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Changes to the GED Test

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: About the Library | Online Services | Adults | Teens | Careers & Jobs

The current version of the General Educational Development test will be changing  January 2, 2014. The test changes every 10 years. The updated test will be on the computer, so no need to remember your #2 pencil!  Here is some more info:

  • Your current GED® test scores will expire in 2013—they will not carry forward -. this means that anyone who has started working through the five-test program, but still has tests to take, will have to complete his or her current program by the end of the year, or that student will have to start all over under the new 2014 edition.
  • You will ONLY be able to take the new test on a computer. There will no longer be a paper-and-pencil version of the test.
  • The new test will assess only four content areas—reasoning through language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  • Test-takers will have to write two essays instead of one.
  • The science and social studies content will be more rigorous.
  • The GED® Math test will include more advanced topics, like algebra and statistics.
  • There will be a number of new item types, such as short answer, fill-in-the-blank, drag and drop, and more.
  • The content will also assess career- and college-readiness skills.
  • In many states, the test may be more expensive.

Don’t let these changes worry you, PPL has you covered!

We have ordered multiple copies of print books to study for the 2014 version of the test. The books should be arriving shortly.

Also, with your PPL card you have access to the Learning Express Library. If you are currently using the Learning Express Library,  the current GED® Test Prep Center will be removed on January 2, 2014. Please finish up all work in progress. New GED® products will be available in January in the new High School Equivalency Center.

For more information about the GED® 2014 test, please visit the official GED® Testing Services website

For more information on how to use the Learning Express Library or other PPL services please call (207) 871-1700 x 725,  email,  or text the word  portlib to 66746 and then send us your question.

New Report : Volunteering & Civic Engagement 2012

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Adults | Careers & Jobs | Government

The Corporation for National and Community Service has released a report on the state of volunteerism in the USA and the States in 2012. Overall, Maine is doing great, ranking 14th in the Country.  However, we have some places where we could improve and the Choose Civility Initiative hopes to encourage even more participation in coming years!

A few highlights:

In 2012, one in four adults (26.5 percent) volunteered through an organization, demonstrating that volunteering remains an important activity for millions of Americans. In Maine, 32.5% of residents volunteer, combining into a total 43.8 million hours of service!  And, more than 1/2 of Mainer’s report contributing financially to charities of some kind.  If this moves you to consider volunteering in 2014, check out Volunteer Maine to learn about opportunities around our State.

While Maine reports very high voter-turn-out, only 9.9% of volunteerism is within a civic realm, and  18.8% of residents report participating in public meetings –what could we do to encourage greater participation in our civic life?  Please share your ideas in the comments section!

ReferenceUSA Webinars

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Business | Careers & Jobs

download (1)

With your PPL card you can access ReferenceUSA at the Library or from home! Using this resource you can look up directory information on businesses or residences across the country.  Narrow a search by criteria such as number of employees and sales.  To access this robust business tool visit PPL’s Business Research page and click on ‘online tools.’

The folks at ReferenceUSA have kindly put together the following series of free webinars!

To register for any of the session dates, follow the link, select a time zone and complete form; 
you will then receive meeting coordinates and confirmation 

ReferenceUSA Search Essentials
Fridays (January, February, March) Time: 12:00 PM  (1 hour)

Designed for anyone new to ReferenceUSA, this hour-long session will cover all the basics of getting started with ReferenceUSA. They will cover the Four Essentials anyone will want to know in order to be successful using the resource.
This is also a great opportunity for current users to learn some new tips, tricks and techniques.

REGISTER: ReferenceUSA Search Essentials


Uncovering the Hidden Job Market: Career Search Strategies using ReferenceUSA
Wednesdays (January, February, March) Time: 3:00 PM (1 Hour)

Attendees will learn how to use ReferenceUSA as part of their Career Searching Strategy. Included will be information on the importance of having accurate information for applications and resumes, creating engaging cover letters, assembling a network of references and referrers, finding key persons at a business to act as mentors, building datasets of potential employers based on skill set, work history and preferences as well as how to prepare for interviews and interactions through thorough research.

REGISTER : Uncover the Hidden Job Market


Start, Manage & Grow! Your Business using ReferenceUSA 

Mondays (January, February, March) Time: 3:00 PM  (1 Hour)

Entrepreneurs and business owners will learn how to use ReferenceUSA to find the mission critical information necessary to start, manage and grow a business.

Topics include:

• name Search for Business
• locate hard to find vendors, both locally and nationally
• locate subject manager experts and professional services
• find investors, venture capitalists and angels
• network with other businesses in your area or in your industry
• develop relationships with related business for co-branding opportunities
• understand community demographics
• survey locations for expansion
• conduct competitive analysis
• plan delivery routes and service areas
• source new employees
REGISTER: Start, Manage & Grow! Your Business using ReferenceUSA


 ReferenceUSA Consumer & Lifestyle Data
Tuesdays (January, February, March)  3:00 PM  (1 hour)

Ever wonder how marketers and advertisers ‘target’ specific messages to you? Find out how you access the same type of data for your neighborhood or city.

Anyone who is interested in understanding the purchase preferences of a community will find this data both interesting and informative.

Learn how to navigate this section of ReferenceUSA and then apply the data to your needs.

REGISTER: ReferenceUSA Consumer & Lifestyle Data


ReferenceUSA Big Data
Tuesdays (January, February, March)  3:00 PM (1 hour)

Data Visualization is the next BIG thing in data. Going beyond static lists of information,  ReferenceUSA can help you ‘visualize’ data elements on a map.

Great for understanding how locations relate to each other or seeing densities within a specific  area, the ReferenceUSA mapping tools give you a new and powerful way to better understand  the landscape.

Learn how to build a map to display results and how to manipulate the mapping tools to your advantage.

REGISTER: ReferenceUSA Big Data


ReferenceUSA Historical Data
Tuesdays (January, February, March)  Time: 3:00 PM (1 hour)

One of the essential requirements for planning for the future is to understand the past.

ReferenceUSA has been compiling Business and Consumer data for many years and this data  has been available in file format for advanced research projects.

In response to the increased interest in accessing historical business information, ReferenceUSA  has developed an innovative online tool for librarians, research professionals and library patrons  to connect to powerful information that presents a vivid picture of what the business landscape  looked like in a given area at a given point in time.

REGISTER: ReferenceUSA Historical Data

For more information or for help using ReferenceUSA contact:

Sonya Durney, Business & Government Team Leader

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