Science & Technology
The Library offers many tools for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) literacy for all ages. Portland Public Library strives to engage the community with a fascination for science, the wonders of the natural world, and the possibilities of technology. Through explorations of all kinds – information services, hands-on learning, digital experiences, and public programming – the Science & Technology team aims to stimulate understanding, exploration, and creativity with the sciences and present the fun, the useful, and the very interesting.
For more information on our Science & Technology resources and events, please read below.
The Featured App of the Month is a new series where we highlight apps that we would like to make our community aware of. These apps can be educational, useful, interesting, or just plain fun! All apps featured are available on iOS and Android, and are always free.
How can we keep ourselves engaged, calm, and happy when we spend most of the day in isolation? Portland Public Library staff share some of their favorite websites and apps for learning a new skill, having fun in nature, and making each other laugh.
Learn a new language! Fix your lawnmower! Pickle those carrots in your refrigerator! Make, Learn, Fix! is a list of library resources that can support your hobbies and to-do lists.
Greet the summer with an eye for exploring the world– check out one of the five Family Science Backpacks. Available to borrow for one week, see the staff at the Children’s Desk in the main library or the Riverton Lending Desk for more information!
Portland’s Sustainability Series is co-hosted by the Portland Public Library and the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative. Sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes through time. The Portland Sustainability Series presents a diversity of speakers to share different aspects of the work moving Maine to greater endurance and sustainability. Please join us as we engage in these important issues and conversations!
One-on-one tutoring sessions are for all levels of computer users and this is a chance to sit down with a staff member for 30 minutes of free technology assistance. Laptops are available for use and the sessions take place in a quiet area of the library. Advance registration is required, please call 871-1700 x 708.
Seeds are a plentiful resource in the world, but learning how to grow and cultivate plants takes a little practice and skill. That is why we are starting a seed lending program. The basic idea is that you plant seeds that you “borrow” from the library, let some of the plants go to seed, then return some of these next generation seeds for others to borrow.
You’ll never have a fine for not returning seeds, and returning seeds is not a requirement.
Resources, events, and local organizations for Maine makers! Check here for new ways to inspire creativity, creation, and collaboration in our community.
The Technology Center has added a Maker Bot Replicator to our services. Please read the guidelines to learn how to submit your file via email for printing. No experience with 3D printing is required — you can select a test print or have a staff member help you select a design from one of the many free libraries of 3D designs on the web. Please note that we do not ship and all items must be picked up at our downtown location, 5 Monument Square Portland, ME 04101.
Doing science can be fun! You may think of research as teams of professional scientists at work but with the aid of the Internet, non-specialists can contribute, too. As “Citizen Scientists” we can share in scientific data collection and providing access to scientific information within our communities. PPL promotes citizen science through events, educational programs, and volunteer opportunities for you to explore science or technology on your own, increase personal understanding and appreciation, and contribute to the research underway.
Up Next at the Library:
October Sustainability Series with Friends of Scarborough Marsh
December Sustainability Series
From the PPL blog:
In May our staff explores Nature and Science at the library. More »
Some highlights from the library's collection of bulletins from UMaine Extension Service. More »