Did You Know That…….(7)


By Carol McCracken (Post # 433)

The East End Community School branch of the Portland Public School System was the first public branch to be housed in a Portland public school? That happened back in 1958 when the public library was incorporated into what is now the former Adams School.

Back in 1997, the public library at Adams School faced a serious threat for its existence – due to budget cuts as well as currently. A group of community spirited users of the library branch up here started a petition drive to keep the branch open. Petitions were located at places such as Liliana’s Laundromat, Breggy’s, the Portland House and other locations. Bo Hewey organized it. A letter writing campaign to the “PPH” was also established. Local non-profit child care providers considered the Hill branch an important part of their schedule. It was a safety issue as well since child care providers preferred not to have to cross Marginal Way to walk to the main branch. The branch stayed open. The East End Community School has its own school library which will remain open to students, but closed to the public.

The opening reception for the rennovated main library on Congress Street is Thursday, April 15th at noon. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Mayor speaking as well as other dignataries. Musical entertainment will be provided. Steve Littrell, poet lauret of Portland will close the ceremony with a poem. Attendees will be able to see the new facility from then until closing time at 7:00 pm. There will be no formal guided tours, but staff will be there to answer questions.

For the following Friday, Saturday and Tuesday special events have been planned.

4 thoughts on “Did You Know That…….(7)

  1. I am confused by this… do you mean the Munjoy branch was the 1st *library* to be incorporated into a public school? And I’m so excited for the main library to open! Thanks for the news about the reception.

  2. Hi Kate,

    Hope this clarifies – the Munjoy branch was the lst “public” library to be incorporated into a Portland public school. Also, I added more information about the ribbon cutting ceremony at noon that may be of interest to you.

    Thanks for letting me hear from you.

    Carol McCracken

  3. I think it needs to said explicitly what is implicit in this article: the Munjoy Branch Library at the EECS has been around for over 50 years and is a vital part of the neighborhood. It cannot be allowed to die. Nor is it fair that the other neighborhood’s branch libraries be terminated either.

    Library patrons were asked to vote in 2004 for a $4 Million bond issue to renovate the main branch, a measure that I strongly supported at the time. Now it seems that the main branch renovations are done, the library’s director and Board of Trustees are willing to cut loose most of the branches because they think the main branch is better, a “bait and switch” tactic that is a violation of the community’s trust. I would have some sympathy for them, since it was the City Council that has been so tight on their budget for so many years, except that they don’t even seem to care. Their betrayal of my support over the years feels like a stab me in the back.

    If you love the library (and by that I mean the entire Portland Library System, as well as the Munjoy branch), you need to get angry about this!!! Let the Portland City Council, the newspapers, the director of the library, and the trustees of the library about how unacceptable branch closings are.

    Don’t go to the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate… go to protest! Demand that the City Council increase the budget for the library system so that each branch can stay open at least 20 hours a week (though 40 would be better) Demand the Library Director and Trustees abandon their “new direction” plans and pledge to never threaten to close the branches again!

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