Blogs

Photo of a cameraYou need a photo or an image for a project you’re working on. You need it fast. You don’t want to pay anything to anybody, or get sued for copyright violation. Luckily, there are a lot of sources on the Web for finding royalty-free images! (Royalty-free = you don’t have to pay any money to use it.) Here is a list of some of the best websites for finding these types of photos and images. Is there a website that you like to use? Add a comment and let us all know!

The creators of many of the images on these websites are giving up some of their copyright protection and allowing you to use their photos and artwork. However, they may have usage rules that they require you to follow: for example, they might ask you to attribute the creator of the image if you use it. (Attribution = including information, on your website or wherever you use the image, saying who made the image and where you found it.) Before you copy or use any image, it’s a good idea to look at the webpage for the image and check for usage or licensing rules. I’ve included links to the general usage rules for many of the websites in this list.

Creative Commons logoCreative Commons Search - http://search.creativecommons.org: Creative Commons is an organization that creates standards for sharing content on the Web (photos, videos, writing, anything!) This webpage has buttons to search many different websites for images and other content that are free to use based on Creative Commons standards - choose a website and then type in your search. Searchable websites from this page include Flickr, Google Images, Wikimedia Commons, and more. Usage information is included on the bottom of the page, below the buttons for the different sites.19th century painting of an American schooner

U.S. Government Photos and Images - http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Graphics.shtml: This webpage gives links to many different government websites offering photos and other media like videos. There are links to photo sites for all sorts of topics, from science to space to money to military. The webpage includes this usage statement: “Some of these photos are in the public domain or U.S. government works and may be used without permission or fee. However, some images may be protected by license or copyright. You should read the disclaimers on each site before using these images.”

Children reading a wireless newspaperThe Commons - http://www.flickr.com/commons: The Commons is a section of the photo-sharing website Flickr which provides access to images from public photography archives at museums and libraries around the world. It’s a great place to find historic photos, and everyone (including you!) is encouraged to add comments and tags to the images. The photos on this site have “no known copyright.”

Encyclopedia of Life - http://www.eol.org: this website’s mission is to “increase awareness and understanding of living nature,” and it includes information and images on all kinds of living creatures, from moths to amoebas to mollusks to monkeys. It includes many images, most of which are free to use as long as you attribute the source. Here is a usage statement for the site.

Photo of a flowerMorgue File - http://www.morguefile.com: a morgue file is “a place to keep post production materials for use of reference.” In other words, it is a place to store things. In this particular online morgue file, you can find many high resolution stock photos. Here is a usage statement for the site.

Openclipart - http://openclipart.org/: Unlike many websites which offer photos to use, this site has royalty-free clip art (clip art = little images and drawings ready to use in electronic documents). You can even register and submit your own clip-art for other people to use! Here is a usage policy for the site.Scissors illustration

Are websites not your thing? Do you prefer books? Well, the library still has plenty of those. We have many books of illustrations and prints on all sorts of topics, most of them royalty-free. To find them, just do a subject search in the library catalog for “clip art.” You’ll find books with images of Victorian women’s fashion, birds, children’s book illustrations, fairies, and much more, many of them including CD-ROMs with computer files of all the images in the book. At the end of this blog post is a book list showing examples of the types of clip art books that the library owns.

If you still have trouble finding the images that you want, or if you have more questions about any of this, you know what to do: Ask a Librarian! We’ll be happy to talk more about it.

Images included in this post:

Watergate security log

 

This probably won’t come as a surprise but librarians like questions.  And we really like answers.  We like finding them and sharing them.  But there are questions that don’t work that way:  What is right and what is wrong?  When do you keep a secret?  Is it ever OK to break the law?  Where should a person’s loyalties lie?  Complicated in the best of times, when you enter the world of whistleblowers these questions really get messy.  It’s not that they don’t have answers, more that they don’t have only one answer.  And as the stakes get higher, often the answers are harder to pin down.

According to the National Whistleblowers Center, we have laws to protect people who “stop, report, or testify about employer actions that are illegal, unhealthy, or violate specific public policies”.  Seems pretty clear, right?  Well…only sort of.   It’s just that no one seems to agree on what counts as being whistleblower and what is just breaking the rules.  NPR reported a recent study that found that 55% think NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a whistleblower while 34% call him a traitor.  And any of you who are good at math will notice that those numbers don’t come anywhere near 100%.  So while we wait to discover Mr. Snowden’s future, let’s meet some other players in the whistleblowing world.  And whether you prefer to read the Handbook, follow the official paper trail or sneak a look at Hollywood’s take, the library has you covered.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s  Whistleblower programs each received around 3000 tips from both private and public employees.  They oversee the laws to protect people when they come forward with information.  For many cases, this might be as far as it goes.  Does the relative anonymity of these cases make them any less complicated or risky?  Or is it true that we are all the stars of our own dramas?   At the other end of things we have some of the country’s best known if not always the best loved whistleblowers who were involved in everything from Watergate, to police corruption, to nuclear power, to farming.  And an entirely different approach to whistleblowing was introduced to the world by Wikileaks, who instead of blowing the whistle on one thing publish any and all secrets.   Even from these few examples it’s obvious that being a whistleblower is a precarious and downright dangerous thing to be, even if they do make a movie about you.

If you want to explore this topic more, or if you have more questions about any of this, you know what to do: Ask a Librarian! We’ll be happy to talk more about it.

Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer  by Siddhartha Mukherjee

There are loads of you out there who love to read a fat book (Hi, Mom!). You're drawn to authors like David McCullough, Robert Jordan and George R.R. Martin. I've always regretted that I'm not one of you. I was not at all looking forward to reading this fat book, but it was for a book club so there was no getting around it. I cajoled myself with thoughts like, 'it won the Pulitzer Prize--it'll be good for you,' like it was a giant vitamin, and 'c'mon, you really like science writing.'

So I did it. I read Emperor of All Maladies  because I had to. And sometimes when you read something you wouldn't normally choose, you stumble on something that will keep you thinking for weeks after. Like the little boys, as young as 4, who were apprenticed or indentured as chimney sweeps in England during the 17 and 1800's, working nearly naked in flues as narrow as nine inches square. If asphyxiation or burns didn't get them as kids, then dying in young adulthood from cancer caused by the soot that stuck to their bodies seemed almost guaranteed. I'm thinking of the sort of 'why don't we try this?' experimentation on cancer patients through history. I'm thinking of the horrifying, radical surgeries, done for decades, with the idea that cancer could be physically removed by surgeons if they just removed enough flesh. I'm thinking of the amazing discoveries of scientists that seemed almost random, like a light bulb suddenly went off over their heads in a very, very dark room.

We've all lost a loved one or friend or neighbor or coworker to cancer. Or maybe you're fighting its spread in your own body right now. Every week it's in the news. A new medication, a gene discovered, a warning about food or chemicals or the environment. Strangely, and I didn't expect this, reading Emperor was a comfort to me. That we really have made progress. That each form of cancer is so specific, working on the big picture is important. And working on the rare, one-in-a-million cancers is just as important, because the science behind a discovery is always connected to something else, even if we don't know what it is right away.

This new book accompanies a recent exhibition of works by Chinese-American artist Hung Liu at the Oakland Museum of California.  Hung Liu and the Rene de Guzman, Curator of Art at the Oakland Museum, have created a set of interviews on YouTube, so that not only can you read the artist's quotes in the book, but listen to her voice as she describes her approaches to paintings and other works. It's an interesting way to experience a book, to hear the voice of the artist along with her paintings, that portray people in China from the time of the Cultural Revolution forward to the present. Often in a political context, the paintings and mixed media works use photographs, some faded, to "make history and memory materialize in the present." - p. 82 Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu.

Authors: Liu, Hung, 1948-
Title: Summoning ghosts : the art of Hung Liu
Publisher: Berkeley : University Of California Press, 2013
Notes: Catalog of the exhibition Summoning Ghosts: the Art of Hung Liu, organized by René de Guzman on behalf of the Oakland Museum of California and presented March 16-June 30, 2013

Listening to the radio, we hear music that is new, along with favorites, that may also be new from interpretations or performances that we haven't heard before. Though a common complaint of many is that email is too much, if you like to find out about music and musicians that might be new to you, Alexander Street Press has a signup for free music downloads every two weeks that arrive in your inbox. A short text about the composer and piece of music comes with the recording,

Alexander Street Press offers downloads from two collections that do not require logging in with your library card from Multnomah County Library : Classical Music Library and Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries.

Here is this week's Classical Music selection:

Erik SatieErik Satie's Trois Sarabandes

Eccentric. Iconoclastic. Hostile. Incompetent. Enigmatic. Pioneer.

French composer Erik Satie (1866–1925) has been called many things, but his musical legacy establishes best that he was, in essence, a visionary. Satie composed in a musical environment dominated by the heavily orchestrated, longwinded Germanic tradition—home to Wagner, Brahms, and Bruckner. In stark contrast, Satie’s music is clean, simple, and brief. Unlike the thematic transformations found in Wagner’s operas, Satie does not develop his motives, choosing rather to juxtapose shorter repeating phrases. 

The sarabande originated as a movement in the Baroque dance suite. Centuries later, Satie’sThree Sarabandes for piano still bear a resemblance to the original sarabande. All three movements are in triple meter (though Satie’s irregular phrasing often obscures this), conform to an AABB form, and strive to emphasize the second beat of the measure, sometimes referred to as a “sarabande rhythm." Otherwise, these three short pieces are distinctly Satie.

The late 19th century was the beginning of a harmonic revolution and Satie surely enlisted. While Satie’s music was regarded as radical among more conservative musicians, he was really forecasting the new movements in 20th century music—minimalism, total chromaticism, and serialism, to name a few. While his teachers and peers strove to force him into following the rules and conventions of “proper” composition, Satie remained true to himself and ushered in the new wave of music. This recording is performed by France Clidat.

Selection from Smithsonian Global Sound:

Songs of Chile Alexander Street Press Smithsonian Global SoundRafael Manríquez's La clavelina (The Little Carnation)

More than 100 years and three regions of Chilean folk song style are summed up in this contemporary musical tour-de-force led by singer, guitarist, and composer Rafael Manríquez (1947–2013) and friends. Guitar- and harp-driven country tonadas, Andean cachimbos with charango and quena, southern Chiloé Island songs with accordion, political nueva canción, edgy urban cuecas, and more offer a glimpse of Chilean folk music of today in its eclectic diversity. Guest artists include Eduardo Peralta, Héctor Pavez, Pedro Yáñez, and a dozen other mainstays of the Chilean folksong movement.

 

To explore more of Music Online Alexander Street Press from home, login from the Multnomah County Library website with your MCL library card. 

A six year old boy is bereft and lost when his father dies "after visiting friends". He begins to stake out a claim to his father's life. "Death hung over the house...Your absence is greater than your presence," he says. The family is complicit in the silence about this death.
 
I could feel the ache in this boy's heart as he seeks to conjure and reconstruct his father's life and to make him whole again.
 
The father, Bob Hainey was a hard-drinking, hard living newspaperman as was the custom in the newspaper world of 1960s Chicago. Now a deputy editor of GQ, Michael Hainey searches for clues and stories about his father.
 
In short, sharp, pointed sentences, Hainey paints a picture of his determined mother, his extended family and the Chicago world of newsmen and cops.
 
After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story is a quest for the truth. The lessons learned along the way and the discoveries awaiting the journey's end will keep you reading.
 
 

There’s a good chance Oregonians will be voting in 2014 on whether Oregon will legalize marijuana.  Other states also have pending legislation, although there are a lot of pros and cons about legalizing pot. Although marijuana for medical use already exists in many states, it has its pros and cons too.

In 2012, Colorado and Washington both legalized marijuana usage. Legalization hasn’t solved the problems; it’s just raised new ones. The state of Washington has detailed rules about how marijuana will be raised, sold, and regulated. The state is looking at the business of pot and the many faces of legal marijuana as they move forward. How do you guard the ganja? How does banking hinder the legal weed industry?  Who are the new entrepreneurs?

Need some specific information we haven’t covered? Contact a librarian and we’ll be glad to help.

Whether you’re just beginning to work on expressing yourself in writing, Ernest Hemingway writingor have been working at it for a while, there is always room to improve your writing skills. From the basics of grammar and punctuation to the finer points of style and persuasive rhetoric, there’s a lot to learn. Practice helps, of course, and all writers continue learning as they go!

We have many books and other resources (including DVDs!) about developing those writing skills. A selection of resources for beginning and intermediate writers is available here as a booklist, but you might also browse the following subject headings:

There are also some great resources online, many of which are developed by college writing centers to help undergraduate students (and anyone else!) finesse their writing. Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a favorite, and UT Austin’s Undergraduate Writing Center and Colorado State’s Writing@CSU pages are also quite helpful. William Strunk and E.B. White’s classic guide to writing, The Elements of Style, is also freely available online.

Please feel free to stop by any library location or contact us if you have a question about writing, or would like some help finding just the right writing guide or other resources for you!

Library notices sometimes are filtered as spam by email providers and this happens because the library sends out many notices at one time. You can prevent this from happening if you add notices@multcolib.org to your contacts or address book. Sometimes, library notices are bounced by email providers and the notices come back to us as undeliverable so it appears that your email is no longer valid. If this happens, we remove your email from your account and you will begin to receive telephone notifications. You should contact Account Services, if you start receiving telephone notifications instead of email notifications.

 

Search for a job on Craigslist ... really?

Yes, really, because aggregator job boards don’t go there so you should. An aggregator site is one that sends its ‘spiders’ crawling over the web to gather together links to jobs listings (or other things). Among the biggest are Indeed and SimplyHired. One aggregator that pulls job listings directly from company websites is LinkUp, which means they should have fewer duplicate, out-of-date or scam listings. Niche boards are those that focus exclusively on a particular area of employment - a couple of examples are Idealist, which lists both paid and unpaid opportunities in the nonprofit sector, and Madden Industrial Craftsmen for welders, machinists and other industrial positions in the Pacific Northwest. This About.com Job Searching page has links to lists of niche boards covering all different sorts of work.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act) was passed into law in 2010, Photo of a stethoscopebut the reforms that it requires are spread out over time. You can get all sorts of information about the law on a federal level, including the full-text of it, at www.healthcare.gov, a website created by the United States Department of Health & Human Services.

A major aspect of the law that will go into effect soon is the creation of Health Insurance Marketplaces in each state. These marketplaces will provide information on insurance plans for consumers to compare, with costs laid out up-front. According to the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Srvcs., “most people will be able to get a break on costs through the Marketplace.” Information about coverage and enrollment in health insurance through these marketplaces is required to be provided beginning in October 2013. Coverage will start in January 2014.

The marketplace for Oregon will be called Cover Oregon. Visit their website to learn about the marketplace, sign up for email updates, and use a calculator to estimate if you will qualify for financial assistance. There is also a frequently-asked-question section with answers to many questions that you might have about the program.

There are also several other health care programs that already exist and provide assistance to individuals who qualify: the Oregon Health Plan and the Healthy Kids programs are both administered by the Oregon Health Authority. The Oregon Prescription Drug Program is a program to help uninsured or underinsured Oregonian get access to discounted prescription medicine. A good way to find more assistance programs is to call 2-1-1, a statewide, free referral service.

At the end of this post is a list of books that explore the history and debates around health care in the United States. If you still have any questions about health care, remember that you can always ask a librarian! We are here to help you find the answers that YOU need.

Update, 7/28/13:

You may have seen ads on Trimet buses around town, advertising health coverage from “Oregon’s Health CO-OP”. This is not the same thing as Cover Oregon. The Oregon’s Health CO-OP is going to be a new nonprofit health insurance provider which will begin enrolling customers on October 1, 2013, and will begin providing health insurance coverage on January 1, 2014. Funding for new, consumer-owned (co-op) health insurance providers is part of the Affordable Care Act - each state was originally required to have one of these nonprofit providers (although this requirement has since been removed), but Oregon is going to have two of them! The Oregon’s Health CO-OP and another co-op called Health Republic were both approved by Cover Oregon and will be offered along with other health insurance providers in the new Cover Oregon marketplace.

You can read more about these co-ops in this 5/13/13 article from Oregon Live: “Oregon upstart health co-ops to challenge mainstream insurers”.

“Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” We’ve all seen and heard that ad on TV. But if you decide to get a medical alert device, or are helping an older friend or relative get one, you might be ready to scream “Help! I need a device but can’t decide which one to get!”

Here’s some tips to make things easier. First, make a list of features you want the medical alert to have. The Federal Trade Commission has some good advice about things to consider. An article called “Personal Emergency Response Systems” from CRS – Adult Health Advisor (June 2012) also gives a checklist of possible concerns [ Note: to read the article, you may have to enter your library card number and PIN]. This blog post from Huffington Post, Post 50 examines three major designs and providers of each kind.

It’s hard to find unbiased reviews. For example, AARP offers a discount to members, available through ADT Companion Service, but this comparison by a competitor, Life Station, makes some arguments against it.

Luckily, Lawserver Online RatingLab’s comparison of medical alerts provides product reviews, advice about comparing them and a ratings chart. You can also go to the Better Business Bureau and do a search for “medical alarms” limited to your zip code, to find how they’ve rated local services.

If you are trying to help an older person who lives out of state, you might also want to find out what is available to them locally. You can use this eldercare locator to find agencies where they live, that can help you.

Be wary of phone salespeople, and online ads; there are lots of scams out there. The resources we’ve listed should help you find a reliable device that will work for you.  Need more help? Contact a librarian and we'll be glad to help. 

 

We realize that there's a constant flow of hot, new books, music and movies all vying for your attention. Of course, if you want it, it goes without saying that a lot of other people want it too. That's why you'll often see long lines of holds waiting for the latest and greatest thing.

When you're looking for something that has a lot of holds on it, you may also see a list starting with "While You Wait for..." We put these lists together for you, thinking that you might like to explore some other options while...well...while you wait for that wished-for item to show up at your neighborhood library.

These lists are made by library staff who enjoyed that movie or book that you're waiting for. We hope you'll find some undiscovered gems among them. So what are you waiting for? Explore all of the "While you Wait.." lists. Happy hunting.

Where do you go once you’ve mastered sewing basic items of clothing and are ready to branch out into more challenging fashions?  

Step one is to make sure you are getting the best out of your sewing machine.  The Sewing Machine Classroom is more than just information about your machineIn the first chapters, Charlene Phillips talks in-depth about needles and thread. Think of it this way -- you can have the best car (sewing machine), but if you use the wrong tires (needles and thread), then the only thing between your car and the road (fabric) won't perform well. And may crash--badly.

Picking out a more advanced pattern can be intimidating, but the website PatternReview.com helps you get the scoop on which patterns work and which don’t. The site is a little clunky and cluttered, but there is a wealth of information there. You can create a free profile to access sewing pattern reviews, get reviews of sewing machines, visit forums, find tips and techniques, register for classes and the list goes on. If you need help with anything to do with sewing clothing, you can probably get your answers here.

You might be intimidated by trying a more complicated garment because you are worried it might not fit and you will have spent all that time creating something unwearable.  Check out Fitting & Pattern Alteration by Elizabeth G. Liechty. I’ve found fitting solutions in here I’ve never seen anywhere else.

So now you’ve got it to fit, how do you give your garments that extra special touch?  Try some couture techniques.  Claire Shaeffer has really studied couture garments in depth and has stellar techniques in her book Couture Sewing Techniques, as well as interesting histories of some garments from couture designers. Made a v-neck top that gaps? She’ll tell you how to fix that.  Know all about closures? This will tell you even more.  Claire is also featured on the Couture Allure Vintage Fashion Blog.

If you are making a shirt, take a look at David Page Coffin’s book, Shirtmaking:  Developing Skills for Fine Sewing, and companion DVD, Shirtmaking Techniques, in order to get seriously professional results:  well-turned collars, perfect plackets, and impeccable hems.  I would recommend these techniques even if you aren’t sewing a shirt. They can be applied in other areas of other kinds of garments. For example, I use his instructions for attaching a sleeve cuff to attach waistbands to pants as a way to avoid bumpy corners.

If you’ve gotten to this point, you’re probably ready to try some tailoring. Tailoring, a volume from the Singer Reference Library, goes over classic tailoring techniques, but gives you the option of shortcuts with modern fusible stabilizers, too, making the process a little less daunting. 

Maybe you’re still not sure what you want to sew next. Look for some inspiration in the form of online blogs.  Two standout blogs I regularly visit are Gretchen Hirsch’s blog, Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing and Peter Lappin's Male Pattern Boldness. Gertie sews her own clothes with a vintage flair, and has transformed that into a successful teaching business, a book, and even her own line of patterns.  For every creation, Gerie provides tutorials or photographs of the process.  Peter makes dresses and suits and everything in between.  He also takes photos of his sewing process which are really helpful, and his writing style is a joy to read, even if you don’t sew.

And, lastly, if you’re feeling really adventurous, check out this drool-worthy blog of period costumes at Before the Automobile. Wow!

Rebecca is a library clerk at Belmont who has been sewing since a very young age, but recently realized she was resting on her laurels and needed more of a challenge.

 

I don’t seek out dystopian novels: I’m not usually looking for a downer, but somehow I end up reading dystopian novels for young adults, and I like them. These books have appeal that crosses genres. Usually sci-fi, they have the intrigue of thriller, the creative world-building of good fantasy, and strong characters who are capable of facing hard times. Unlike those for adults, dystopian books for teens often have a more hopeful ending, or aren’t quite so...um...grim. Unlike...cough...The Road.

Imagine living in a bottle two kilometers by two kilometers, and that people have been living there, reproducing, evolving as a society, well, forever now, and the small contained world is bursting at the seams. Maria V. Snyder creates such a space in Inside Out. Society is divided by the “uppers” in the upper two levels, and the “scrubs” packed into the lower two levels. Feisty scrub Trella tries to keep to herself, but ends up turning this world upside down, or is that inside out?

My first thought on encountering Uglies is remembrance of that old Twilight  episode in which the beautiful woman undergoes surgery so she can be as beautiful as everyone else - that is - ugly. At 16, everyone undergoes this surgery to be Pretty, except a few rebels. And that’s unacceptable.  Here we have the seeming elements of a utopia, with everyone happy, hoverboards and hovercars, ready-made food, and parties all the time. But then there’s that dark underside, that shadowy governing body that does anything to keep it that way. When Tally, so looking forward to her own Pretty-making surgery, is coerced to find rebels, adventure and coming-of-age hardships ensue.

A technological living prison gone rogue in which people inside have lost belief in the outside - that’s Incarceron. Outside, the prison world is also a myth. Outside, by royal decree, advanced technology is banned. Yet an insider and an outsider find a way to communicate. The insider’s memory has been wiped, but with clues that he once was outside. The outsider is a pampered daughter of the warden...the one person who has a clue about the forgotten experiment in incarceration. Of course, once the secret’s out to these two, action and intrigue develop.

When it seems like the rain is never going to stop, don’t despair! Whether your tastes run more towards Portland puppets or Troutdale trains, Multnomah County has no shortage of fascinating and quirky museums that won’t cost you anything. (Check the links for updated hours and contact information.)

Whimsy. Revisit the toys of your (or your grandparents') childhood at Kidd's Toy Museum. And if your pipsqueaks are pleading to ponder a plethora of puppets, perhaps Ping Pong's Pint Size Puppet Museum is your pleasure.

Safety. Witness the evolution of fire fighting at The Safety Learning Center & Fire Museum. You also might find the Portland Police Museum rather arresting.

History. We love that the Gresham Historical Society museum is housed in an original Carnegie library! Not to be outdone, the Troutdale Historical Society has three museums: The Barn Museum, The Harlow House, and The Rail Depot. And don’t forget, the expansive and amazing Oregon Historical Society is free to all Multnomah County residents; just be sure to bring a proof of residency that includes photo identification.

Miscellany. OHSU's Ernest Starr Memorial Museum of Dental Anomalies will give you something to chew on, as will the medical history exhibits in the Main Library. If you're interested in "the art and industry of the cast letterform," then the Museum of Metal Typography is definitely your type. Then float on over to the Lincoln Street Kayak and Canoe Museum to learn more about indigenous small watercraft and suck up some cleaning history at the Vacuum Museum at Stark's Vacuums.

Free Museum Day Portland and Portland on the Cheap both have information about when paid admission museums might cut you a break. And for more on free and not-free-but-still-great museums definitely check out the Hidden Portland website, which was an invaluable resource for this blog post!

P.S. More in the mood for an art gallery ? Check out Rainy Days, Part 1: Free Art.

Humans bond over food, don’t we?  Bowls Around Town Project logoWe get together over a meal casually, as well as mark major milestones with a special meal.  Food or meals from childhood often take on a mythic status, as in the case of the macaroni and cheese served at my father’s elementary school in Cleveland, Ohio.  My mother spent 50+ years of marriage trying to replicate that recipe … which was – knowing cafeteria food – probably awful.

Artist Michael J. Strand understands the pull of food. He wants to collect your recipes – for cafeteria mac and cheese or the special stuffing you serve at Thanksgiving or your grandmother’s tamales. He wants to collect your stories of preparing and eating that recipe. Through Bowls Around Town, a collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Strand hopes to gather these treasures from you.

Picture a wooden box … inside is a large hand-thrown ceramic bowl and a book.  Place a hold on the box (found here in the catalog), check it out, take it home. Think about a dish with special meaning to you. Prepare it. Eat it. Take lots of pictures (instructions on where to send these are in the box). Write your recipe in the book along with a bit of its history and what happened when you prepared and ate it this time.  

Bring the box and its contents back to the library.  Return it on time so someone else can share their story.  

Bowls Around Town ProjectBowls Around Town at Multnomah County Library will circulate from May 16 to September 21, 2013. 
Museum of Contemporary Craft logo

“Who picks these books!?” That could be a question someone asks about In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. This well-written classic true crime stands up to the tests of time, but the violence can be a turnoff for some. When it comes to book groups, such as our library’s Pageturners groups, a great book for discussion is not necessarily liked by all.

As a facilitator my response to that question is, “I’m glad you asked. Let me give you the inside scoop.” In May, Pageturners book groups are busy picking their books for the next calendar year, which begins in September. Most groups pick by gathering votes from regular attendees, or, as I like to say, book groupies. Books on the ballot come from recommendations by groupies, awards lists, book news, and discussions with other facilitators. My little secret: my nominations include books that I hope to read, but won’t get around to unless my group reads them.

I thought I’d share with you a few books that have already been read by Pageturners book groups, but are likely to make another appearance on a group’s list sometime soon, like In Cold Blood. Many people first come to a group for a book they like, but keep returning for the books they might not otherwise read. Perhaps you’ll catch the bug and attend a Pageturners book group near you...there’s nothing like that aha moment when a book’s deeper intentions are revealed through lively and thoughtful discussion.

The Sisters Brothers  by local author Patrick deWitt captures the craziness of the gold rush era along with a complex relationship between brothers who navigate an odyssey through that 1850s underworld. Who knows, perhaps some enterprising facilitator will persuade the author to join their discussion.

You might think this collection is for children, but a revisit to The Jungle Books in adulthood will introduce you to the stellar writing of Kipling, and your more sophisticated awareness will pick up on the global politics of an Imperial era. Nancy, the facilitator of the St. John's Pageturners, shared all kinds of show and tell...maps, pictures of animals, plants, the author, and more.

This year, seven Pageturners groups readThe Warmth of Other Suns  by Isabel Wilkerson. It will certainly be a choice in the next year as well. It is about the “Great Migration” - the large movement of blacks from the South to the North and West from the time of WWI to the seventies. The story follows the lives of three people, making it very readable, while it bursts with rarely encountered historical facts.
Patricia, administrator of North Portland Library and Pageturners facilitator, said, “Though my family participated in the "migration,"the book still put things in perspective and explained a lot, like why my highly educated, architect uncle decided to move from Baltimore to California. The book just helped make sense of so much.”

Where do you go to find a new doctor, or health care professional?  How do you know if your doctor is licensed or board certified?

Here are some resources to help you find information about health professionals.  These tools allow you to search in a variety of different ways - by physician name, by geographic area or by medical specialty.  You can find a doctor's education and training, area of specialty, licensing information, and even malpractice claims.

The Oregon Medical Board licenses physicians and other health professionals such as acupuncturists.  On this site, you can look up a physician or other healthcare provider,  and find out when they were licensed, if their license is active and if they have malpractice claims filed against them.   Be sure to read the information about what constitutes a claim against a physician.

DoctorFinder, sponsored by the American Medical Association, is a physician locator.  It also provides basic professional information on amost every licensed physician in the United States, including doctors of medicine and osteopathic medicine.

DocFinder from AIM, the Administrators in Medicine,  sponsors this site from which you can search for physicians anywhere in the United States.  This list is only as complete as those State Boards that make the information available, however.

MedlinePlus, from the National Library of Medicine offers a comprehensive list of directories on its website.  You can locate a physician by specialty or by geographic area.  You can also find organizations for almost anything medical or health related.  Organizations can be a good resource for information too.  For instance, the American Headache Society has a page to help you locate a headache specialist?

Remember to always evaluate the information you find on the Internet and use websites you trust when researching medical information!

 

Thomas Nast: The Father of Modern Political Cartoons The author of this biography, Thomas Nast The Father of Modern Political CartoonsFiona Deans Halloran, has written a fascinating book about the complex and controversial work of Thomas Nast, whose cartoons portrayed the political and social events of 19th century America. "Nast’s work marked an important transformation of political cartooning. Before the Civil War, cartoonists’ work relied on dialogue rather than imagery. To Nast, the picture became the message: text commonly was relegated to a caption or appeared in the picture as a broadside. Many historians call him the father of modern American political cartooning. His work remains in the first rank of that genre, expressive and passionate." -from: Simpson, Brooks D. "Thomas Nast." American National Biography (2010):  Biography Reference Center.

An interesting sidenote in the American National Biography is that there is no complete collection in a library or archive of the papers of Thomas Nast other than three volumes of "scrapbooks" of his cartoons in the New York Public Library. The most complete record is in the periodicals that originally published his cartoons.

Infinite Jest; Caricature and Satire From Leonardo to Levine
Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to LevineThe drawing for this bookcover is part of a series titled Collection of Grimaces, lithographs from 1823-1828 by the french painter Louis-Leopold Boilly, who began the set with exaggerations and contortions of his own face. Infinite Jest is the catalog of an exhibition last year from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, featuring works of the Museum's collections from 1590 to the present.  The book explores the varieties of intent of these images: as simple caricatures and forms, as visual satire, and as weapons to mock the political and social power of celebrities and political leaders. The website for the exhibition features an interesting short introduction about the history and artists whose works are included in the catalog.

For more on caricatures and political cartoons in art,  take a look at the booklist sampler of titles from Central Library. You can place holds for delivery to your closest neighborhood branch. 

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