Portland Public Library   


Portland Library
20 Freestone Avenue
Portland, CT 06480
Tel:  860-342-6770

Mon-Thurs 10:00a.m.- 8:00p.m. 
Fri & Sat    10:00a.m.- 5:00p.m.


Mon-Thurs 10:00a.m.- 8:00p.m. 
Fri & Sat    10:00a.m.- 5:00p.m.

Holiday Schedule


Contact us!


Directions to the Library!

Date/Time: 9/19/2018 1:27 AM 

Digital Library

Overdrive for eBooks

OneClick Digital link



ENCORE, our online catalog
LCI online catalogLibrary Connection is a consortium of 30 libraries (including Portland Library) that share a library catalog and resources.
Click here to go to the catalog.

Take a look at
NoveList for suggestions on books of different genres and for books in series order.




The digital media service that allows you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone – and even your TV! With no waiting, titles can be streamed immediately, or downloaded to phones or tablets for offline enjoyment later. Hundreds of thousands of titles are available to choose from, with more being added daily.


Click on the Zinio for Libraries logo at left.

NEW ONLINE SERVICE - Zinio Magazines: 

For anyone holding a valid Portland Library card, a new collection of more than 60 online popular magazines is now available through ONE CLICK Digital. Use the Zinio for Libraries mobile app to read your magazines and check out magazines. You may keep the magazines on your device as long as you wish.  With no limit to the number who may check out an issue, the magazine you want is always available. EBooks are also available through One Click.  Visit the Library’s webpage at www.portlandlibraryct.org and find the links and instructions to use these services and many more, available 24/7. Or call 860-342-6770 for more information.


How much are the Library's services and materials actually worth to you?
Click the calculator on the left and input the average amount of materials borrowed, services used, and programs attended at the Portland Library.  The value of all those "free" activities may surprise you!

History of Portland Library

Portland, settled in the late 1600’s, was part of Middletown and known as East Middletown. In 1767, a separate town, which included the area of East Hampton, was founded and was called Chatham. The first known library was begun in 1782. It was called Chatham Library and, by 1815, owned 322 volumes. A RepublicanLibrary was formed in 1795 and had 200 volumes by the same year.

In 1841, Portland separated from Chatham.  In 1848, the Portland Lyceum was founded. The Lyceum loaned books and members held debates. In 1884, the Portland Library, as a subscription library, was operating from the office of H.J. Fisk, a dentist. Members paid $1.00 a year membership fee and owned 350 volumes.

In 1895, the town voted to establish a Public Library, with an appropriation to not exceed $300 for the fitting of a room in the new Town Hall. The Portland Library Association gave its books to the new library. It opened on Saturday, May 4, 1895 with 800 volumes and 77 subscribers. A member had to be 14 years old, and only one book could be borrowed at a time.

In July, Horace Buck, a Worcester, Massachusetts business man, formerly of Portland, offered $2,000 to build a new library to be given his name. The Town contributed $1,000 and quarry owners donated the brownstone. After construction began, Mr. Buck gave another $500. He did not live to see the new library and after his death, $2,500 more was given by his estate. The library grew with two additions and the establishment of a Children’s Room.

In 1977, the Selectmen formed a Site and Building Committee to study the needs of the town.  A new library was a priority, and Gretchen Hammerstein, of the Groton Public Library, was chosen to write the library building program.

On October 30, 1978, a Building Committee was elected at a Town Meeting, and planning for a new library was underway. Twice weekly informational meetings were held with the architectural firm of Jeter, Cook and Jepson, to which the public was invited. A referendum was held on January 16, 1980, in which the townspeople voted two to one for the new library. The H. Wales Lines firm was chosen to construct it and on August 18, 1980, the formal groundbreaking took place. Marie T. Larson, the First Selectman, and Marion Wannerstrom, former Library Director, were the first to break ground.  Everyone present then participated, including Library Director Mary K. Flood.

On November 13, 1980, the Committee held the Topping-off ceremony when the last piece of steel, with a hemlock branch attached, was put in place. The cornerstone was laid on Thursday, October 22, 1981 and the new library was completed in December of that year.

The contents of the old library were moved to the new building on January 16, 1982, two years from the day of the referendum.  Enthusiastic volunteers and the men of Co. C, 1st Batallion, 169th Infantry of the Connecticut National Guard moved 60,000 books and equipment in approximately four hours. The Portland Library opened to the public on Monday, January 25, 1982.

The building of this beautiful, well-working library is a tribute to the people of Portland and will provide library service for generations to come.

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Library Programs

Want to attend a Portland Library program?
Many of the programs at the Portland Library require registration.
To register for a program, telephone the Library, ask at the Library's Information Desk, or click on CALENDAR.

Program Information:  ADULT, CHILDREN, and TEEN!