Divorce, estate planning, landlord/tenant issues, immigration, arrests and citations... Life is full of legal questions. How do you search for answers without being taken for a ride? We can suggest some excellent resources that can help you out.
A good place to start is Oregon Legal Research, maintained by law librarians. Learn how to research the law and represent yourself in court; find the answers to frequently asked questions (When can I leave my kids home alone? Where can I get a free power of attorney form?); and more. They also maintain a comprehensive Oregon Legal Assistance Resources guide (pdf) that can help you find local organizations that specialize in legal areas including disability rights, bankruptcy, political activism, bicycle law and crime victims' rights.
Link to Legal Aid Services of OregonOregon Law Help provides free and verified legal information for Oregonians. There are articles in many languages to get you up-to-speed on your rights and resources when it comes to your home, your job, government benefits and more. The site also helps you find a Legal Aid office near you.
The Multnomah Law Library in downtown Portland provides legal reference assistance and more six days a week. You can access various legal forms and complete NOLO legal reference books on common legal topics online, 24/7, through their website. The State of Oregon Law Library's online resources include free access to Fastcase, a legal research tool that lets you search sources of law from Oregon, the U.S. Government and many other western states. 
The Oregon State Bar public information page has user-friendly legal information, assistance in finding and hiring a lawyer, links to low cost legal help and more.

The Oregon Judicial Department can help you file a case, find a legal form and represent yourself in court. Check out their page devoted to family law for assistance with child custody and support, divorce, domestic violence, and parenting plans. The Multnomah County Circuit Court website can help answer your questions about Family Court.

If you have questions about your rights as a renter, you might want to contact the Community Alliance of Tenants. This statewide, grassroots, tenants-rights organization provides renters' rights information online; if you can't find the information you need, call the Renters’ Rights Hotline at 503-288-0130.

Link to Oregon Council of County Law Libraries.You can always contact us at the library and we can help you locate resources that might be helpful, or visit your local county law library for a wider range of materials.
Though we are always happy to help you locate resources and give you search tips, it is against state law for library staff members to engage in any conduct that might constitute the unauthorized practice of law; we may not interpret statutes, cases or regulations, perform legal research, recommend or assist in the preparation of forms, or advise patrons regarding their legal rights.

For those of us who love classic literature, Multnomah County Library is a great resource. There are Classics Pageturners book discussion groups at Hillsdale Library and Hollywood Library.  The book lists for those discussion series are below, and include the dates of the discussions in the annotations.  Following that are a series of lists of Western and non-Western literature from every era.

Here are the Classics Pageturners schedules:

Hillsdale Library Classics Pageturners,

second Saturdays, 3-5 pm


November 12, 2016, The Egoist: A Comedy in Narrative, by George Meredith


December 10, 2016, Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, by William James


January 14, 2017, The Iliad, by Homer


February 11, 2017, The Odyssey, by Homer


March 11, 2017, The Aeneid, by Virgil


April 8, 2017, A Bend in the River, by V.S. Naipaul


May 13, 2017, Street of Crocodiles, by Bruno Schulz


June 10, 2017, The Waves, by Virginia Woolf

Hollywood Library Classics Pageturners,

third Sundays, 2-4 pm


October 16, 2016, The Library of Greek Mythology, by Apollodorus


November 20, 2016, The Periodic Table by Primo Levi


December 18, 2016, A Vindication of the Rights of Women, by Mary Wollstonecraft


January 15, 2017, The Nibelungenlied


February 19, 2017, Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson


March 19, 2017, The Inspector General, by Nikolai Gogol


April 16, 2017, The Way of All Flesh, by Samuel Butler


May 21, 2017, Light in August, by William Faulkner


June 18, 2017, The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi), by Hermann Hesse


3M Cloud Library will no longer be available from Multnomah County Library as of November 1, 2016. Here's what you need to know if you are 3M Cloud Library user.

You will no longer be able to access the 3M Cloud Library app or website as of November 1. This includes checkouts, holds, suggestions for purchase and reading history. You should now place or re-place your holds on the OverDrive platform. The vast majority of the books are being moved to the OverDrive platform where you can check them out. 

Beginning October 3, 2016 titles from 3M Cloud Library will only be accessible via the 3M Cloud Library App. You may continue to access 3M Cloud Library content through the app until November 1. 

We're making this change because the library’s digital collection is growing in usage and in cost. We are continually evaluating the makeup of these collections and have decided to discontinue the the 3M Cloud Library service. The money the library saves can be redistributed to support digital services that are highly used. This process is projected to be complete by the first week of November.

Questions? Concerns? Let us know.




Making a differenceVolunteer Denny Hyde

by Sarah Binns

Denny Hyde is one of those people who are becoming rare in our constantly updating world: He's been on the same career path for 30 years. With most of his childhood spent in Portland, he attended H.B. Lee Middle School where he liked science and enjoyed building circuits and radios. But then the school offered an introductory computer programming course: “And I was completely hooked. I ignored everything else after that. I never went back to the radios,” he says with a smile.

While currently working full-time as a programmer for the university side of OHSU, Denny not only volunteers as a technology trainer, but also for Central Library's Tech Help program, a service he helped create. It all started when he answered an ad requesting volunteers to help with computer classes at the downtown library. As a technology trainer, he often stayed after class to answer questions about computers. These days, “You're expected to know certain things about technology,” Denny says, “but there are people who don't. How do they get started without paying lots of money for a class?” Seeing the need, Denny recommended that Central Library reboot a technology help service which he then led.
Tech Help currently takes place from 2-4 pm on Sundays at Central. Denny is always there, answering basic—and not-so-basic—questions from patrons who can walk in for help without an appointment. “We do have people who ask how to pay their phone bill and I have to tell them, 'Well, we can't do that, but go to your provider.' Or people who ask how to remove themselves from the internet, which is really a losing battle.” Mostly, Denny says, he's happy to be a Tech Helper because it makes a difference. “We need a safety net for people who have one or two questions about technology that, when answered, will make their lives simpler,” he says. He says he sees a wide range of people asking for assistance, even younger folks. “Just because you're used to technology doesn't mean you know how to use it,” he says.
Denny has a word of advice that will warm the hearts of any technophobe: “People have the same problems with tech stuff that they did 25 years ago, it's just different machines.”

A Few Facts About Denny

Home library: Washington County's Hillsboro Brookwood Library; volunteers at Central

Most influential book: Applesoft BASIC Programmer's Reference Manual. I spent many hours with this book to teach myself computer programming in high school. It started a hobby and career that's lasted over 30 years. I still have the same book on a shelf.

Guilty pleasure: Comic books. Saga is one of my favorites.

Favorite book from childhood: Encyclopedia Brown series. I would read each story twice while looking for clues to solve the mystery.

Favorite section of the library: Science fiction and fantasy.

E-reader or paper books: E-readers for technical books since they are easy to search, update, and carry. Paper books for everything else.

Favorite place to read: Home

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



Walk a mile in someone else's shoes, even if you're commuting by bus. These audiobooks are available on demand, through Hoopla, with your library card. Happy listening.

Banned Books Week is almost here and the 2016 Annual Report from the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse (OIFC) has been published.  A total of nine challenges were made in Oregon, of which three are teen and childrens books.  All of the books were retained in the libraries. See what you think.

The Brimstone Journals by Ron Koertge was challenged for 1) Sexual content unsuited to age and 2) Values (violence)
Written for teens, the poems reflect 15 different high school students in a school where violence is brewing.
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle was objected to for reasons of Sexual content unsuited to age.  This middle grade novel is a sequel to Federle's Better Nate Than Ever, the story of a 12 year old that wants to be on Broadway.  Now 13 and having won a part in a Broadway show, Nate must learn how to cope with the drama behind the scenes. 
Little Bill series by Bill Cosby was challenged as an inappropriate summer reading prize for children when there are criminal charges against the author.  The Little Bill series was written for beginning readers and promote a variety of values such as friendship and honesty and issues such as death.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Blu-ray coverMultnomah County Library offers Blu-ray Discs for check-out. You can find a complete list by searching bluray as a keyword in My MCL. You can check out a combined total of 30 DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.

About Blu-rays

  • You will need a Blu-ray player or a computer with a Blu-ray drive to watch a Blu-ray Disc. Some game consoles (e.g. Xbox One, PS3 and PS4) support Blu-ray discs as well. Blu-ray Discs will not play in a DVD player.
  • Blu-rays are a high-definition (HD) format, but you must be using HDTV or a HD monitor to watch in HD. Blu-rays can be viewed on a conventional monitor, but quality will not be high-definition.

Are you looking for a specific title, but you can't find it? Ask the Librarian.



Hands are hard to draw. So are feet, and faces! If you enjoy the challenge of drawing the human form, you might find some great images to work from in the Central Library picture file collection. Many files contain clippings focused on people, and classified by subject (according to library tradition). You’ll find specific folders for each of the following categories (among many others):

men's faces

For work focused on the human form and those tricky parts to draw, you might like to look at the picture files for Hands, Feet, Facial studies, Nude studies, and Portrait studies.

babyIf you’re trying to draw a person at a particular stage of life, you might find helpful images in the folders for Babies, Children, Adolescents, Couples, College life, Families,​ and Aged [people].

To draw a particular sort of character, you might seek inspiration in the files for Angels, Madonnas, Magicians, Gypsies, Pirates, Mermaids, and Jesters.

crowd of men

Is your subject a group? There are picture files for Crowds, Dancing, Demonstrations, Happenings...

Other potentially useful folders for finding images of people include: Biography (this section is huge, with many sub-categories of specific people, occupations, etc.), Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts, Caricatures, Duels, Labor, Occupations, Pageants, Peace Corps, Poverty, Sports, Theater, U.S. - Manners & customs, Utopias, and the Women’s movement.

As with the other images in the picture file collection, these were clipped from magazines, books, and other print materials between approximately 1920 and 2008. In addition to being a resource for images of the human form, they are also a view into how people were represented in American publications and visual media during this span of time. Browsing through them can be a candid trip through history.

Other posts in this Picture File Sampler blog series can be found here: Vintage FashionArtist's WorksBicycles & Tricycles.

Every September, libraries around the country celebrate the freedom to read whatever we choose during Banned Books Week.  This year, Multnomah County Library is hosting the event: Banned Books: Diversity, Inclusion & Respect on Monday, Sep 26 to highlight diverse comics.  Increasingly, books by diverse authors or about diverse communities wind up on the list of most challenged titles. Comic book authors M.K. Reed (Americus), Jonathan Hill (Americus), Anina Bennett (Boilerplate), Tristan Tarwater (Hen & Chick) and editor Hannah Means-Shannon (Dark Horse Comics) will discuss this trend and express a vision for how greater inclusion means a stronger future for intellectual freedom. This panel discussion is presented and moderated by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. This program is made possible by The National Endowment for the Humanities Fund of The Library Foundation.

collageMCL Makers is a DIY series that highlights Multnomah County Library Staff who make things in their spare time. In the past we have featured soapmaking with Anne and handspinning with Donna. Our next featured MCL Maker is Library Assistant Laura Simon.  When she's not using her talents at her branch to create lovely bulletin boards, flyers, and displays, Laura likes to make mixed media collages and handmade books, among other crafty things. Here she shares with us about mixed media collage.

How long have you been making mixed media collages?

I feel like I've been making collages my whole life! My mom taught me to see the creative potential of every tiny scrap, shiny bit and broken shard. She saved these things in a giant cupboard in our garage. That Craft Cupboard was my boredom buster. My sister and I could spend hours slathering glue onto old buttons, tissue paper, sequins and sticks.

How did you learn to collage?

As an adult, art wasn't really a part of my life. I realized how much I missed the process after I celebrated my 40th birthday by taking a mixed media class at Collage on Alberta. I went straight home and started my own Craft Cupboard, now an entire Craft Room, filled with all sorts of inspiring junk.

Have you used any resources from the library to further develop your craft? 

The strongest connection between the library and my artistic endeavors has always been the creative people I work with. There are so many makers in the library community! Of course there are also some amazing books that have passed through my hands over my  years working in libraries. A few of my favorites are 1,000 Artist Journal Pages: Personal Pages and Inspirations by Dawn DeVries Sokol; Pretty Little Things: Collage Jewelry, Trinkets, Keepsakes by Sally Jean Alexander; and Collage Discovery Workshop by Claudine Hellmuth.

Have you taught others how to collage or shared your skill in any way?

I have regular get togethers with a couple of my crafty librarian friends. For me, the process of creating while spending time with close friends is very therapeutic. I am often surprised by the artistic result. 

What advice do you have for the new crafter just starting out?

Don't overthink it! Jump in, get messy, embrace the chaos. 

For more information on mixed media collage and other creative exploration, check out this curated list


Are you thinking of starting a small business?  Or expanding the small business you run?  If so, the Oregon Small Business Fair is the place for you.  This free event features over 40 exhibitors (including the library, see below!) and workshops on a wide variety of relevant topics.  To learn more details or to register head to  The event will be held at Warner Pacific College this coming Saturday (9/17) from 8:30 am -2:30pm.

While at the fair, make sure to stop by table 11 in the McGuire Auditorium.  Library staff will on-hand, ready to share about our extensive small business resources.  You can also sign-up for a library card and grab some cool library giveaways.  If you can't make it to the fair, make sure to explore the resource lists below.

Hey, everyone, I'm David F. Walker. I write graphic novels (or if you prefer, comic books — it's all the same to me). I grew up reading comics (mostly Marvel), and to this day, I still love the medium. At any given time, I have stacks of comics and graphic novels all over my home, waiting to be read and reread. I'm a sucker for a good Young Adult novel, as I also dabble in YA. I love history, so I often spend what little free time I have watching documentaries. When I am not reading or writing comic books, I'm a filmmaker, journalist, and educator. My work includes Power Man and Iron Fist, Nighthawk (Marvel), Shaft: A Complicated Man, Shaft’s Revenge (Dynamite), Cyborg (DC), Number 13 (Dark Horse Comics), and the YA novel, Super Justice Force: The Adventures of Darius Logan, Book One.

Here are my picks:

The Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Perhaps the greatest book I have ever read. There isn’t much more than that to say. It makes me laugh out loud. It makes me cry. It makes me want to be a better writer.

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Two incredible examples of the storytelling possibilities found in the graphic novel medium, which serve as companion pieces to a larger story. I recommend reading Boxers first, but that’s not as important as reading both.

Eyes on the Prize – DVD

Produced back in the 1980s, this multi-part PBS documentary is the greatest jumping-off point for learning about the Civil Rights in America. In a perfect world, families of all stripes would sit and watch this together.

Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness

I love a good YA book (perhaps because I suffer from a case of arrested development). Whatever the case. The Chaos Walking series (The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men) is probably my favorite YA series. Ness is an incredible writer, and this series is riveting.

Will Eisner’s New York – Life in the Big City by Will Eisner

My absolute favorite comic book creator of all time, Eisner is best known for creating The Spirit, and some historians credit him with creating what we now know as the graphic novel. This collection of stories is the Eisner I love the most – a brilliant example of how image and text can become literature.

Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick

One of my favorite comic series currently being produced, it is a hard-hitting, hilarious, radical bit of speculative fiction that finds non-complying women sentenced to a prison on another planet. DeConnick and her creative team are dangerous in the best way possible.

The Central Park Five – DVD

Living in New York City in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it is difficult to describe the climate of what it was like to be young and black in a city that feared you. The infamous Central Park Park Rape case explains it with unflinching humanity, examining the gross miscarriage of justice that ocurred when five black teenagers were sent to prison for a heinous crime none of them committed.

Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor

Combining two forms of expression that I absolutely love – comic books and hip hop, Piskor’s exhaustive historical narrative is a revelation. Four volumes in, this is the graphic novel done brilliantly.

The Enemy by Charlie Higson

I saw an ad for this YA book in, of all places, a comic book. Having read Higson’s Young Bond series, I decided to give this a shot. I can only describe this as The Walking Dead meets The Lord of the Flies – and there are five more books in the series.

Concrete Park by Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander

One of the most over-looked graphic novels of the last several years, both volumes of Concrete Park are works on incredible art. Set on a planet billions of miles from Earth, where people of color and other minorities have been exiled, the series is as brutal as it is beautiful.

The Legend of the Mantamaji by Eric Dean Seaton

Eric Dean Seaton’s three-volume graphic novel series delivers to the superhero the diversity that is sadly lacking from so many other comics. The struggle to find true diversity in works of pop culture continues to be an uphill battle, but this series is a refreshing example of how to do it properly.

Slavery By Another Name – DVD

This PBS documentary is equally engrossing and heartbreaking, as it traces how slavery never really ended in the Untied States, it just became something else. This is one of those “missing” pieces of history that helps to explain the horrific inequities we see in this country, based on race and class.

A Band Called Death – DVD

On the surface, this a documentary about a forgotten proto-punk band being rediscovered after years of languishing only in the fading memories of a few people. But it is so much more. It is about family, and love, and commitment to your art, and how the key to immortality is art.

Feeling creative?  Needing inspiration?  Check out the OMSI Mini Maker Faire this weekend!  

Who are these makers, anyway? As the OMSI website says. "Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers.  They are of all ages and backgrounds.  The aim of the Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community."  

At the library we are big fans of makers!  We have programs, books and other resources to support our maker community.  We even have a Makerspace at our Rockwood Library for teens.  Because we love makers so much, we'll have a booth at the Maker Faire from 10am-5pm on Saturday (9/10) and Sunday (9/11).  And we're bringing a lot of cool stuff with us!  Stop by to sign up for a library card or to make a rubberband helicopter!

Hope to see you there!  If you can't come, make sure to check out the booklists below for some creative inspiration.



by Donna ChildsVolunteer Greg Frye

Polymath: someone who knows a lot about many different things: that is Greg Frye. A search assistant and e-books volunteer at the Capitol Hill Library, Greg works full time, yet volunteers at Capitol Hill on Sundays. He has earned a law degree, and volunteered as a mediator with Multnomah County Small Claims Court. In addition, he has a Masters in Education and a Masters in Library Science. He is also an accomplished fused-glass artist who sells his creations at the Saturday Market; he was involved in the 2014 Gathering of the Guilds in Portland, which featured artisans from around the country. He does tech support and has taught computing at Catlin Gabel School, as well as at the library. In his words, “I am comfortable with having a lot on my plate.” Since computer science is not among his many degrees, I asked about his path to computer expertise. His answer unveiled more interests: he started with technical theater as a youth, which led him to AV, which then evolved into computing.

Greg’s contributions at Capitol Hill are also varied. In addition to pulling holds from paging lists and helping with e-books, Greg has handled both incoming and outgoing holds and processed them, as well as locating them. He assists with various special library programs; he has worked on training videos for using e-books; he helps library users get set up and learn to borrow digital books and he completed age-friendly certification assessments at both Capitol Hill and another library, rating how useable the libraries are for older patrons.

Having worked in libraries all his adult life, Greg said what he most likes about them is the availability of so much information and different points of view on many subjects. Because he taught children at Catlin Gabel, he is especially concerned with opening young minds to new ideas. And if anyone embodies the love of pursuing information, learning, and ideas in many and varied fields, it is Greg Frye.

A Few Facts About Greg

Home library: Capitol Hill Library

Currently reading: Asking for It: the Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do About It,  by Kate Harding

Most influential book: works by M.K. Gandhi

Guilty pleasure: Fantasy, e.g. David Eddings

Favorite book from childhood: The Hobbit,  by J.R.R. Tolkien

A book that has made you laugh or cry: So, Anyway… by John Cleese

Favorite section of the library: I’m not sure I can pick just one. I like YA fiction, poetry, historical fiction, fantasy, mysteries.

E-reader or paper books: It depends on what I’m doing. Travelling? Give me the ease of multiple books on one device. At home? On lunch break? Paper any day.

Favorite place to read: Curled up on the couch with a snack and a beverage.

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


Moshow the Cat Rapper is passionate about many things: cats, cat ladies, music and creativity. He dropped by the library to share some of his favorite songs with us.
  1. "Handy Man" on JT by James Taylor. 
  2. "By Your Side" on Lovers Rock by Sade.
  3. "Blue Light" on Silent Alarm and streaming by Bloc Party.
  4. Tha Carter III by Lil Wayne
Oh, and Sushi's favorite book? The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle.


Kids aren't born knowing how to use a keyboard.  But in today’s keyboard-centric world, kids need to learn to type. Luckily, there are some good free online typing programs aimed at students.

The article  Ed Tech Ideas: Keyboarding Sites for Kids lists many links to other free typing games.

Need more help? Contact a librarian

In 2011, the  United States Department of Agriculture replaced the idea of the Food Pyramid with My Plate ,which gives you a plan to figure out what you need to eat to be healthy. But not everyone agreed that My Plate represented healthy eating habits. Healthy Eating Plate vs. USDA Eating Plate argues that the USDA plan was influenced by political and commercial pressures from food industry lobbyists. They said that their plan, created by experts at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, is better because it’s based on science.


There are also food pyramids created to represent traditional Asian, Latino, African Heritage, Mediterranean and vegetarian and vegan diets (scroll down on the linked page to view these). Which ones match the way you eat? If you need more help researching diet and nutrition, feel free to contact a librarian.



There’s lots of ways to measure yourself, and this video tells you some ways to do it.

If you are paying attention to calories, concerned about your weight, planning to exercise, or just want to check how healthy your are, check out these online tools. Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) measures the number of calories you burn even if you’re sleeping.  Your Body Mass Index is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight that will help you know if you are under, over or average weight.

You can look up how many calories you burn doing your favorite activities, or how long you should do an activity to lose weight, plus figure out the best exercise to lose weight. If you’re a runner and use a pedometer, you’ll need to measure your step length to figure out how far you run.

Your target heart rate can help you know how hard you should exercise so you can get the most aerobic benefit from your workout.

There are other health calculators you can use to help you assess your health, exercise, and vulnerability to disease as well. If you need more help, feel free to contact a librarian.