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 lending@portlib.org
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June programming for Pride Month

posted: , by Kathleen Spahn
tags: Exhibits & Displays | Library Collections | Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Portland History

prideby Elizabeth Hartsig

The Portland Public Library is celebrating Pride Month with exciting and informative exhibits, films, and events. Here’s a run-down of what’s going on with Pride at PPL in June, as well as some resources you can access all year round:

Wednesday, June 18, Portland Public Library is partnering with Portland Pride to bringPride Maine LGBT History: Life and Activism in the 1970s,” a panel discussion and exhibit. Hear from the early LGBT activists whose efforts to organize polarized Maine and made national news.

Saturday, June 21, look for PPL’s Bookmobile in the Pride Parade! Volunteers from the PPL staff and community will be marching with the Bookmobile and passing out bookmarks with lists of great LGBT-related reads. We’ll have a special display of PPL’s Pride-related materials on the Bookmobile ready to be checked out when the parade stops at Deering Oaks.

If you duck away from the crowds on June 21, the Main Library will be having a Pride Film Festival, showing classic titles all day in the Rines Auditorium.

Pride-related films will also be showing on Thursday nights at the Main Library each week in June.

In addition to our calendar of special events and programming, Pride Month is a great time to explore the library’s historic and up-to-the-minute collections.

In the Portland Room, you can check out “Our Paper: A Voice for Lesbians and Gay Males in Maine,” a publication preserved on microfilm (1983-1990). Or if you just want to hop on our website and are curious about, say, Pride Week in Portland in 1996, take a look at Casco Bay Weekly. (In addition to the bold typography of CBW’s June 13 cover, there’s a thoughtful article called “Pride 1996” on p. 8 with great black-and-white photographs). You can see digital scans of each Casco Bay Weekly issue published from 1988 to 2004 at PPL’s Digital Commons.

Another archive we’re tapping into during Pride Week is the Portland Press Herald Still-Film Negative Collection. A display of photographs from past Pride Weeks (including some shots from Portland’s very first Pride Parade in 1987) will grace the hallways of the Main Library around the Lewis Gallery.

Our staff have created handy catalog lists of Pride-related resources from throughout the library for Children, Teens, and Adults (which you can check out any month of the year!).

●    Youth Services offers Rainbow Celebration for kids.

●    Teen has a list of excellent Non-Fiction Resources for teens as well as Fiction.

●    If you’re interested in memoir, legal advice, politics, art, family, etc, head for the Reference Staff’s Pride at PPL: Great Non-Fiction list.

●    For film buffs, we’ve got LGBT issues in non-fiction and a suggested list of films for a Pride Film Festival.

●    Our Reader’s Advisory team offers a list that celebrates Pride at PPL: Fiction, including Stonewall Award winners as well as other complex and compelling works that tackle love, gender, sex, identity, and more. Take home a copy of Kim Fu’s just-released 2014 novel, “For Today I am a Boy;” 2013 Stonewall Winner Ellis Avery’s “The Last Nude;” or pick up a classic like Leslie Feinberg’s “Stone Butch Blues.”

Remember, these lists are just a selection of materials at the library! Sleuth our catalog or check in with the librarians and staff at the Main Branch, Burbank, Peaks, Riverton, and on the Bookmobile for more resources and information.

That’s a wrap! As always, we look forward to seeing you at PPL.


Poetry Books in the Portland Room

posted: , by Gabrielle
tags: Adults | Portland History

In honor of National Poetry Month, the Portland Room’s intrepid intern, Harper Wray Chance, has pulled together a charming exhibit of some gems from our collections. Books on display include Martin Steingesser’s Brothers of Morning and Betsy Sholl’s Rough Cradle. (Don’t miss the opportunity to hear Sholl speak about her work on April 10 at the Maine Women Writers Collection at UNE, http://www.une.edu/mwwc/conferences/authorseries.cfm)

Elizabeth Coatsworth, the well-known writer of children’s books, explores a darker side of life in the slightly sinister poems of The Creaking Stair. As she writes in the poem titled By Command, “the nightmares are waiting.” The book is illustrated by W.A. Dwiggins, an illustrator, book designer, and typographer. For this volume, he used an experimental typeface of his own design that he had not yet named.

Also on display is a book by Nathaniel Parker Willis. Willis’ father founded the early Portland newspaper, the Eastern Argus, available on microfilm in the Portland Room. Willis himself was a prolific and popular journalist, poet, and editor.

A page from Julia H. May's <em>Songs from the Woods of Maine</em> showing the poem "The Happy Hills of Strong."

A page from Julia H. May’s Songs from the Woods of Maine showing the poem “The Happy Hills of Strong.”

These and the other books in the exhibit represent just a tiny portion of what we have on the shelves of the Portland Room. We invite you to stop by, take a look, read a poem or two. While you’re here, take a look at our display of old children’s books, as well, and our ongoing display of items from the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association. The Portland Room is located on the 2nd floor – come on in! We are open Monday-Thursday 10-7 and Friday 10-6.


Individuals Make a Difference

posted: , by Wendy Nowell
tags: About the Library | Director's Updates | Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Portland History

The funding model for Portland Public Library (PPL) is anything but intuitive.  The “public” in our name might give one the impression that government funding covers our entire operating budget.  However, at PPL, government funding (City of Portland, State of Maine and Cumberland County) actually makes up 87% of our $4.2 million operations budget.  These public funds pay for staff, utilities, and other infrastructure costs; they do not pay for anything related to our programs, our collections, or our outreach.  The books on the shelves, subscriptions to physical and online periodicals, our bookmobile –anything that falls in the 13% of our budget that is allocated to collections and programs is made possible by annual gifts to the Library, earnings from our endowment, foundation support, and fees.

In essence, what PPL is now and can be in the future – our margin of excellence – is the result of a true public/private effort.  Public funds ensure we have a building and staff; private generosity guarantees we have a collection and programing that serves every individual who comes to one of our branches or logs onto the Library’s website.  As a non-profit organization, PPL is able – indeed, obligated – to raise funds so that we can help all members of the Portland community to enhance their creativity and imagination, increase their level of knowledge, and fully participate in our common, civil life.

So it is with celebration and gratitude that we acknowledge the recent bequest of Franklin Talbot of Portland to our endowment.  Franklin Talbot was a colleague, having worked previously at the University of Southern Maine library.  His gift of $101,000 will establish the Franklin Talbot Fund and increase the Library’s endowment fund to approximately $5.4 million.

The yearly income from the Talbot Fund will be used to acquire materials and support programs and exhibits in the arts and humanities, with preference for biography, American history, and British history. Mr. Talbot’s gift will support our efforts to provide all Library patrons and visitors with access to materials and programs that promote a greater understanding of the human experience and of the creative process.

All gifts to the Library make an impact, and we are grateful that Mr. Talbot was both generous and creative in giving back to the community by supporting the Library.  If you are interested in establishing a named endowment fund at the Library or in including Portland Public Library in your estate plans, please contact Emily Bray Levine at 207-871-1700 x755 or Levine@portland.lib.me.us

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