All Library locations will be closed on Mon, October 12 in celebration of Columbus Day. We will re-open for regular hours on Tues, October 13.
Looking for something to read, watch, or listen to? Explore our download and streaming resources and share with friends.

Life of the Library

What’s new?

A Day to Remember at the Library

posted: , by Raminta Moore
tags: Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Health | News | Portland History | Science & Technology

NamesHeartsmallPortland Public Library is a proud participant of Pride Week, and we are thrilled to be presenting an entire day of events dedicated to those affected by HIV/AIDS. On June 17 at the Main Library, PPL will host twelve panels of the AIDS Quilt presented by the NAMES Project of Northern New England. Conceived in 1985, by Cleve Jones, the Quilt was meant to commemorate those who had lost their lives to HIV/AIDS. Sadly, for many, the Quilt was the only opportunity for survivors to remember their loved ones.

For more on the Quilt, be sure to check out the book, The Quilt: Stories from the Names Project by Cindy Ruskin. The panels will be on display in the library for one day only, so be sure to stop by the Atrium and take a look.

Our afternoon author talk for that day is Deborah Freedman, author of Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt: Stories from Maine. Debb has traveled throughout our state for ten years sharing the Quilt and sharing the stories of the Quilt. Deborah Freedman will be speaking at noon in the Rines Auditorium. We are so happy to have her and her stories!

Throughout the day, staff from Apothecary by Design will be in the Library and available to discuss how they support current medical management of HIV/AIDS.

In the evening, PPL will host The Heart of the Story: Maine’s Response to HIV/AIDS. This panel discussion will focus on various aspects of the history of HIV/AIDS in Maine, as well as what is going on now for those living with the disease. Panelists include:

  • Crystal Gamet, who will speak about the Quilt
  • Ralph Cusack, who will speak about activism around HIV/AIDS
  • Charlie Grindle, who will give the prospective of a first responder
  • Dr. Lani Graham, who will discuss the public health aspects
  • Myles Rightmire, who will discuss the medical and health response
  • Kelly Arbor, who will give a personal perspective

This will definitely be an informative panel, which will be followed by a discussion between the audience and the panelists. PPL is truly excited to be hosting the second annual Pride week history event! For information on other Pride events happening throughout the month of June, check here.

Our June 17 events were made possible by the following great sponsors:

The Maine Equity Fund of the Maine Community Foundatio

Coffee by Design

Apothecary by Design

Pride Portland!

The Frannie Peabody Center

SAGE Maine

The Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine at USM – See more at:

The Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine at USM

The NAMES Project of Northern New England

M.E.S.H. (Maine Educationalists on Sexual Harmony)


Maine Equity Fund of the Maine Community Foundation – See more at:


The Heart of the Story: Maine’s Response to HIV/AIDS

Wednesday, June 17 – 6:30pm – 8:30pm

- See more at:

The Heart of the Story: Maine’s Response to HIV/AIDS

Wednesday, June 17 – 6:30pm – 8:30pm

- See more at:

The Heart of the Story: Maine’s Response to HIV/AIDS

Wednesday, June 17 – 6:30pm – 8:30pm

- See more at:

Get ready for the annual Friends of PPL book sale!

posted: , by Emily Levine
tags: About the Library | Programs & Events | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | News

Enjoy this entry from guest blogger Mary McQuillen, currently president of the Friends of PPL. Here, she shares the latest on one of the Friends’ biggest efforts: the annual book sale!


The Friends of Portland Public Library is getting ready for its annual book sale, to take place Father’s Day weekend at the Catherine McAuley School gym. The hours are as follows:

Thursday, June 18* from 4 pm – 8 pm

Friday, June 19 from 10 am – 7 pm

Saturday, June 20 from 10 am – 5 pm

Sunday, June 21 from 10 am – 3 pm

*Thursday is our preview night just for Friends of PPL members, but you can easily join at the door. Learn more about membership levels here.


Here are some book sale frequently asked questions:

How many books will you have? The book sale features more than 20,000 books! We will have books in all categories, with lots of quality paperback fiction and children’s books. This means the book sale is ideal for stocking up for beach or camp reading or for giving kids plenty of great books to choose from for relaxing summer reading.

How much do the books cost? $3.00 for hardcovers, $2.00 for paperbacks $1.00 for children’s books. We also have special Sunday pricing, so keep reading!

Does the sale include other items? Yes, we’ll also have CDs and DVDs, including music, movies, and audio books.

Where do all these books come from? All of the books are donated.

What happens to the leftovers? We’d love it if we didn’t have any leftovers, and you can help by coming on Sunday and taking away as many books as you like for a voluntary contribution. For items that are left at the end of the sale, we pack them up and give them to various area charities.

What do you do with the proceeds? This year, a large portion of sale proceeds will benefit PPL’s summer learning program. Proceeds also help support Friends of PPL activities like our First Friday Art Walk receptions at the Main Library.

How can I donate books? You can donate books by dropping them off at the loading dock behind PPL’s Main Library (on Elm Street, just off Monument Square) when the library is open. There are some items the Library can’t accept, so check here first.

How can I volunteer? Our volunteers are what make the book sale so great, and we always love having more help! Volunteer roles include helping with sale set-up as well as helping during the sale itself. Email us at, and we will get in touch to let you know how to help!

Startup Weekend: Women’s Edition Scholarships

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

Startup Weekend: Women’s Edition Scholarships

We believe that Startup Weekend has the magical ability to change your life and we want to make that happen for members of Portland’s dynamic immigrant and refugee community. Both immigrants and entrepreneurs travel along similar paths—paths leading to a better life through determination and hard work.

Please consider joining us for this inspiring weekend.

Startup Weekend: Women’s Edition is an intensive weekend experience held June 12th-14th, 2015 at the Maine College of Art in Portland for​​ 75 women participants, plus judges, coaches, and organizers. Participants will gather on Friday night to network and pitch business ideas, form teams around the best ideas, then race all weekend to develop the ideas into functioning businesses!


Drop us a quick email if you to apply for a scholarship, please include:

  • Full name
  • Why you want to attend (limit 100 words)

Send this information to attn: Sonya Durney by May 25th!


We look forward to seeing you on June 12th!

View Posts by Date:
Filter Posts:
Connect with the Library: