Joanne Waxman Library

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Reference assistance is available Monday - Friday between 9:00am and 5:00pm.

Reference assistance may also be scheduled by appointment. Contact library staff at 207-775-5153 or

Class instruction is available by appointment. Contact the Library Director at to arrange for group instruction.

Library Hours

Staff Contacts

Moira Steven
Library Director

Heather Dawn Driscoll
Circulation Manager

Amy Shinn
Library Assistant

Linda Smallwood
Library Assistant



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Research Resources

Off-campus access to these resources is limited to MECA students, faculty and staff and require authentication by entering a MECA ID and password. Other users may only access these resources at the Joanne Waxman Library.


Circulation Services & Policies

A valid Maine College of Art ID or library membership card is required at all times to borrow any materials.

Library Memberships and Borrowing Privileges

All Maine College of Art faculty, students and staff are entitled to borrowing privileges at the Joanne Waxman Library.

Continuing Studies faculty and students may apply for borrowing privileges during the term they are enrolled.

Membership in the Joanne Waxman Library is available to any member of the general public upon payment of the annual fee. Some borrowing privileges are not available to members.

Members of GPACU (Greater Portland Alliance of Colleges and Universities) may borrow material by presenting a valid ID card from their home institution.

Borrowing MECA Materials

Library materials can be borrowed as follows:

MECA BFA and MAT program students, staff and alums - 4 weeks - circulating material
MECA MFA students and faculty - 1 semester - circulating material
Library Members - 4 weeks - circulating material
GPACU students; faculty; staff - 4 weeks - circulating material
All other library users may use all available materials in the MECA Library.

Borrowing Non-MECA Materials

Materials from other libraries may be borrowed by MECA students, faculty & staff only through Maine InfoNet - 4 weeks - no renewals


A valid MECA ID or library card is required to renew items. Items may be renewed:

In person
Online at and choosing View Your Patron Record.
NOTE: Once an item is overdue, it cannot be renewed online
By phone at 207-775-5153.
Items may be renewed for a maximum of three times.


All items are subject to recall. The borrower has up to 7 days to return the item before fines begin to accrue.


Reserve materials may be checked out for 3 hours and are for in-library use only.
A maximum of 3 Reserve items can be checked out at one time.
Students must present their valid MECA ID to borrow materials.

Audiovisual Materials

Videos and DVDs may be borrowed overnight by MECA students, faculty & staff only.

Interlibrary Loans

Interlibrary Loan services are available to all MECA students, faculty & staff only. They are not available to alumni or other types of members.

Fines & Billing

Overdue items are assessed fines as follows:
Books, Videos and DVDs, and Slides - 25¢ per item per day.
Course Reserves - $1.00 per item per hour
Items not returned are considered missing and the borrower will be billed a minimum $60.00 per item as well as a $5.00 non-refundable administration fee per lost item
Items returned in damaged condition will also incur charges, depending on the replacement or repair cost of the item
MINERVA/MaineCat loans that are not returned will incur billing charges including a $75.00 replacement charge and a non-refundable $35.00 billing and processing fee.

Course Reserve Submissions

Faculty may place books, articles, videos or other materials on reserve for classes. A Faculty Reserve form must be completed for each item placed on reserve.

If faculty use MECA library material for course reserves, they are responsible for locating the item and bringing it to the Circulation Desk, together with completed paperwork.

Items catalogued as "Reference" or borrowed from other libraries cannot be placed on reserve.  Career resources, non-circulating, special collections and periodical items also cannot be placed on reserve or borrowed.

The library requires 24-hour lead-time to setup Reserve items.

Contact library staff at or 207-775-5153 if you have any questions.

MECA's Joanne Waxman Library is one of the largest independent libraries in Northern New England and a major resource for the region. Its collections number approximately 33,000 volumes, 100 periodicals, as well as videos and other materials. In addition, the library maintains a specialized collection of 19th century publications in the arts, a small collection of artists' books and a collection of 55,000 slides. The Library provides access to a suite of online resources, which include online periodical indices and image resources.

Located on the second floor of MECA's Porteous Building, the Library's handsome quarters feature restored tin ceilings and large Chicago-style windows that overlook historic Congress Street. Reading areas are bathed in natural light. Custom-made wooden carrels and study tables were designed and created by Associate Professor of Woodworking Jamie Johnston.

The Library is open to the public. Members of the general public can obtain a library card for an annual fee of $50 ($25 for seniors).

Contact the library at 207.775.5153 or with any questions. 


Mission Statement

The mission of the Joanne Waxman Library, Maine College of Art is to support the educational mission of Maine College of Art by fostering excellence in library services and acquiring appropriate collections of print, electronic, audiovisual and special collections materials that serve the College and the art community in general.The Library aspires to promote information literacy and life-long learning in a changing information environment and to foster cooperative endeavors and resource sharing within the artistic and educational community.


  • Books: 42,000+ volumes
  • Periodicals: 108 hard copy subscriptions
  • E-Journals: 53 electronic subscriptions
  • Videos/DVDs: 505 titles
  • Artist Books/Zines: 455 titles
  • 85% of the collection geared to the study of art and design
  • 15% of the collection geared to support of the Liberal Arts programs
  • 95% of the collection can be borrowed


  • Founded in 1973 while the college was still the Portland School of Art
  • Named for Joanne Waxman, the first full-time librarian, hired in 1972. She was instrumental in planning and creating a vision of what the library could be and its role in the college
  • Occupied a number of locations including the Baxter Building (formerly the Portland Public Library building funded through the Carnegie foundation) from 1972 to 2000
  • Moved to the current space in the Porteous Building in 2000, one of the first areas completed in the renovation.