Welcome to USM Libraries!  We are three University Libraries, two unique collections, and a digital library located across all three USM campuses and Online.  Together, we are here to serve you as One Library on Three Campuses. Our library facilities in Portland and Gorham are open seven days a week. Our library in Lewiston is open five days a week.  The USM Digital Library website is open 24/7 with most services and resources available remotely.  Most importantly, we have knowledgeable and friendly staff here to help you in person and online.  Please let us know how we can help you!

Our History

Gorham Library & Learning Commons

Student Studying at Gorham Library
Student Studying at Desk

The Gorham Campus Library & Learning Commons is located on the first floor of Bailey Hall, right by the Husky Line stop. You’ll see our Information Desk right as you enter the library. Library staff are available to help you with everything from your library account, inter-library loan, and checking out library materials; to research; tutoring; printing and connecting to WiFi; and directions to other places on campus. If you have questions, please ask us – we’re here to help!

The Gorham Library’s first floor is a collaborative learning space. You are welcome and encouraged to do group work here, and to talk at a normal volume. On the first floor, you will find:

The second floor is our quiet study floor. Please use this space for individual work, and keep any conversations to a whisper. On our second floor, you will find:

  • General book collection
  • Children’s and Young Adult Collection
  • Sheet Music Collection
  • CD Collection
  • Study room
  • Prayer & Meditation Space

Glickman Library

Front Glickman Library
Entrance Glickman Library

The largest of USM’s libraries, the Albert Brenner Glickman Family Library is located on the Portland campus on the corner of Bedford St. and Forest Ave. The Access Services desk, where you can get answers about your library account, inter-library loan, and checking out library materials, is located on the first floor. The help desk, where you can ask about tutoring, study rooms, and connecting with our reference librarians, is located on the second floor to the left of the elevator doors. If you have questions, please ask us – we’re here to help!

Glickman Library has seven floors, each with a different noise level and different resources:

  • Noise Level: Collaborative
  • Help Desk
  • Computer lab (printing, scanning, photocopying)
  • Study rooms
  • Tutoring & Peer Academic Support
  • Reference and Instruction Librarian’s offices
  • Graphic Novel collection
  • Reference books
  • Noise Level: Collaborative
  • Writing Center
  • Computer lab (printing, scanning, photocopying)
  • Microfilm reader
  • Board game collection
  • Gender neutral restrooms
  • Noise Level: Whisper
  • Prayer & Meditation Space
  • Noise Level: Whisper
  • AAA Cafe with vending machines and microwave
  • Aperture photography Collection
  • Noise Level: Whisper & Silent space in Great Reading Room
  • University Events Room (UER)

Documents relating to the history of the USM Portland Campus Library

USM’s Portland Campus Library, a building which in the early years of this century housed state-of- the-art bakery technology, now contains the latest in information technology as well as space for precious maps and artifacts dating back five centuries.

The facility we’re opening today replaces an existing 27,000 square-foot campus library in need of expansion and technological upgrade. The first four floors have been renovated to incorporate not only conventional book stacks but also compact disc data bases and the advanced computer technology and fiber optics needed to provide access to information throughout the world.

Specifically, the first floor houses circulation and reserve books. It also will accommodate the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education, which will feature rare maps, atlases, and globes from the Smith and Osher Cartographic Collections. (Please see information on the Osher Map Library elsewhere in this program.) The second floor holds reference materials, interlibrary loans, and data base searching. The third floor features periodicals, archives, and book stacks, while the fourth contains additional stack , administrative offices, and conference  areas.

In all, USM’s new Portland library contains more than 200,000 bound volumes, 1,500 subscriptions, and nearly 3/4 million pieces of microfilm.

The library was designed to symbolize a gateway to USM, and to serve as a tangible reminder of USM’s presence in the community. As such, any citizen has the right to use the facilities, and adults may acquire borrowing privileges, which are available at a nominal charge.

When it was built in 1919, the T.A. Huston Company at 314-318 Forest Avenue was “the newest (and) largest…baking establishment in the East.” Reports of the day also termed it “…a vast industrial wonderland,” built to contain the very latest in bakery equipment. The building created an assembly line that commenced on the seventh floor for the efficient baking, packaging, and shipping of the company’s line of cookies and crackers.

The company’s founder, Thomas A. Huston, employed the latest technology whenever possible. His first bakery, established in Auburn in 1869, featured, “…the best in cracker-making machinery obtainable,” a treadmill operated by real horse power.

Technology also played a role in the end of the building’s history as a bakery. The National Biscuit Company purchased the Portland bakery in 1931 and continued to operate it for another 23 years. But Nabisco closed the bakery in 1954 because the building could no longer accommodate the latest in bakery equipment.

Over the next 36 years, the former “…industrial wonderland” was used for storage and warehousing, most recently as a plumbing supply company, Johnson Supply. Eventually it became vacant and fell into disrepair. In 1990, the University purchased the property and faced the challenge of converting   it into a modern, technologically advanced library.

The library we are dedicating today is named for a family with a demonstrated commitment to giving and caring for the Greater Portland community. Joseph Brenner of Portland (1873-1943), Albert Brenner Glickman’s grandfather, was known for his generosity, both to public causes and to private individuals. He was a founder of the Jewish Home for the Aged. As owner of the Portland-based Mountford Coal Company, he ensured that needy families did not go without heat during the Depression.

Mildred Brenner Glickman, Albert Glickman’s mother, was a pioneer in fundraising for the Jewish community, and the first woman to chair a division of the Jewish Federation. She also served as a field director for the U.S.O. in World War I .

Portland native Albert Glickman has assumed a lead volunteer role in numerous charitable, community, and business organizations, at the local and national levels. He is former chair and current director of the Federal Loan Home Bank of Boston and a member of the New England Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. In addition, he is former chair of the Cedars Sinai Medical Center Board of Governors and former member of the President’s Advisory Committee to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Locally, he served on the boards of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Museum of Art. A longtime supporter of education, Albert Glickman is a trustee of the University of Maine System and the UCLA Foundation, and a former trustee of Westbrook College, the Wayflete School, and the Spurwink School. He is also trustee emeritus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History and the Aspen Museum of Art.

Judith Glickman is a noted international photographer whose work has been shown at museums as well as college and university galleries throughout Maine, the U.S., and Europe. Locally, her work has been featured at the Portland Museum of Art, the Maine Coast Artists Gallery, Bowdoin, Colby, USM, the University of Maine, the University of Maine at Farmington, the University of Maine at Machias, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, the College of the Atlantic and the University of New England. In addition to numerous one women shows, Glickman was featured as part of the exhibit, “Women in Photography International,” that included showings at the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain and the Los Angeles Center of Photography. Glickman, a recipient of a number of awards for her work, is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain.

She frequently lectures on the Holocaust, the subject of her photography. She has exhibited and lectured at colleges and universities across the United States, at the Royal Danish Embassy in London, and at the Danish Cultural Center in Edinburgh. She is a 1996 recipient of Westbrook College’s Deborah Morton Award, and has served as a trustee of the Maine College of Art and the Samantha  Smith Foundation.

The Glickman’s four children are demonstrating the same commitment to the family tradition of community and philanthropic service. Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman has a congregation and lives in South Winsor, Conn., with his wife Shauna, a special needs educator, and their four children. Dr. Tigraw Kastenberg teaches psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband, David, a gastroenterologist, live with their four children in Haddonfield, N.J. David Glickman, a successful entrepreneur living in Los Angeles, is founder and owner of Justice Technology, a major long distance telephone company. His fiancée, Paige Budd, is an attorney-at-law. Brenner Glickman and his wife Elaine are studying at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. They will both be ordained as rabbis in June of 1998.

Editor’s Note: The following is excerpted from an interview with Eva Higgins of South Portland, a worker at the T.A. Huston Bakery Company and the National Biscuit Company’s Downeast Bakery from 1926 until 1954, when the bakery closed. Hannah W. Ashley of Yarmouth, a local historian and graduate of USM’s New England Studies Program, conducted the interview in December of  1991.

Q. How young were you when you first started working there? Were you in school?

A. I was 17. My daddy had died and I had to go to work.

Q. Were you interested in staying in the bakery at that time?

A. I was interested because I figured I could start at the bottom and work up. And I only worked at that job (clean-up) for one month, and then I was promoted to packaging and that was more money. That was $15.00 a week. In those days that was a lot.

Q. You packed cookies for a while? Was this on a conveyor belt?

A. Yes, the cookies came down from the sixth floor on a belt. They’d come down and we’d clean them off, and then the belt would go back upstairs, just like a Ferris wheel.

Q. I’ve read in early newspaper articles that there was a cafeteria…and that there were even showers. Do you remember those amenities at all?

A. Yes, and the cafeteria was on the fourth floor and that was very nice, very sanitary—it had to be.

Q. Did the men mostly work the ovens?

A. The ovens were upstairs on the sixth floor. Those were the bakers. And the mixing room was– – part of it on the sixth floor and parts of it were on the seventh.

Q. Did most of the workers live near the bakery?

A. A lot of them lived in Cumberland, but most of them lived in Portland. In the early years they would come by trolley car. Quite a few of them lived in South Portland and they would use the trolley cars.

Q. How long did your husband stay with the company?

A. He worked for them 44 years. He worked in Cambridge for seven years and then we were transferred to Pittsburgh for the rest of the time. He retired at 62 due to his health. So he took an early retirement and rushed back to Maine. I hated Pittsburgh, so we just sold our home and came back to Maine.

Q. What were the work schedules like? Did you fill in and do other jobs? Did you punch a clock? Where did you go for lunch?

A. We worked eight hours except during the war. Sometimes there was something special and we worked nine hours. We had a time card and punched a clock. A girl checked up to make sure everyone punched the card. We had one ten-minute break in the morning and one ten-minute break   in the afternoon, with one half hour for lunch. Most always they’d go upstairs to the cafeteria for lunch. Sometimes they’d go to the diner at the corner of Winslow Street and Forest  Avenue.

Q. Were there any changes between the T.A. Huston ownership from 1920-1931 and the National Biscuit Co. ownership from 1931-1954?

A. One thing was the vacation—we never got a vacation before. Under Nabisco after so many years you were allowed to go on vacation. You worked five years and got a week’s vacation. That was good in that time. And I think if you worked 15 years you got two weeks vacation.

Abstract: The Library building was built in 1919 as a bakery and operated as such until 1954 after which it was occupied by several businesses, but primarily Johnson’s plumbing supply company. Once a state-of-the-art baking facility, the building had the load-bearing capability to house a Library. The University purchased it in 1991 and the renovation turned it into a Portland  landmark

The building today know as the Albert Brenner Glickman Family Library was built in 1919 as a bakery.

Thomas Huston began his career driving a bakery wagon in Portland, moved to Auburn where he founded the T. A. Huston Company and built a bakery. When the Auburn bakery burned down, he returned to Portland and built what would become know as the “Down East Bakery” at 314-318 Forest Avenue. It took several years for Huston to negotiate for the right land, but finally in late 1915 the land was secured from E. D. Winslow and Henry Deering and the city allowed use of land reserved as a railroad right of way and a spur track.

Contemporary newspaper accounts described the Huston bakery as “a mammoth, sunlight bakery…one of the largest and most completely equipped baking establishments in the East…a vast industrial wonderland.” Indeed the bakery’s construction was modern and farsighted. The building was made of flat-slab, steel-reinforced concrete poured on site, a material chosen for its weight-bearing capability. Such a construction would easily support the four brick ovens in the building, each measuring 20 feet wide by 25 feet high and weighing 300 tons. The concrete construction also meant that the floors, walls, and columns were fireproof. The interior was painted with white enamel creating an environment that was easily cleaned. Finally, steel sash windows, very modern at the time, were used. They allowed the maximum area of glazing to ensure the   interior would be well lit. Many articles praised the clean, sanitary, and safe conditions of the bakery.

The Huston bakery turned out biscuits and cookies, and a variety of candies. Their slogan “Made in Maine–For Maine–By Maine People” advertised the fact that they used only the freshest ingredients and only shipped their goods as far as they could without the products losing their freshness. One of their most well-known products was the Sebago Lunch Biscuit, made only with water from Sebago Lake which government chemists had rated the “purest” lake water in the United States.

In 1931, the Huston Company sold the bakery to the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco), who operated it until 1954. By then, what had been the largest and the best bakery, did not “lend itself to Nabisco’s modernization program,” according to factory officials. In 1955 the Portland City directories listed the occupants as the Johnson Supply Company, wholesalers of everything in plumbing, heating and electrical. Johnson Supply continued to inhabit the building through the  1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, but shared the space with other businesses, such as Sebago Moccasin, Cushioned Bellaire Shoe Company, and Maine Industrial Supply Company. Although the Johnson Company continued to occupy the building until 1988, the building had been sold in 1954 to Deering Village Corporation, who in turn sold the property in 1985.

When the building was purchased by USM in 1991, then President Plante stated that its load- bearing capacity of this heavy, massive construction made it ideally suited for a library. The purchase and renovation were both made possible by an University bond issue passed by the State in 1988. Since the cost of the building was higher than expected, an innovative approach was taken to keep the cost of renovation within budget. JSA Inc., Architects Planners of Portsmouth, N.H. were awarded the contract based on their proposal to use Kalwall, a fiber reinforced plastic cladding. The walls would be pre-fabricated offsite, transported, and installed on the building. If traditional brick walls had been used, the budget would only have allowed for the renovation of one floor, but with Kalwall, four floors could be done. The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University was used as design inspiration because of it’s innovative use of marble slabs to bring

diffused natural light into the building, thereby reducing operating costs. Kalwall was even more attractive as a translucent material because it contains fiberglass insulation, reducing the need for  an interior and exterior wall. The cladding was designed to reflect the building’s original industrial heritage and the translucent glow at night from the inside lights would ensure the building became a landmark for passing motorists on I-295. The building won design awards from the National Association of Homebuilders and from the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Library opened in the fall of 1993 and was in October 1997 dedicated as the Albert Brenner Glickman Family Library.

The exterior was landscaped with beech, bradford pear, austrian pine, and other trees and shrubs given by a variety of donors. The front courtyard facing Forest Avenue was used as a setting for an installation piece, “Grid Stones”, by David Phillips. Grids were carved into stones and inset with bronze straps. With the assistance of GIS (geographic information system) readings, the stones were placed so the grids formed a north-south and east-west axis. The geographic coordinates of the library are given on a plaque incorporated in the overall design.

In 2000, the University mounted a capital campaign that raised $3,100,000 in private donations  from alumni, friends, corporations and foundations to renovate the top three floors of the building for the Library’s expansion. With the growth of the collections and library operations, increased digital resources, and the University’s need for an event room, the space was urgently needed. SMRT Architecture Engineering Planning of Portland designed the new spaces, including a special collections facility, an electronic classroom, computer labs, group study rooms, a café, a great reading room, and an event room. Construction began in Spring 2003 and was completed by April 2004.

Seven decades after its construction, a long-dilapidated, industrial building has been converted into a facility to serve the information needs of the 21st century.

In 1992, USM President Richard L. Pattenaude wrote, “We are renovating an empty, unused structure to gain a new library, modern enough to afford Maine citizens and 10,000 students comprehensive access to information in numerous forms, from extraordinary  sources.

“We are providing space for our antique maps, our quickly expanding collection of library material, and study locations for students. We are doing all this within the financial constraints of a $3.9  million construction budget funded by a publicly approved (1988) bond and the design constraints of a 74-year-old industrial building.” said Pattenaude.

The architects, JSA, Inc. of Portsmouth, N.H., working with University and city officials, faced the challenge of designing a plan that would honor the building’s industrial heritage yet reflect the dynamics of a modern university. Moreover, they were working with one of the more dominant buildings along Portland’s skyline, a building that could provide a gateway to USM’s Portland campus and symbolize the city’s renewal. It’s a building, said Pattenaude, that “…argued against trying to have it fade into the background; it begged for stronger  statement.”

The interior is designed to respect the building’s industrial character, leaving the original concrete structure, complete with its flared columns, exposed and intact. The building’s concrete frame dictated that a durable, insulating skin or curtain wall be used on the exterior. A Kalwall system presented the most attractive option, in part because it provided a durable, energy-efficient insulation, and in part because it provided a diffused, indirect light to library stacks and reading areas.

Kalwall consists of an aluminum grid that has two fiberglass-reinforced face sheets permanently bonded under heat and pressure with fiberglass insulation between the face sheets. The dead air space between the panel’s faces and the reinforced fiberglass make for an energy- efficient and highly durable exterior system.

Kalwall has been used on numerous buildings, including the wing of the Wellesley College Science Center. That project won an annual award from the Boston Society of Architects for its artistic and structural integrity.

The building’s colors, the subject of considerable public feedback, were originally a lavender and teal scheme, but were changed to the present shades of aqua, rust and white to better relieve the plane surface and complement the structural grid  pattern.

Architect Michael Tague of JSA Associates explained that the grid, “combined with the decorative brick , multi-colored panels and tower-capped corners further acknowledges the building’s contextual and industrial heritage.”

The University, said USM Librarian George Parks, who has worked on library building projects throughout the country, “has tried conscientiously, and in consultation with others, to produce a final package which we believe is fiscally, environmentally, functionally , and artistically sound.”

James Warner of JSA told the Maine Times, “This building will definitely be noticed. The University will become much more apparent to the city as a result of it.”

The Portland Campus Library’s original structural frame, when built in 1919 as a bakery, provided an ideal base for carrying heavy loads, whether tons of baking flour or hundreds of thousands of book. The frame, however, allowed heat loss in the winter and heat absorption in the summer.

To offset that flaw, designers decided to wrap the building in an insulating blanket of panels. They selected a system of panels of highly durable and energy-efficient exterior sheathing by Kalwall Company.

Designers augmented the Kalwall panels with high-efficiency lighting, heating, power, and other systems that will save an estimated 568,865 kilowatt hours per year over current energy standards for a building of this size. Those 568,865 kilowatt hours represent an annual savings of about

$56,900 in utility costs. USM spent nearly $85,000 on special energy reduction equipment throughout the building, earning a $57,190 rebate from Central Maine Power Company.

Other energy conservation features include:

All Lighting fixtures are equipped with T/8 lamps, considered the most energy efficient lamps available. The lights around the outside edge of each floor utilize ambient sensors, which will automatically turn on these perimeter lights at dusk and keep them on throughout the evening. They will remain on after the library closes at 11 p.m. for the maintenance crews and for security reasons.

All other internal lights are triggered by sensors that turn the lights on as people enter the area, and turn off as they leave. There are no traditional light switches on the building’s walls.

The exterior Kalwall, which lets in a filtered, diffused light, decreases the need for internal lighting on bright days.

A computer monitors all room temperature controls, adjusting those controls for maximum energy efficiency. That computer has the capacity to serve the entire campus in the  future.

The building is heated with three high-efficiency burners, each of which is far smaller than the traditional home furnace. Those burners, located on the seventh floor, are fueled by natural gas.

There are no manual controls on the faucets in the restrooms. To minimize water usage, water flow is controlled by infrared sensors that supply water when you place your hands under the faucet.

As these and other features indicate, the library has been designed to meet the environmental as well and the information needs of tomorrow.

This article appeared in the USM Free Press, October 20, 1997 page 17.

Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Governor Angus King were to attend a public dedication ceremony renaming the Portland Campus Library the Albert Brenner Glickman Family Library at 12 noon last Sunday, Oct. 19. The dedication recognizes the donation of over $1 million dollars by Albert B. and Judith L. Glickman of Cape Elizabeth to USM for renovation of library space and expansion of library holdings.

The ceremony, which will be held on the unfinished fifth floor, was also to include remarks by George Campbell, mayor of the city of Portland; Sally G. Vamvakias, chair of the UMS Board of Trustees (BOT); President Richard L. Pattenaude and other university representatives, and Dr. Harold L. Osher, who with his wife Peggy L. Osher donated the Osher Map Library to USM. A buffet reception and tours of the library were planned to follow the ceremony.

“The Glickmans’ extraordinary generosity and commitment to education now allows us to plan for

expansion of the library, which is absolutely crucial if we are to improve our library collection,” Pattenaude said. “With the Glickman family’s gift we will be well on our way to ensuring that the library can house a collection that the university and the community deserve.”

The gift from the Glickmans was officially announced during the May 19 UMS BOT meeting. Albert Glickman is a BOT member.

“The library is the heart of any academic institution,” Pattenaude said when the donation was announced, “so this gift carries tremendous importance because it reaffirms the value of serving the educational needs of our students, faculty and the people of Maine.”

The $1 million donation will help complete the top three floors of the seven story building, providing an estimated 26,500 additional square feet of usable floor space over the current total space of 36,000. The remainder of the gift will be used to acquire books and  periodicals.

USM purchased the building at the corner of Bedford St. and Forest Ave. in 1990. Using funds from a state bond issue, USM renovated the exterior and the first four floors of the dilapidated  warehouse, resulting in a library some 9,000 square feet larger then the cramped former library in the Luther Bonney Hall. Plans called for further expansion into the upper three floors when funds became available.

An internal; committee met earlier this year to identify library space needs for the upper three floors. The committee’s preliminary study recommended that the largest portion of the available space, some 20,000 of the 26,500 square feet, be used for book stacks and seating/study areas for  library

users. Other uses for the space, as identified by the committee, include special collections and new information technologies.

The Glickman family gift will be part of a planned capitol campaign to raise over $10 million over four years for libraries, technology, recreational facilities, and scholarships.

Albert B. Glickman, a Portland native and University of Maine trustee, is founder and sole proprietor of Albert B. Glickman and Associates, a real estate development firm that specializes in commercial projects. He is former chair and current director of the Federal Loan Home Bank of Boston and a member of the New England Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Glickman, long active in numerous charitable and community organizations, he is former chair of the Cedars Sinai Medical Center Board of Governors, and former member of the President’s Advisory Committee to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Locally, he served on the boards of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Museum of Art. A longtime supporter of education, he is a trustee of the UCLA Foundation, and a former trustee of Westbrook College, the Waynflete School, and the Spurwink  School.

LAC Library

LAC Campus
Entrance of Lewiston Auburn Campus

The Lewiston Auburn Campus (LAC) Library & Learning Commons is located on the first floor of the campus, right across from Student Success Services. You’ll see our Information Desk to your right as you enter the library. Library staff are available to help you with everything from your library account, interlibrary loan, and checking out library materials; to research; tutoring; printing and connecting to WiFi; and directions to other places on campus. The LAC library is one floor with most of the library being a collaborative learning space. You are welcome and encouraged to do group work here, and to talk at a normal volume. If you would like a designated quiet study space, we recommend you use one of the study corrals by the group study rooms to the right of the Information Desk. If you have questions, please ask us – we’re here to help!

In the our library, you will find:

The Franco-American Collection  is located at LAC at the end of the hall to the right of the library. Within the LAC library itself you will find aspects of the Franco-American Collection, such as our selection of circulating books on Franco-American culture, language, history, and more. There is also a permanent exhibit on Gloriane Perrier’s wooden tandem kayak, which won the silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. You can learn more about Gloriane on the Digital Commons!