We are excited to announce that throughout 2017, PPL will celebrate 150 years of education, entertainment, and discovery for all.
The year-long celebration of PPL’s “birthday” will include special events and programs at all locations. “The story of the Library is the story of our community,” notes Executive Director Sarah Campbell. “This is an exciting time to reflect not only on how the Library has been important in the history of Portland, but also on the library offerings and partnerships that bring the community together and build our civic life with one another.”
Celebrations kick off on Wednesday, January 25 with birthday treats at all branch locations. In addition to special events planned throughout the year that include historical exhibits in the Lewis Gallery at the Main Library as well as pop-up exhibits across the system and a family-friendly BooktoberFest celebration this fall, we will have 150th commemorative stickers, bags, and more as giveaways or for purchase to mark this exciting anniversary.
Wednesday also sees the launch of “My Card, My Story,” a collection of crowdsourced stories about the unique library experiences of PPL patrons, staff, and community members. We invite you to contribute your personal stories about what your library card means to you. We will feature these perspectives on our social media channels and publications throughout the year. Patrons are asked to submit their story at any PPL branch location using one of our story cards or by completing this Google form.
Portland Public Library was incorporated on January 22, 1867, just six months after the devastating Portland fire of 1866 which left more than 1,500 buildings destroyed and 10,000 people homeless. Prior to this time, Portland’s libraries were private institutions where only paying members could view or borrow materials. The then-radical notion of a public library open to all was described by Mayor Charles Chapman as “so veritable a home of true democracy … an atmosphere of philosophy, knowledge, and fancy.” Freedom and inclusiveness remain core PPL values.
Today, Portland Public Library provides service and support to 675,000 visitors annually at four locations and a bookmobile and is the most visited cultural institution in Maine.
As PPL prepares to celebrate our 150th anniversary in 2017, we are grateful for each opportunity we have to serve as a resource for the entire community, now and into the future. All are welcome at the Library.
Want to get involved in important community conversations? Learn about our Choose Civility programming.
Interested in exploring work from writers around the globe? Our staff has curated a great list of titles to try!
We also have resources to help kids and families talk about the immigrant experience and to support LGBTQ teens.
Teens can also stop in at the Main Library to visit the “I’m Capable of Anything: Stories from Deering High” exhibit, featuring stories written by twelve Deering High School students from Iraq, Angola, Vietnam, Somalia, Albania, Afghanistan, Burundi, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We love being your library. We love being your neighbor.
Work continues behind the scenes on the Peaks Island Community Center and Branch Library renovation project. Architect Dick Reed and his engineers and designers have met with our renovation design committee, which includes Peaks residents, Library staff members, and colleagues from the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Facilities.
We have largely completed the design of the basic layout of spaces, storage, traffic flow, and rest rooms. We continue to finalize the precise set-up of the library service desk and shelving, furnishings and finishes for floors and walls, as well as details in the community room.
The new design in the library features lower-profile bookshelves to provide a lighter, more open and flexible space, while actually accommodating more books and library materials. The renovation will also provide new display space for art.
Work on heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning has progressed, along with a design for a new electrical system and lighting. Energy audit work by engineer Andrew Holbrook (funded by the Peaks Energy Action Team) has been valuable in identifying energy improvements.
The project is on track to go to bid in late fall for construction to begin early in the new year. Key to our progress is the generosity of our New Vision Campaign donors, whose pledge payments ensure that we have sufficient funds in-hand to proceed on this timeline. Thank you!
We look forward to keeping you up-to-date on the progress!