MCL Blogs

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Most of us have heard of the Wright Brothers. In 1903 they were the first to design a machine that could actually fly.  But do you know about their sister Katherine? Without this amazing woman, the brothers might never have achieved their first flight or the fame that followed.

Early airplanes were flimsy and crashed easily. Many men thought it a too dangerous and too mentally difficult activity for women. Women were determined to learn to fly anyway.

In 1910 Bessica Raiche was the first women fly solo. Blanche Stuart Scott actually flew solo before Bessica, but many felt it was more an accident than a true solo flight.

Harriet Quimby became the first licensed American woman pilot in August 1911. Less than a month later she became the first woman to fly at night. Harriet was the first woman to pilot her own aircraft across the English Chanel. She didn’t get the news headlines she expected as she completed the flight at the same time the Titanic sank. Harriet died during a stunt show when she turned her plane upside down and she and her passenger fell to their deaths.

In 1916 Ruth Law declared, “To become an aviator one has to dismiss all fear.” She needed courage as she attempted to fly from Chicago to New York City on one tank of gas in her little biplane. She added three extra gas tanks so that the plane held 53 gallons and installed a metal guard to protect her legs and feet from the cold. Early in the morning on November 19, she took off on her adventure. While engine trouble forced her to land short of New York City, she still let a new American nonstop record of 215 miles.

Katherine Stinson  was the fourth woman to get a pilot’s license, the first woman to do the loop de loop, and fourth pilot to ever do so, and the first woman pilot to carry the US Mail.

In 1921 Bessie Coleman was the first African American, male or female, to earn a pilot’s license. She had to travel to France and learn to speak French in order to earn her pilot’s license. No flight instructors in the United States would teach her because she was black and a woman. Bessie performed in air shows for the next five years. Thousands turned out to watch. She refused to perform at locations that refused admittance to African Americans. Throughout her short career, Bessie encouraged African Americans to learn to fly. She was killed in 1926 while performing.

There are many more female pilots to discover. For more information ask your librarian.

The Picture File is a massive collection of file cabinets that you do not see when you come in to the library to the 3rd floor at the present time. In the past, these cabinets were prominently available in the Art and Music Room for library visitors to look through and make selections to check out. We are still checking out the Picture Files, but  now since we have a much larger collection of books to display plus computer stations, there is simply no room for all of these file cabinets in the Art and Music Room, and they have been moved to closed stacks.

The Picture Files consist of folders on many topics, collected from books that could not be repaired, periodicals that were duplicates, and a whole myriad of images from calendars and other sources.

What use are these in our time, when we can find internet sources for images with ease? Since this collection was created in the Art and Music Room, it is particularly strong for these topics; there are hundreds of folders for the arts with thousands of pictures all together. If you are in the library looking for images of artists' works, it can be more practical to take home a manila envelope of images than a series of books. If you are working on ideas for a mural, for example, and want to experiment with combining images of different subjects, these files are useful for composition ideas.

Recently I was preparing a display of materials about the composers Bartok and Beethoven for a local festival and library concert, for which I used the Picture Files. There were some images of these composers that I had seen in books and on the internet, but a few that were a complete delight since new to me. So I suggest that it can be worth taking a look at these if you have a project. Simply ask the staff at the Art and Music Reference desk for picture files on a subject. We have an index of the subjects in this collection, and from these you tell the staff which folders you would like to look at. You can select up to 50 pictures at a time to check out from a range of folders.

These three images are samples from one of the three folders of paintings and drawings by Jean-Antoine Watteau (October 10, 1684 - July 18, 1721) whose drawings of musicians are so evocative of 18th century French baroque music.

Questions? Send our reference staff an email question or call the library: 503.988.5234. 
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

A Volunteer Who Has Found Her NichePicture of volunteer Allissa Purkapile

by Donna Childs

It was a genuine pleasure to see Allissa Purkapile in the setting of her St. Johns library, a place she describes as “friendly and comfortable.” She is clearly comfortable with the library staff, and they seem to care as much about her as she does them. Several stopped to say hello to her as we spoke.

Allissa began volunteering with the St. Johns Summer Reading program following 6th grade. Initially, she worked one two-hour shift a week. Fast forward five years: Allissa is not only an indispensable Summer Reading volunteer, who helps coordinate the schedule, but also a dedicated helper with the storytime program and a reliable member of the library’s Teen Council.  

She is the go-to Summer Reading volunteer, the one to call at the last minute if another volunteer doesn’t show up. Last summer she devoted more than sixty hours to Summer Reading. Since storytime often takes place when she is in school, her contributions to that program are more behind the scenes, but no less significant. She spends five hours most Saturdays cutting, folding, and gluing to create crafts for the youth librarian to use.

Since her freshman year, Allissa has also been a member of the St. Johns Teen Council, a group of young people who meet monthly to help make the library more teen-friendly. The group, which ranges in size from two to twenty teens, helps come up with program ideas, chooses books to display in the young adult (YA) section, and has even been instrumental in moving the YA from the back to the front of the library.

When asked what she likes best about volunteering at the St. Johns Library, Allissa said “everything, especially being able to answer questions and help people.” A true library aficionado, Allissa may apply for SummerWorksa summer youth employment program that includes internships with Multnomah County. She also volunteers at her high school library two or three days a week and plays clarinet in her school band. Outside of school, she helps distribute food for a program called Harvest Share.

 


A Few Facts About Allissa

Home librarySt. Johns Library
 
Currently reading: The Three Musketeers
 
Books that made you laugh or cry: The Fault in Our Stars

Most influential book: Harry Potter

Guilty pleasure: Classic novels (Little Women, Moby Dick)
 
Favorite book from childhood: Rainbow Fish
 
Favorite section of the library: Every inch of it
 
E-reader or paper books: Paper book
 
Favorite place to read: At the library or in a small corner

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

In the early years, our city was called The Clearing, but in 1845, landowners Francis Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy flipped a coin to choose an official name. Pettygove came from Portland, Maine, and Lovejoy was from Boston, Massachusetts. Pettygrove won two out of three tosses, and so our city is Portland. This slide show will show you how Portland grew from 1851-1900.

Photo of Pioneer Courthouse SquareHere are some of the historic places that make Portland special:

  • Benson Bubblers: These four-bowl drinking fountains are unique to Portland.
  • Pioneer Courthouse Square has been a school, a hotel, and a parking lot but is now considered the city’s “living room.”  
  • The Portlandia statue is the second-largest copper repoussé sculpture in the U.S. (The largest is the Statue of Liberty.)
  • Skidmore Fountain was designed to be a source of drinking water for people, horses and dogs.
  • The Pittock Mansion was the home of Henry Pittock, who arrived in Oregon penniless on a wagon train in 1853.
  • In 1900, Portland’s Chinatown was the second largest in the country.

Because of the many bridges crossing the Willamette River, one of Portland’s nicknames is Bridgetown. Some of the bridges that connect the east side to downtown are more than 100 years old!

Photo of Lewis and Clark ExpositionWhat did Portlanders in the past do for fun? The Rose Festival, which still happens every June, started in 1904. The next year, Portland hosted the Lewis and Clark Centennial Expositionwhich attracted more than 1.6 million visitors. Children liked to visit the amusement parks at Oaks Park and Jantzen Beach.

You know it rains a lot in Portland, but did you know that our city has often flooded? In the flood of 1894, downtown Portland was flooded and people got around in boats. In 1948, the Vanport flood destroyed a housing area that was home to many African Americans.

For more information on Portland history, view the past and present photos at Portland Then and Now or check out the city’s Portland Timeline.

Here's a video that shows some of the changes in Portland:

 

Still have questions? Contact a librarian for help!

Outline of the U.S. and image of a camera lens, with the words "CHOOSE PRIVACY" beneath them.May 1st through 7th has been designated by the American Library Association as Choose Privacy Week, and this year it is just as relevant as ever. A recent Pew Internet study shows many American adults who go online do not have a good understanding of cybersecurity. This spring, we also read about a vote to repeal rules requiring ISPs to protect customers’ privacy. 

What does privacy mean to you? Is it a place where no one is watching you or listening to what you say? Thanks to our ever-connected gadgets (our phones, computers, televisions, e-readers) such places are becoming more and more scarce. Every digital breath we take is noted, collected, and recorded for future marketing or security purposes.

Should we care? After all, we get many benefits by giving up our privacy: we receive recognition from others, we can easily share and communicate with groups of friends, we get free email. But a world without privacy is also a world where you are not free to ask questions or seek information without being monitored.

Libraries care about privacy. Why? Because, according to the American Library Association, "the freedom to read and receive ideas anonymously is at the heart of individual liberty in a democracy.” 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Privacy webpage is a good place to keep up to date with current privacy issues, especially in the online world. To learn more online privacy, take a look at Portland Community College’s Privacy Online guide: it includes videos and links about the ways that privacy is compromised online, and tips for how you can protect it.

Book cover for Intellectual Privacy by Neil RichardsIf, like me, you’re more of a book person, I’ve made a reading list called “Privacy? What’s privacy?” - it includes current books that will help you start to answer that question. If you’d rather get your dystopia in a make-believe format, another reading list, “Surveillance stories and privacy parables,” includes books and DVDs about the privacy-less society that we just might be headed toward.

Are you taking steps to protect your privacy? Or have you already given up on the notion of privacy? Leave your comments below (and please feel free to do so anonymously).

There was a great response to Multnomah County Library's first comics contest for grades 6-12! It was very hard to choose the winners and honorable mentions, and we're grateful to Robin Herrera and Ari Yarwood, editors at Oni Press, for their help judging. 

Honorable mentions:

Broken Hearts, Stephanie S

Copy Cats, Delana Wilkins

Delete, Quinn Plucar

D-exorcist, Thomas Trinh

Zombie Pizza, Abraham Gonzalez

Winners:

A Little Slice of Dumb Life, Naomi Nguyen

Chris and Fishy! Vol. 1, The Wizard's Gift, Daniela Sanchez

Chori and Chester: the Crazy Cats, Humphrey Hamma

Common Ground, Kay Lowe

Growing up in the Garden, Rebecca Celsi

Picture Day Disasters, Hannah Hardman

Would You Rather, Gabrielle Cohn

painting of the execution of Marie AntoinetteHead choppings, breaking into prison, more power to the people – the French Revolution was just so exciting!  In this blog post, you’ll learn about all the key events, people and places during this time of upheaval in France.

For a good introduction and general overview of the revolution, check out these websites:  Infoplease’s site includes sections on the origins of the painting of the women's march on Versaillesrevolution, the Revolution of 1789 and the Revolution of 1792, and the Reign of Terror among other topics. The History Channel’s take on the French Revolution includes a brief introduction, short videos and a picture gallery. This site from George Mason University includes a timeline, glossary, maps, music, primary sources and historical essays.  More primary source materials can be found here.

For specific topics about the French Revolution and its aftermath, check out these links:

Storming the Bastille
July 14th marks the beginning of the French Revolution.

The Radical Revolution
Who were the Girondists, the Jacobins and the Sans-culottes? Find out here.

Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution
All about Marie Antoinette including a timeline, info on royal life, biographies of important people in her life and more!

The Execution of Louis XVI, 1793
This website explains what led to the execution of Louis XVI.

Napoleon I: Emperor of France
A biography of Napoleon from Encyclopaedia Britannica.

For short videos about Napoleon, click here.

With all these resources at hand, you can now start your own revolutionary homework project!

Multnomah County Library's Lucky Day service includes books for kids, teens and adults.  Lucky Day copies are available for spontaneous use and are not subject to hold queues.  Nobody can place holds on these items; it's first come, first served.  That means you might not have to wait at all for the most popular new titles!  You never know what you might find at your neighborhood library - it just might be your Lucky Day!

If you’ve selected a person for your next biographical report but there are no books about them don’t spend hours looking through Google search results; instead check out Multnomah County Library’s biographies database list.  In these databases you can find quick facts, articles, encyclopedia entries, and even a search engine devoted to famous people.

Still need more information? If you are headed online be sure to evaluate the website before trusting the information. Here are some good questions to ask when doing online research:

1.     Who is the owner of the site? Is it clear who the author of the information on the page is? Is there a way to contact the author or owner?

2.     Is the website trying to sell or persuade you to buy something?

3.     Check the website’s URL to check the authority and validity of the website. When researching, “.edu” and “.gov” are good indicator that it is an official site.

4.     Is the site kept up-to-date, with current links, new material and a creation date listed?

5.     Based on the information you already have, does the website appear to have accurate information? Are there spelling or grammar mistakes?

If you need more help, ask a librarian.

grace jones book coverDo you know Grace Jones?

She’s pulled up to your bumper, taken A View to a Kill, and stole the show at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert. Not ringing a bell? 

Emerging from an ultra conservative Jamaican childhood, Grace Jones created her own path and a life well lived. In her memoir, I'll Never Write my Memoirs she opens her life, inviting readers into a world of adventures and experiences that only her words can convey.

I’m not even going to try. Just take Grace Jones’ words for it.

Already said hello? Try this list for similar books.

When people object to a book and ask their library to remove or move it, the library shares the complaint with the American Library Association (ALA).  The ALA then compiles all the complaints and every year announces a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books.  This is the list for 2015.

Parks and Recreation Season OneBy the Hollywood Teen Book Council

It has been a little over a year since we had to say goodbye to Leslie Knope and friends. This is the show that brought us Galentine’s Day, “Treat yo self,” and so many heartfelt and funny moments.  Luckily, the library has all seven seasons available for checkout.

Even if there was no love loss between the Parks Department and the Library, (Leslie Knope did say once, “The library is the worst group of people ever assembled in history. They’re mean, conniving, rude and extremely well read, which makes them very dangerous.”); these are characters that continue to stay with us. Just as we are gearing up for more  time in the great outdoors, recreating in our parks, we thought we’d take a moment and pick books for our favorite characters.

Leslie KnopeMy Beloved WorldAdventures with Waffles

Leslie Knope

My Beloved World By Sonia Sotomayor

Leslie Knope is not someone to let anything get in the way of her dreams, and she is inspired by a league of powerful women. Since she is on her path to  Washington, she would be interested in the paths of other women that have landed key roles in the running of different branches of  government.

Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr

With a strong love of breakfast food, especially waffles, this is a book for Ms. Knope. Where she is all about strong friendships and adventures outdoors, she will delight in the kinship and antics of Trille and Lena.

Hatchet

Ron Swanson

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Ron Swanson is an advocate for self-reliance, and he has his own fantasies of living off the grid. He will enjoy Brian’s story of surviving in the wilderness after a plane crash with only a hatchet to sustain himself.

April LudgateStiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

April Ludgate

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi

As far as working for the City of Pawnee, April’s interest and personality seems to be a better fit for the morgue than the parks’ department. We think she would be fascinated by both Stiff and Putting Makeup on Dead People.

Andy DwyerA Dog's JourneyThe Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Andy Dwyer

A Dog's Journey by W. Bruce Cameron

We know that Andy has a soft spot for animals. He will enjoy this tender-hearted tale told through the eyes of a dog.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

We really think that this is Andy Dwyer’s actual secret identity.

Tom HaverfordModern Romance

Tom Haverford

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Even though this is written by the actor that plays Tom Haverford, we know that Tom would appreciate the meticulous research that went into this to show how modern technology is affecting the way that we date.

Donna Meaglefamous-in-love

Donna Meagle

Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

Donna has all the men falling for her, just like Paige in this book. Eventually both with have to choose if they want to be with just one.

Ann PerkinsLumberjanes

Ann Perkins

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson

Ann is the ultimate best friend. We think that she would enjoy the strong female friendships and the supernatural adventures that take place in the great outdoors.

Ben WyattReady_Player_One_

Ben Wyatt

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Bless the ultimate nerd that is Ben Wyatt. If only this book had some more Game of Thrones references. Still, we know that Ben will love this homage to some of the best things to come out of the 1980’s.

Chris TraegerWhat I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Chris Traeger

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Super fit Chris Traeger will love this contemplation about a shared passion from one of today’s greatest writers. .

Jerry GergichWhat's in a Name Everything You Wanted to Know

Jerry Gergich (...or Garry, Larry or Terry)

What's in a Name?: Everything You Wanted to Know by Leonard R. N. Ashley

Really what is in a name? Come on, Jerry!

 

-By the Hollywood Teen Book Council

Luna Lovegood

"I think they think I'm a bit odd, you know. Some people call me 'Loony' Lovegood, actually.” --Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

There are so many reasons that Luna Lovegood has captivated us. Her airy ways and perceptiveness bring humor  throughout the series. When we first meet her in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling writes, “The girl gave off an aura of distinct dottiness. Perhaps it was the fact that she had stuck her wand behind her left ear for safekeeping, or that she had chosen to wear a necklace of Butterbeer caps, or that she was reading a magazine upside down.”

Initially, as most of us on the Hollywood Teen Book Council are all avid Harry Potter fans, we wanted to do some sort of a book project around the series. When it came time to get started, none of us could get past wanting to suggest books that we thought Luna Lovegood would love to read.

Here is what we would think she should read, if she hasn’t already . And as Luna says, , “Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure.”

 

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna

Luna’s a little bit quirky and so is Sophie Sophia, the girl with an obsession of music from the late 80’s.  Luna will enjoy Sophie’s attempt to find her father, an eccentric physicist who has disappeared suddenly.  Luna will also be glad that Sophie has a friend along on the quest: her giant shaman panda named Walt.

Rats Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted InhabitantsRats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan

Luna’s interests are varied and thorough, so perhaps she would like this very complete examination of city-dwelling rats and how they have evolved alongside humans.

 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Aside from Harry, if anyone else at Hogwarts is going to go on a quest, it would probably be Luna.  Unlike Coelho’s shepherd boy, she might come to a quicker understanding of what she needs to find the treasure she seeks.

 

The Magicians A Novel By GrossmanThe Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman

Luna attends a school for witchcraft and wizardry, so she might be interested to compare Quentin Coldwater’s school of magic experience in upstate New York to her own.

 

he Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own MakingThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Ms. Lovegood is a solid character who is always up for an adventure so she might like this story of a girl named September who’s adventure involves a quest  to retrieve a witch's spoon from the terrible and unpredictable Marquess of Fairyland.

 

The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Luna wouldn’t be surprised to see a circus appear with no warning, and she might also like the struggle and love story of two young illusionists.

 

Gutshot By Amelia GrayGutshot: Stories by  Amelia Gray

With so many interests, short stories might be the right kind of fiction for Luna.  This collection is human and dark, and full details of this strange world of ours.

 

A Pattern Language Towns, Buildings, ConstructionA Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander

Luna’s unique thought process sometimes makes communication with others difficult.  Perhaps this book, which helps build a common language and coherence within systems, will help.  It’s strongly recommended if she ever designs or builds a house.

 

Unflattening By SousanisUnflattening by Nick Sousanis

Luna Lovegood sees things differently than your average Hogswartian, so Nick Sousanis’s experiment in visual thinking would be at home in her hands.  This graphic novel disassembles perception and will help her to find even more understanding.  Though perhaps she is already ahead of the rest of us?

 

Multnomah County Library's Lucky Day service includes books for kids, teens and adults.  Lucky Day copies are available for spontaneous use and are not subject to hold queues.  Nobody can place holds on these items; it's first come, first served.  That means you might not have to wait at all for the most popular new titles!  You never know what you might find at your neighborhood library - it just might be your Lucky Day!

Climate change is so complicated, that it is difficult to think about how to make the world a better place. Here are a few ideas about what kids can do, to learn about and respond to the situation.Click on the picture to learn more about climate change in Oregon from the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute

1. Learn about it. For information about climate change, here are a couple of websites that provide information based on science.

  • NASA's Climate Kids provides an overview of climate change and includes games to play, things to make and videos to watch.  From NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  • Climate Change in Oregon, from the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, provides information about Oregon's climate.

2. Do a science project. Check out the Arm Program’s Education Center. This website provides global warming facts for the beginner and expert. Explore the site using the tool bar or the search box for stuff like "Ask a Scientist," where you can ask a real scientist anything. From the US Department of Energy.

3. Calculate your carbon footprint. The carbon footprint is an estimate of the greenhouse gas emissions produced as the result of activity by a person, group or community; it is one way to measure the impact people are having on the climate. Look at this fairly extensive carbon footprint calculator from carbonfootprint.com.

4. Reduce your impact on the climate. Simple things can make a difference. There are lots of things kids (and adults) can do to lower our impact on the climate. NASA climate kids is one place that tells kids how to help. Energy Choices, from the National Earth Sciences Teachers Association, has a game that lets students make find out about energy use.

5. Prepare for an uncertain future. What will the world be like in 25 to 50 years? What can we do to be ready? The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) kids website has suggestions about how to prepare.  Also, check out the Climate Resiliance Toolkit, develoed by a partnership of federal agencies and organizations led by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
 
Hot world image -- NASA, NOAA Analyses Reveal Record-Shattering Global Warm Temperatures in 2015
For more information, you can also consult a database like Today’s Science. You will need your library card number and PIN to login from home. Click on the Topic Index at the top of the page, which contains a wide range of headings, or you can use the search bar. This database, from Facts on File, is for high school and older students. 

Remember, if you need help, you can ask a librarian online, or at your neighborhood library.

 

 

How do presidential elections work? What is the difference between a primary election and a caucus? How do political conventions work? What is the electoral college? Kids.gov is a great place to start learning about how presidents get elected in the United States. This handy poster walks you through the presidential elections process. When you're on Kids.gov, you can order your own free copy of the poster, then scroll down below the poster for more information about primaries and caucuses, national conventions, the Electoral College and constitutional requirements for presidential candidates.

Poster on from Kids.gov on How to Become President, link to download of PDF version.

Find news stories about the elections at Here There Everywhere News -- a news blog written just for kids by a former producer for the NBC Today Show. The Politics page presents thoughtful stories about about the elections.

And Time for Kids has an elections mini-site with news stories about the presidential campaigns.

Lewis and Clark mapped many geographic and geologic features on their expedition. They drew a picture of most and labelled them with a name. Sometimes they phonetically spelled the Native American names as best they could. Some were named after the physical properties of the feature...such as Beaverhead Rock. And many were named to “honor” 19th century political figures or members of the Corps.

The Missouri Breaks reminded Meriwether Lewis of an ancient city. Despite appreciating the rugged beauty, the Corps also suffered from holes in their moccasins created by flint fragments found at the bottom of the white cliffs.

Photo of Moccasin

The Great Falls on the Missouri River was an incredible impediment for the Corp of Discovery. It took almost a month for the explorers to portage around this amazing group of five waterfalls.

Aerial Photo Great Falls

Lolo Hot Springs was visited both on the way west and back east. The springs provided a rare opportunity for a warm bath, but only on the return trip. They didn't have time to stop for a bath on the way to the Bitterroots. Today the hot springs bears no resemblance to the 19th century site.

Pompey’s Tower or Pillar was named after Toussaint Charbonneau and Sacagawea’s toddler son Jean-Baptist Charbonneau who had acquired the nickname “Pomp” or “Little Pomp”.

Pompey's Tower

Before crossing the Bitterroots, the Corps made camp at a place now called Traveler's Rest. Most of their time was spent hunting for food for the difficult mountain crossing. Traveler's Rest is the only archaeolgically verified campsite from the expedition. 

The Corps had to trek across the Bitterroot Mountains, a northern section of the Rockies, late in the season. It was a miserable journey which they just barely survived. They were probably too miserable from cold and fatigue to enjoy the breathtaking views.

As the very hungry Corps descended from the Bitterroot Mountains they spied grasslands of the Weippe Prairie. The prairie was named by the Nez Perce Indians—Weippe is their word for “very old place”.

Photo Weippe Prairie

Five different Cascade Range volcanos were seen by the Corps in the Northwest. Some of them were on a map given to them by explorer George Vancouver.

Celilo Falls in the Columbia River Gorge was a spectacular feature on the Willamette River and its history is quite controversial to the present day. Many people would like to see the Falls re-appear.

I’ve described just a handful of the thousands of geographic and geological sites described by the Expedition. It might be a fun project to map them and  several more from each state on the trail. When you look at photos of the Expeditions 's trail, you can easily see the enormous physical obstacles they overcame to accomplish the challenge they received from President Jefferson. 

 

The Egyptians are famous for their hieroglyphics, which is writing using pictures to represent sounds and ideas. The Egyptians weren’t the only ones though to use symbols to record information. Pictograms, ideographs, and phonoglyphs are all forms of writing used by ancient Mesoamericans. Often the Maya used all three to write one document. What are these writing forms?

 
A pictogram or pictograph is a symbol to represent an object or idea. Here’s an example
falling rocks road sign
An ideograph is a symbol to represent an whole word, for example ‘%’ for percent and ‘&’ for and.
A phonoglyph or phonogram represents a sound
​​
Ancient writings have been found on pottery, painted murals, carved rock, and paper which the Aztecs and Mayan made from bark. Paper was important enough to be used by the Aztec papermakers to pay their taxes and the paper was then used by the government tax collectors, lawyers, and more. Early writings recorded city and ruler histories, family trees of important people, wars, accounts of what someone owned, astronomy and religion. (American Indian Contributions to the World: Science and Technology by Emory Dean Keoke)

Take a look at this video about Mayan hieroglyphics and then check out the Think Deeper section from TED-Ed for more information.

The Maya had about 800 symbols for writing, according to an article Maya Glyphs. Seven hundred of those symbols represented whole words with the remaining 100 being syllable signs used to spell out a word syllable by syllable.

You can also find more information from articles: Maya Writing and the Calendar (Calliope, Feb. 1999) and Early Maya Writing, Science News for Kids Jan 2006. The World Book Student edition also has articles about hieroglypics, pictograms, writing system, history of the alphabet, Maya communication and learning, and Aztec language. You'll need your Multnomah County Library card to use it if you're outside the library.

Don't forget to ask a librarian if you need more help.

 

 

Picture file drawer - costume

Fashion designers, stylists, and makers! Perhaps you find inspiration in browsing images of fashion from times past, and you want to go a little deeper than the same top hits that everyone else can find on a Google image search. Perhaps you like the feel of paper. You probably know that you can page through old issues of magazines such as Vogue at the library, and of course we have many excellent books on vintage fashion. But did you know that we have files upon files of image inspiration for your projects?

In the Picture File Collection at Central Library, there are many folders containing clippings of women’s fashions: at least one for each year from 1900-2005. And that’s just a fraction of the files with subjects related to clothing! Other files contain examples of traditional dress around the world, children’s clothing, men’s fashions, school uniforms, and accessories such as spectacles, shoes, and underwear. One file is all about men's coiffure, including beards. Another focuses entirely on the American "Pioneer Mother" style of dress. There's a file for Norse (Viking) costume, one for the stock pantomime characters Pierre & Pierrot, and another for Scottish tartans. There is a folder of swimwear clippings for each decade in the twentieth century... and so on! The files in the Picture File Collection are assigned library subject headings and subheadings, much like books and other library materials. The library subject heading that encompasses these fashion clippings is Costume, with subheadings like Costume - 20th c. - 1963.

Women's fashion clippings 1963

1963 is an excellent year for women’s fashion, I think. There’s sophistication and grace, and also the Tweter (a sweater for two, which apparently was invented by novelist Beth Gutcheon)!

If this piques your interest, you might be interested to know that following the many Picture Files with the heading Costume come the folders with these headings: Couples, Courthouses, Covered Wagons, Crete, Crime, Croatia, Crowds, Cuba, Curaçao, Custom Houses & Ellis Island (buildings), Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Dairies, Dams, Dancing, Day Care Centers, Demonstrations, Denmark, Deserts, Design, Devils, Disabilities, Domes, Dominican Republic, Drawings, Driftwood….

The many file drawers that contain the Picture File Collection are in a staff-only area of the library. To access the Picture Files, and to browse a traditional library card catalog file of the subject headings, please visit the reference desk at the Art & Music room on the third floor of Central Library. Images from the Picture File Collection can be checked out, too - up to 50 individual clippings. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about this unique and historical collection!

 

newsradio cover

It was a dark and drizzly night in Portland, Oregon...

Thanks to the magic of Roku, the hilarious and irreverent Newsradio was on my television. Nothing could have been better. Then, out of the elevator, arrived the cast of Mr. Show.

Mic dropped. Laughs ensued.

During the 90s and early 00s a collective of writers and comedians produced a body of work featuring each other in one form or another. However, when shows like this aired, the internet was merely a buffering baby - finding and watching these shows was not a click away. Well worn VHS tapes and personal retelling after a ten mile uphill walk through the snow filled the gap until the current overabundance of content was available. 

 

Haven’t seen the Kids, Bluths, or the Party Down crew in a while? Check out this list and say hello!

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