The South Portland Public Library will kick off a new program next week designed to foster community and ward off social isolation.

The Monday Matinee and More program will offer opportunities for residents to connect with their city and each other through speakers, presentations, workshops, board games and movies.

“There are a lot of issues with loneliness and social isolation,” outreach librarian Lisa Joyce said Wednesday. “A number of libraries in the state do a program like this and it’s very popular.”

South Portland Police Chief Dan Ahern will speak with residents about the city at next week’s Monday Matinee and More.

The inaugural event, “Conversation with a Cop” with South Portland Police Chief Dan Ahern, will be held Monday, Jan. 8, at 2 p.m.

Holding the events in the afternoon allows them to reach a wide audience, Joyce said.

The first Monday of the month will feature a movie and the second and third, presentations, including local history. The fourth Monday of each month will be “games day.”


“We’ll have a lot of different board games and card games set up,” Joyce said. “If someone likes to play Scrabble and they don’t have people to play with, that might be a place to find others that will be able to join them.”

South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club, Age Friendly South Portland, Friends of the South Portland Library and Southern Maine Agency on Aging contributed funding for the Monday Matinees and are co-sponsors of the program.

“We have a really good group of associations to help us pay for and provide the programs,” Joyce said.

SMAA awarded the library an $8,000 grant for equipment, including a drop-down projector for presentations and movies. The library needed a license to operate the projector.

“Even when you’re showing DVDs, if you’re showing them in a public space, you need to buy a license,” Joyce said. “That was a big part of (the grant).”

Rotary contributed through its pilot Community Grant Program, according to Sari Greene, the club’s community services director.


“The Monday Matinee program reflects Rotary’s values of outreach, inclusivity, literacy, education collaboration and friendship,” Greene said.

Joyce said Rotary’s donation will help pay for speaker fees. Hannaford donated as well, she said, and that will be used for snacks at each event.

The library is seeking input from the community on Monday Matinee programming.

“We would love to hear from people in the community about what they might find interesting,” Joyce said.

She also emphasized that the events are designed for all ages, from young families to senior residents.

“There’s not an age limitation on the program,” she said. “It’s free and there’s no registration –  just show up and drop in.”

Specific Monday Matinee and More programs will be listed at

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