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Science in Context

Science & Technology

The Library offers many tools for Science, Technology, Engineering, 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.

Monthly Science Cafés are presented on wide ranging topics, designed to introduce non-scientists to important issues affecting our community. For more information on these events, please read below.

Your digital presence is more than just what you choose to share on social media and what you type in your email account– it impacts your reputation, your privacy, and almost every aspect of your personal, social, and professional life today. Librarians are some of the oldest guardians of privacy, and we’re excited to help the community tackle this challenging digital landscape. Please join us for programs and workshops on these topics.

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SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, April 23, 2016

 Planning for Makers@PPL in 2016 is underway.

If you’re interested in sharing your talents at the event, please fill out this form.

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lego square

Did you know Legos are not just toys? They’re STEM learning tools. Please join us each week for Lego clubs, and join your neighbors to build in suggested themes and activities.


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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 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.

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Science touches nearly everything, so we’ve put together the best STEM books in our collection. Adults love these titles, too!

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Please help us determine public computing options by answering a survey. There are paper copies available at the main branch.

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The Portland Public Library offers classes and tutoring for all levels of computer users.  Advance registration is required — please call 871-1700 x 708, or stop by the public computing desk at the main library to get on the roster.

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The Library is pleased to partner with Cornerstones of Science to offer monthly Science Cafes on a wide range of issues and topics of interest to our community.

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New Printing Options

The Public Computing area in the Main Library will now be offering a wide variety of printing options. The new machine is capable of black and white copies and printing, color copies and printing, scanning, faxing, print from USB, and wireless printing.

Instructions are available at the Public Computing Help Desk, and costs for each service are listed below:

  • Color prints and copies: 25₵
  • Black & white prints and copies: 15₵
  • Fax: 75₵ session fee, 25₵ per page
  • Scan: free

To print wirelessly, you will need to create and register an account with OCS Web Print.

Please note that PDF is the preferred format for materials printed wirelessly.


Be a Citizen Scientist

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.

AZA Frogwatch USAVisit our partner, Cornerstones of Science, for upcoming citizen science opportunities including FrogWatchUSA.

Or, did you know you can borrow a telescope from the Library?

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Up Next at the Library:
Legos @ PPL Riverton11:00am - 12:30pm
Riverton Branch
Teen Cyber Safety Workshop3:00pm - 4:00pm
Main Library
One-on-One Computer Tutoring4:30pm - 6:00pm
Main Library
From the PPL blog:
All About the Civic Hackathon
Hackathon summary   More »
Gearing up for Sep-STEM-ber!
Summary of upcoming STEM events.   More »
“How can I ensure I’m printing exactly what I want?”
Helpful tips for printing at the library.   More »
Contact the team leader
Samantha Duckworth   Email »
Science and Technology Librarian
207-871-1700 x284
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