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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.

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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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Resources, events, and local organizations for Maine makers! Check here for new ways to inspire creativity, creation, and collaboration in our community.

maker culture, and bring together the talents and creativity in the community to share ideas and projects with others – See more at:
maker culture, and bring together the talents and creativity in the community to share ideas and projects with others – See more at:
maker culture, and bring together the talents and creativity in the community to share ideas and projects with others – See more at:
maker culture, and bring together the talents and creativity in the community to share ideas and projects with others – See more at:
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The Technology Center has added a Maker Bot Replicator to our services. Currently, this exciting new technology is available by appointment on Tuesdays from 12pm to 3pm, 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. Please note that we do not ship and all items must be picked up at our downtown location, 5 Monument Square Portland, ME 04101.

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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.

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Explore how-to instructions and videos in our online reference resources and learn how to fix it yourself!

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Climate Change

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.

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Public Computers & Internet Access

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 or 871-1700 ext. 708.

Up Next at the Library:
One-on-One Technology Tutoring10:00am - 1:00pm
Main Library
One-on-One Technology Tutoring2:00pm - 3:30pm
Main Library
From the PPL blog:
The Air We Breathe: Nature and Science Staff Picks
In May our staff explores Nature and Science at the library.   More »
Control Those Porcupines: UMaine Extension Bulletins
Some highlights from the library's collection of bulletins from UMaine Extension Service.   More »
Contact the Librarian
Meg Gray   Email »
Science and Technology Librarian
207-871-1700 x284
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