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 $5.4 million.
The yearly income from the Talbot Fund will be used to acquire materials and support programs and exhibits in the arts and humanities, with preference for biography, American history, and British history. Mr. Talbot’s gift will support our efforts to provide all Library patrons and visitors with access to materials and programs that promote a greater understanding of the human experience and of the creative process.
All gifts to the Library make an impact, and we are grateful that Mr. Talbot was both generous and creative in giving back to the community by supporting the Library. If you are interested in establishing a named endowment fund at the Library or in including Portland Public Library in your estate plans, please contact Emily Bray Levine at 207-871-1700 x755 or Levine@portland.lib.me.us
Join us in our effort to create a money-smart community. The following events are sponsored by CA$H Greater Portland at United Way of Greater Portland, KeyBank and the Portland Public Library. Please call 207-871-1700, ext. 725 for further information.
Credit Report Day, Friday, April 11 12pm- 3pm, Lower Level Meeting Rooms #2, #3 and #4
When was the last time you looked at your credit report? Your credit history (bill payments, credit card and loan debt) can impact your ability to make future purchases, qualify for employment, utilities and housing. Join us to review your free credit report and discover strategies to build good credit. Once you have your credit report, learn how you can multiply your savings with a Maine Family Development Account. Call 207-871-1700, ext. 725 to make your appointment. Walk-ins welcome upon availability.
While you’re here, drop in on an informative Money Smart workshop:
Expert Panel: Income and Your Credit, Friday April 11 12:15pm-12:45pm, Lower Level Meeting Room #4
A banker’s perspective: become a money management expert
A job recruiter’s perspective: build your money management resume
A business’s perspective: create a solid money management business plan
To Your Credit, Friday April 11 1:30pm-2pm, Lower Level Meeting Room #4
Understand Your credit report
Order and read your credit report
Tips to improve your credit score
Recognize credit repair scams
Charge It Right Friday April 11 3pm-4pm, Lower Level Meeting Room #4
Understand credit card basics
Know the costs of using a credit card
Describe how to use credit cards responsibly
Recognize why it’s important to pay more than the minimum payment
Credit Smart for Teens 3pm-3:30pm, Teen Lounge
Know basic credit card terms and definitions
Understand your credit rating and how it affects your interest rate
How to maintain good credit
The basics of a spending plan
CA$H Greater Portland is a program of United Way of Greater Portland and the Greater Portland CA$H Coalition: AARP Tax-Aide, Casco Federal Credit Union, CEI, Community Financial Literacy, Goodwill Industries of NNE, Gorham Savings Bank, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), KeyBank, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Portland Housing Authority, and Women, Work and Community. For more information visit www.cashgp.org.
Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign, created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances.
Last October, the Choose Civility Initiative offered a series of “Civic Writing” lunches, with the intention of supporting public participation through writing — that is, writing letter’s to the editor, op-eds, blog posts — even tweets! I was so pleased to recently receive an email from a participant who did in fact write a letter and get it published in the Portland Press Herald (read it here, and then consider keeping the conversation going with a letter of your own).
She followed up by noting that once she’d written her LTE, it was easy to convert into a letter to her Senators, too!
We hope her experience is inspiring to you, too. This snowy Valentine’s Day is a great day to engage friends and families in a civic art / civic writing project — let policy makers and your fellow community members know what is on your heart and mind by making them a Valentine!
For support / inspiration check out these links:
The University of Kansas’s Community Tool Box offers some excellent resources for prompting letters to Legislators and To the Editor.