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Burbank Branch Closing for Renovation

posted: , by Ellen Gilliam

Autumn 2015Portland Public Library’s Burbank Branch at 377 Stevens Avenue in the Deering neighborhood will close for renovations on Saturday, December 5, at 5 pm. We anticipate that the building will be closed for approximately seven months, and we expect to reopen mid-2016.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Burbank collections and services to patrons during the branch’s closure can be found HERE.

Planned renovations will provide:

– upgrades to building systems (heating and air conditioning; electrical; information technology)
– accessibility improvements (elevator to replace stairlift)
– increased energy efficiency
– enhanced browsing experience
– improved ergonomics to handle the flow of materials at the 6th busiest lending location in the state

Starting Monday, December 7, 2015 PPL will offer expanded service at our Riverton Branch, located at 1600 Forest Avenue:

Monday 1-6pm
Tuesday 10am-7pm
Wednesday 10am- 6pm
Thursday 10am-8pm
Friday 10am-6pm
Saturday 10am-5pm

 Members of our Burbank Branch team will help staff Riverton during this period, and portions of our Burbank collection will also temporarily relocate to Riverton. Other Burbank collection items will be available upon request via the Library’s online catalog. We will deliver them promptly to your preferred pickup location (Riverton Branch, the Main Library, or Peaks Island Branch). We are ready to help make this transition a smooth one for our patrons.

We are excited to serve our Burbank patrons in a fresh, engaging, and more efficient space. Stay updated at PPL’s website ( or by visiting the branch. We look forward to keeping the community informed about our progress and ways to be involved.

Check Out Book Sets for Your Book Group!

posted: , by Elizabeth Hartsig
tags: Adults | Seniors | Art & Culture
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Portland Public Library is now offering sets of books  that you can borrow for your book group. These sets include multiple copies of the same title, often with large print or audio formats. We’ll keep the sets fresh with new titles throughout the year.

What book sets are available? The sets are listed in the library’s catalog under the title  “Portland Public Library Book Discussion Sets.” You can search the catalog by that title or by  “book group sets” or “book club sets.”  Click on “Place a Hold” to be taken to a page where you can view the complete list of titles and select the specific book set that you want. You’ll need to log in to your account to place the hold online. With your library card, you can also call us to request sets (871-1700) or make your request in person at the library. MaineCat users can also request Portland Public Library Book Discussion Sets through MaineCat.

What books has your group read lately?

What great book has your group read lately?

Looking for more inspiration or resources to help you start your own book group? Try this list:  “Book Discussion Sets, Books About Books, & Other Resources For Your (Fantastic) Book Group.”

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Movie of the Month: Kuroneko (Black Cat)

posted: , by Patti DeLois
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Art & Culture


The Japanese have a long history of ghost and spirit folklore, and in this movie, director Kaneto Shindo has combined elements of several stories with his own social criticism to create one of the most romantic and haunting ghost stories ever.

Set during the medieval civil wars of Japan, the movie begins with a group of samurai soldiers coming out of the bamboo groves to descend upon the home of Yone (Nobuka Otowa) and her daughter-in-law Shige (Kiwako Taichi) who are home alone because Yone’s son Hachi (Kichiemon Nakamura) has been conscripted into military service. The samurai brutally rape and kill the two women and burn their house to the ground, but the next morning, the women’s bodies are still there, and they are visited by a black cat who licks their wounds.

Three years later, samurai warriors are disappearing from the Rashomon Gate, seduced by a beautiful young woman who lures them into her home, introduces them to her mother, serves them sake, and then rips open their throats with her teeth.

No one among the samurai is brave enough to hunt down this killer, but then along comes Hachi, the sole survivor of a ferocious battle in another part of the country, and he is promoted to samurai and put in charge of evicting the evil spirits from the grove that was once his home.

Whether he recognizes his wife and his mother, indeed, whether they really are his wife and his mother, I leave for you to determine. All I can tell you is that the images from this film–the ghostly glow of these spirits and the creeping mist in the bamboo groves–will haunt you long after the movie is over.

For the Criterion essay by Maitland McDonagh, click here. For a list of other recommended Halloween movies, click here.

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