MCL Blogs

Planning to attend the 25th annual Oregon Small Business Fair on September 14th? Be sure to stop by the MCL booth to learn all about our resources for small businesses. Check out the lists below for even more resources to get your business up and running.

La siguiente información es un recurso para inmigrantes y refugiados sobre sus derechos como individuos y la aplicación de leyes migratorias. Esta lista es solamente un comienzo; si necesitas más información, por favor contacta a la biblioteca.   

La biblioteca cuenta con listas de libros que podrían ayudarte y en los que se discute la experiencia de inmigrantes para personas de todas las edades y niveles de lectura.   

La siguiente lista será actualizada con frecuencia; por favor revisa constantemente para obtener la información más reciente.
ACTUALIZADA 11/19

Recursos disponibles para conocer tus derechos

Las personas no ciudadanas que viven en los Estados Unidos — sin importar su situación migratoria — por lo general tienen los mismos derechos constitucionales que los ciudadanos cuando las autoridades policiales las paran, cuestionan, arrestan o buscan en sus hogares. - ACLU

Folletos informativos de ACLU:
Inglés, ruso, español         

Tarjeta informativa sobre Conociendo tus Derechos:
Inglés, somalí, vietnamita, chino, español, ruso, árabe

Conoce tus derechos – Información sobre discriminación anti-islámica:
Inglés, árabe, urdupersaespañol

Aplicaciones móviles:
Mobile Justice: aplicación de ACLU que contiene la tarjeta informativa sobre Conociendo tus Derechos y tiene la capacidad para reportar incidentes a ACLU en tiempo real por medio de un video.
MiConsular MEX: aplicación creada por la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) del gobierno mexicano que permite a las personas de nacionalidad mexicana encontrar el consulado más cercano a ellas y que llamen o envíen un texto en caso de emergencia.   
Cell 411: aplicación que permite a los usuarios publicar y responder a emergencias provenientes de familiares, amigos y vecinos en tiempo real.  
Notifica: La aplicación que te ayuda a estar preparado contra la deportación. Usa Notifica para prepararte, informarte y actuar si estás en riesgo de ser detenido por agentes migratorios.

Aplicación de leyes migratorias:
Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de los Estados Unidos (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés): encuentra a una persona detenida o un centro de detención, además de información de contacto.

Los testigos de actividades de ICE pueden reportarlas a la línea telefónica sobre inmigración de ACLU de Oregón por medio de un texto o llamada al 971-412-ACLU (971-412-2258).

Para acciones alrededor de Portland, puedes contactar a la línea telefónica de la Coalición para los Derechos de Inmigrantes de Portland (PIRC, por sus siglas en inglés) al 1-888-622-1510.
Inglés y español

Plan para Preparación de la Familia:
Inglés español

Recursos legales de bajo costo para inmigrantes provee una lista de organizaciones sin fines de lucro que pueden asistir a las personas con problemas migratorios.

Directorio de Servicios Culturales del Condado Multnomah provee una lista de organizaciones sin fines de lucro, grupos religiosos y programas del gobierno que sirven a los inmigrantes y refugiados en el área metropolitana de Portland.

Datos sobre la carga publica

Español, inglés

Seminario web (grabación)

Español, inglés

**Ultimas noticias del 15 de Octubre, 2019: Jueces federales han parado que entre en efecto la nueva Regla de Carga Publica a través del país. Esto significa que la nueva regla no comenzara el 15 de Octubre, 2019 y que las leyes de carga publica no han cambiado en los Estados Unidos.**

Información sobre DACA/Soñadores  

Herramientas y Guía de Recursos de DACA:
Inglés

Organizaciones locales

Lutheran Community Resources Northwest
605 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
503-231-4780

Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR)
7931 NE Halsey St. #314
Portland, OR 97213
503-284-3002

Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice
1704 NE 43rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97213
503-550-3510

Catholic Charities 
2740 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
503-231-4866

Causa
700 Marion St NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-409-2473

El Programa Hispano
138 NE 3rd St #140
Gresham, OR 97030

Latino Network
410 NE 18th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
503-283-6881

Coalition of Communities of Color
221 NW 2nd Ave #303
Portland, OR 97209
503-200-5722

APANO
2788 SE 82nd Ave #203
Portland, OR 97266
971-340-4861

IRCO
10301 NE Glisan St.
Portland, OR 97220
503-234-1541

Russian Oregon Social Services
4033 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
503-777-3437

Northwest China Council
221 NW 2nd Ave. Suite 210-J
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 973-5451

AILA Oregon
888 SW 5th Ave #1600
Portland, OR 97204
503-802-2122

ACLU Oregon
506 SW 6th Ave #700
Portland, OR 97204
503-227-3186

Oficinas consulares

Consulado Mexicano de Portland
1305 SW 12th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
503-227-1442

Consulado de El Salvador en Seattle
615 2nd Ave. #50
Seattle, WA 98104
206-971-7950

Consulado Honorario Guatemalteco  
7304 N Campbell Ave.
Portland OR, 97217
503-530-0046

Oficina Consular de Japón en Portland
Wells Fargo Center, Suite 2700
1300 S.W. 5th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
503-221-1811

Across the globe, many individuals and organizations are contending with complex questions of how to preserve and protect our natural world.  The Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts is one such organization. 

A land trust is a nonprofit that works with individuals and communities to conserve land. Explore this list, made in collaboration with COLT, that includes nonfiction, poetry, novels and children's books that address questions of conservation and that celebrate Oregon's natural environment.

The following information is a resource for immigrants and refugees on individual rights and immigration enforcement. This list is a start; if you require further information please contact the library.

The library has helpful booklists that discuss the immigrant experience for all ages and reading levels.

The following list will be updated frequently; please check back for the most current information.
(List Updated 09/2021)

Know Your Rights Resources

Non-citizens who are in the United States — no matter what their immigration status — generally have the same constitutional rights as citizens when law enforcement officers stop, question, arrest, or search them or their homes. ACLU

ACLU Information Pamphlets:
EnglishRussianSpanish 

Know Your Rights Information Card:
EnglishSomaliVietnameseChineseSpanishRussianArabic

Know Your Rights- Anti-Muslim Discrimination Information:
EnglishArabicUrduFarsiSpanish

Mobile Apps:
Mobile Justice: ACLU app with Know Your Rights Information card, ability to report incidents to the ACLU in real time with video capability.
MiConsular MEX: App created by the Mexican Government’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE) that allows Mexican nationals to locate their nearest consulate and either text or call them in an emergency.
Cell 411: App that allows the user to issue and respond to emergencies from family, friends and neighbors in real time.
Notifica: App which allows undocumented immigrants to activate a plan if they come in contact with immigration law enforcement authorities or find themselves at risk of being detained.

Immigration Enforcement:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): Find a detainee or detention center, and general contact information.

Witnesses to ICE activity can report it to the ACLU of Oregon's immigration hotline via text or call 971-412-ACLU (971-412-2258).

For actions around Portland, you may contact the Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition (PIRC) hotline at
1-888-622-1510.
Information: English and Spanish

Family Preparedness Plan: 
English and Spanish

Low-cost legal resources for immigrants provides a list of nonprofit organizations that can assist people with immigration issues.

Multnomah County Cultural Services Directory provides a list of nonprofits, faith groups and government programs that serve immigrants and refugees in the Portland Metro area.


Public Charge

 Public Charge Fact Sheet
ChineseEnglish, Russian, SomaliSpanish, Vietnamese

Public Charge Webinar
English, Spanish

**​Update: As of January 27, 2020, the new Public Charge rule is no longer blocked. The new rule went into effect on February 24th, 2020. Check back here often for on-going updates about public charge.

DACA/Dreamers Information

DACA Toolkit 
This toolkit was created by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) to help inform DACA recipients about their rights as well as how other community members can support DACA recipients during these challenging times.

Local Organizations

Lutheran Community Resources Northwest 
605 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
503-231-4780

Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR) 
7931 NE Halsey St. #314
Portland, OR 97213
503-284-3002

Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice
1704 NE 43rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97213
503-550-3510

Catholic Charities 
2740 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
503-231-4866

Causa
700 Marion St NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-409-2473

El Programa Hispano
138 NE 3rd St #140
Gresham, OR 97030

Latino Network
410 NE 18th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
503-283-6881

Coalition of Communities of Color
221 NW 2nd Ave #303
Portland, OR 97209
503-200-5722

APANO
2788 SE 82nd Ave #203
Portland, OR 97266
971-340-4861

IRCO
10301 NE Glisan St.
Portland, OR 97220
503-234-1541

Russian Oregon Social Services
4033 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
503-777-3437

Northwest China Council
221 NW 2nd Ave. Suite 210-J
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 973-5451

AILA Oregon
888 SW 5th Ave #1600
Portland, OR 97204
503-802-2122

ACLU Oregon
506 SW 6th Ave #700
Portland, OR 97204
503-227-3186

Consular Offices

Mexican Consulate of Portland
1305 SW 12th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
503-227-1442

Consulate of El Salvador in Seattle
615 2nd Ave. #50
Seattle, WA 98104
206-971-7950

Guatemalan Honorary Consulate
7304 N Campbell Ave.
Portland OR, 97217
503-530-0046

Consular Office of Japan in Portland
Wells Fargo Center, Suite 2700
1300 S.W. 5th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
503-221-1811

“It’s fun to see kids get so excited about reading.”

by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer

The first thing that struck me about library volunteer Jordan “Jordy” Pardo was his order of a cold brew—it’s not every day I meet a thirteen-year-old who embraces coffee! But Jordy, soon to enter Franklin High School as a freshman, is one of those delightful people who embraces everything with gusto—including his longtime position as a Summer Reading volunteer at Holgate Library

For many young readers, Multnomah County Library’s Summer Reading program is the highlight of summer break. The program encourages all youth, from birth through high school, to read. To participate, participants track the number of days they read (or are read to) and record them on a game board to win prizes. Jordy learned about the program at age four when his older sister started volunteering. “She’d take care of me and I’d go with her [to the library]. It fascinated me. I thought, ‘When I’m old enough, I want to do that.’” In the summer before fifth grade Jordy was accepted to the program—“I’ve been doing it ever since.” 

Jordy’s favorite part of volunteering is giving participants their game boards. “It’s fun to see kids get so excited about reading and then get rewarded for reading,” he says. Book-wise, Jordy enjoys mysteries, especially Scooby Doo. “It keeps me interested, and I always want to figure out who did it in the end.” He typically ends his day with a book: “Reading is my melatonin,” he says, laughing. 

In his free time, Jordy hangs out with his sister and friends all over Portland, which he navigates by bus. With his friends, he says, “We could go look at a tree. As long as you’re with people you love and people who love you, it’s fun.” He applies the same philosophy to school, where he enjoys math and language arts. “I like solving for x or y,” he says—just like solving his mystery novels. 

When I ask if he’s excited for high school he says, “I just want to get started, graduate, and be successful!” Given his passion for learning and curious nature, it’s easy to see that Jordy will be successful at anything he puts his mind to. 


Home library: Holgate

Currently reading: Schooled by Gordon Korman

Most influential book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. 

Favorite section to browse: Teen or kids books. “It’s nice to read a shorter book sometimes, it’s a change of pace.”

Favorite book from childhood: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. “My mom would read me that book at night. I couldn’t go to sleep without being read to.” 

Favorite place to read: On a couch. “I’ll sit and drink coffee while reading.”

E-reader or paper: Paper. “The point is you’re taking time away from your phone and technology!”

Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.

Pageturners book groups will welcome several authors during the 2019-20 season. You don’t have to sign up — just read the book, then join us to discuss with the author.

 

Stevan Allred
Cover for and link to catalog entry for The Alehouse at the End of the World

The Alehouse at the End of the World

Capitol Hill Library

Thursday, September 5, 2019, 1:30-2:30 pm

 

Katie Grindeland
Cover for and link to catalog entry for The Gifts We Keep

The Gifts We Keep

Capitol Hill Library

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 6:30-7:45 pm

St. Johns Library

Monday, October 14, 2019, 6:30-7:45 pm

Holgate Library

Saturday, October 19, 2019, 10:30 am-12 pm

Troutdale Library

Monday, March 9, 2020, 6:30-7:45 pm

Midland Library

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 6:30-7:30 pm

 

Rudy Owens
Cover for and link to catalog entry for You Don't Know How Lucky You Are

You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are

Belmont Library

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 6:30-7:30 pm

 

Omar El Akkad
Cover for and link to catalog entry for American War

American War

Kenton Library

Tuesday, September. 17, 2019, 6:30-7:30 pm

Hollywood Library

Thursday, September. 19, 2019, 6:30-7:45 pm

 

Willy Vlautin
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Don't Skip Out on Me

Don’t Skip Out on Me

St. Johns Library

Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 1-2:30 pm

Woodstock Library

Monday, March 9, 2020, 6:30-7:45 pm

 

Leni Zumas
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Red Clocks

Red Clocks

Midland Library

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 1-2:15 pm

 

Kenneth R. Coleman
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Dangerous Subjects

Dangerous Subjects

Rockwood Library

Friday, October 18, 2019, 10-11:30 am

 

Jerry Sutherland
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Calvin Tibbets: Oregon's First Pioneer

Calvin Tibbets: Oregon’s First Pioneer

North Portland Library

Saturday, October 19, 2019, 4:30-5:30 pm

 

Linda L. Graham
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Two Mice and a Dragonfly

Two Mice and a Dragonfly

Gresham Library

Thursday, December 5, 2019, 2-3 pm

 

Check at your library to see whether a book group copy of the book is available during the month before each meeting.

Pageturners is supported by a generous grant from the Friends of the Library.

Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. The event spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. You can learn more about books that have been challenged or banned from the American Library Association's Banned and Challenged Books site, hosted by ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

This year, Multnomah County Library will celebrate the freedom to read with displays at libraries and with Drag Queen Banned Books Bingo, featuring Poison Waters. In the meantime, explore some of the titles that have been the object of challenges over the years.

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/

Andrew Carnegie was many things: an immigrant, an industrialist and philanthropist. Among his greatest legacies was the widespread establishment and expansion of the free public library. In 47 U.S. states, in Canada and abroad, Carnegie helped create about 3,000 libraries, many of which are still in existence today.

In Multnomah County, St. Johns and North Portland libraries, with their stately red brick exteriors — both original Carnegie libraries — are remnants of that legacy. Inside St. Johns Library, the passage of a century has a different impact. 

St. Johns Library is typical of the small libraries we find across Multnomah County. One hundred years ago, the main function of those buildings was to house books. 

Today, libraries are spaces for people, programs and hands-on learning — and yes, books. Some programs, like children’s storytime, are so popular, people are regularly turned away. Other times, the library is forced to hold programs amidst the book stacks, making them inaccessible to others. 

A crowd pictured at an event at St. Johns Library
With more than 5,400 storytimes in our libraries and more than 110,000 young people participating in summer reading each year, our community’s children feel the space pinch every day. And some of our most popular new programs, like the makerspace (a science and technology space just for teenagers) at Rockwood Library, are only offered in one location because we don’t have enough space in other library buildings.

In our region and across the country, other libraries are greeting the future with open arms, with spaces for children to read, explore and play. Imagine if children at our libraries could have not only space for storytime, but perhaps a dress-up closet, structures to climb on, learning gardens, functioning kitchens or science and technology learning.

Imagine if more of our library buildings could offer space to sit and learn together, for workshops, or private rooms for a Skype job interview. 

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/

Listening to the Readers

by Donna Childs, MCL volunteer

The Read to the Dogs program is one of many ways the Multnomah County Library promotes reading. Dog-and-person teams are available at several neighborhood libraries to soothe and encourage hesitant young readers.

At Hollywood Library, dog Archi and his partner, Emily Rogers, devote one and a half hours twice a month to listening to kids read. Does Archi understand the books? Probably not, even though kids often choose books about dogs, and Emily said he has a huge vocabulary. But he does understand his connection with the kids who pet, hug, and cuddle with him.  

A certified therapy dog, Archi took six six-week classes: regular puppy and then therapy training. Archi was certified by Pet Partners, a nonprofit organization that pairs people with therapy animals to help people with differing needs in a variety of situations. Archi must be recertified every two years. While most dogs pass the tests and earn certification by age three or four, Archi passed at thirteen months! 

Children sign up for 20-minute sessions, reading to and petting the dog, which often helps to calm the child’s anxiety. Archi and Emily are one of three teams at Hollywood Library. The sessions take place in a quiet, glass-walled room for child, dog, and owner. Parents remaining in the library can easily see their children. Occasionally a sibling comes too, and once a girl came in who was a good reader, but afraid of dogs. She ended up hugging Archi! Whole families have participated over the years as each child begins to read.   

In addition to Read to the Dogs, Archi and Emily have volunteered at such places as the Tigard Public LibraryPortland Children’s Museum, Portland State University during finals week, and with adults adapting to a new computer system.  

Emily pointed out that although their 36 weeks of training was focused on Archi, she had to learn to communicate with, guide, and redirect him when necessary. Emily works full-time in philanthropy and is not an expert in teaching reading, but she is so committed she attended a four-hour training with a reading specialist. Emily and Archi clearly take their responsibilities to young readers seriously, to everyone’s benefit.

 


A few facts about Emily

Home library: Hollywood

Currently reading: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Most influential book: The Harry Potter books!

Favorite section to browse: Historical fiction  

Favorite book from childhood: The Dragons are Singing Tonight by Jack Prelutsky

Book that made you laugh or cry: Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book by Shel Silverstein

Guilty pleasure: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Favorite place to read: My balcony

E-reader or paper: Paper book!!!

 

Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.

Library Clerk Sandi
When Bilingual Clerk Sandi Plesha first observed groups of Latina women coming to the library and quietly observing while their children read books in English, she thought of her own experience. 

“I know how isolating it can be when you’re in a new place and can’t speak the language,“ says Sandi. “I am an immigrant and have empathy for that experience. Like many of the patrons that I serve, I’ve had to jump many hurdles.”

A native Ecuadorian, Sandi worked as a teacher before moving to the United States after meeting her husband. 

“When I first moved here, I didn’t understand English. I was afraid to ask questions. When you feel like you can’t talk to others to get the information you need, it’s hard to connect. You become isolated.” 

Wanting to help the Latina women feel at home in the library, Sandi asked if they wanted to converse in Spanish; when they smiled, she began talking about what brought them to the library. Sandi asked if they wanted to come back to the library and meet as a group while their children read and play and was encouraged by their enthusiastic reaction. 

Sandi created a program at Gresham Library called La Placita (“the little plaza”). The group is held in Spanish and is aimed at helping Latina women come together, discuss their interests, learn new skills and build community. 

“Having the program in Spanish was critical not only to removing the feeling of isolation, but was also a way to help participants feel part of the community and welcome to use community resources,” she says.

Sandi, whose love of reading was cultivated by her father from an early age, creates lesson plans and selects books in Spanish to help spark discussion. She designed the program to accommodate multiple interests. 

“The women are really driving this program! When I meet with them, and we pick the books, we study. It’s not just a book club. The readings are a point to start a discussion, a window to connecting with each other.” 

The class is structured so participants can also bring their kids and a section of the room, along with another staff member, is focused on the children’s learning and play. 

“For some, La Placita is like dipping their toes into the ocean of the library and then once they get comfortable, they keep coming back, exploring and finding more,” says Sandi.

During one program, they used a Gabriel García Márquez book to discuss what it means to be a beautiful woman; during others, they’ve exchanged recipes and brought in guest teachers to learn about online privacy. After several classes, participants are feeling more at home at the library, and many are now checking out their own books.

After receiving participant requests, Gresham Library is updating the youth and adult Spanish collections, re-organizing materials and adding new signage to improve access.

“It’s the little things we do that can make a big difference. When you give to the community, the community gives back to you.”

In addition to running La Placita and helping library patrons with various information and account needs, Sandi enjoys improving the Spanish collection and utilizing her creativity to create engaging library displays. A lifelong learner, she is also teaching herself to speak Russian! 

La Placita is on a temporary break. To see other programming at Gresham Library, please visit multcolib.org/events.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of this program.”

by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer

Volunteer Kasha Tindall Webster

“There’s a theme I’ve seen with people,” Kasha Tindall Webster explains. “There are a lot of experienced people who need to get on their [career] path—doesn’t matter if you’re starting or starting over. There’s a difference between working and working toward something,” she says. Kasha knows this difference well, as a volunteer for MCL’s resume community outreach program at Belmont Library.

“I just show up and help people with resumes,” Kasha laughs. But it’s clear that Kasha masters the art of reading a person’s career aspirations. “I want to help maximize someone’s hourly wage,” she says. “Sometimes what a person is doing and what they want to be doing are totally different things.” Kasha refers to a woman who came to tidy her resume to submit to local grocery stores: “I noticed she had lots of biochemistry coursework experience, so I asked, ‘What about working in a lab instead?’” It’s highlighting the parts of people they can’t see themselves that makes Kasha so effective; she sometimes receives grateful emails from patrons once they get a job. She demurs at the suggestion that she has an obvious gift: “I can’t stress enough the importance of this program. I’m just figuring out how to get the program to make more significant impact.” 

Kasha was born in Hawaii but grew up in Syracuse, New York. Originally a biology major (“I thought you had to struggle,” she laughs) at SUNY Oswego, she switched to an English major, shaping a career dominated by communications and learning how to read people. She currently works as an HR consultant. In even the briefest conversations, “People tell you everything about themselves,” she says with a knowing smile. 

Six years ago, Kasha and her husband moved to Portland, a place she calls “ripe with opportunity to find yourself.” Her praise for the library is boundless: “Could they be nicer, these people who work around books and people? They give of themselves every day, and sometimes these are introverted people, but when they’re asked a question they open like a flower. I’m grateful that this system is in place and that I have the opportunity to work for it.”

Kasha offers two great resume tips: “First, explain or dictate to your phone your skills, what you like to do, and so on. Now play it back and write it down. Next, list out what you actually do as you do it, and keep that list active.” Whether you’re starting, starting over, or want a resume tune up, Kasha’s advice will be a step in the right path!


A few facts about Kasha

Home library: Belmont

Currently reading: SHRM BoCK System Preparatory Exam materials (it’s an HR certification). 

Most influential book: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. “It’s amazing how Mars was the vehicle for these very human stories.”

Favorite section to browse: Nonfiction.  

Favorite book from childhood: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Momotarō, or Peach Boy, a Japanese fairytale: “It was my first baby book.” 

Book that made you laugh or cry: Erma Bombeck, If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?

Guilty pleasure: “I love to reread. I have a whole library of rereads for when I’m super stressed or having a hard time. Or the Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child books.”

Favorite place to read: “In bed!”

E-reader or paper: Paper.

 

Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.

On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Multnomah County Library is proud to once again participate in Portland’s own Pride Festival! This is one of the largest Pride celebrations on the West Coast, and we are so excited to connect with you. Stop by our

Library staff and friends at Pride
table in Section R next to the Morrison Bridge to sign up for our Summer Reading Program (we have a game for adults, too!), check out a book and win a fabulous library prize!  We hope to see you there.

If you can’t make it (or even if you can), celebrate with a great LGBTQ read from one of the wonderful booklists below.

Elleona Budd, Library Assistant
“The library is a place where anyone can foster creative ideas,” says Elleona Budd, a Black Cultural Library Advocate and Library Assistant at Central Library.

Elleona, who identifies as non-binary, has been learning various parts of library work — everything from helping regular patrons at the St. Johns Library find titles, to leading outreach work in the Black community — for the past three years.

Elleona joined the library as an access services assistant after graduating from Lincoln High School in downtown Portland. As a student, they gravitated toward history and language courses, including learning Spanish, Korean, Mandarin and Arabic. Elleona’s rigorous academic curriculum continues, as they pursue a degree at Portland State University in International Relations and Conflict Resolution, with a minor in Chinese.

“When I first started my job at the library, I hadn’t been back in eight years! I had so many fines from my youth and had been worried I wouldn’t be able to use anything so I avoided it. I happily learned that the library had waived all youth fines and started a new policy so that no youth would accrue fines going forward.”

Today, Elleona, who says they originally loved the idea of working at a library because of a love for books and working with people, now appreciates it because they have an opportunity to help people feel welcome and to connect patrons with library services and resources

“One experience that was very meaningful for me was connecting with a patron who had recently been incarcerated,” said Elleona. “The library was one of her first stops. She wanted help finding career resources, and I was able to listen and talk with her, but also recommend materials in addition to other services the library offers. She told me the experience was so positive and had helped her feel welcome to come back.”

Now, as a Black Cultural Library Advocate, Elleona is joining other staff from around the library to identify ways to improve collections and services for the Black community. Sometimes, that means creating library displays featuring poetry by queer and trans people of color. Other times, it means organizing large-scale events to provide opportunities for discussion about topics such as the African diaspora.

“I want to help start conversations. I want everyone to walk into a library and think ‘this is a place for me.’” says Elleona.

Elleona’s recommended reading:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Clean Room by Gail Simone

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

At home at Rockwood Library
Volunteer Ethan Wood

by Donna Childs,  MCL volunteer

Smart, busy, an enthusiastic learner, Ethan is a charming young man—an independent learner with an infectious love of learning and a commitment to encouraging others. He is currently a high school junior and looking ahead to college. Although he lives in Damascus, he travels to Rockwood Library to volunteer. Despite the commute, it is clearly the place for him: Ethan loves science, technology, and making things, and Rockwood is the only area library with a makerspace. Ethan came to Rockwood as a Summer Reading volunteer six years ago, before the makerspace was created. After Summer Reading, he moved on to helping students with homework and assisting patrons with the library’s computers. He recalls that one especially gratifying experience was helping a patron find an apartment online.

When the makerspace opened, Ethan was recruited by Rockwood’s “awesome staff” to volunteer there. He learned CAD (Computer Aided Design) and how to use the equipment and has been an avid makerspace volunteer since.

The makerspace is a collaborative learning environment for students in grades 6-12 to learn real-life technology and engineering skills. Librarians and volunteers like Ethan offer workshops and guide students in the use of innovative technology tools like laser cutters and 3D printers. The goal is for students to become comfortable with technology and to learn by experimenting, while honing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Ethan loves experimenting and making things, and he strongly believes in the importance for kids of learning technology: “they will need it later.” Among his potential college majors are mechanical and electronics engineering, though he also loves astronomy and the space program.

As a high school junior, Ethan is enrolled in the Summit Learning Charter School’s Early College Program, through which he can take both high school and community college classes and earn college credit, with Summit paying his tuition. In addition to taking high school and college courses and volunteering at Rockwood, Ethan is a Boy Scout, working to become an Eagle Scout, and a member of Summit’s Robotics club; he also takes guitar lessons and serves as a communications assistant—doing newsletters and social media—for the East Metro Youth Advisory Council whose mission is to encourage STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). The Council meets at Rockwood Library.


A few facts about Ethan

Home library:  Rockwood

Currently reading:  He is not currently reading a book, but enjoys science fiction.

Most influential book:  He could not think of a specific book that has influenced him however, one of his favorite books is Psion Beta by Jacob Gowans.

Favorite book from childhood:  "I love all the Harry Potter books."

Book that made you cry:  Where the Redfern Grows by Wilson Rawls is a tear-jerker.

Favorite browsing section: Fiction and science nonfiction

E-reader or paper?  Paper book

Favorite place to read: "My room, because it is quiet and comfortable."

Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.

From Albina to Kenton to Troutdale, each of our 19 neighborhood libraries has a social story to help prepare for a visit. A social story uses photos and simple text to show children on the autism spectrum what to expect and how to behave in unfamiliar social settings. Knowing what to expect can help children with autism cope but the stories can be helpful for others too. Maybe you’re new to Multnomah County and unfamiliar with our libraries. Maybe you haven’t visited a library for a while and want to bring your child, but don’t know what your neighborhood library is like. Perhaps you’re a teacher helping your class prepare for their first visit to a library. Whoever you are, Multnomah County Library social stories walk you through the door, share what you can find in different areas, introduce the storytime presenters, and show where you can get a library card and check out materials.

social story page showing the Sensory Accommodation Kit available at each library
You can find your neighborhood library's story on the website by going to "Locations," clicking on the location from the list of libraries and looking for "My Library social story." The stories are pdfs on the website and ready for printing.

Also for children on the autism spectrum, our libraries each have a Sensory Accommodation Kit with tools to use during your visit to help with noise and distractions, and to help calm. Preschool Sensory Storytimes at the Fairview-Columbia, Hollywood and Woodstock libraries are especially welcoming storytimes for children on the spectrum and families who are looking for a smaller, more adaptive library experience.

Katie Grindeland is the author of The Gifts We Keep, a selection from The Library Writers Project, which highlights local self-published authors. In an innovative partnership, Ooligan Press worked with the library to publish this novel about an Oregon family struggling with past tragedy while caring for a Native Alaskan girl with sorrows of her own.

Reading with friends? Start the conversation with this book summary and discussion guide.

Why did you want to tell this particular story?

I have always been a very character-driven writer, so I was excited at the prospect of diving into first-person emotional exploration with a somewhat diverse group of people. It was really important to me to try and give voice to their internal experience since we don’t always have a platform for that in our put-together grown-up lives. Big feelings, authenticity, connection, these were pillars for me. Not just as words on a page, but as an open-handed gesture to the reader’s experience as well. If someone reads this story and feels emotionally seen or included, I would consider that my biggest success.

Who or what inspires you, writing wise? Who inspires you in your life?

I am always inspired by those really good writers who make you stop in your tracks, by virtue of how purely they can weave a phrase or present an idea. The kind where I have to put the book down to stare at nothing and just think for a few minutes. Yann Martel and Marilynne Robinson and Jonathan Safran Foer and Barbara Kingsolver. But I also really love the writer who just wants to borrow your ear for a minute to tell a cool story they know. Lynda Barry and Stephen King and Cheryl Strayed and Diane Ackerman. These and so many more. Outside of writing, hard workers inspire me. Nose-to-the-grindstoners inspire me. Bad-at-something-but-trying-it-anyway inspires me. I find a lot of bravery in authenticity. And kindness. Kind-hearted people are secret super heroes and they don’t even know it. That inspires me.

Can you recommend a book you've recently enjoyed?

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It undid me, in all the best ways. Beautiful, meaningful, incandescent. I read much of this by headlamp on a solo camping trip near The Dalles, listening to trains run by in the dark, simply because I couldn’t put it down. I also love “S”, by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams. It's a novel within a novel, filled with miscellanies that fall out of the book into your lap if you aren’t careful, postcards, notes, photos -- all of which may or may not be clues to unraveling the story. Plus, if you’re anything like me, it will have you spouting about the Ship of Theseus paradox to friends and family, whose reception may be lukewarm in comparison to your enthusiasm for the idea!

Haciendo la diferencia un 'Día' a la vez

Ana Morillo, MCL Staff, with Día volunteers Claudia Ramirez-Cisneros and Francisca Ixtepán
Por Sarah Binns, voluntaria de MCL 

El sábado 20 de abril, la Biblioteca Midland celebrará su evento anual del Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros con libros, comida, presentaciones artísticas y manualidades para los niños y las personas jóvenes de corazón. El Día de los Niños, una celebración tradicionalmente realizada el 30 de abril en muchos países latinoamericanos, en general fue introducido a los Estados Unidos a finales de los años 90 por la autora y defensora de la alfabetización bilingüe Pat Mora. Las bibliotecas de todo el país adoptaron el programa después de ser patrocinado por la Asociación de Servicios de Bibliotecas para Niños. Este año, el evento de la Biblioteca Midland ha sido organizado casi exclusivamente por dos usuarias y voluntarias apasionadas de la biblioteca que tienen una experiencia personal con esta tradición: Claudia Ramírez-Cisneros y Francisca Ixtepán. Tanto Claudia como Francisca crecieron en México celebrando el Día de los Niños. “Era algo especial, nuestros padres nos daban regalos”, dice Francisca. Sin embargo, la vida no siempre ha estado llena de regalos para Claudia y Francisca, quienes ahora viven con sus familias en Portland.

“Mi mamá y mi hermano se vinieron aquí primero”, explica Claudia. “Yo tenía solamente 11 años de edad cuando se fueron. No teníamos teléfonos, entonces mi mamá enviaba cartas diciendo lo mucho que me extrañaba”. Claudia participaba como voluntaria enseñando a los niños en su iglesia para “ayudarme a sobrellevar la soledad” sin su familia. Esto despertó un interés permanente por ayudar a otros, lo cual Claudia se trajo con ella cuando se reunió con su familia en Portland a la edad de 15 años.

Francisca se mudó a Portland cuando ya era una persona adulta y la transición a un nuevo país y cultura fue muy desafiante para ella. “Algunas veces, cuando la gente no me entendía, me daba por vencida”, dice Francisca. “Muchas mujeres en nuestra comunidad se apartan porque tienen miedo. Es necesario que como inmigrantes aprendamos a hablar el inglés y aboguemos por nuestros hijos en la escuela o hablemos con la gente en las tiendas cuando no podamos encontrar personas que nos ayuden”. Francisca recibió ayuda del amable personal bilingüe de la biblioteca durante una clase realizada como parte de un evento de difusión comunitaria de la biblioteca. Inspirada por su jefe, a quien ella considera su amigo, y por la necesidad de ayudar a su hijo que estaba siendo acosado en la escuela, Francisca decidió regresar a la escuela para estudiar, aprender el inglés y seguir una carrera.

Francisca y Claudia se conocieron en el Colegio Comunitario Mt. Hood y desde entonces se convirtieron en voluntarias muy activas en la biblioteca y en la comunidad latina de Portland.  Ana Ruiz Morillo, coordinadora de difusión en español de la biblioteca, compartió: “En los últimos cinco años, Francisca ha sido voluntaria en las celebraciones del Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros de MLC. El año pasado, ella invitó a Claudia para trabajar juntas y más tarde ambas aceptaron el desafío de planificar y realizar el evento de “Autor Latino de 2018” con el autor de libros para niños René Colato Laínez en la Biblioteca Midland. Estas dedicadas voluntarias trabajaron muchas horas para planificar, promover y realizar este evento porque, a final de cuentas, todo lo que querían era expresar su apreciación por toda la orientación que recibieron del personal de la biblioteca”.

Nuevamente este año, Claudia y Francisca han dedicado meses para planificar el Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros de la Biblioteca Midland, la cual será una celebración bilingüe multifacética de la cultura latina. Vamos a tener decoraciones inspiradas en Coco, la película galardonada por la Academia con el tema del Día de los Muertos, y también presentaciones de danza como la “Danza de los Viejitos”, un baile tradicional del estado mexicano de Michoacán. Y, gracias al apoyo de The Library Foundation, cada niño asistiendo al evento recibirá un libro gratuito.

La planificación de Claudia y Francisca asombra al personal de la biblioteca por su habilidad para movilizar a la comunidad y crear un intercambio cultural tan vibrante. “Nosotros estamos aprendiendo del liderazgo de Claudia y Francisca”, dice Morillo. “Estamos mejorando en las cosas que hacemos debido a sus contribuciones”. 

Esperamos verlos a ustedes el 20 de abril en la Biblioteca Midland. Ya sea que traigan a sus niños o a su propio niño interior, tengan la seguridad de que pasarán un tiempo maravilloso gracias a Claudia y Francisca. 

ChIldren sitting on floor

Will your child be 5 years old by September 1? If so, sign up for kindergarten now so they can start school this fall. Sign up at your neighborhood school by June 1 to give your child a good start, connect to summer activities, and get access to free resources. School offices close for the summer, so don’t wait! 

To identify your school, call 2-1-1 or email health@211info.org. Help is available in many languages.

Ana Morillo, MCL Staff, with Día volunteers Claudia Ramirez-Cisneros and Francisca Ixtepán
Making a difference one Día at a time

by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer

On Saturday, April 20, Midland Library will host its annual Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros (Children’s Day and Book Day) with books, food, performances, and crafts for the young and young at heart. Día de los Niños, traditionally held on April 30 in many Latin American countries, was introduced broadly to the US in the late 90s by author and bilingual literacy advocate Pat Mora. Libraries across the country adopted the program after it was sponsored by the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC). This year, Midland Library’s event has been organized almost solely by two passionate volunteer patrons with personal experience of the tradition: Claudia Ramirez-Cisneros and Francisca Ixtepán. Both Claudia and Francisca grew up in Mexico celebrating Día: “It was something special, our parents gave us presents,” says Francisca. But life has not always been full of gifts for either woman, both of whom now live with their families in Portland.

“My mom and brother came here first,” Claudia explains. “I was only eleven when they left. We didn’t have phones, so my mom sent letters saying how much she missed me.” Claudia volunteered teaching youth at her church “to help me get through the loneliness” without her family. This ignited a lifelong interest in helping others, which Claudia carried with her when she joined her family in Portland at age fifteen.

Francisca moved to Portland as an adult and found the transition to a new country and culture challenging. “Sometimes, when people didn’t understand me, I’d give up,” she says. “Many women in our community step back because they are afraid. It is necessary as immigrants to learn to speak English in this country and to advocate for our kids at school or speak to people at the store, when we aren’t able to find people who could help us.” Francisca found help from the welcoming bilingual library staff during a class conducted as part of the library’s community outreach. Inspired by her boss, who she considers a great friend, and by the need to help her child who was being bullied at school, Francisca decided to go back to school, learn English and pursue a career.

Francisca and Claudia met in classes at Mt. Hood Community College and have since become very active volunteers at the library and in the Latinx community in Portland. Ana Ruiz Morillo, MCL’s Spanish Outreach Coordinator, shared, “For the past five years, Francisca has been volunteering at the MCL Día celebrations. Last year she invited Claudia to join her and later on both took on the challenge to plan and conduct the 2018 Latino Author event with children’s author René Colato Laínez at the Midland Library. These dedicated volunteers put so many hours to plan, promote, and conduct this event, that at the end, all they wanted to do was express their appreciation for all the mentorship they received from library staff.”

Again this year Claudia and Francisca have devoted months of planning to Midland Library’s 2019 Día, which will be a multifaceted, bilingual celebration of Latinx culture: There will be decorations inspired by the Academy Award-winning, Day of the Dead-themed film Coco and dance performances, including “la danza de los viejitos,” or “dance of the old gentlemen,” traditionally from the Mexican state of Michoacán. And, thanks to the support from The Library Foundation, every child in attendance will receive a free book.

Claudia and Francisca’s planning awes the library staff, with their ability to rally the community and create such a vibrant cultural exchange. “We are learning from the leadership of Claudia and Francisca,” says Ruiz Morillo. “We are becoming better at what we do because of their contributions." We hope to see you on April 20 at Midland Library. Whether you bring your children or your inner child, it’s sure to be a wonderful time, thanks to Claudia and Francisca.

Pages

Subscribe to