Blogs

Many members of our community have questions about how President Trump’s January 27 Executive Order, #13769, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” will affect them and their loved ones. While the library does not offer legal advice, we can refer community members to a wide variety of resources.  Here is the official Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection Questions and Answers about the Executive Order.

This page on local low-cost legal resources for immigrants is a great place to start. Another useful resource for information on this topic is the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which includes up-to-date explanations of policy changes and finding an immigration lawyer. ACLU of Oregon is another good source for legal questions about immigration status and civil rights.  For refugees, the Refugee Center Online offers resources on a variety of legal topics in a wide range of languages, including information on recent executive orders and other policy changes.

Localy, Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) is a key organization in Portland serving recent arrivals. The Muslim Educational Trust is a nonprofit educational organization that addresses issues faced by the Muslim community in the Portland area, including travel and immigration, as well as presenting interfaith events and programs. MultCo Global is a Multnomah County site that seeks to support county staff, as well as nonprofit and government partners, who serve immigrant and refugee communities.

Please seek legal counsel for legal interpretation of these and other court rulings regarding Executive Order 13769.   Here is a brief summary of some of the initial cases:

Immigration is one of many issues that have been in the news lately. We know that it can be hard to keep up with all of the important topics that affect our lives; please think of the library whenever you are looking for more information or trying to find a reputable source. We are here to connect everyone in our community with the information they need. Please contact us.

You face a lot of challenges when you are transitioning back into the community. The library can help you find resources to help you deal with those challenges and get back on your feet. The Change Center teacher shares a poster; link to the Change Center.

You are not alone.

MercyCorps Northwest’s Reentry Transition Center provides a variety of services, including helping with immediate needs like clothing, meals, and access to phones and Internet. The center also helps ex-offenders work towards long term goals of education, employment and driver’s license reinstatement.

The Change Center is the only adult education program in Oregon working exclusively with adults in transition from jail, prison and treatment programs. They offer GED classes, job search assistance, and apprenticeship preparation for construction trades and connections to apprentice training programs. SE Works also has several programs for community members leaving jail or prison who are looking to re-enter the workforce or improve their job skills.

The national organization Fair Shake is dedicated to supporting the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated people into society. Their website includes employment and education support, free web page and email hosting, and other resources and tools for the formerly incarcerated and their families, employers and community.

Pathfinders of Oregon program Parenting Inside Out has been specifically designed to provide support for parents who are on parole and probation.

For other social services, contact 211info.org by dialing 211 or texting your zip code to 898211 to start a live conversation.

Your library card gives you access to so much.

Take advantage of free computer classes, assistance for job seekers, personal finance information, literacy assistance and resources for parents, not to mention books, ebooks, movies, and audio on any subject you can imagine. And you can always contact a helpful librarian with any question -- even if you don't have a library card, we're glad to help you!
 

穆鲁玛郡图书馆将于年宵会摆设摊位穆鲁玛郡图书馆将于年宵会摆设摊位

一年一度的年宵会, 將于二月四日星期六 (上午十时至下午五时), 在俄勒岗会展中心举行。(详情可参阅波特兰新闻)

穆鲁玛郡图书馆将于年宵会摆设摊位,提供有关文化, 饮食, 健康等等的资源及书籍,並有华语职员为大家介绍及解答有关图书馆各类活动的资料。欢迎各位到图书馆的摊位与我们見面!

Tết Nguyên Đán Năm Đinh Dậu 2017Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!

Chúc quý vị Năm Mới An Khang Thịnh Vượng. Năm nay, thư viện sẽ có quầy hàng ở Hội chợ Tết tại Oregon Convention Center. Chúng tôi sẽ có sách và phim cho mượn, các tài liệu về những chương trình phục vụ của thư viện, và quà tặng miễn phí. Mời quý vị đến tham dự và vui Tết với chúng tôi.

Chi tiết:

Thứ Bảy, Ngày 04 Tháng 2 Năm 2017

Giờ: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Địa điểm: Oregon Convention Center – Exhibit Hall C

Recently I had a heavenly vacation most of which I spent on the couch drinking tea and reading British police procedurals.  I'd been in a mystery rut; I had stalled in some of my favorite series and felt the need for something fresh, so I brought home a stack of newish books and cracked their spines.  Here are a few of the mysteries I read, all of which were written in the past few years and are either stand-alones or series starters.  If you need some fresh blood in your (reading) life of crime, check these out!

She's Leaving Home book jacket1968 London. It might be swinging for some, but for one teenager, it's deadly. DS Breen has just left another policeman alone in a dangerous situation and isn't very popular at the moment.  When a teenage girl is found lying naked and dead close to Abbey Road, Breen and his female (and newly minted) detective constable are on the case.  Can Breen redeem himself?  Can DC Tozer make a go of it in CID, a department completely dominated by men?  I loved experiencing the officers' struggles as they dealt with the challenges of the late 1960s in She's Leaving Home by William Shaw.

Moving into the 21st century, policing (and finding a guy to date) is still not necessarily easy for a woman.  DS Bradshaw is on the cusp of forty and is not particularly satisfied with her circumstances. She gets a chance to take her mind off her crappy life when a young woman goes missing from her home leaving a trail of blood.  It's up to Bradshaw and a team of detectives from Cambridgeshire to figure out what happened in Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner.Coffin Road book jacket

In Coffin Road, a man washes up on an island in the Outer Hebrides with no idea who he is. It's possible he may have killed a man, and he and the police separately try to figure out the mystery of his identity.  This is as much a thiller as a police procedural - we see the mystery mostly from the point of view of the unidentified man.  The setting was fantastic and I got to learn about a real life mystery that took place on the Flannan Islands.

For more British police procedurals written in the 21st century, take a look at this list.

Thank you for your patience as we dig out of the winter storms and their effects. We know you have questions about how that impacted your account and your library items - we'll do our best to answer all of them.

St Johns Library in the snow

First of all, don't worry! If you can't get items back to the library right away after the storms, we can help. We understand the challenges of the last week or so and we're committed to working with you.

  • Late fines won't be charged for the days the library was closed.
  • We also won't charge late fines for the past week or so. We'll do that to give you a chance to return items and give us a chance to get caught up.
  • We are also keeping holds on the shelf for a few extra days.

If you can't get into a library, contact us. We can extend due dates and holds, and fix any problems with late fines. Thanks again for your support of the library.

Volunteer Extraordinaire

by Donna ChildsVolunteer Jean Frazier

Having just celebrated her 90th birthday, Jean Frazier is the oldest volunteer at the Multnomah County Library’s Title Wave Used Bookstore, but that may not be the most interesting thing about her. For example: 
  • At 90, she still volunteers three days a week, one at the Title Wave and two more in the ophthalmology department at Kaiser Permanente
  • A lover of dance, Jean not only took aerobic dance for years, but she is looking for a new Zumba class because the one she was taking wasn’t vigorous enough.
  • She worked the graveyard shift for the railroad switching office, walking the rails to keep track of the cars.
  • Although she taught herself to use the AP wire equipment (receiving, developing, and printing transmissions) at the now defunct Oregon Journal, they couldn’t hire her because she was not yet 18.

Family tradition led Jean to both her railroad and newspaper jobs. Her father and her grandfather had both been railroad men, and her father was a newsman at the Journal. Jean worked for the newspaper during World War II, leaving right before D-Day. After the war, Jean met her husband, a history professor who taught at PSUPacific University, and the University of Washington, among others. His specialty, cultural geography, led him to amass a large collection of maps and slides of cities, buildings, and bridges.

In addition to raising two sons, Jean worked at the PSU bookstore for 21 years and for another six years at the Portland Public Schools. After her sons were grown and she had retired, Jean volunteered at Kaiser Permanente, where her mother had worked. Wanting to do more, she came to the Title Wave in 1998. She sorts, prices, shelves, and manages the store’s paperback fiction, a task she loves because she sees all the books as they arrive. Her favorite parts of the job are “the books and people,” being around books and people who care about them. “I’d be bereft without it.” A World War I and II history buff, she also makes weekly trips to her local Hollywood branch library to see what’s on their shelves. Not bad for a 90-year-old!

 


A Few Facts About Jean
 
Home library: Hollywood Library
 
Currently reading: Anne Tyler
 
Favorite book from childhood: The Oz books and Heidi
 
Favorite section of the library: Fiction, history, and biography
 
E-reader or paper books: Paper books!

Favorite place to read: My chair by the front window or in bed

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

 

IRS 1040 form with penMultnomah County Library is here to help with tax season. All library locations can access state and federal tax forms and instruction booklets online as they become available. Library staff members are happy to help print what you need. Printing costs 10 cents per page; two-sided printing is available.

Thanks to the AARP, the library will offer filing assistance programs at the Central, Midland, Gresham, Woodstock, and North Portland locations. We can also help refer you to tax professionals.

Federal Hard Copy Forms

This year, libraries will have the Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ and some acompanying instruction booklets. All locations will have reference copies of the 1040 Instructions and Publication 17: Your Federal Income Tax. We can't promise when forms and booklets will be available, or that we won’t run out, but you can always download and print federal tax items from the IRS Forms & Publications page. You can also direct questions to the IRS offices in Oregon. Of special note, neither the 1099 and 1096 forms nor any of the W series (W-2, W-4, etc.) are available for download. Many office supply stores have the 1099 forms or you can contact the IRS directly to have those mailed to you.

State Hard Copy Forms

Public libraries are no longer a distribution center for state tax forms and booklets. If you need Oregon forms or booklets, you can come into the library to print them or do it yourself from the Oregon Department of Revenue page. If you want forms mailed to you, then you can contact the Oregon Department of Revenue via:

Other States

You can stop by the library for assistance printing out tax forms for other states, or you can go to the Federation of Tax Administrators State Tax Forms & Filing Options, which provides links to tax forms for each state.

Dusty adding machine keysOnline Filing

Once the tax season officially opens, both the IRS and Oregon Department of Revenue will have listings for online filing services. Remember, state and federal taxes are due by April 18th this year.

 

Tax Help/Filing Assistance

Volunteers with AARP will be offering preparation assistance through Tax Help at four different Multnomah County Library locations beginning in February. Keep your eye on the events listed to the right of the library's Taxes page or search the Events page for "taxes." Requirements to get tax help vary by location:

  • Central: Sundays, 10:00-2:00; all appointments are full for this tax season.
  • Gresham: Wednesdays, 12:00-5:00; all appointments are full for this tax season.
  • Midland: Fridays, 12:00-4:00; Saturdays, 12:00-4:00; all appointments are full for this tax season.
  • North Portland: Thursdays, 12:30-4:30; same day registration, in-person only. Arrive at 10:00 AM opening for best chance to secure an appointment.
  • Woodstock: Saturdays, 12:00-5:00; same day registration, in-person only. Arrive at 10:00 AM opening for best chance to secure an appointment.

If you can't make it to the library for tax help, you can find other locations for tax preparation assistance through the AARP's Tax-Aide Locator, CASH Oregon and the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

 

 

 

 

Zahir Janmohmaed, Soleil Ho and Alan Montecillo are the brains behind the podcast The Racist Sandwich. Together, they examine the politics of food and the ways we consume, create and interpret it. From discussions about racism in food photography to interviews with chefs of color, they hash out a diverse range of topics with humor, grace and very little pretension.
 
Zahir's picks:
 
1. Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart
This is one of the sharpest memoirs I have ever read. Shteyngart writes about immigrating to the U.S. as a Russian Jew and his struggle to adjust to life in America. 
The book is so incredibly funny that it is easy to forget that underneath the humor is a profound exploration about identity, immigration, anti-Semitism and the former Soviet Union. I can't recommend it enough. 
 
2.  The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro 
There are very few books that have made me sob. This is one of them. Ishiguro's masterpiece, published in 1989, won the Booker prize that year and deservedly so. The novel centers around a butler, Mr. Stevens, and his conflicted feelings towards his former colleague, Miss Kenton. Skip the movie, which turns this incredibly complex novel into a love story alone. It is that too, but it is also an examination of complacency, bigotry and blind allegiance to tradition. 
 
3. Orientalism by Edward Said
Admittedly this might not be the best book to take to the beach but no other book has had a greater influence on me than Said's. This book was published in 1978 and remains a seminal text in understanding post-colonialism. Said's essential argument is that Orientalism is the exaggeration of difference, the presumption of Western superiority, and the application of clichéd analytical models for perceiving the "Oriental" world. When we started our podcast, Soleil Ho and I spoke at length about this book and how our podcast was an attempt to take Said's theory of Orientalism and apply it to the world of food. 
 
Soleil's Picks:
Nguyen blasts open the banh mi paradigm with this book, and every recipe in it is stellar.
 
I love Bryant Terry’s mission to place the plant-based diet within the context of African diasporic cooking, and I especially love his suggested musical tracks to bob your head to while you’re working though his recipes.
 
3. Koreatown: A Cookbook by Deuki Hong
Oh, the banchan! The language in this book is so light and familiar, and it’s lovely to read various notables' fond memories of Korean food. 
 
Alan's Picks:
1. Red Sorghum by Mo Yan
I think Americans should read more Chinese literature. Here’s one place to start. This is a sprawling, visceral, multi-generational tale of a sorghum winemaking family in China. It takes you through pivotal moments in modern Chinese history, from the Japanese invasion in the 1930s all the way through the Cultural Revolution. Mo Yan’s writing has been compared to the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I don’t know enough about Marquez to judge whether that’s accurate, but I will tell you that I first read this six years ago and its images and descriptions have stuck with me.
 
Dr. Gawande shows us how the medical system is ill-equipped to deal with the reality of modern aging. But more fundamentally, this book will change the way you see old age, medicine and dying itself. 
 
Even if geopolitics isn’t really your thing, I recommend this book. And if you’re a generally curious, politically-minded person who wants to read something that will challenge your view of the world, you should absolutely read this book. The South China Sea is an abstract news headline to many Americans, but for millions of Asian-Americans and the hundreds of millions of people who live in Southeast Asia, it’s one of the most important issues of our time. Kaplan’s hard-nosed realism can be tough to swallow — and I don’t know if I necessarily agree with all of his conclusions — but it’s a sober and sharp reminder of how complex the world is.

 

 

 

Публичные   библиотеки -  это  безопасное  место  для участия в общественной жизни и воплощение  лучших  черт американского идеала. Это место, где рады всем, где для улучшения качества жизни можно безопасно учиться, творить, выражать себя, проводить исследования .

В настоящее время множество людей и сообществ испытывают нестабильность, дискриминацию и социальную изоляцию. Как нация, мы должны решать серьёзные проблемы и отвечать на вызовы, с которыми мы сталкиваемся в поисках более совершенного единства.

От имени каждого сотрудника Библиотеки округа Малтнома, я адресую эти искренние слова людям, которым мы служим: Библиотека округа Малтнома – это безопасное место. Добро пожаловать! Мы ценим вас. Мы работаем для вас и   помогаем  вам  вне зависимости  от того, как вы выглядите, во что вы верите, где вы родились, на каком языке говорите, кого вы любите, вне зависимости от ваших способностей, жилищных условий или любого другого признака, определяющего вашу личность.

Библиотека всегда была и будет оставаться местом, где  люди могут свободно находиться, думать и выражать своё собственное понимание правды. Пожалуйста, присоединяйтесь к нам, потому как мы, невзирая на все наши различия, работаем  на принципах доброты и уважения.

Вэйли Олк (Vailey Oehlke)

Директор библиотек

18 ноября 2016 г.

Vailey Oehlke
 
 

 

Hasn’t 2016 been a doozy of a year? A friend of mine told me he wants to get some lighter fluid to incinerate his calendar. I told him I thought I might need explosives for mine.

Lately I have been trying put in some effort every day to make the world a little better. I go to demonstrations, give donations to worthy causes, subscribe to two good newspapers, and email my representatives in state and federal government. But once bedtime comes along, I need to leave this world behind and get lost in a novel. It's not a time for books that are esoteric, demanding, or very dark. My ideal escape read sucks me right into the story and gets me involved with its characters. If I especially like some of those characters, all the better.

The Bookshop on the Corner fit the bill perfectly. It tells the story of a laid-off librarian who buys a van, turns it into a portable bookshop, and moves to Scotland. The author's vision of Scotland is charming and cozy, full of perfect nooks for reading, gorgeous landscapes, cheap and lovely flats, handsome Scottish lads, exceptionally delicious toast, and, of course, many opportunities for reader's advisory. I loved it and have spent the last month forcing it on my librarian pals, who also love it.

In case you need some escape reads, too, I made you this list. And if you know of any excellent books that will whisk me away and guarantee me a good night’s sleep, please let me know. I think I’ll be needing these for a while to come.
 

If you're a zinester, you make zines! If you are new to zines and have never made one: zines are usually handmade paper booklets that anyone can create. Want to give it a try? Here are some directions for turning one piece of paper into a basic zine: a version to view online or a version to print. See below for more resources about making zines and books.

Whether zines are a new idea or an old friend for you, the library abounds with inspiration and resources for your creative project! Consider these:

Crap Hound 8 - Superstitions

The Central Library Picture File is an astounding resource: thousands upon thousands of magazine and book clippings, organized by subject. These can be checked out and photocopied or scanned (you can’t cut them up and paste them in your zine, though!). Do you need the perfect picture of a bluebird, or an ancient computer, or children’s clothes from the 1960s? Look no further! Ask about the Picture Files at the Art & Music reference desk on Central Library’s third floor.

Of course clip art can be found online, but clip art books are a pleasure to browse and use. Many of these come with a CD containing image files that you can download to your computer for resizing, editing, etc. A real gem of a clip art resource is found in the series of books called Crap Hound - each volume is created around a theme or cluster of themes (Superstition; Church & State; Hands, Hearts, & Eyes are a few), and the images are laid out in the most appealing, artful way.

Women of Color zine #12The library’s zine collection is full of examples of zines and minicomics made by zinesters and artists from near and far. Zines can be browsed online in the library catalog (use the subject heading Zines or search by author or title, or try our book lists), placed  on hold, and checked out just like other library materials. I recently read the most recent issue of Women of Color: How to Live in the City of Roses and Avoid the Pricks , a collective zine made by a group in Portland - the theme of this issue, #12, is zines! It contains comics, diagrams, and short prose pieces, perspectives on making zines and community. It's really great.

How to Make Books by Esther K. SmithFor more technical information about making zines and books, you might enjoy browsing some of our books about bookbinding - I recently stumbled upon How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith, which has instructions and lovely illustrations for a range of homemade books, from instant zines and accordion books to more elaborate stitched books and Coptic binding.

Portland has an amazing zine community. Here are two local resources you must know about:

The Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) has a gigantic and wonderful zine library, classes, and tons of equipment that members can use to make zines: typewriters, art and printmaking supplies, computers, scanners, and of course, copy machines. 

The Portland Zine Symposium is a local event, held annually in July, where zinesters gather to show, sell, and trade their publications. There are workshops, panels, and discussions about zines, independent publishing and DIY culture - it's free, and really fun and inspiring. 

Thư viện công cộng phản ảnh được điều tốt nhất trong mẫu mực của quốc gia Mỹ: một nơi tất cả mọi người đều được chào đón và an toàn để học hỏi, sáng tạo, thể hiện và tìm hiểu những phương cách làm cho cuộc sống của họ tươi đẹp hơn.

Hiện tại, một số lượng khá đông người dân và các cộng đồng đang gặp phải những bất ổn, bị phân biệt đối xử và không được xem trọng . Cùng một quốc gia, chúng ta cần phải giải quyết các câu hỏi, các thử thách lớn lao chúng ta đang gặp phải, trong việc xây dựng một liên hợp hoàn hảo hơn.

Thay mặt cho mỗi một nhân viên làm việc tại Thư viện Hạt Multnomah, tôi xin gửi những lời chân thành tâm đắc tới quý vị, những người chúng tôi phục vụ:

Thư viện Hạt Multnomah là một nơi an toàn. Quý vị được chào đón. Quý vị được trân trọng. Dù quý vị vẻ ngoài như thế nào, quý vị đang tin tưởng ở điều gì, quý vị sinh ra nơi nào, quý vị sử dụng ngôn ngữ gì; Dù cho quý vị yêu thương ai, khả năng như thế nào, tình trạng nhà ở ra sao hay bất cứ định dạng nào khác mà quý vị nhận, thư viện chúng tôi ở đây là để phục vụ quý vị.

Thư viện đã luôn luôn và sẽ mãi mãi là nơi mà mọi người được sống tự do, được là chính mình, được suy nghĩ và nói lên lên ý kiến của riêng mình. Hãy cùng chúng tôi đón nhận điều này với lòng nhân ái, sự hòa hợp, sự tôn trọng và lòng dũng cảm, ngay cả khi đối diện với các khác biệt giữa chúng ta.

Vailey Oehlke

Tổng Giám Đốc Thư viện

Ngày 18 tháng 11 năm 2016

Vailey Oehlke

 

公共图书馆体现了美国最美好的理念:一个所有人都受欢迎的场所,

在这里可用各种方法安全地学习,创造,表达和探索去改善人们的生活.

今天,许多群众和社区都正在经历不稳定,歧视和边缘化.

作为一个国家,我们必须解决所面临的巨大问题和挑战以便追求更完美的联盟.

 

我谨代表每位在穆鲁玛郡图书馆工作的人员,向我们服务的群众表达这些衷心的感言:

穆鲁玛郡图书馆是一个安全的场所.您是受欢迎和尊贵的.我们在这里为您服务,

不论您的样貌,信仰,出生地点,所讲的语言,您爱的对象,您的技能,您的居住状况或您其他的特征.

 

图书馆一直都是并永远维持着作为一个供人们可以自由地生活,体验,思考和说出自己真实经历的场所.

即使我们之间存在着差异,但请加入我们一起以仁慈,包容,尊重和勇气来完成这项工作.

 

Vailey Oehlke

图书馆总监

2016年11月18日

Vailey Oehlke

 

Photo of a bench in a park, covered in snow [by Benson Kua, via Wikimedia Commons]Winter is here and the weather is getting cold.  Do you need a safe place to warm up? 

All Multomah County Libraries are heated (even when there's not a cold snap!) and they're great places to visit when you need a break from the cold.  All Multnomah County Libraries are open seven days a week -- and there's a handy map you can use to find the library nearest to you.  Come visit us!

From November to March, local governments and nonprofit organizations offer additional shelter beds for men, women, and families.  In addition, daytime warming centers open up across the metro area whenever there is particularly severe weather. 

211info is the best place to find up-to-date listings for warming centers and overnight shelters during winter's cold weather.  To reach them by phone, dial 2-1-1 (toll-free from most phones). You can also get current shelter listings from 211 by texting "pdxshelter" to 898211. 

Or, pick up a free paper copy of the Rose City Resource at your neighborhood library -- it's a great all-around guide to local public services and public assistance, published by Street Roots newspaper. 

Here are some listings of winter shelters and warming centers by location:

If you are part of a family with children under 18, you can find a place to stay or a place to get warm in Multnomah County's list of shelters for families.

Would you like tips on safely "weathering" a cold snap?  Take a look at the American Red Cross's information on cold weather safety, or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's advice about staying safe and healthy in winter.

If you have a pet, you want to take care of them too!  Both the ASPCA and the American Veterinary Medicine Association have some helpful cold weather safety tips for pets.


Questions? Call, text, or email a librarian to get personalized help -- or ask the librarian on duty the next time you're at the library.  We will do our best to find the right resource or service for you!


 

 

Attention middle and high school educators: are you looking for good, new books to use in the classroom? Watch these videos, in which librarians from the Multnomah County Library School Corps introduce recently-published titles to use in the curriculum. We've broken them down by subject for convenience in viewing. Feel free to share the videos with other educators, too! Here’s the complete list of titles from this workshop.

Perhaps you’d prefer to learn about new middle grade fiction to use with book discussion groups or literature circles? Check out our Novel-Ties videos. Each title includes discussion and extension ideas. In addition to use in book groups and classrooms, these titles are great to recommend to individual children and young teen readers. You can also find a list of the featured titles in the library catalog.

The videos are best viewed on desktop or laptop computers.

If you missed our in-person summer Gotta Read This workshop for grades K-5, the reading list is now available in the library catalog.

Happy reading!

"How do you teach people to love each other's differences?"Volunteer Kim Donovan

by Sarah Binns

When Kim Donovan and her husband moved to Portland from the Sacramento area last year, she left the third-grade classroom where she’d been teaching since 2008. Unable to find a teaching job here, Kim didn’t let that deter her passion for education: “I said, ‘I’m going to the library, someone’s going to need my help!’” Kim was right and she is now a committed ambassador for Multnomah County Library’s Let Every Adult Read Now (LEARN) program

LEARN is a one-on-one tutoring program for adults who want to learn to read. Volunteers have partners, learners, with whom they meet weekly. Kim delights in sessions with her partner. “I’ve gained a friend that never would have happened otherwise,” she says with a smile. In the span of their few months together, Kim’s partner has progressed from a 2nd to a 3rd-grade reading level. “It’s fun to watch her grow and see her get excited that she can read and have more confidence in daily life,” Kim says. Many of us take this confidence to participate in day-to-day activities, such as identifying ingredients on food labels, navigating the computer, and reading the mail, for granted. Building this confidence is the mission of the LEARN program. Launched in 2010, LEARN is led by Lisa Regimbal, the adult literacy coordinator, and always needs more tutors. You can apply by signing up through the Multnomah County Library website

The thing about Kim, though, is that LEARN is just the tip of the iceberg. “I volunteer everywhere,” she laughs. “I’m a teacher, I give back.” Kim volunteers with the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, the Cub Scouts, and at Philip Foster Farm, a pioneer historical site where twice a week she dresses in period costume and teaches Oregon history. “Sometimes I don’t have time to change so I go to the grocery store in my costume!” she says. It’s easy to be in awe of everything she does. 

Kim also participates in Multnomah County Library’s Talk Time program, in which people meet to practice their English conversation skills. Both LEARN and Talk Time feed into Kim’s ultimate passion to teach and encourage the love of books. “How do you teach love?” she asks. “I learn so much from people’s different stories. How do you teach people to love each other’s differences?” Kim seems to be doing just that through all the work she does for the Multnomah County Library community. 

A Few Facts About Kim

Home library: Gresham Library

Currently reading: Children’s books to read to her grandkids over FaceTime

Most influential book: Scripture such as The Bible and The Book of Mormon
Favorite book from childhood: Roald Dahl: as a teacher, she loved to read The BFG and The Witches to her students.
A book that has made you laugh or cry: The BFG because “The kids laugh, then I laugh, then the kids laugh some more.”
Favorite section of the library: Magazines and children’s section
E-reader or paper books: “I almost prefer e-books because I don’t have to keep them on a shelf. But some books you just have to touch!”
Favorite place to read: A chair at home by the fire, looking out at Mt. Hood.

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

 

I was feeling like hell had just frozen over. Eagles-Album Art

Greg Frye rescued me.  (See his story here and check out his list. If you are going through a personal climate change crisis, it may help. It won't hurt.

Here's what Greg has to say:

I am a former teacher, a long-time volunteer at Multnomah County Library, and recent Master of Library and Information Science graduate from the University of Washington. Part of what I enjoyed about that education was thinking about how the library profession can become more inclusive – whether we’re talking about who is in the profession, who is served by libraries, or who and what is represented in library collections. In keeping with those discussions, I have recently read authors from around the world, several of whom have challenged my perspectives, understandings, and world views. Here are a few of my favorites so far.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. This is a well-crafted interweaving of two realities – one of the 1984 as many in Japan might have lived it, and a concurrent but alternate one only some people experience. Who lives in which reality? Is it possible to move from one to the other and back? Murakami presents a story that is part social commentary, part surrealism, and part thriller. A wonderful experience! (If you’d like to get a feel for his style, but don’t have time to commit to a multi-hundred page read, try Murakami’s The Strange Library – a short tale of a surreal library experience.)

Headhunters, by Jo Nesbo. Written by one of Norway’s most well-known authors, this is the fast-paced story about a professional whose work as a corporate headhunter cannot sustain both his extravagant life-style and the fledgling art gallery his wife opened. In order to bring in enough money, he has turned to art theft and forgery. Nesbo tells a wonderful tale that has twists right up to the end.

Maps by Nuruddin Farah. This novel follows Askar, a Somali boy orphaned at the moment of his birth, who was taken in and raised by an Ethiopian woman named Misra. They live in a Somali village, where Misra is an outcast because of her heritage; she is later accused of betraying the village to her native country during the war between Ethiopia and Somalia. The story reveals Askar’s struggles during the turbulent war years to find his way and his identity, while determining where his loyalty lies. Told with elegant prose, strong characters, and vivid descriptions of life in these two Africans nations, this is a beautifully written book.

Life & Death Are Wearing Me Down by Mo Yan. A humorous yet sometimes agonizing tale of several generations of family as they live through China’s Cultural Revolution. Yan’s use of the cosmic cycle of reincarnation allows one of the story’s protagonists to see how his world changes, how his family and region evolve, and ultimately to come to terms with the misfortune he experiences early in the book. An excellent novel, but be prepared to chart relationships if you really want to follow all the detail Yan offers.

And finally, two from much closer to home to help shift perspectives.

Genocide of the Mind edited by MariJo Moore. This series of essays by modern Native American authors offers great insight into the experiences of Native Americans today. It presents historical as well as current and future-looking works. What does it mean to live as the “vanquished” indigenous peoples of a country like the US or Canada? This book offers some great perspectives.

The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture—and What We Can Do About It by Kate Harding. A no-holds-barred, sometimes sassy, sometimes incredibly sarcastic, always pointed look at rape culture – what it is, how it influences people of all ages and genders, implications it has for equality (or lack thereof), and what might be changing to help us get past it. Well researched and written, a good read for anyone wanting their eyes opened and their perspectives challenged.

 

 

The public library reflects the best of the American ideal: a place where all people are welcome and safe to learn, create, express and explore in ways that better their lives.

Today, a great many people and communities are experiencing instability, discrimination and marginalization. As a nation we must address the enormous questions and challenges we face in pursuit of a more perfect union.

On behalf of every person who works at Multnomah County Library, I offer these heartfelt sentiments to the people we serve: Multnomah County Library is a safe place. You are welcome. You are valuable. We are here to serve you, regardless of how you look, what you believe, where you were born, what language you speak, who you love, your ability, your housing status or any other way that you identify.

The library has always been and will forever remain a place where people are free to live, be, think and speak their own truths. Please join us as we embrace this work with kindness, inclusion, respect and courage, even in the face of our differences.

Vailey Oehlke

Director of Libraries

Vailey Oehlke

 

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