MCL Blogs

Are you trying to create a resume but don’t know where to start? Then check out the LearningExpress Library’s Job & Career Accelerator. Use this resource to build your resumes and cover letter, find a career match, search for jobs and more! 

Do you already have a resume and cover letter built but need a second pair of eyes to review it? Live Homework Help from Tutor.com can do that! At Tutor.com you can submit your resume and cover letter for review and they’ll get it back to you in as little as 12 hours. 

Now that you have a resume and a cover letter, do you need the right job to submit it to? Then go to Glassdoor and search millions of jobs and get the inside scoop on companies with employee reviews, personalized salary tools, and more! 

Need help getting started with any of these resources? We are here to help

The College to County Mentorship Program provides college students of underrepresented communities with paid internships at Multnomah County, exposing participants from diverse backgrounds to county careers. Interns will have the opportunity to work on a county project for 12 weeks. A goal of the program is to provide participants with an inside look at working for Multnomah County so they will consider future employment opportunities.

Judith and Gracelynn, intern with College to County program

The  online application is now open. 

Gracelynn Enlet below spent last summer working at Multnomah County Library’s Rockwood Makerspace – check out her story, below! And here are more College to County success stories!

Reprinted from a recent Multnomah County article:  

The College to County Mentorship program connects young people with career pathways to public service. Through our program, Multnomah County is working to recruit and develop our workforce in an equitable way. During a pandemic that has isolated so many of us, our program held on to one of our core values: building relationships.

Keep reading to learn more about one example of mentorship, with intern Gracelynn Enlet and mentor Judith Guzman-Montes, as they delivered culturally specific services to Multnomah County Library patrons.

We asked Enlet, a George Fox University graduate, to share her internship experience from this past summer. 

“Getting an internship secured while still in quarantine was nerve-racking. I was not sure how my interview would go if I did not go for an in-person interview. The data was also showing that Pacific Islanders were at a significantly higher risk for contracting COVID-19; hence, I was hesitant to accept a position and, in turn, be putting my family at risk. 

“However, I was grateful to be offered a position with the Rockwood Library Makerspace where I was able to telework. My mentor, Judith, walked me through everything that I needed to know, from getting hired to the challenge of navigating the Makerspace online. I appreciate Judith for pushing me to connect my community involvement to my work by getting involved with a COVID-19 testing event for Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. I also really enjoyed testing out Maker Minikits at home with my nieces and nephews — that process really encouraged collaborative learning. 

“All in all, the College to County Mentorship Program has challenged me to look at things from different perspectives to ensure equitable outcomes. Do patrons have internet access, do they have the technology to make the kits, or do they know how to use that technology are all questions that we have to apply critical thinking to in order to serve the community well.”

We then asked Guzman-Montes, programming specialist in the Multnomah County Library Makerspace, to reflect on her mentorship experience during COVID-19.

“Gracelynn has skill sets that the library desperately needs to connect with our youth and our diverse community, and we were so fortunate to have her. For example, Gracelynn was the tester for our Maker Minikits: self-contained STEAM activities in a baggie. Having a fresh perspective and the help of her young family members informed the kits. We have been getting feedback from teens that the kits are just the right amount of challenging, accessible and fun. 

“Currently, Gracelynn and I are also preparing her to be a presenter with the library. We are brainstorming programs that would be relevant to the Pacific Islander community and be supported by the equipment and tools of the Makerspace. 

“On a personal level, Gracelynn is a lovely human being, and I am more than happy to connect her with professional opportunities. During the pandemic, Gracelynn kept me in line with all the stuff that really matters. She reminded me of the importance of human connection and building relationships. We built rapport by sharing about our backgrounds and families and our professional goals: what she wanted to get out of her internship with the library and future career goals of mine. I am so happy to continue to know her, and I look forward to helping her reach her professional goals.”  

Thank you to all mentors and human resource partners for providing an opportunity — an opportunity for our incoming workforce and staff to grow and build relationships together.
 

Book bundles at Midland

Whether your preschooler needs more picture books, you'd like a stack of DVDs to binge or materials to support your schooling, or you're looking for reading recommendations, we're here to help.

Contact us in the way that works best for you. There are several ways you can ask for a bundle of books or material. 

  • Many libraries also have pre-made bundles at the door, or displayed in the windows. The next time you stop by for a hold pick up appointment, ask library staff what is available at your branch.
  • If you'd like reading recommendations, tell us more about what you like through our reading suggestions form. You can provide your library location and library card if you'd like the suggestions placed on hold for you. You can also check out our My Librarian page if you'd like recommendations from someone who shares your reading interests.
  • Para solicitudes de materiales en español en línea, por favor contacte el servicio de "Mi Bibliotecaria".
  • Are you a teacher or educator in Multnomah County? You can ask for booklists and materials through School Corps
  • Looking for ideas for your book group or multiple copies of a title? Try Pageturners To Go or use the reading suggestions form to tell us more about what your group needs.
  • You can always contact us by phone or online, and we can direct you to staff who can answer your questions.

Find phone service in your language:

¡Estamos aquí para ayudar! - 503-988-5123

我们可以帮助您 - 503-988-7312

Мы всегда готовы вам помочь! - 503-988-5735

Chúng Tôi Sẵn Sàng Giúp Đỡ - 503-988-9936

 

 

English | Español | Tiếng Việt | Русский | 简体中文


La fecha límite para presentar declaraciones de impuestos federales y estatales es el 17 de mayo de 2021. Aunque la pandemia de COVID-19 ha dificultado la obtención de ayuda en persona, aún puede obtener asistencia y apoyo para la preparación de impuestos de las siguientes maneras.

Copias en papel de formularios o instrucciones de impuestos

Asistencia para la preparación de declaraciones de impuestos

Otra asistencia fiscal

Puede obtener información sobre la desgravación fiscal por coronavirus y verificar el estado de su pago de impacto económico en el sitio web del IRS.

Si necesita ayuda con un problema de impuestos más allá de la preparación regular de impuestos, la Clínica para Contribuyentes de Bajos Ingresos de la Facultad de Derecho de Lewis & Clark podría ayudarlo. Póngase en contacto con ellos llamando al 503.768.6500, enviando un correo electrónico a litc@lclark.edu o llenando un formulario en línea.

Declare sus impuestos en línea gratis

three preschool age kids - two girls and one boy - sit on the carpet.  The boy has the facial characteristics of Downs Syndrome.  One girl has her hand raised.

Kids are naturally curious about the world around them. They notice differences in people, because there are differences.  

Visible differences, like how we look, skin color, how we dress, and how we get around.  

And less visible differences, like how we learn, how we interact with one another, and how we experience the world.

Responding to kids’ observations about people with disabilities and visible illnesses can be hard for parents and caregivers who are not sure how, or are afraid they will say something wrong.   

Let’s remember that some of us are different, and experience the world differently, than others. And that’s not a bad thing! In fact, it’s a beautiful thing. Talking about it can be hard, but it’s important!  

My kids' cousin has autism. I tell my kids about how his brain works differently and experiences the world differently than our brains do.  We read books with characters who have autism and talk about them together. Their cousin's mother, my sister-in-law, shared a post on Facebook written by staff at the EDAM Center for Special Education in the Philippines.  This part really stuck with me, and I hope it sticks with you, too.

For all the children who struggle every day to succeed in a world that does not recognize their gifts and talents, and for those who are walking beside them, please let this be a gentle reminder to be kind and accepting of all people.

Recognize that the "playing field" is not always a level surface.

Children who learn differently are not weird. They are merely gifted in ways that our society does not value enough. Yet they want what everyone else wants: To be accepted!!

At the library, we strive to celebrate differences and find common ground in kindness and acceptance.  We want to support you in being comfortable talking to your kids about differences from an early age, and to keep up the conversations as they get older. Below are some resources that may help.  

This post is part of our “Talking with kids” series, as featured in our monthly Family Newsletter.  Reach out to us at learning@multcolib.org if you need more support or have questions. We’re here for you!


 

Young child with paint on hands, smiling up at camera.

When your child is diagnosed with a disability, you’ll enter an alternate and parallel dimension: the special education system.  

Look out: acronyms ahead! You may need a special education glossary like this one from understood.org. Understood.org is a fantastic resource for parents looking to understand the special education system, what you can expect, and how to advocate for your child.

Birth to Kindergarten
If you have a concern about how your child sees, hears, walks, talks, plays, or learns between birth and kindergarten, you can ask for a developmental evaluation. Screen your child’s development using this online tool from the Oregon Screening Project out of the Center for Human Development at the University of Oregon. Call 503-261-5535 to get in touch with the Multnomah Early Childhood Program (MECP).  They will do several observations and interviews to assess your child.

The results of the MECP evaluation may diagnose your child with a disability and qualify them for early intervention special education services. Early intervention could include services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, parent education, or special education preschool. You’ll meet with a team to develop an Individual and Family Support Plan (IFSP) that outlines which services your child and family will receive, how much, when, and where. MECP services are free. They are part of public school.

School Age
Children with disabilities in K-12 school have Individualized Education Plans (IEP) or 504 Plans. Both outline what services and accommodations your child needs to be successful at school. Your child will qualify for an IEP if they have one of 13 disabilities defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IEPs have a more formal, standardized format and process for describing a child’s present levels, their annual goals, accommodations and modifications, service levels, and classroom placement. A child qualifies for a 504 Plan if they have any disability that interferes with their ability to learn or navigate their school day. Learn more about the differences between an IEP and 504 Plan here and what you can expect from each.  

If a child has an IFSP, you and your team will write an IEP when they go to kindergarten. Some disabilities don’t become apparent until a child enters school: ADHD or dyslexia for example. Parents or educators who notice a child struggling in school can request an educational evaluation. That evaluation may lead to a diagnosis and an IEP or 504 plan. Getting an evaluation and effective IEP after starting school has been known to take more parent advocacy.  

When an IEP is in place, the child’s entire educational team meets annually to write the IEP for the coming year. As a parent, you are an important part of that team. The IEP includes a section for parent input where you can write about your child’s strengths, interests, and challenges to help the school know your child. Your child is assessed every three years to determine that they still qualify for special education services.

Graduation and beyond
During the IEP meeting of your child’s sophomore year of high school, you’ll begin talking about diploma options and plans for after high school. 

Getting help
You don’t have to navigate this system alone! Families and Communities Together (FACT Oregon) is a statewide group offering broad support for families experiencing disability. They offer help through parent education, connection to community, and a support line connecting you with other parents to help answer questions. The IEP Toolkit and The IEP: What You Need to Know online training are two of their most popular resources.

Special education can be complicated and confusing, and you might feel you need a second education about special education. The many resources and support options help you understand and advocate for your child throughout their school life.

This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

 

Two children at playground, holding hands, one child is in a mobility device.

Movement, especially during the winter months when we are all stuck inside, can be vital for our physical and mental health. But not all of us move in the same ways. We’ve pulled together some resources for kids of all abilities, to help get our sillies out:
 
Cosmic Kids Yoga
While not specifically intended to be for youth with disabilities, this YouTube channel is great for kids with ADHD and older youth with learning disabilities. The instructor includes a story with animations that help grab and keep kids attention. She also describes moves in easy to understand ways like, puff up like a ball and roll around singing *jigglypuff* for the Pokemon video
 
Gympanzees:
Gympanzees has an excellent online resource hub for exercises and activities that are disability specific, such as sensory processing, Down Syndrome, wheelchair users and more. 

The National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability
NCHPAD has a ton of content on their YouTube channel. There is a playlist on Adapted Kids Yoga for a number of conditions, and another on Improving the Lives of Individuals with Autism through Exercise. The latter specifically addresses the sensory overload of going into a gym or during PE at school. Beyond those two kid-focused playlists they have lots of others that could be of interest to the whole family, such as Home Workouts.

Northwest Association for Blind Athletes:
NWABA has a YouTube playlist with adapted Physical Education lessons for different age groups, and for kids with Multiple Disabilities.

And here's a great article from Chicago Parent with ideas on how to incorporate physical activities for children with developmental disabilities into daily life. 

This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

Students in a classroom taking a standardized test.

The point of the SAT and ACT is to determine a student’s readiness for college and many colleges and universities have required them. So the library is here to help get you ready!

Please note that many colleges and universities are going test-optional for 2021 Admissions. This means ACT/SAT scores are not mandatory for admission. The list includes Eastern Oregon University, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Southern Oregon University, University of Oregon, and Western Oregon University. 

But if you still need (or want) to take these tests, your first question might be, which one should I take? According to a recent article by US News & World Report, the tests “vary in structure and timing as well as the content matter and scoring.” One statement in the article suggested that students with a “strong English background” might do better with the ACT, which puts a stronger emphasis on verbal skills. And for those who are strong in math, well “the SAT may reflect that much better.” They suggest taking the practice tests for each and seeing which suits you best. And that makes sense to us.

But where do you get free practice tests? The library offers free exams for the SAT and ACT through a resource called LearningExpress Library. You just need your library card number and PIN to login. You will need to set up a free account, so you can track everything

LearningExpress Library also gives you access to the most up-to-date prep books, it can help you figure out colleges to apply to, it can locate scholarship information, and help you write your college essay! Just log in and take a look under “College Admissions Test Preparation.” We librarians always wish more people knew about this amazing free resource, so please use the LearningExpress Library and tell a friend!

And if you like to hold books in your hand, rather than read ebooks, you can find test prep books for the SATs and the ACT in our catalog and place them on hold for curbside pickup. If you want more information in general, try our posts on College Help for Teens and Searching for Scholarships

This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

El SAT y el ACT son los dos exámenes estandarizados que la mayoría de las  universidades piden como requisito en la solicitud de admisión. La mayoría de las universidades piden uno u otro y el estudiante puede escoger el  examen que más le guste o tomar los dos para ver en cuál obtiene mejores resultados. La diferencia principal entre los exámenes es el contenido y tipo de preguntas.  

El SAT

El SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) evalúa más el razonamiento y la aptitud. Está diseñado para determinar qué tanto han aprendido los estudiantes en la preparatoria. El SAT examina lectura de comprensión, escritura y matemáticas. 

El estudiante puede preferir tomar el SAT si: 

  • Trabaja despacio y se toma el tiempo para analizar las preguntas 
  • Lee mucho y tiene un vocabulario amplio  
  • Piensa “fuera de lo convencional”, usa pensamiento analítico 
  • Escribe bien. Aunque la sección del ensayo es opcional, la prueba incluye secciones de lectura y escritura. 

 

El ACT

El ACT (American College Testing) evalúa más el conocimiento de información en lugar de evaluar sus habilidades. El ACT examina las matemáticas y las ciencias además de lectura de  comprensión y escritura.  

El estudiante puede preferir el ACT si: 

  • Trabaja con rapidez 
  • Se destaca en matemáticas y en ciencias  
  • Prefiere ver las preguntas como las ve en los exámenes de la escuela 
  • Tiene dificultad para escribir ensayos. 

 

Recursos

Es importante que el estudiante pregunte a las universidades a las que desea asistir, si los exámenes del SAT y ACT son parte de los requisitos de admisión.

Información y recursos sobre el SAT

Información y recursos sobre el ACT 

 

Escrito por Delia P.

  1. Ross Gay has written both poems and essays. What are the different approaches an author might take in considering how to capture their thoughts?  Why might one idea make a better essay than a poem?
  2. View or listen to Ross Gay reading a poem or essay. Consider how the author’s experience as a poet informs his writing of essays; how does hearing the pieces read aloud by the author change your experience of the reading? If you listened to the audiobook, what did you like about Ross Gay’s narration?
  3. Consider how slam poetry, music and hip hop influences might show up in both the written language and Gay’s reading aloud from The Book of Delights. 
  4. In chapter 71,  Gay returns to the subject of sta
    tues armed with guns that he first mentions in chapter 9. Over the summer of 2020, statues in public spaces were the focus of controversy. What do you think of Gay’s assertion that all new statues should have in their hands “flowers, or shovels, or babies, or seedlings…”?
  5. Gay often uses a direct, conversational writing style. Why do you think he employs this style? How does it make you feel when the writer addresses you directly? 
  6. “I’m trying to remember the last day I haven’t been reminded of the inconceivable violence black people have endured in this country.” (p. 16) Discuss Gay’s ability to overlap themes of systemic racism, delight and kindness, loss and sorrow, often in the space of one essay.
  7. Ross Gay often finds delight in the smallest of objects: a flower thriving in a sidewalk crack, or two people sharing the work of carrying a bag. How does attention to these small details add to Gay’s overall themes? 
  8. What role does humor and tragedy play in Ross Gay’s observations. How does he juxtapose the two for greater effect?
  9. One interviewer pointed out that the essays in The Book of Delights often feel like journal entries. As a reader, how did you feel about the personal tone of the writing? Would you have enjoyed the book more or less if the writing adhered to a more traditional essay format?
  10. Gay seems to take pleasure in ritual or routine (one example being the journaling exercise about "delight" which led to the book). What are some rituals that bring joy to your life? 
  11. Even though The Book of Delights isn't poetry, Gay is a poet and the writing is very poetic. Who is another poet (or writer, or speaker, or singer, or rapper) whose words bring you delight?In Chapter 38 Ross mentions an interaction with a flight attendant calling him “Baby.” Have you had delightful interactions with strangers? What made it special?

Assignment: Find something that delights you and share it with a friend or loved one. Bonus points: take a photo of the delight and post it to social media, using the tags #DailyDelight #EverybodyReads #RossGay @MultCoLib (Twitter and Facebook) @multnomahcountylibrary (Instagram) @PDXLibraryLove @LiteraryArts 

English | Español 


Books for beginners are scattered on a table in the foreground. Yellow, blue, red and green bags hang in the background under a shelf. More books are stored on that shelf.

The library has reorganized its entire collection of Spanish leveled readers for students learning to read. There are now four distinct reading levels: Comenzando (Beginning), Desarrollando habilidades (Developing Skills), Leyendo más (Reading More) y Por mi cuenta (On My Own).

The goal of this reorganization was to help families find books that better matched their children’s reading levels. This goal is meant to improve the library experience for children and their parents, and to help children become successful readers.

The levels purposefully do not have corresponding numbers, to discourage correlation between reading level and grade level. 
Each level is categorized in its own color. Click on the links to see books for each level:

Look for the corresponding color label on the spine of each book. 

Bienvenidos a la Lectura and CTIAM (STEAM) bags

Four youth holding book bags in the library. Their shirts and the bags have a logo that says "Bienvenidos a la Lectura". Each bag is a different color: purple, green, yellow, red and blue.
​​​​​​

Similarly, we have organized Bienvenidos a la Lectura (Welcome to Reading) bags by reading levels and themes. Each bag contains 5 books and an information sheet for children and their families to enjoy reading.

The bags can be borrowed like any other library material.

Yellow bags - Comenzando
Blue bags - Desarrollando habilidades
Red bags - Leyendo más
Green bags - Por mi cuenta

We also invite you to explore the CTIAM (STEAM) bags that include books related to science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics as indicated by the acronym CTIAM (ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería, arte y matemáticas).

Made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation.

 

English | Español | Tiếng Việt | Русский | 简体中文


The deadline to file federal and state tax returns is May 17, 2021. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to get help in person, you can still get tax preparation assistance and support in the following ways.

Paper copies of tax forms or instructions

Tax return preparation assistance

Other tax assistance

File your taxes online for free

English | Español 


Libros para principiantes están esparcidos sobre una mesa en el primer plano. Unas bolsas de los colores amarillos, azules, rojos y verdes cuelgan en el fondo debajo de un estante. Más libros están almacenados en ese estante.

La biblioteca ha reorganizado la colección de libros para lectores principiantes en cuatro niveles de complejidad. Los niveles son: Comenzando, Desarrollando habilidades, Leyendo más y Por mi cuenta.

Esta reorganización de libros se hizo con la finalidad de facilitar la búsqueda de libros por nivel, así como para mejorar la experiencia de los niños y sus padres en la biblioteca y para que los niños lleguen a ser lectores exitosos.

Los niveles de lectura están representados por color en lugar de ser por número para evitar la comparación entre el grado y el nivel de lectura. Haga clic en los enlaces para ver los libros de cada nivel:

Encontrará la etiqueta correspondiente en el lomo de cada libro.

Bolsitas de Bienvenidos a la Lectura y CTIAM

Cuatro jóvenes con bolsas de libros en mano en la biblioteca. Sus camisas y las bolsas tienen un logo que dice "Bienvenidos a la Lectura." Cada bolsa es de un color diferente: lila, verde, amarillo, rojo y azul.

Igualmente hemos creado bolsitas de libros por niveles de lectura y por temas. Cada bolsita contiene 5 libros y una hoja informativa para que los niños y sus familias disfruten de la lectura.

Las bolsitas se prestan como cualquier material de la biblioteca.

Los invitamos a explorar las Bolsitas de CTIAM que incluyen libros relacionados con la ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería, arte y matemáticas como lo indica la sigla CTIAM.

Este programa es posible por los regalos dados a La Fundación de la Biblioteca.

An online inquiry. Followed by an email. Then an in-person connection.

Author Liz Crain and her cookbooks Dumplings Equal Love

Liz Crain was starting work on her second cookbook collaboration. She put in a digital query to Multnomah County Library for research assistance. Pauline Theriault got an email. So began their librarian-patron alliance.

Pauline is a material selector librarian who has been at Multnomah County Library for 23 years. Until last summer, she was an information services librarian helping patrons in person and assisting patrons who call or email the library with inquiries about myriad subjects and topics.

“If the first tier of people can’t answer the question ... they pass it on to what we now call the Information Services staff work group,’’ she says. “There are two classifications in that work group, and it’s the librarians and the library assistants.’’

“We work on those questions that are passed on to us. We either call the person back or we email them. Or, we might set up an appointment to meet with them in person and go over materials to answer the questions that they’ve asked.’’

Library patrons have immediate access to library staff for research and questions, ranging from general to topical subject matter via phone, email, and chat, all available on the library website. These resources are especially vital now, with only staff allowed in libraries due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

Liz found, in Pauline, a complementary resource for her cookbook writing pursuits. Liz moved to Portland in 2002, saying she brought with her a love for libraries from her childhood growing up in Cincinnati.

So, when she launched into her second cookbook collaboration, initially about brunch and brunch recipes, she says she instinctively turned to the library. That was 2014. The cookbook, Hello! My Name is Tasty, was co-authored with John Gorham and published in fall 2017.

Her research assistance experience in 2014 worked out so well that Liz sought Pauline for another cookbook project. Dumplings = Love: Delicious Recipes From Around The World (see book and e-book in My MCL) was published in fall 2020.

“It was just really exciting for me,’’ Liz says. “I’ve always loved research. But there are so many experts at the library.’’

Pauline says after Liz made the research assistance request in 2014, Pauline saw the question topic and began searching for information based on her knowledge of the library’s collection and Liz’s needs.

“One of the areas I was responsible for was the cookbook collection,” Pauline says, referring to her 22 years as a librarian at Central Library.

“I had a pretty good in-depth knowledge of the resources we have available through the library. So when her question came through, I got back to her with some information. And then it turned out that what was really best for her was that she came in and made an appointment to meet one-on-one.”

Along the way, Liz says, the cookbook idea evolved from centering on brunch to highlighting around-the-clock recipes from Tasty n Sons and Tasty n Alder restaurants. “That was just one research query,’’ Liz says, “and I got enough content from that initial response from Pauline to set me on my way.”

In 2018, Liz says, the idea for her third cookbook was inspired while dining with Sasquatch Books representatives during Portland Book Festival. She says she developed a loose table of contents for a dumpling cookbook and started research with two particular dumplings: Korean Mandu, and Japanese Gyoza. Again, she reached out to Pauline.

“Any kind of query that I have, she’ll immediately have this web of ideas that I wouldn’t have even considered,’’ Liz says.

“The thing I remember is, she looked up some Oxford English Dictionary terms related to what I was researching. That was great, because, who has that at home?”

Luckily, all library cardholders do. The Oxford English Dictionary is available via a subscription database with a library card through the library's website

Just as Liz had an early fondness for libraries, Pauline settled on her professional calling as a young adult. “I knew I wanted to be a librarian. I liked to read.”

Pauline earned her master’s degree in library science from University of Arizona after graduating from Oregon State University with a bachelor's degree in English and minors in fine art and German.

“I knew there was something else that I was striving for,’’ Pauline says of majoring in English. “Because I knew I was going to get a master’s degree, I just took courses I was kind of interested in.’’

She was hired as a librarian for the science and business section of Central Library after starting her career at Salem Public Library. In Salem, she says, she developed a cookbook research-interest connection with a patron, noting that forming bonds with patrons is fairly common.

“I think what happens is, when you establish a good working relationship with somebody, they think of you as their personal librarian. This has been the case with friends over the years, as well as with patrons.”

However, more often than not, Pauline says, such connections generally are with patrons who are regular library visitors. “Like the fellow I knew from Salem.’’

“Liz, I just sort of met blindly,” Pauline says. “I was just answering the email question, and then she made an appointment to come in. So, that just started out strictly digital, and then it turned into meeting somebody in person. Usually, I think, it’s the opposite; we meet somebody in person first, and then establish a relationship.’’

Liz says she was equally grateful for Pauline’s expertise the second time around - “she helped me out immensely, getting all sorts of books, databases, online materials” - while researching for Dumplings = Love: Delicious Recipes From Around The World

“She has such a wealth of knowledge, working at Central for 22 years,’’ Liz says. “I didn’t really know the breadth of research assistance that you can get for free at the public library.” 

Read a full Q&A with Liz and Pauline.

Liz Crain and Pauline Theriault have a question and answer conversation about Pauline’s work as a librarian for Multnomah County Library. The interview has been edited for brevity.

Pauline Theriault and Liz Crain
Liz Crain: Will you please talk about the research assistance part of your work?
 
Pauline Theriault: Years ago we had lines of people at the reference desk requesting help. Now, we have the internet and Google and people email us their questions. I think people don’t realize that there's a level of in-depth research that people can access through the library. They think they have to research everything on their own now. The library staff can help people find a lot of unique, in-depth, and elusive information. 
 
Liz: What are the bulk of requests that people are coming to the Central Library for?
 
PT: It runs the spectrum, from finding information to help start a business to writing a book proposal and needing to know how many books sold on a particular topic. We get a lot of history questions; genealogy is really popular. People ask for information about marriages and divorces. Whatever you can imagine. You know, somebody is making costumes for their kid's play and they need some information on how to make something that looks sort of historical out of towels. 

Liz: In your perfect world, what would you like to see this aspect of library research assistance look like?
 
Pauline: I always think it's great when more people are using this aspect of the library.  I've always been interested in the thrill of finding information. It's nice when people come in and ask us questions because we can talk to them face to face and get immediate feedback. Reference services is a big part of what we do, but it's probably less than it used to be because of the changing nature of the information world. Either way is great. It's nice to be able to talk to someone and ask questions and confirm if you're headed in the right direction. It's much harder to do that in email. But I'd rather have people email us than not ask at all. 

Liz: What's some advice for patrons when they are requesting research help?
 
Pauline: Sometimes people aren't sure what they're looking for until they start having a conversation with somebody. They're really not sure if something exists, so they ask for something else. People are often surprised that various forms of information even exist. Sometimes we might not be able to find something in the exact format that someone wants but we can provide an alternative that may suit their needs perfectly.

Liz: Any other advice you want to give people on navigating public library research avenues?
 
Pauline: Having that library card is such a valuable thing. It's probably the best card in someone's wallet in terms of access to information and books. You can check things out. There are all of these databases that you would never be able to access yourself for free, like full-text magazines. We have fiction, ebooks, streaming movies, streaming music. We have a database where you can learn a foreign language. Just plug in your library card. 
 
Liz: Is there anything you'd like to advise patrons not to do when querying research requests?
 
Pauline: Don’t be in a hurry. Also, if you don't get the right answer or if it isn't what you're looking for, ask for clarification or explain yourself. It's a conversation. 

Liz: What is your job title now?
 
Pauline: I'm a librarian in Materials Selection. I order adult non-fiction books, DVDs, sheet music, and music CDs.
 

Desde mi propia experiencia como inmigrante, mujer de color e hija de dos personas trabajadoras que creyeron en el Sueño Americano, me tomo muy en serio recomendar libros que reflejen las experiencias de vida de los inmigrantes en este país. Me preocupo por tener libros en nuestra colección que coincidan con personas cuyas historias históricamente han sido suprimidas. Libros que relaten las experiencias de nuestro diario vivir tales como: El libro de los americanos desconocidosPaco un niño latino en Estados Unidos, o  Al principio, viajábamos solas

Y aunque la narrativa del inmigrante no es una sola historia, como explica la novelista Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie en su TedTalk El peligro de una sola historia, creo que los inmigrantes compartIimos muchas cosas en común. Una de ellas es el abrazar los ideales de Estados Unidos. Al igual que cualquier otra persona que adopte estos principios, nosotros, los inmigrantes, nos esforzamos por fortalecer la comunidad en la que vivimos. Recordemos que los inmigrantes y los hijos de inmigrantes son nuestros vecinos, compañeros de clase, colegas y compañeros de trabajo; somos parte de tu comunidad.

From my own experience as an immigrant, a woman of color, and the daughter of two hard-working individuals who believed in the American Dream, I take very seriously recommending books that reflect immigrants' life experiences in this country. I care about having books in our collection that match people whose stories have historically been suppressed, books that are reflective of our everday lives, El libro de los americanos desconocidosPaco un niño latino en Estados Unidos, or Al principio, viajábamos solas

And while the immigrant narrative is not a single story, as novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explains in her TedTalk, The Danger of a Single Story, I believe immigrants share many things in common. The most important of these is to embrace the ideals of the United States. We, just like anybody else who embraces these principles work hard to make our community stronger. Immigrants and the children of immigrants are our neighbors, classmates, colleagues, and co-workers; we are part of your community.

 

 

WorkSource Oregon offers free virtual workshops for job seekers. See the workshop descriptions below and when you are ready, click here to register.

The workshops cover the following topics:

Interviews – Are you landing interviews, but not your dream job? Are situational questions keeping you up at night? Let us help answer all these and more. 

Virtual Interviews - Are you ready to take on a virtual interview? If not, let us help you build skill and confidence for your next virtual interview. 

Soft Skills - What is a soft skill and why it is important in finding, and keeping, a great job? In this workshop, we will introduce soft skills, as well as help you discover which soft skills are your strengths. 

Resumes - Learn techniques and strategies to create, or refurbish, your resume for industry specific, job tailored, and unique-to-you uses. 

Networking - Branding, an elevator speech and LinkedIn—how will they support your job search? Let us help you discover and navigate the new, virtual networking environment, while reinforcing your in-person networking skills. 

Successful State Applications - Are you interested in applying to jobs with the State of Oregon? Review how to research State of Oregon job announcements, agencies and job classifications. Discover how to tailor your resume to the job description, all while networking with live State Agents.

WorkSource Oregon ofrece los siguientes talleres virtuales para quienes buscan trabajo y para quienes están considerando cambiar de trabajo. Se llevan a cabo cada semana al mismo día y a la misma hora durante todo el mes.

Registrese

Entrevistas - ¿Está consiguiendo entrevistas, pero no el trabajo de sus sueños? ¿Las preguntas situacionales lo mantienen despierto por la noche? ¿Cómo responde a una pregunta sobre su último empleador si lo despidieron? Ayudemos a responder a todos estos y más. 

Entrevistas virtuales - ¿Está listo para realizar una entrevista virtual? ¿Su iluminación, vestimenta, fondo, voz y tono son ideales para el escenario virtual? ¿Sabes lo que es grabar previamente las preguntas de tu entrevista? ¿Eres experto en moverse en un espacio virtual? De lo contrario, permítanos ayudarlo a desarrollar habilidades y confianza para su próxima entrevista virtual. 

Habilidades blandas - Se ha dicho: "Lo contratan por sus habilidades básicas y lo despiden por sus habilidades blandas," pero ¿qué es una habilidad blanda y por qué es importante para encontrar y mantener un gran trabajo? En este taller, presentaremos las habilidades blandas y le ayudaremos a descubrir qué habilidades blandas son sus fortalezas. 

Currículums - Aprenda técnicas y estrategias para crear o renovar su currículum para usos específicos de la industria, personalizados para el trabajo y exclusivos para usted. Descubre trucos que atraen la atención de los equipos de contratación. ¡Comprenda cómo pasar el sistema de seguimiento de candidatos del robot a los ojos humanos y más! 

Redes - Marca, un discurso de ascensor y LinkedIn: ¿cómo respaldarán su búsqueda de trabajo? Permítanos ayudarlo a descubrir y navegar por el nuevo entorno de redes virtuales, mientras refuerza sus habilidades de redes en persona. 

Baby playing with food

You’ll hear a lot of different opinions about this topic, but many doctors and early childhood educators actually believe it is a good idea.

Playing with their food:

  • Helps babies learn to feed themselves
  • May prevent picky eating
  • Helps babies build their brains
  • Gives you a moment to catch up!

Playing with food begins as soon as babies are old enough to sit in a high chair. They love to reach for food and explore it in a hands-on, messy experiment of texture and taste. It may not be pretty, but it is a normal and healthy stage of development.

There is an element of play, but there are also important stages of learning taking place. Like mastering the pincer grasp, which eventually leads to holding a pencil! And kids who play with their food can be faster to learn words associated with food textures. In a 2013 study, toddlers who poked, prodded, swirled, mashed and even threw their food were interacting with key developmental concepts more than other children.  

And playing with your food isn’t just for babies, many preschool programs include activities where children participate in "sensory sessions," and touch, listen, taste, and smell different kinds of foods—then share observations with each other.

At any age it's fun to sing a song while you and your child “play” with your food. Here is one where you can make up your own variations together about the foods you like and how you cook and eat them.

All Around the Kitchen
Soup, soup, put it in the pot,
warm it up, warm it up, eat it while it's hot!

Bagel, bagel, put it in the toaster,
warm it, toast it, eat it with some jelly!

Ice cream, ice cream, put it in my tummy,
I like (flavor), yummy, yummy, yummy!

This post was featured in our monthly Family Newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter here, and email us at learning@multcolib.org if you have any questions.

Family having dinner at the table

I know in my own family, it can be hard convincing my child to drink enough water and eat their veggies. And just saying, “it’s healthy” doesn’t cut it. So how do we convince our kids that eating healthy is important? 

Before we start, the most important thing is to never connect eating well to losing weight, being slim, or being attractive. All bodies are fabulous! It’s just great if they can feel their best, too. And second, healthy eating looks different to different people. Some families are vegetarian or vegan or keep halal or kosher.  What people do or don't eat can be driven by values and culture, as well as health.

Teaching kids to eat well can be tricky. You don’t want to give them more facts than they can handle or turn every meal into a lecture. But you also want them to know that everything they put in their mouths affects their whole body. And the more nutritious the food they put in, the better they will feel, the more energy they will have, and hopefully, the more fun! 

One idea is to talk about the properties, or nutrients, of food and how they can help give our bodies energy for playing our favorite sports, help our brain and mind focus on schoolwork, and make us better with our hobbies, even video gaming! Some of the books in this booklist might help with these conversations.  

Another tip is to avoid calling foods “good” or “bad.” Kids should learn that all foods have a place in their diet. Try labeling foods as “go,” “slow,” or “whoa.” Kids should eat “go” foods, like vegetables, every day. But they might want to go “slow” with less nutritious foods, like pancakes. And say “whoa” to foods like candy bars, and leave those for special occasions. Foods with less nutrition don’t need to be off limits, but the goal is for kids to stop and think twice before they eat them often. 

Another great idea is to have your kid help plan and post menus for the week. Include some favorites and try some new foods, as well. You can even check out a kid’s cookbook from this booklist.

In some cases of extreme pickiness or disordered eating, it's important to remember that doctors and occupational therapists can help and you should talk with your child's pediatrician.  

Perhaps the most important thing is teaching through modeling. Seeing their grownups eat nutritious food, will help kids want to do the same. Talk to them about how eating well is fun, makes you feel good, and gives you energy!

This post is part of our "Talking with kids" series, and was featured in our monthly Family Newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter here, and email us at learning@multcolib.org if you have any questions.  

Child baking with grownup

For many, food is an important part of family life. Gathering together for meals is a way to share warmth, community, and family history. A recipe passed down through generations is a treasure. Exploring different cuisines is an opportunity to learn about other cultures. Homemade food is more nutritious than take-out or convenience foods and youth who learn to cook have healthier eating habits later in life. Beyond that, the kitchen is also an ideal place to teach kids reading, science and math.

Children under five learn about the world by using their senses. By touching, tasting, and smelling they’re being little scientists trying to figure out what the world is about. Using these senses is an integral part of the cooking process. Helping with simple tasks such as stirring, washing vegetables, and tearing lettuce helps these young learners develop their fine motor skills. Following step-by-step instructions teaches children executive functioning and gets them ready for school. 

As children get older and gain confidence, they can take over reading the recipe. There is so much that can be learned by reading a recipe. Recipes are math. Children need to understand fractions and ratios. They need to understand different units of measurement. It also supports literacy by exposing them to vocabulary that they won’t find elsewhere. How often are words like sear, tablespoon, dice, drizzle, or crimp used in daily conversation? Through trial and error children learn problem solving and that failure is just another opportunity to learn.

They say that baking is chemistry and cooking is art. The truth is that each one is both chemistry and art. Both allow for creativity once you understand the basics of a recipe. But it’s important to understand the basics for your recipe to turn out right. This is where science comes in. You probably don’t even realize how much science you use in the kitchen. Foods go through chemical and physical changes as they’re prepared and cooked. Certain elements are necessary in order for the recipe to turn out correctly. Which elements can change and which need to stay the same? Why? What adjustments, if any, do you need to make for any modifications? Why? These are scientific questions. Encourage children to ask questions. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer. You can search for the answer and learn together. You can even ask the library for help!

Looking for more ideas? Look no further than Oregon State University's Food Hero program. They have lots of learning activities for all ages!

By grounding learning in the real world, kids are more likely to understand why the skills they learn are important and are better able to retain them. They’ll also have the satisfaction of eating the results of their lesson and the pride of sharing it with others.

- Keli Y, Teen Librarian, Rockwood Library

This article was featured in our monthly Family Newsletter, you can sign-up here to receive your copy!

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