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La biblioteca pública refleja lo mejor del ideal estadounidense: un lugar donde todas las personas son bienvenidas y se encuentran seguras para aprender, crear, expresarse y explorar en maneras que mejoren sus vidas.  

Hoy en día, muchas personas y comunidades están sufriendo inestabilidad, discriminación y marginalización. Como nación, debemos abordar las enormes interrogantes y los retos que enfrentamos con el propósito de lograr una unidad más perfecta.  

En nombre de cada persona que trabaja en la Biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah, les ofrezco estos sinceros sentimientos a las personas que servimos: la Biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah es un lugar seguro. Ustedes son bienvenidos. Ustedes son personas valiosas. Estamos aquí para servirles, independientemente de su apariencia, sus creencias, el lugar donde nacieron, el idioma que hablen, a quien amen, sus habilidades, su situación de vivienda o cualquier otra forma en que ustedes se identifiquen.  

La biblioteca siempre ha sido y será para siempre un lugar donde las personas tienen la libertad de vivir, ser, pensar y decir sus propias verdades. Por favor, únanse a nosotros mientras nos dedicamos a este trabajo con bondad, inclusión, respeto y valor, aun frente a nuestras diferencias.

Vailey Oehlke

Directora de Bibliotecas

Vailey Oehlke, Directora de Bibliotecas

 

Wendy Red Star uses a variety of media to create her art, which draws from her tribal background (Crow) to explore the intersections of Native culture and colonialist structures. Her work has been shown at the Portland Art Museum, and as far afield as Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria.

Greetings, from Wendy Red Star and Beatrice Red Star Fletcher (my nine-year old daughter). Together we make up a mother/daughter artist collaborative duo. You can see some of our artwork at the Seattle Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum this month through December. Beatrice is an avid reader with a book in her hand at all times including at art functions, birthday parties, and the dinner table. I also love reading but my focus is on specialty books including, Native crafts, sewing, historical photography books on Native Americans, individual artist monographs, and anthropological books on the Crow Nation. I use these books for inspiration, knowledge, and references for art projects.

Here are my picks:

Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi

This book gives me endless inspiration about the possibilities of pattern making. Whenever I need a break from conventional patterns I take a look at this book. In the past I have tried to make a few of the patterns out of paper. This book is challenging and engaging and a fun way to spend the afternoon.

The Art Of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff

A seamstress's dream book! With over 350 diagrams and beautifully illustrated images demonstrating techniques to resurface, reshape, restructure and reconstruct using a simple square of fabric, thread and needle. This book truly brings out my inner nerd. I love spending hours analyzing each technique and dreaming up new ideas.

The Stars We Know: Crow Indian Astronomy and Lifeways by Timothy P. McCleary

My copy of this book is marked with underscores and notes in the margins. I have reread this book countless times and still find myself learning new information with each read. I am friends with the author, who I have worked with on projects including my solo exhibition Medicine Crow & the 1880 Crow Peace Delegation at the Portland Art Museum’s Apex Gallery in 2014. The observations of Crow star knowledge are fascinating. The old Crow stories are entertaining and eerily gruesome.

Crow Indian Beadwork (A Descriptive and Historical Study) by William Wildschut and John C. Ewers

This book is a great guide and resource to the art of Crow Indian beadwork from 1805 to contemporary times. The book includes several illustrations and photographic images of classic Crow designs. I use this book as a reference and a guide for my own beadwork.

Identity By Design: Tradition, Change, and Celebration in Native women’s dresses edited by Emil Her Many Horses

This is a gorgeous book filled with rich photographs of some of the best dresses and accessories of traditional Native women’s clothing. This book includes examples of historic clothing and contemporary trends across Native America. Filled with interesting essays and information that make it a valuable read.

Beatrice's picks:

When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad

It has lots of adventures and lots of mischief, like falling asleep in a crate between a goat and a bunch of geese and getting half your hair chewed off.  It is full of marvelous literature!

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

Nikki, the main character, has lots of awkward situations in her school life. Nikki has a lot of personality, and all of the Dork Diaries books have interesting plots filled with tons of funny moments. Also amazing illustrations.

Thea Stilton and the Cherry Blossom Adventure by A Geronimo Stilton

The Thea sisters travel to different places and learn about other cultures. The books are filled with interesting mysteries that the Thea sisters have to solve. There are amazing illustrations and amazing graphs.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic by Betty MacDonald

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle uses magic to engage young children to behave. The books are filled with interesting things like her house being upside down. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is an interesting character because she owns a well-mannered pig and she loves kids.

Baby Mouse Cupcake Tycoon by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm

Great book for young girls because it is about a girl mouse. Baby Mouse is very sassy, loves cupcakes, and has a wild imagination and a homework-eating locker. It’s awesome because every page is pink.

 

Maker MentorVolunteer Seph Bain

by Donna Childs

“Makerspace,” “maker movement,” “maker mentor,” are possibly not familiar terms, but they may herald the future. Spurred by President Obama’s call to promote science, technology, engineering, and math, and hoping to encourage creating over consuming, a movement is giving rise to makerspaces such as the one now at the Rockwood Library. Called a “collaborative learning environment . . . where young people (grades 6-12) learn real-life technology and engineering skills,” Rockwood’s 1000-square-foot makerspace offers instruction, workshops, mentors, and innovative technology tools like a laser cutter and 3D printers. The goal is to enable students to become comfortable with technology, and to learn by experimenting, while honing problem solving and critical thinking skills.

The Rockwood makerspace is supported by volunteer mentors, like Seph Bain, who offer workshops and guide students, motivating them, demonstrating possibilities, and pointing out risks. Seph’s introduction to Rockwood’s makerspace was pretty amazing. He was sitting on a plane, reading a Multnomah County Library book, when the passenger next to him said she worked there, was on her way to a conference for librarians to talk about makerspaces, and hoped to start one in Portland. By the time they arrived, Seph was ready to be the first volunteer mentor. For a while, he was the only adult, tucked in a small space at Rockwood in a pilot program with a few machines. A year later he is one of 10 adult and 9 teen volunteers in a new architect-designed addition to the library. Six days a week they help 12-15 students a day learn to work with computers, printers, a laser cutter, scanner, projector, vinyl cutters, sewing machines, and soldering irons.

When not at Rockwood, Seph works as a computer programmer and builder of puzzles for escape rooms. He describes himself as part of the Maker community, hobbyists in the Ben Franklin mold who experiment with science and technology. For example, thanks to Arduino, a computer on a chip, hobbyists can get into electronics. With the advent of adult makerspaces such as ADX in SE Portland, members can have access to a wide range of equipment, classes, experts, and fellow makers.

Despite his own significant experience, Seph admits to having learned by teaching the students and experimenting with Rockwood’s equipment. He believes the most effective way to encourage kids is to start a project himself; soon someone is looking over his shoulder wanting to know how to do that. And that, according to Seph, is his mission: showing them possibilities and hoping they take it from there.


A Few Facts About Seph

Home library:  Rockwood Library
Most influential book: The World As It Is by Voltaire
Favorite book from childhood: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
A book that has made you laugh or cry: Candide, also by Voltaire
Favorite section of the library: The Makerspace!
E-reader or paper books: paper book
Favorite place to read: bed

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

Casey Jarman is a music critic, writer and illustrator, contributing to The Believer, Willamette Week and Portland Monthly, among others. His latest work is Death: An Oral History,  a collection of conversations with people on the  topic of death. He will be talking about his new book at Wordstock, Nov. 5 at the Portland Art Museum and at Powells on Oct. 27 at 7:30 pm.

I wrote a book about death partly because I was sick of writing about music. That’s my background, for the most part: writing profiles of and doing interviews with musicians. I’m a nerd about songwriters and music production, but I thought I needed to write about something that shook me up a bit and challenged me. So I pitched a book of interviews about death, and I was lucky enough to have an editor go for it.

When I started the book, almost two years ago, I interviewed a retired Catholic priest in Eugene. We had a lovely conversation — it didn’t make it into the final book, but it still floats to the forefront of my mind often. When I got into my car to leave the church where we spoke, I tuned the radio to the local college radio station. The DJ was playing “Farewell Transmission” by Magnolia Electric Company. I felt a sort of buzz go through my body as Jason Molina, who himself died a pretty dismal death in 2013, sang “The real truth about it is / There ain't no end to the desert I'll cross / I've really known that all along.” And then, “I will be gone, but not forever.”

This sort of thing kept happening. The deeper I got into these intense interviews, the more I noticed themes of death and grief coming up in the music I loved. I started hearing these songs in a new light, because of the really personal discussions I was having with people. So I started keeping a list of songs that addressed death in a thoughtful way, and I started daydreaming about making a Death Mixtape that I could hand out after readings or discussions. Readings and discussions make me pretty nervous, but sharing a compilation of songs I love, that’s a joy. So here it is!

There are a lot of sappy, sentimental songs about death. There’s a time and place for those, I’m sure, but I haven’t found that time or place just yet. The songs on this list are funny or pretty or abstract. I tried to leave out songs that we’ve all heard a thousand times. Leonard Cohen doing “Hallelujah” is no less a wonder because we’ve all heard it a hundred times, but hopefully you'll find something new here.

1. “Poor Bastard,” Kyle Morton

The opening track from the Typhoon frontman’s recent solo debut, What Will Destroy You, finds its protagonist regaining consciousness in the midst of his own funeral. When he springs from his coffin, he announces, “I’m feeling so much better now, I want to thank you all for coming out — though premature, it truly means the world.” It’s a darkly funny tune, but the arrangement is deeply melancholy. Morton has spent years writing insightful songs about mortality, but this might be the first time he’s used an absurdist comic fantasy to get into it. It reminded me that many of the deepest and most moving conversations I had about death, while working on this book, also involved a lot of laughter.

2. “Undertaker,” Bry Webb

A brooding gothic folk tune with a funeral dirge brass arrangement that probably should have landed on the Boardwalk Empire soundtrack at some point. This one really only has a vague narrative, but I believe it. A small-town undertaker singing “all my enemies come back to me” gets me every time.

3. “This Woman’s Work,” Kate Bush

It’s so shocking to me that Bush wrote this incredible song for a mediocre John Hughes film starring Kevin Bacon. Ostensibly about complications during childbirth, to me it reads like a song about the frantic and overwhelming pause before grief. It has these cascading moments of sheer panic and confusion — I’m reminded of discussions I had with Jana DeCristofaro about Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s stages of grief refusing to proceed in an orderly fashion — but then it also has these distinct moments of clarity. It’s a wise and generous song.

4. “The Year That Clayton Delaney Died,” Bobby Bare

Like I said, there are many sappy country songs about death. This one, though — written by Tom T Hall — seems so honest and unvarnished. It’s a small story with little details that wouldn’t matter much to anyone but the narrator. It’s not a big sentimental number about some great American — it’s about a random guitar player that just made an impression on Hall when he was a kid.

5. “I Seen a Man Die,” Scarface

There are certain MCs who function more like journalists or ethnologists than entertainers, and Scarface is one of those. Even for him, “I Seen a Man Die” is a pretty deep dive. The third and final verse is especially striking: It’s basically Scarface coaching a young man through the process of dying, which reminded me a lot of talking with Katherine MacLean about guiding her sister to the unknown. Scarface’s version: “I hear you breathing but your heart no longer sounds strong / But you kinda scared of dying so you hold on / And you keep on blacking out because your pulse is low / Stop trying to fight the reaper just relax and let it go”

8. “Living Without You,” Randy Newman

It’s unclear whether the titular “You” in this song is deceased or just out of the picture, but it’s an incredibly visceral grief that a young Randy Newman touches on here, and it certainly translates to bereavement. Plain and direct and brutally honest. “Nothing’s gonna happen / Nothing’s going to change / Baby it’s so hard living without you.” The arrangement is totally flooring, too.

6. “King of Sorrow,” Sade

Thematically identical to “Living Without You,” only this has Sade’s notoriously sexy vocals and smooth production attached. “I’m crying everyone’s tears” is one of the most open-ended and compelling lyrics I can think of, though, and the total disregard for gender conformity in the chorus is something I greatly enjoy.

7. “Letter in Icelandic from the Ninette San,” John K Samson

I don’t know how you write a believable song from the perspective of a dying man when you’re not dying, but I think this is one. I do know that in Samson’s case, there was a lot of research about the actual Ninette Sanatorium in Manitoba. (On the same album, he also writes a song from the perspective of a graduate student who’s researching this Sanatorium, so it all gets very meta.)

9. “Don’t Interrupt the Sorrow,” Joni Mitchell

Good to get a little funky ’round the middle of the mixtape. “Death and birth and death and birth!”

10. “Joy & Pain,” MAZE

I got to see Maze in 2012. It was a life-changing event. This is a marquee song for the band. It’s healing in its simplicity. It also keeps the funky middle-bit of the mixtape going strong.

11. “Dead Slate Pacific,” John Vanderslice

A song about mental health, suicide, and anxiety. Different readings could make it feel guilt-trippy or sweet. After years of hearing it, I’m still not sure which reading I subscribe to.

12. “Priests and Paramedics,” Pedro the Lion

I talked to Pedro co-founder David Bazan about this song, wherein a paramedic debates whether it would be best to tell a dying man that he’s dying or not, and a priest decides to reveal his own battle with depression mid-eulogy. He felt like he should have given the story another twist. But I like it just the way it is, Bazan’s bleak vocals and all. If you haven’t checked it out, Control is one of the great rock records of its era.

13. “Funeral Song,” Laura Gibson

I won’t claim to know what Gibson, a dear friend of mine, is getting at here. To me, it sounds like a story about the whole world — even inanimate objects — coming together to mourn. And there’s something very pretty about that, beyond Gibson’s great voice and playing.

14. “Even The Good Wood Gone,” Why?

I thought this was a nice bookend to pair with “Poor Bastard.” Instead of waking up in his casket, this song’s protagonist wakes up as a museum pharaoh with a “No Flash Photography” sign hung around its neck. Songwriter/frontman Yoni Wolf’s transition from rebirth to a much less exotic death is pretty compelling, too. Something about the whimsical, baroque instrumentation here just does it for me, too.

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.

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.

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

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.

The Night Circus arrives without warning. What was an empty field by day becomes transformed by night. A city of tents appears as if by magic, drawing people through the dusk to the soft-twinkling lights and the smell of warm caramel in the air. When the guests arrive, they hardly know where to go first. One tent contains a frozen world of ice and snow all in shades of white and silver, making the visitor feel as though he has been transported into his own personal snow globe. In another a mysterious woman reads the future in her cards. In another, guests climb to the top of the tent by way of  a maze of soft clouds and, reaching the top, gently float back down to the ground.

Le Cirque des Reves showcases the purely fantastical next to the usual entertainments one might expect - the contortionists, the jugglers and of course, the magicians. What the guests don't realize is that the night circus exists only incidentally as a place to while away an evening: the circus is really a giant game-board. At its center are two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who are destined to compete in a battle to out-magic one another, a battle that will lead to the death of one.

Though Erin Morgenstern's book is already in high demand, it is well worth the wait. The Night Circus is a delectable treat of a novel, a fantastical, almost architectural dessert that is almost too beautiful to eat, but you won't be able to resist.

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

 

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.

 

Polymath

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

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