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Check out Hoopla’s streaming music collection for your New Year’s Eve celebration!

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture

Looking for some tunes to celebrate the New Year? PPL’s got you covered!  Check out these albums from Hoopla and our physical collection, selected by DJ Raminta of InterLibrary Loan.

Southern Funkin’ Soul


If you like this try  these suggestions from our physical collection:

James Brown, Foundations of Funk

El Barrio

In Yo’ Face

 I Just Love Jazz Piano

If you like this try:

The Essential Herbie Hancock

The Very Best of Diana Krall

Manhattan Jazz by Dick Hyman

Best of Classic Rock


If you like this try:
The Vault Classic Rock

Only Rock n’ Roll

I love the 80s

A Year of Reading.

posted: , by Elizabeth Hartsig
tags: Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture

booksIt’s the end of the year: a time of thinking over what’s gone by, and of all there is to come.

As 2014 comes to a close, we’ve been revisiting the words we loved this year.  Here’s a simple gathering of quotations (whether funny, thoughtful, beautiful, wry, or otherwise) that were enjoyed by a few of our staff members. We hope you’re reading (or listening, audiobook fans!) and loving words too, and that your new year will be as full of wonderful new words and ideas.






“At the outset, Verna had not intended to kill anyone.”

Book: Stone Mattress

Author: Margaret Atwood





“I call for help in silence; I make signals with the two arms of my soul, which are softer than algae, not, of course, to some friend firmly planted on the ground, but to a kind of crystallization of the tenderness whose seeming hardness makes me believe in its eternity.”

Book: Our Lady of the Flowers 

Author: Jean Genet  (trans. Bernard Frechtman)





“My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.”

Book: Lucky Us

Author: Amy Bloom





“And just as music is the space between notes, just as the stars are beautiful because of the space between them, just as the sun strikes raindrops at a certain angle and throws a prism of color across the sky–so the space where I exist, and want to keep existing, and to be quite frank I hope I die in, is exactly this middle distance: where despair struck pure otherness and created something sublime.”

Book: The Goldfinch

Author: Donna Tartt





“I want to thank you for coming out of the closet.  Again and again, over and over, for the rest of your life.  At school, at work, at your kid’s daycare, at your brother’s wedding, at the doctor’s office.  Thank you for sideswiping their stereotypes.  I never get the chance to come out of the closet because my closet was always made of glass.”

Book: Missed Her

Author: Ivan E. Coyote

-Emily R




“It is simply this: do not tire, never lose interest, never grow indifferent—lose your invaluable curiosity and you let yourself die. It’s as simple as that.”

Book: Fair Play

Author: Tove Jansson




“Are you really a witch?”

“No,” said the demon. “A witch is just a girl who knows her mind.”

Book: The Bread We Eat in Dreams

Author: Catherynne M. Valente




“For if Jack Buggit could escape from the pickle jar, if a bird with a broken neck could fly away, what else might be possible? Water may be older than light, diamonds crack in hot goat’s blood, mountaintops give off cold fire, forests appear in mid-ocean, it may happen that a crab is caught with the shadow of a hand on its back, and that the wind be imprisoned in a bit of knotted string. And it may be that love sometimes occurs without pain or misery.”

Book: The Shipping News

Author: E. Annie Proulx




adichie“If you don’t understand, ask questions.

If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It’s easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place.

Then listen some more.”

Book: Americanah

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie






“We read a lot of books. Children’s books mostly, because they’re always much more truthful than adult books. And much more entertaining,” said Mrs. Bunny.”

Book: Mr. and Mrs. Bunny–Detectives Extraordinaire!

Author: Polly Horvath






“We are not predestined to reach any goal, nor are we answerable to any power but our own. Only wisdom based on self-understanding, not piety, will save us.”

Book: The Meaning of Human Existence

Author: E.O. Wilson

-Steve P.




At the age of 19, Patrick Leigh Fermor walked across Europe in 1933-34.  Here he has just entered a barn in Germany where he will spend a snowy winter’s night:

plf“The composite smell of snow, wood, dust, cobwebs, mangolds, beetroots, fodder, cattlecake and cows’ breath was laced with an ammoniac tang from the plip-plop and the splash that sometimes broke the rhythm of the munching and the click of horns.”

Book:  A Time of Gifts

Author: Patrick Leigh Fermor







“I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.”

Book: Bad Feminist

Author: Roxanne Gay






quiet“That is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why there can never be enough silence around one when one writes, why even night is not night enough.”

Book: Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

Author: Franz Kafka, quoted by Susan Cain




Oh what a pleasant world ‘twould be, 

How easy we’d step thro’ it, 

If all the fools who meant no harm, 

Could manage not to do it!

Author: Francis Ledwidge (1887-1917), Irish soldier/poet

-Tom W


hall“But now the snowplough’s thunder signals itself, and I watch the revolving yellow light reflect upward into white prodigious air, and hear the great bruising barge roar and rumble past the house as a steel plow swooshes high waves of whiteness up and over the gutter almost to the front of the house, and buries the mailbox.”

Book: Seasons at Eagle Pond

Author: Donald Hall




becker“This is how a revolution begins.  It begins when someone grows tired of standing idly by, waiting for history’s arc to bend toward justice, and instead decides to give it a swift shove.”

Book: Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality

Author: Jo Becker




City of Readers

Help is On the Way: Charitable Giving

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Seniors | Art & Culture | Business | Government | News

You know you want to save the world.   You have a heart the size of our great State o’ Maine and finite finances. Where, oh, where to begin?

The good news is that there are some terrific resources out there to help you make good decisions that suit your priorities. Before your good intentions grind to a confused halt, take a look at some of these websites.

Where to start? A really terrific site to check out is Philanthropedia, Guide to Better Giving.  It is a great tool to help you focus and to understand various strategies for giving. It answers questions you may not know you have!

Sometimes you have a good idea of who you’d like to give to, but you’d like some reliable nuts-and-bolts rating information* about how they use your hard-earned donated dollars.

* Keep in mind that different sites will use different grading scales when rating nonprofits, as outlined in this TEDTalk. This one is well worth a few minutes viewing time. It presents an interesting view of nonprofits’ spending strategies.

That said, here are two sites that sort some of it out for you: Charity Navigator  and Guidestar.

These sites can also provide some focus when you know you want your donation to go toward a particular area of need, but need to find an organization that is a good fit.

It isn’t easy to know who to trust when unsolicited pleas for donations come your way. It might be a phone call, an email, something in your mailbox, or someone at your door. The Federal Trade Commission has a few things to say on the subject.

And let’s not forget that when we indulge our urge to be generous, we do so with the blessing of the US Tax Code. Here are some tips from the IRS.  Charitable giving can really pay off !

There are so many ways to make a difference. Finding what works for you can feel overwhelming. When opening your wallet seems like the best option, these resources may serve as guides. And, let’s just say it: there is nothing like the good feeling you get when you use your head to put your money where your heart is.

Happy Giving! Eileen of the Business and Government Team.

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