/) and was inspired to write a pastiche sonnet.)

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Monday 13 April 2020

 

Before Now and After

Before, we were kind to each other.
Now, we worry about each other.
After, will we still care for each other?
Before, we nodded in passing.
Now, we wave and mumble behind masks.
After, will we guard against any contact?
Before, we held the door open for the person behind us.
Now, it’s each person to their self.
After, will we be polite again?
Before, people kept a friendly distance.
Now, we are “social” distancing.
After, will we be on our own?
Before, smiles, tears, grins, nods.
Now, masks, raised brows, blinking eyes, nods.
After, a friendly wave, kindness, a warm gesture, smiling nods.

from Lisa M., of Portland

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Thursday 9 April 2020

from Karen C., of Portland

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Thursday 9 April 2020


One, two, three… ACHOO!
Social distancing, boo-hoo-hoo!
Wash your hands and cover your face.
It’s coronavirus, so stay in place!
If I follow these golden rules,
then can I go back to school?
One, two, three… ACHOO!
Social distancing, boo-hoo-hoo!

from Jennifer C., of Portland.

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Thursday 9 April 2020

All things considering, I’ve been very fortunate during this time. I’m developing an online business that supports artists who are also entrepreneurs. Curious to see how businesses evolve (or don’t) in this new climate. I’ve also finished writing a book of short fiction and look forward to finding it a home in this strange world. Forgiveness and prosperity have been at the forefront of my mind. Every day I’m learning how to balance hope and grief.

 

from Emily C., of Willard Beach, South Portland.

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Thursday 9 April 2020

 


from Joanna H., of Parkside, Portland

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Thursday 9 April 2020

The irony of social distancing and enforced solitude is how much it has reinforced the truth of our deep connection to each other and to the natural world.  In this country we pride ourselves on our individualism, and on the material benefits of competition, which to a great extent depend on extractions from nature.  For the last several weeks, in contrast, we have engaged in loving interactions with our grandchildren and dear friends, remotely but meaningfully.  And we have taken long walks in natural settings where it almost seems as if plants now have the benefit of more fresh air and animals have been liberated from their previous sequestration.

from Stephen K., of Portland

 

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PPL Is Bolder Than Ever!

posted: , by Heather Wasklewicz
tags: Adults | Teens | Teen Reads | Teen Events | Teen Health | College & Career | Homework Help | Parents & Teachers | Kids & Families | Kids Programs | Early Literacy | Kids Reading Lists | Fun & Games | Discover Portland | Seniors | Art & Culture | Business | Careers & Jobs | Genealogy | Government | Health | Health@PPL | Welcome | Health Resources | Health Outreach Specialist | Medlineplus | Latest Health News | Language Learning | World Languages | English Language Literacy | News | Portland History | Science & Technology | Readers Writers

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!


Control Those Porcupines: UMaine Extension Bulletins

posted: , by Hazel Koziol
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Portland History | Science & Technology

A bulletin cover with the title "Control Those Porcupines."Have you been looking for some decades-old wisdom about “Growing Snap Beans for Canning”? We’ve got you covered. Reminiscing about “Beginning with Bees in Maine” in days gone by? Check. Have you been losing sleep wondering whether PPL has anything about “Transporting Maine Potatoes by Truck” from 1962? Well, toss and turn no more. Thanks to newly added catalog records originally created by our colleagues at Fogler Library in Orono, PPL’s collection of University of Maine Extension Service bulletins and circulars are now represented and easily findable by title or subject.

Extension services were first established in America in 1914 with the adoption of the Smith-Lever Act (stay with me!), which sought to empower farmers and rural families (and anyone, really) by supplying them with the latest information related to agriculture, home economics, health & nutrition, and other subjects. One of the primary ways this information was able to reach a wide audience was via bulletins and circulars, ranging from simple trifold brochures to 20-page booklets. They were often illustrated, perhaps with a diagram to explain how to test cream for butterfat, or with photographs depicting the ailments caused by lack of calcium.

Three bulletin covers all depicting potatoes: first, a potato on a plate with title "Potatoes from the Consumer's Standpoint"; second, "Growing Maine Potatoes for Chips" shows both potatoes and chips; last, a display of potatoes packaged with advertisements.

In a 1957 address, “Philosophy of Extension Work,” Arthur L. Deering, Dean and Director of the University of Maine College of Agriculture, mused about the nature of the Maine Extension Service and similar organizations all over the country. The philosophy of extension services, he said, “finds its best soil in that agent who has a heartfelt desire to help others and a strong belief in the ability of people to help themselves, once the way is pointed out and their interest aroused” (p. 5). Psst… that doesn’t sound too unlike a public library!

One bulletin cover depicts a woman demonstrating use of electric lamp; a second bulletin cover depicts a farmer spreading DDT on potato cropsPPL has about 250+ of these original bulletins and circulars in our Portland Room Archives, and they make for an interesting—and at times entertaining—window into a time before widespread factory farming, increased urbanization, and digital society. From instructions on the application of DDT (banned for agricultural use in 1972) to tips for transitioning from kerosene lamps to electric lighting, an afternoon spent browsing these bulletins from the Extension’s early years is something like library-assisted time travel.

Much of PPL’s bulletin collection was published in the ‘30s and ‘40s, and the A bulletin cover with the title "Less Ring Rot Means More Food For Freedom" with a large V for victory.concerns of the UMaine Extension reflect the concerns of WWII-era America. Extension services at this time were charged by Congress with recruiting emergency agricultural workers and overseeing the Farm Labor program, an effort that is plainly evident in dozens of circulars’ headings: “Green and yellow vegetables on the firing line”; “Milk and bullets fight together”; “Raise rabbits in wartime: food and fur are ammunition.” Several pamphlets urge teenagers to spend their summer vacations as Victory Farm Volunteers and implore women to consider joining the Women’s Emergency Farm Service.

For all the historical value of this collection, it’s worth noting that our local Extension Services are far from a thing of the past. UMaine Cooperative Extension is still very active, with fourteen offices spread out among Maine’s sixteen counties. The bulletins continue as well, now available to download for free from the Extension’s website. For example, the recent Bulletin 1061 enumerates the ways smartphones can be used to benefit farm business. As they have for a century, extension services are continuously adapting to the latest research and changes in technology to meet the needs of healthy, empowered communities.

"Extension is to aid. That is, it is not to be the sole agency diffusing 'among the people,' not the rural people only, nor the urban, nor the well-to-do, nor those on the family-sized farm, but the inference is to all the people." - Arthur L. Deering, 1957

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