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.
Sustainability (from sustain and ability) is the endurance of systems and processes through time. The Portland Sustainability Series will present a diversity of speakers to share different aspects of the work moving Maine to greater endurance and sustainability. Please join the Portland Public Library and the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative as we engage in these important issues and conversations
Our one-to-one tutoring sessions are on a summer recess as we adapt to a new staffing schedule. They will be offered again in the Fall.
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 for more information!
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. In fact, we are still working out the details for Phase II (seed collecting). Read more about how the program will work.
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. Currently, this exciting new technology is available by appointment on Wednesdays from 10am to 4pm, or via email. Please read the guidelines to make your appointment, or 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.
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.
Explore how-to instructions and videos in our online reference resources and learn how to fix it yourself!
Our lives are integrally connected to the climate. Learn more at the library about how human societies have adapted to the relatively stable climate we have experienced since the last ice age and the changes, anticipated or unanticipated, that a warming climate will bring. How we react, how we adapt, how we protect our environment, our health, and our safety, depends on understanding and a will to action.
The Library offers more than 65 computers, as well as wireless access, at our four locations for email, web searching, and basic computing needs. To use our computers, you must use your library card or show valid ID to receive a guest pass, and agree to comply with time limits, the posted Rules of Conduct, and the Computer Rules and Acceptable and Safe Use policy.
The library’s computers have high-speed internet access and Microsoft Office programs for word processing, spreadsheets, and other projects. At the main library, patrons can check out a laptop to use within the library for 90 minutes. Printing is available for $0.15 per page in black and white. Ask the Library staff for assistance to locate a computer with the resources you need. Questions? Contact the Public Computing staff at the Main Library at email@example.com or 871-1700 ext. 708.
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