Joanne Waxman Library

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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, at

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. 

Hours, directions, staff contacts and more information may be found at

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: 32,130 volumes; about 27,000 titles
  • Magazines: 101 current subscriptions
  • Videos/DVDs: 450 titles
  • Artist Books: 154 titles
  • Slides: Approximately 55,000
  • 85% of the collection geared to the study of art and design
  • 15% of the collection geared to support of the Liberal Arts programs
  • 90% 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.