Inside the library: looking to the past, looking forward

Libraries can make us nostalgic. They evoke memories of childhood, new discoveries and finding just the right book for that sunny spot. 

But all things change. 

Yes, our libraries are still home to about two million books and other items, but today, libraries are so much more than buildings with books inside. 

Historical image of librarian
In Multnomah County, our libraries are:

  • The largest provider of free, high speed internet access in Oregon with about 2.5 million computer and wi-fi sessions every year
  • A place for free summer lunches for young people who might not have adequate nourishment when school is not in session
  • A platform for emerging authors and musicians to gain greater exposure
  • Gathering spaces with resources that reflect the diversity of our community
  • Safe and welcoming space for teenagers to study and hang out
  • A common space for civic life and a place to explore differing ideas and points of view

While library staff and services are constantly evolving to keep up with changing times, our buildings have not. They simply don’t have enough space, enough seating, enough outlets or enough places for groups to gather, 

We’re hard at work creating a vision for modern library spaces in Multnomah County. Join us as we explore ways to bring all people in Multnomah County modern and adequate library spaces that they need and deserve. Learn more at multcolib.org/planning/