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Art & Culture

Art & Culture

Portland Public Library is the City’s cultural center and is the most visited cultural institution in Maine offering print, film, music, and online collections to showcase the arts and creativity.

We offer materials in the arts and humanities, a wide variety of programming in partnership with local cultural organizations, and a place where creative organizations and individuals can share their work with others. We celebrate the broad diversity of our community’s creative expression, and are committed to building awareness and appreciation of the arts around us.

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.

Celebrating the Freedom to Read, Sept. 27 – Oct. 3
As books continue to be challenged, restricted and banned at schools and libraries across the country, we pause to think about censorship and celebrate our freedom to read and openly access information.



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Liz Prince, comic artist and creator of the graphic novel Tomboy, will be spending a whole Saturday at PPL! She will start the day with a special comic making workshop for teens, followed by a presentation about her amazing book Tomboy, a Q&A session, and a book signing for all ages.


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Join us on Thursday nights in October to celebrate your intellectual freedom with movies based on banned books. Movies are screened at 6:30 pm in the Rines Auditorium. Free and open to the public.

This year’s featured banned books are:

10/1    A Streetcar Named Desire

10/8    The Perks of Being a Wallflower

10/15  Moll Flanders

10/22  Frankenstein

10/29  The Dead Zone



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The Portland Public Library has been selected by the Maine Humanities Council to offer “Let’s Talk About It,” a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library.  The series, “Exploring Human Boundaries: Literary Perspectives on Health Care Providers and Their Patients,” begins Tuesday, September 15, 2015. There will be 5 discussions in all through December 1st, 2015.

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Join one of our ongoing bookgroups at our branches, or let us help your bookgroup with suggestions for what to read, advice on bookgroup strategy, and extra copies to supply you.

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Portland Public Library partners once again with PBS to present the POV Documentary Film Series.  These films are screened at the library before they air on national television. Join us to watch the films and engage in a discussion about the film afterward.

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Poetry Aloud

At Poetry Aloud, Portland Public Library’s community takes to the microphone to share favorite poetry by published poets.

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Portland Public Library will be Maine’s host for the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare national tour. The First Folio exhibition will be open to the public from March 4th through April 3rd, 2016.

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Our Places, Our Times : Portland Through the Decades, 1930s – 2000s is an comprised of series of photos pulled from the Portland Press Herald Still-Film Negative Collection: Portland Public Library Special Collections.

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Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series features bi-weekly reading and question-and-answer sessions with authors from around the nation as well as those who hail from right here in Maine.

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Museum Passes Available

Portland Public Library offers free passes to several local Museums and cultural sites including Portland Museum of Art, Portland Observatory, Southworth Planetarium, and the Maine State Museum. To request a pass for a specific date, with your Library card, call or visit the Lending Desk at any of our locations.


From the PPL blog:
Intellectual Freedom
What does intellectual freedom mean to you?   More »
Be Free to Read! September Staff Picks
PPL's staff celebrates the freedom to read by sharing favorite banned or challenged books during Ban   More »
Contact the team leader
Tom Wilsbach   Email »
Art & Humanities Librarian
207-871-1700 x725
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