We know many PPL patrons are eager for our Burbank Branch to reopen – we are, too! We will set the reopening date very soon, and we look forward to announcing it as soon as possible. We can’t wait to celebrate with you once we are back in the building.
Below are responses to the most frequent questions we are hearing about the current status of the renovation project. If you have feedback or other questions we can answer, please call PPL’s Administration Offices at 207-871-1700 ext. 756.
I see lots of activity at the Burbank Branch site. How is it going?
We have encountered only minimal construction delays, so we have been able to stay on schedule pretty well. As you can see from these photos, the new elevator is installed, the public computing area is coming together, and the new space is open and inviting. We will begin moving our collections and furnishings in shortly.
How is the project funding progressing?
As we have shared previously, this is a $410,000 renovation. As is the case with every PPL capital project and our annual operational budget, the City of Portland supports PPL’s infrastructure needs. In this case, the City provided $300,000 to the project address the structural and ergonomic issues at the building.
However, we rely on the generosity of private donors for everything that enhances the Burbank library experience – from our ongoing programs, to the ways we build our collections, and the project-specific items like fresh, flexible seating in the children’s and adults areas. To date, we have received gifts from nearly 300 households toward the Burbank Branch renovation campaign and are now less than $40,000 away from our $410,000 goal.
Does this mean the project began before the funding was secure?
Not at all.
The City’s allocation meant we had the funds in hand to address long-standing, challenging structural and ergonomic issues at the branch. However, just as in a home renovation, this was an opportunity to identify other improvements that would enhance the branch and minimize future disruption:
- new, lower-profile shelving to highlight the collection while making the space more flexible and open
- new windows and air handling units to heighten energy efficiency
- up-to-date public computing resources
- more and better seating options for our patrons
How does the fundraising campaign affect the reopening of the branch?
Our hope is that gifts to the campaign will continue to keep pace with our renovation timeline and that we can reopen having accomplished all improvements rather than deferring any enhancements if we do not meet our goal. Please consider joining your neighbors in this effort, if you have not done so already, and make a secure gift online to the Burbank Branch renovation campaign. We are so grateful for the support of the community!
Portland Public Library staff joined scores of community partners this morning, led by United Way of Greater Portland, to celebrate the wonderful launch event for Thrive 2027, a statement of 10-year community goals for Greater Portland.
The vision for this effort, based on input from over 2,000 individuals and organizations, is to “see Greater Portland as an inclusive, caring, and collaborative community that focuses its resources strategically so that everyone grows and prospers through enhanced educational opportunities, financial stability, and healthy living.”
The three stated goals in Thrive 2027 express commitments to provide quality educational experiences for all children; and to bolster financial stability and optimal health through education, resources, and opportunities.
As your public library, we are deeply committed to provide our expertise and materials, community conversations, and special programming experiences so that everyone can discover new opportunities, learn and become informed to pursue these opportunities, and get support to navigate the systems…and THRIVE.
Over the past several months, PPL has held a range of discussion groups on the best-selling and oft-borrowed Being Mortal by Dr. Atul Gawande. Made possible by a generous grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation, our program engaged nearly 500 individuals – from independent seniors and family members, to assisted living residents and staff, to medical professionals
Our goals for the program were to help participants have wider understanding of the end-of-life experience for most Americans in this era, to have a way to develop and articulate their own perspective on the question of quality of life vs. quantity of time remaining, and to feel empowered to have thoughtful, necessary discussions on end-of-life issues with their families and caregivers.
We have received tremendous feedback from host facilities and from participants alike. PPL takes very seriously our vision of helping citizens be more literate, informed, and engaged, and we are gratified by participants’ appreciation for the our help in framing these critical conversations.
Maggie Richards Editor at Henry Holt, has provided us with the outline and discussion guide that Dr. Gawande uses himself when he speaks with groups about the book. This guide will be included in the upcoming October release of the paperback but is not in any of the current editions; we are delighted that Dr. Gawande’s publisher has entrusted it to us. You can download the guide here.
Additional discussion group guidelines – developed by our facilitators and with various audiences in mind – will be made available on our website shortly. We hope other libraries, individual book groups, and organizations that wish to initiate these critical conversations will find them useful.
If your book group would like to explore this topic, please be in touch with us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 207-871-1700 ext. 717 for details on how to borrow multiple copies of Being Mortal and use our supplied discussion guides to begin conversations.