“I’ve always been a computer person.”
by Sarah Binns
Dennis Pham is one of those people who does it all: “I go to school full time, work part time, then volunteer,” he says. For the past three years that volunteer time has been spent at Midland Library, where he started to earn volunteer hours for school: “Then I met the staff and it just felt right. I’ve kept at it ever since,” he says. Dennis was first a computer assistant and is now a lab assistant. “That’s more my style,” he says of his new position, “overseeing all of it!”
A Woodstock native, Dennis now lives near Pleasant Valley with his family. Having “always been a computer person,” he’s studying for his bachelor’s degree in mechanical or chemical engineering at PSU. He’s also a production operator at Siltronics, a semiconductor manufacturer. Seeing how the machines work and knowing colleagues who’ve been with the company forty or fifty years inspires him: “One day that’s gonna be me!” he laughs.
While he sometimes works as many as 70 hours a week, Dennis says that’s just fine and the job helps him pay for school. It’s a wonder he still finds time to volunteer, but he doesn’t want to give it up, especially since he likes working with computers. “Computers are better than shelving! As a branch assistant there’s lots of the same thing over and over again—with computers it’s a different question every day.”
Midland’s computer lab operates simultaneously and in the same room as the library’s drop in tutoring for adults. Lisa Regimbal, Adult Literacy Coordinator, notes that there is significant crossover between basic computer literacy and literacy. Though Dennis doesn’t volunteer with the adult literacy program, Lisa thinks he is an outstanding partner and is always willing to help with room set-up and computer issues.
Dennis also sings the praises of the library staff. “I like working with Lisa,” he says. “I think Lisa is amazing for getting that program started there, I look up to her.” He adds he wants to give a “shoutout to Darrell, Jesse, Maureen, Alán,” and the rest of the staff “for making my days awesome. They’re a really good crew, especially the branch assistants,” he says with a beaming smile. Given his commitment and enthusiasm for Midland, it’s easy to see how Dennis keeps coming back—and why the staff call him “an outstanding volunteer” right back!
A few facts about Dennis
Home library: Midland
Currently reading: “Not reading anything right now, just studying.” He does read lots of articles for school and work.
Favorite book from childhood: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. “He was my favorite author at the time.”
Most influential book: War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. “It stuck with me. It made me think anything can happen!”
Favorite browsing section: Sci-fi and then WWII historical. “I also like to brush up on nonfiction.”
Book that made him laugh or cry: Overlord, a Japanese series, made him laugh. But, he says, “I’ve laughed at a lot of books.”
Favorite place to read: “Mostly I just read on my bed after 8pm. I’m a night reader.”
Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.
Can’t remember when your divorce was final? Need a copy of your birth certificate? Trying to remember when your parents got married? Looking for your grandmother’s death certificate? These are all examples of vital records: documents related to a person’s birth, marriage, divorce and death. If you’re looking for any of these, the library is here to help!
There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for vital records at Multnomah County Library:
- Public libraries don’t keep archives of public records. You can request copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates from the Oregon Center for Health Statistics.
- The library does have indexes you can use to verify vital records information in Oregon. However, these indexes don't cover all time periods -- and the most recent year is 2008.
- The library has a wealth of genealogical resources including useful blogs on topics such as finding obituaries and researching house history.
- Many historical vital records are available from the Oregon State Archives.
- Library staff are always happy to assist you in your vital records search. Please call us at 503.988.5123 or email a librarian anytime.
Getting copies of vital records
Most vital records in Oregon are available through the Oregon Center for Health Statistics. Because there are restrictions on who has access to these records, you will need to provide a significant amount of information about yourself and/or the subject of the vital record. Also keep in mind that the Center for Health Statistics charges fees for vital records. The more research they have to do, the higher the fees.
In order to ensure you receive the correct record, expedite your order, and potentially save yourself some money, you can consult the Oregon Vital Records Indexes available at the library. These indexes provide the name(s) of the individual(s), the county in which the event occurred, the date, and the record number. You can use these indexes yourself at the Central Library or contact the library and have a staff person search for you. Should you need vital records for states other than Oregon, check the Centers for Disease Control's list Where to Write for Vital Records for every U.S. state and territory.
The state of Oregon began recording births in 1903 but there is no statewide index to birth records. If you need your own or an immediate family member’s birth certificate contact the Oregon Center for Health Statistics.
For genealogists, birth certificates more than 100 years old can be accessed by anyone. If you need local birth records, you can use the Ledger Index to City of Portland Births which is focused on the years 1881-1917 within the city of Portland. Keep in mind, however, that the city was much smaller then than it is now.
If you need to verify marriage information, Multnomah County Library has the Oregon Marriage Index (1906-1924, 1946-2008). This index is organized by the name of either the groom or bride and is also available through Ancestry Library Edition (accessible only in the library). To get a copy of your own or an immediate family member’s marriage certificate, contact the Oregon Center for Health Statistics.
For genealogists, anyone can request a marriage certificate more than 50 years old. In Oregon, counties issue marriage licenses, so to find records that are not included in the Oregon Marriage Index you can check the Oregon Historical County Records Guide.
If you need to verify divorce information, Multnomah County Library has the Oregon Divorce Index (1946-2008). Online, Ancestry Library Edition (accessible only in the library) also has Oregon Divorce Records, 1961-1985. If you need a copy of your own or an immediate family member’s divorce certificate, contact the Oregon Center for Health Statistics. If you need the full court record and divorce decree, you will need to contact the issuing court, usually the county circuit court. To help, Multnomah County Archives & Records Management has prepared a handy guide to obtaining divorce records and decrees.
For genealogists, anyone can request a divorce certificate more than 50 years old. If you’re looking for the court records, some counties have all of their circuit court records but others turned over their older documents to the Oregon State Archives.
If you need to verify death information, Multnomah County Library has the Oregon Death Index (1903-2008). This index is also available through Ancestry Library Edition (accessible only in the library). If you need a copy of an immediate family member’s death certificate, contact the Oregon Center for Health Statistics.
For genealogists, anyone can request a death certificate more than 50 years old. You can also search for local deaths before 1903 using the Ledger Index to City of Portland Deaths (1881-1917).
If you still have questions about vital records or other genealogical research questions call or email a librarian to get personalized help. If you’d rather have face-to-face assistance, ask the librarian on duty the next time you visit the library. We're always happy to help!
Looking to learn more about issues of equity, social justice, and activism? Teaching Tolerance offers lots of free online articles and curriculum. The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors hate groups, and has good information about them. Social Justice in Action: 100 Key Websites and Organizations lists lots of websites that have specific social justice focuses, like civil rights, housing, disability, heath rights and more. And The Best Teacher Resource Sites for Social Justice shares a lot of websites that are useful for students, educators and classroom activities.
by Donna Childs
It is not surprising for library volunteers to be book lovers; in fact, it might almost seem a requirement. But Anne Pearson takes volunteering with books to a new level: she not only volunteers at the Hollywood Library, she has also served on the Board of the Friends of the Library—as Chair two years—and she works at a local children’s bookstore.
According to the staff at Hollywood, Anne brightens everyone’s day when she comes in to volunteer. She is “an efficient, reliable, hard-working volunteer [who] is also so nice and fun and always has great reading recommendations and delicious restaurant reviews and recipes to share.” Furthermore, she’s a good sport who is willing to do whatever needs doing, though her primary task is searching paging lists and pulling holds every Friday morning. Anne’s motivation for volunteering at Hollywood is a desire to help the library that has brought her much pleasure, as well as finding new books to read and recommend. And as a lover of cooking, she shares recipes as enthusiastically as she does book recommendations.
A former member of the Friends of the Library Board, Anne served as Chair in 2006-07 and 2007-08. Much of her work involved advocating for passage of a levy to continue library services, and meeting with various groups to discuss the need for the levy. Her work on the Board reinforced Anne’s belief that those of us in Multnomah County are “lucky to have such an amazing library system.”
Always an advocate for reading, Anne works two days a week at A Children’s Place (Portland’s oldest independent children’s bookstore), where she is in charge of choosing and buying books for the “Good Reads for Moms and Dads” section of the store, which includes books for moms and dads as individuals, not only as parents. Anne has clearly found a place—whether in the bookstore, on the Friends Board, or at the Hollywood Library—where her love of books benefits her and those around her.
Home library: Hollywood
Currently reading: I just finished A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles—LOVED it!
Most influencial book: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Favorite book from childhood: Half-Magic by Edward Eager
A book that has made you laugh or cry: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Favorite section of the library: Lucky Day
E-reader or paper book: Paper, although I love the convenience of e-books for travel
Favorite reading guilty pleasure: Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series—howlingly funny!
Favorite place to read: Any place cozy!
Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.
I love mysteries any time of year, but I especially enjoy them at the holidays when I usually have a little extra time off and can get cozy under a throw on the couch. Every December I try to read at least one mystery with a holiday or winter setting, but I missed out in 2016. I've made up for it this year by reading three in the last week. Sadly, my hold on Anne Perry's latest Christmas novel probably won't arrive until January, but fortunately there were many other newish titles to read including a book of short stories by P.D. James. Two of the stories in The Mistletoe Murder feature her famous detective, Adam Dalgliesh. The other two stories are up to her usual excellent standard as well. I love being totally surprised by an ending, and James delivers!
While I generally prefer police procedurals, I’m willing to give cozy mysteries a try during December. You can’t get any cozier than Bitter Poison by Margaret Mayhew, what with its English village, a retired colonel, and a Christmas party that ends in death. If you, too, would like a good Christmas mystery, treat yourself to one on these lists.
I used to call the teen non-fiction section “Sex, drugs & rock ‘n roll” because it consisted largely of books on puberty, the dangers of drug use, and boy bands. Happily, this collection has changed and broadened in scope over the last decade and there are some truly fascinating books that will appeal to teens (and some adults as well). Here are two new titles I enjoyed reading this month:
Sasha is taking a nap on the public bus on the way home from school. It’s an hour ride, so sleeping is a good way to pass the time. Part way into the journey, Richard and his buddies get on that bus. They’ve got a lot of energy and are fooling around when one of Richard’s friends hands him a cigarette lighter and dares him to set Sasha’s skirt on fire. When Richard bows to the pressure and flicks the lighter, everything changes. One bus, one lighter, two teens and a crime that will alter their lives forever. This compelling true story by Dashka Slater will make you think about crime, justice, gender and race in ways you may never have before.
Have you ever had a nightmare that stuck with you long after it was over? In Allison’s sophomore year of high school, she dreamed that she had brain cancer and was going to die young. When she woke up, she was convinced that her nightmare was a reality and she started doing everything in her power to counteract the cancer. It started out by not stepping on cracks, but then morphed into avoiding all sorts of things. Blue pens were not okay. The computer emitted cancer-causing rays. Using notebook paper? Nope. Food became an issue as did her clothing. In a few short months, her obsessive-compulsive disorder had turned her life completely upside down. I knew this girl was in trouble long before her pink sweater started throwing an attitude. The question for me was, why didn’t her parents? Obsessed by Allison Britz is a frightening memoir of one girl’s descent into mental illness and her fight to regain her life.
Here are ten books from the teen nonfiction collection that I’ve enjoyed over the last few years.
by Sarah Binns
At twenty-five, Iggy Peterson has lived in many places and read many books, but he keeps coming back to Portland and the Woodstock Library. “I started volunteering there when I was 17,” he says, “but then I moved across town and stopped for a few years.” He returned to Woodstock last year and was quickly selected for a 2016 Multnomah County Citizen Involvement Award. As a search assistant (the same position he held when he was a teenager), Iggy processes a list of nearly 250 books to pull from Woodstock’s shelves to fulfill holds for patrons. “It turns out I really enjoy clerical work,” he says with a laugh. “I like that everything is in its place and that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.”
Before the clerical work, though, Iggy was in a bit of a quandary. Born in Portland, Iggy and his family lived in Washington state and D.C. before returning to the Eastmoreland area. Growing up, he read a lot, especially sci-fi and fantasy books, but waning interest in school and complications at home meant that he dropped out of middle school. Shortly after this, he remembers thinking, “Hey, I like books! Maybe I’ll work at a bookstore!” But then he passed the Woodstock Library and inspiration struck: he started volunteering there two days a week.
Over time, Iggy has given approximately 350 hours to Woodstock. While he works one day a week now, thanks to a full-time job, his love of books and that “clerical work” encouraged him to apply for a recent access services assistant position with MCL. “Hopefully I can get past the lottery!” he says.
When not volunteering Iggy works as a line cook at local favorite Scottish pub Rose & Thistle, reads, plays video games, and hangs out with friends. When I ask if he wants to stay in Portland he nods. “It would be hard to move away from somewhere where I’m happy,” he says. Here’s to another 350 hours at Woodstock -- and beyond!
A few facts about Iggy
Home library: Gregory Heights, “But I usually grab books from Woodstock.”
Currently reading: On Blue’s Waters by Gene Wolfe
Most influential book: Hard to say, but possibly The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. “It made me think a lot. How she made an anarchist society work… it was well done.”
Guilty pleasure: Older 60s sci-fi
Favorite browsing section: Fiction
E-reader or paper: Paper
Book that made him laugh or cry: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.
Favorite place to read: “My room."
Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.
Pri is an Indian-American teen living a pretty ordinary life: she loves drawing comics, eating Indian food, and watching Bollywood films with her family. One thing isn’t ordinary in Pri’s life, and that’s how her mom absolutely refuses to talk about India or Pri’s father -- whom she left there before Pri was born.
One afternoon, an old trunk tumbles out of Pri's closet, and in it she finds a beautiful sari that she wraps around her shoulders. And in that second, her world turns from a dull black and white to gorgeous technicolor. This sari transports her to the India of her dreams, filled with delicious dosas and breathtaking scenery. But a dark shadow begins to follow her there, and not everything is what it seems. Pri will have to be braver and bolder than she’s ever been before to track down the sari’s secret, and her family’s history. This heartwarming graphic novel about the power of our choices is a great read for strong young girls, and for those in need a bit of strength.
Children with little or no preschool have the hardest time starting kindergarten. And their parents may be unsure how to help them.
The Early Kindergarten Transition program helps these families tackle the challenges kindergarten will bring. It’s held before school starts, over two to three weeks in late summer.
A kindergarten teacher leads a class for the kids each day during the program. Once or twice a week, parents attend a class, too. They learn what to expect from school and how to help their kids succeed.
The library has been a dedicated partner in these parent education classes ever since Portland Public Schools started the program seven years ago. The program today includes 43 SUN schools in six districts. Multnomah County librarians are active at all of them.
We model reading aloud to kids with an interactive storytime, and we introduce parents to the library and all the ways we can help — such as homework help, English classes, family programs, and books in their native languages.
This year, in addition to partnering on parent education classes, the library provided about 2,000 gently used books for child care locations at every site. (Child care is provided during parent education classes.)
We also signed up people for library cards and Summer Reading, and gave a free book to each of roughly 600 families.
From one PPS educator: "I know all of our parents that attended the library session were happy about our librarian. I myself enjoyed her way of reading the book to children — showed us how easy it can be to read to any child. Everyone enjoyed all the takeaways from that session."
What do authors Mac Barnett, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Claire Messud all have in common? Any guesses?
If you guessed that they’ll all be at Wordstock: Portland's Book Festival presented by Bank of America on Saturday November 11, you were right! Prefer books by Gabrielle Bell, Jenny Han or Matthew Zapruder? You’re still in luck! The list of authors coming to Portland’s book festival is sure to provide something for everyone.
Make sure to bring the young readers and writers in your life along, because everyone under 18 gets in for free. The rest of us get in for a mere $15 ahead of time or $18 at the door. Either way admission includes a $5 voucher to use toward the purchase of a book. Not sure which book to buy with your voucher? Come chat with us at the library booth and we’ll help you sort it out.
You’ll also want to catch librarians facilitating author panels throughout the day. We’re getting pretty excited to meet our favorite authors! We’ll be using Twitter and Instagram to share our experiences at Wordstock. Follow along with #wordstalking and #PDXBookFest.
If you can’t come this year or if you want to prepare by doing some last minute reading, check out our lists of Wordstock books below.
Daniel Handler is the author of the novels We Are Pirates, The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs, and Why We Broke Up, a 2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Book. As Lemony Snicket, he is responsible for many books for children, including the thirteen-volume sequence A Series of Unfortunate Events and the four-book series All the Wrong Questions. He is married to the illustrator Lisa Brown, and lives with her and their son in San Francisco. His most recent novel is All the Dirty Parts. You can catch him at Wordstock, or at the pre-festival variety show on Nov. 10th.
What books are on your nightstand?
Our Dead World by Liliana Colanzi, translated by Jessica Sequeira, Something Sinister by Hayan Charara, and Theft by Finding, David Sedaris's diaries.
What authors, films, music, illustrators inspire you?
What’s the most exciting part of the work you do?
All of it is exciting. Right now I am on the road talking about my new books, and occasionally jotting some notes in the very beginning phases of thinking about a new novel. I am meeting people who are saying interesting things about my work, and I am staring into space where the beginning of a story is maybe, maybe appearing.
What are you looking forward to at Wordstock 2017?
I'm hoping to catch Kaveh Akbar — his poetry is very exciting to me. But I like the serendipity of a festival. You wander around and before you know it you are hearing words you never thought you would encounter.
Last month the library introduced a set of updated rules for public feedback. We heard and read hundreds of your comments, questions and suggestions. This was valuable input, and we revised the library rules that take effect November 1 as a result.
While most of these rules have been in place for years, people took this chance to reflect on how they think of and use their library. Our community’s feedback centered on access: for children and families exploring a new world of reading and learning and for those with the fewest resources and the most challenging circumstances.
Based on this feedback, we removed the proposed limit on beverage sizes, changed policies around restroom use, clarified wording regarding service animals and improved language to better support the library’s commitment to inclusion.
Each day, 19 Multnomah County libraries are open to serve everyone with a focus on exceptional customer service. We work hard to create a welcoming environment. The library’s rules serve as a foundation for maintaining this environment. We will continue our work, listening and learning how we can improve library service.
On behalf of the more than 600 people who work for the library, I thank you for your engagement, for your support and for your patronage of Multnomah County Library.
Irie Page is about to turn 14. Instead of, say, a birthday sleepover, she has planned a gift for her community, a free event featuring Mike Domitrz, the founder of the Date Safe Project and a consent educator for kids, teens and adults. The funny, interactive presentation that he gives to teens and adults is called "Can I Kiss You?", which is also the title of his book. It focuses on how to have healthy, safe relationships and how to both avoid sexual assault and avoid sexually assaulting someone else. Her family raised money online to pay Domitrz's speaking fee, and after the story was covered on the local news, they got all the funding they needed. The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 9th in the Lincoln Recital Hall at Portland State University. PSU has waived the rental fees in support of Irie’s event.
I first met this remarkable young woman at the reference desk at my library when she was just a little kid signing up for our Read to the Dogs program. We book lovers who work at the library always notice the passionate readers, the ones who leave with huge stacks of books they’re obviously eager to dive into, and that was Irie. When she was old enough, I suggested that she volunteer for our Summer Reading program, giving out prizes to kids for reading, and she brought huge enthusiasm to this as well. When she told me last summer about the event she was planning, we decided to put together a book display. Irie chose all the books herself. If you can’t get in to see the display, here’s the list.
“After I saw Malala speak, I was inspired to do something for my community,” Irie told me. She originally wanted actress and feminist Emma Watson. "That's not going to happen," her mom told her, and then suggested Domitrz. When Irie happened upon a book here at the library about philanthropy parties, her idea took off.
“I’ve always seen things in the world and thought, ‘That’s messed up. I want to change that,” said Irie. Like Malala, the Pakistani advocate for girls’ rights to education, she decided she could make a difference. She chose to start here, in her own city.
Liz Crain is the co-author of the Toro Bravo cookbook and author of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland and Grow Your Own: Understanding, Cultivating, and Enjoying Cannabis. She is a cofounder of the annual Portland Fermentation Festival. Her most recent work is Hello! My Name is Tasty. Catch her at Wordstock at A Literary Dinner Party.
What books are on your nightstand?
Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray by Adam Federman which will be published this fall. The book's publisher, Chelsea Green, sent me a copy and I've been really enjoying getting to know more about this rest-in-peace British food and travel writer born in 1917. Patience is known among other things for her love of foraging, her fierce independence and for living the last 30 years of her life in a remote area of southern Italy with her Belgian sculptor husband, Norman Mommans. They had no electricity, modern plumbing or even a telephone.
I'm about to start the debut novel Marlena by Julie Buntin. My friend Jess and I just started a book club of two. I've never been in a book club because I find the larger groups with several members challenging and just not for me. She and I are going to take turns choosing a book by a woman writer every month and then when we meet up to discuss the book at the end of the month we'll meet somewhere for food and drink that the narrative somehow inspires. I also always have a bunch of cookbooks and magazines that I subscribe to around that I'm reading — Food & Wine, The Believer (it's back!), The Sun, and Koreatown: A Cookbook.
What's the most exciting part of what you do?
All of my writing projects are passion projects so choosing what's next is always a rush. I had three books come out over the course of three months this summer so I was pretty dang busy. Too busy to give much thought to what next. Now that those launches have all passed and those books are out in the world I'm getting energized about what next. The ideas sticking at the moment are a cookbook on pressure cooking, a hard cider book, a cookbook for Shalom Y'all and finishing (finally!) my novel.
What are you looking forward to at Wordstock (at the Festival, pop-ups, and/or Lit Crawl events)?
I'm really looking forward to the Literary Dinner Party panel that I'm on, of course, but also to hanging out with my boss and dear friend Rhonda Hughes and talking with folks and selling books at the Hawthorne Books table. I've worked there as an editor and publicity director since 2009. I always really enjoy visiting with friends at various publishing houses that I love, particularly Sasquatch Books, Tin House and Catapult/Counterpoint/Soft Skull. Julie Buntin, the author of Marlena, is going to be at Wordstock this year. I really hope I get to attend the panel that's she's doing with my friend Rachel Khong who edited Toro Bravo and also has a debut novel out that I loved — Goodbye, Vitamin.
Will you give us some food/restaurant recommendations in Portland?
I actually wrote about that last year for Wordstock. One spot that I love that got cut off from that list is Maurice. Oh and I'll also add that the previous location of Pollo Bravo is now Shalom Y'all which I also highly recommend.
In 1990, former President George H.W. Bush signed the proclamation declaring the month of November as Native American Heritage Month. The proclamation celebrates and recognizes the accomplishments of the peoples who were the original inhabitants, explorers and settlers of the United States of America.
Looking for somewhere to start finding information about a specific tribe? The library has book recommendations and databases that provide historical information about Native Americans including daily life (language, food, shelter, clothing, culture etc.), for readers and researchers of all ages.
Interested in researching your own Native American ancestry? The American Indian Records in the National Archives provides information on how to get started with your research. We also invite you to visit your local library branch to use the genealogy database, or contact the library for individualized booklists or to make a one on one appointment with one of our friendly staff members.
The library will also be hosting programs for all ages throughout the month to celebrate the rich history of the original inhabitants and settlers of the Pacific Northwest.
- Exploring Ancient Native American Techonology - Try out your own engineering skills while discovering technologies designed by Oregon's first engineers.
- Native American Indian Storytelling and Drumming - Listen to traditional stories and songs of the Kalapuya people of the Willamette Valley.
- Dream Catcher Weaving - Participate in a workshop to learn about the history and mystery behind the dreamcatcher while weaving your own.
- Meet DASH'KA'YAH and COYOTE - Shoshone-Bannock poet and storyteller Ed Edmo will be be sharing stories of DASH'KA'YAH and COYOTE that will delight all ages.
- Personal Totems - Listen to traditional Native American stories and poems while you create a totem pole that represents aspects of your personality.
- Native American Jewelry Making - Use traditional items such as bone beads and leather to create one-of-a-kind jewelry.
- Columbia River Native Basketry - Join Pat Courtney Gould as they discuss and present the timeless artform of twined baskets.
- Stinging Nettle for Cordage - Learn about sustainable nettle harvesting methods to make cordage or yarn.
- A Lens on Contemporary Indigenous Art & Culture - Meet contemporary Klamath Modoc artist Ka'ila Farrell-Smith as they share their art practice and philosopy. They will also give a overview of intersectional Indigenous, people of color (POC) artists and collectives.
- Ethnobotany of Kalapuya - Learn about the traditional plants and cultural heritage of the local Kalapuya and Chinook tribes.
- Columbia River Native Women - Learn more about the lives of Columbia River Native Women and their roles in both traditional and modern Native American Indian society.
- Edible Native American Food Plants - Learn about which berries are edible when you are out hiking, and how Native Americans used food plants like huckleberry, cedar, sweetgrass and other plants for basketry and medicine.
por Donna Childs
Imagínese venir a un país donde no conoce el idioma, las sensibilidades, la geografía o las costumbres, y tomar la decisión de ofrecer servicios de voluntariado en la biblioteca local. Hay que tener valor, ¿no?
Elizabeth Cobos llegó a los Estados Unidos desde Oaxaca, México, hace ocho años. Ella superó su temor a lo desconocido y fue a la Biblioteca de St. Johns con la intención de convertirse en un gran ejemplo para su hija pequeña, Allison, y por su deseo personal de aprender, de ayudar a los demás y de ser útil.
Elizabeth es una asistente de búsquedas en St. Johns, adonde se dirige semanalmente para ayudar a buscar los materiales que están reservados. Aun cuando desconozca el significado de todas las palabras en un título, ella puede encontrar en el estante el libro que corresponde a la lista, lo cual la ayuda a familiarizarse con palabras nuevas. Aunque todo le resultaba extraño al principio, su trabajo le ha gratificado y le complacen las ocasiones cuando ha podido ayudar a hispanohablantes a utilizar los recursos de la biblioteca. Según uno de los bibliotecarios, Elizabeth ha ofrecido recomendaciones útiles para mejorar los servicios y programas en español de St. Johns. Ahí valoran sus contribuciones y ella le está muy agradecida a la biblioteca por darle esta oportunidad para desempeñarse de manera profesional y poder ayudar a otros miembros de la comunidad.
Deseosa de aprender inglés y participar en la vida de su hija y de la comunidad en general, Elizabeth asistió a una clase para madres e hijos en el prekinder de su hija y a una clase de inglés como segundo idioma (ESL) en Portland Community College; ella trabajó de voluntaria como asistente de maestro en un programa de Head Start bilingüe durante dos años y piensa trabajar como voluntaria en el salón de clase de kindergarten de su hija. También espera comenzar pronto en Mount Hood Community College el programa Transitions/Transiciones, que alienta y prepara a los estudiantes a comenzar o seguir sus estudios profesionales (ella cursó tres semestres universitarios en México). El objetivo final de Elizabeth es hallar un empleo que le permita trabajar con niños o en una biblioteca. Este parece un objetivo muy apropiado, dado su enfoque en la familia y la comunidad, así como su ánimo y determinación.
Algunos datos interesantes sobre Elizabeth
Su biblioteca local: St. Johns.
Lectura actual: a Elizabeth le gusta leer libros ilustrados para niños junto con su hija porque las imágenes la ayudan a aprender inglés, mientras que ayudan a su hija a aprender a leer.
El libro más influyente: El alquimista (The Alchemist) escrito por Paulo Coelho.
Libro favorito de su niñez: el libro infantil favorito de su familia es Un beso en mi mano (The Kissing Hand).
Su sección favorita de la biblioteca: libros de no-ficción y autoayuda o autoestima como Un corazón sin fronteras (A Heart without Borders), escrito por Nick Vujicic.
¿Prefiere libros electrónicos o en papel? En papel. Además, los videos de libros como El principito (Le Petit Prince), la ayudan a aprender palabras desconocidas.
Lugar favorito dónde leer: en cama con su hija y su esposo, o sola en el sofá a la luz de una vela.
Headed to the Macular Degeneration and Vision Expo on Saturday, October 28 at the Doubletree Hotel? In between learning about new adaptive technology options, stop by the library table to check out an audiobook or large print book and learn about our free online content. If you show us your library card (or sign up for one) we’ll give you a prize!
Can’t make it to the event? Learn about the accessibility resources we have for the blind and people with low vision on our website. Check out our large print and audiobook collections. Need some reading suggestions to help you narrow down those choices? We've got you covered. Prefer to access your books online? Learn how to use the Libby App to download ebooks (it's easy to make the font bigger!) and audiobooks. Just ask if you need any help.