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Science in Context

Science & Technology

There’s a renewed interest in, and urgent need for, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) literacy today. 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.

The Portland Public Library offers classes 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.

Learn More »

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.

Learn More »
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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Recommended Websites »
DIY – Do it Yourself Repair

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

  • Small Engine Repair Reference Center has repair information for lawnmowers, water craft, ATVs, motorcycles, tractors, snowmobiles and more.
  • Chilton Library is a trusted source for automobile repair, and is now available to library patrons as an online resource. Unlike the printed editions, the content in this database is updated monthly. Try the Labor Estimate tool to get an idea of expected costs for auto repair.


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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
Wifi Logo © Alan Melancon used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike-Noncommercial license:

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.

Computers have unfiltered Internet access, and also offer Microsoft Office programs for word processing, spreadsheets, and other projects. 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:
Facebook Class10:00am - 12:00pm
Main Library
One-on-One Computer Tutoring10:30am - 11:30am
Main Library
Introduction to Excel12:00pm - 1:00pm
Main Library
From the PPL blog:
A Day to Remember at the Library
A summary of the events at PPL on June 17th   More »
Guess the New Tool Coming to PPL!
maker fair at Portland Public Library teaser   More »
Printing in the Second Dimension
Printing options at the main branch   More »
Contact the team leader
Samantha Duckworth   Email »
Science and Technology Librarian
207-871-1700 x284
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