While I generally prefer police procedurals, I’m willing to give cozy mysteries a try during December. You can’t get any cozier than Bitter Poison by Margaret Mayhew, what with its English village, a retired colonel, and a Christmas party that ends in death. If you, too, would like a good Christmas mystery, treat yourself to one on these lists.
Horace Hopper thinks that no good can come from being a half Paiute Indian. He learned early from his grandma that all Indians are worthless drunks or drug addicts.- especially Paiutes. She loved him but couldn't see past his background. At twenty years old, Horace can't see past it either. Even his foster parents, Mr. And Mrs. Reece, who raised him and love him like their own son can't get through to him.
If you like the spare style of Cormac McMarthy and the quiet dignity of Craig Lesley, try Don't Skip Out on Me by Willy Vlautin.
I used to call the teen non-fiction section “Sex, drugs & rock ‘n roll” because it consisted largely of books on puberty, the dangers of drug use, and boy bands. Happily, this collection has changed and broadened in scope over the last decade and there are some truly fascinating books that will appeal to teens (and some adults as well). Here are two new titles I enjoyed reading this month:
Have you ever had a nightmare that stuck with you long after it was over? In Allison’s sophomore year of high school, she dreamed that she had brain cancer and was going to die young. When she woke up, she was convinced that her nightmare was a reality and she started doing everything in her power to counteract the cancer. It started out by not stepping on cracks, but then morphed into avoiding all sorts of things. Blue pens were not okay. The computer emitted cancer-causing rays. Using notebook paper? Nope. Food became an issue as did her clothing. In a few short months, her obsessive-compulsive disorder had turned her life completely upside down. I knew this girl was in trouble long before her pink sweater started throwing an attitude. The question for me was, why didn’t her parents? Obsessed by Allison Britz is a frightening memoir of one girl’s descent into mental illness and her fight to regain her life.
Here are ten books from the teen nonfiction collection that I’ve enjoyed over the last few years.
by Sarah Binns
At twenty-five, Iggy Peterson has lived in many places and read many books, but he keeps coming back to Portland and the Woodstock Library. “I started volunteering there when I was 17,” he says, “but then I moved across town and stopped for a few years.” He returned to Woodstock last year and was quickly selected for a 2016 Multnomah County Citizen Involvement Award. As a search assistant (the same position he held when he was a teenager), Iggy processes a list of nearly 250 books to pull from Woodstock’s shelves to fulfill holds for patrons. “It turns out I really enjoy clerical work,” he says with a laugh. “I like that everything is in its place and that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.”
Before the clerical work, though, Iggy was in a bit of a quandary. Born in Portland, Iggy and his family lived in Washington state and D.C. before returning to the Eastmoreland area. Growing up, he read a lot, especially sci-fi and fantasy books, but waning interest in school and complications at home meant that he dropped out of middle school. Shortly after this, he remembers thinking, “Hey, I like books! Maybe I’ll work at a bookstore!” But then he passed the Woodstock Library and inspiration struck: he started volunteering there two days a week.
Over time, Iggy has given approximately 350 hours to Woodstock. While he works one day a week now, thanks to a full-time job, his love of books and that “clerical work” encouraged him to apply for a recent access services assistant position with MCL. “Hopefully I can get past the lottery!” he says.
When not volunteering Iggy works as a line cook at local favorite Scottish pub Rose & Thistle, reads, plays video games, and hangs out with friends. When I ask if he wants to stay in Portland he nods. “It would be hard to move away from somewhere where I’m happy,” he says. Here’s to another 350 hours at Woodstock -- and beyond!
A few facts about Iggy
Home library: Gregory Heights, “But I usually grab books from Woodstock.”
Currently reading: On Blue’s Waters by Gene Wolfe
Most influential book: Hard to say, but possibly The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. “It made me think a lot. How she made an anarchist society work… it was well done.”
Guilty pleasure: Older 60s sci-fi
Favorite browsing section: Fiction
E-reader or paper: Paper
Book that made him laugh or cry: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.
Favorite place to read: “My room."
Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.
One afternoon, an old trunk tumbles out of Pri's closet, and in it she finds a beautiful sari that she wraps around her shoulders. And in that second, her world turns from a dull black and white to gorgeous technicolor. This sari transports her to the India of her dreams, filled with delicious dosas and breathtaking scenery. But a dark shadow begins to follow her there, and not everything is what it seems. Pri will have to be braver and bolder than she’s ever been before to track down the sari’s secret, and her family’s history. This heartwarming graphic novel about the power of our choices is a great read for strong young girls, and for those in need a bit of strength.
The Early Kindergarten Transition program helps these families tackle the challenges kindergarten will bring. It’s held before school starts, over two to three weeks in late summer.
A kindergarten teacher leads a class for the kids each day during the program. Once or twice a week, parents attend a class, too. They learn what to expect from school and how to help their kids succeed.
The library has been a dedicated partner in these parent education classes ever since Portland Public Schools started the program seven years ago. The program today includes 43 SUN schools in six districts. Multnomah County librarians are active at all of them.
We model reading aloud to kids with an interactive storytime, and we introduce parents to the library and all the ways we can help — such as homework help, English classes, family programs, and books in their native languages.
This year, in addition to partnering on parent education classes, the library provided about 2,000 gently used books for child care locations at every site. (Child care is provided during parent education classes.)
We also signed up people for library cards and Summer Reading, and gave a free book to each of roughly 600 families.
From one PPS educator: "I know all of our parents that attended the library session were happy about our librarian. I myself enjoyed her way of reading the book to children — showed us how easy it can be to read to any child. Everyone enjoyed all the takeaways from that session."
Last month the library introduced a set of updated rules for public feedback. We heard and read hundreds of your comments, questions and suggestions. This was valuable input, and we revised the library rules that take effect November 1 as a result.
While most of these rules have been in place for years, people took this chance to reflect on how they think of and use their library. Our community’s feedback centered on access: for children and families exploring a new world of reading and learning and for those with the fewest resources and the most challenging circumstances.
Based on this feedback, we removed the proposed limit on beverage sizes, changed policies around restroom use, clarified wording regarding service animals and improved language to better support the library’s commitment to inclusion.
Each day, 19 Multnomah County libraries are open to serve everyone with a focus on exceptional customer service. We work hard to create a welcoming environment. The library’s rules serve as a foundation for maintaining this environment. We will continue our work, listening and learning how we can improve library service.
On behalf of the more than 600 people who work for the library, I thank you for your engagement, for your support and for your patronage of Multnomah County Library.
In 1990, former President George H.W. Bush signed the proclamation declaring the month of November as Native American Heritage Month. The proclamation celebrates and recognizes the accomplishments of the peoples who were the original inhabitants, explorers and settlers of the United States of America.
Looking for somewhere to start finding information about a specific tribe? The library has book recommendations and databases that provide historical information about Native Americans including daily life (language, food, shelter, clothing, culture etc.), for readers and researchers of all ages.
Interested in researching your own Native American ancestry? The American Indian Records in the National Archives provides information on how to get started with your research. We also invite you to visit your local library branch to use the genealogy database, or contact the library for individualized booklists or to make a one on one appointment with one of our friendly staff members.
The library will also be hosting programs for all ages throughout the month to celebrate the rich history of the original inhabitants and settlers of the Pacific Northwest.
- Exploring Ancient Native American Techonology - Try out your own engineering skills while discovering technologies designed by Oregon's first engineers.
- Native American Indian Storytelling and Drumming - Listen to traditional stories and songs of the Kalapuya people of the Willamette Valley.
- Dream Catcher Weaving - Participate in a workshop to learn about the history and mystery behind the dreamcatcher while weaving your own.
- Meet DASH'KA'YAH and COYOTE - Shoshone-Bannock poet and storyteller Ed Edmo will be be sharing stories of DASH'KA'YAH and COYOTE that will delight all ages.
- Personal Totems - Listen to traditional Native American stories and poems while you create a totem pole that represents aspects of your personality.
- Native American Jewelry Making - Use traditional items such as bone beads and leather to create one-of-a-kind jewelry.
- Columbia River Native Basketry - Join Pat Courtney Gould as they discuss and present the timeless artform of twined baskets.
- Stinging Nettle for Cordage - Learn about sustainable nettle harvesting methods to make cordage or yarn.
- A Lens on Contemporary Indigenous Art & Culture - Meet contemporary Klamath Modoc artist Ka'ila Farrell-Smith as they share their art practice and philosopy. They will also give a overview of intersectional Indigenous, people of color (POC) artists and collectives.
- Ethnobotany of Kalapuya - Learn about the traditional plants and cultural heritage of the local Kalapuya and Chinook tribes.
- Columbia River Native Women - Learn more about the lives of Columbia River Native Women and their roles in both traditional and modern Native American Indian society.
- Edible Native American Food Plants - Learn about which berries are edible when you are out hiking, and how Native Americans used food plants like huckleberry, cedar, sweetgrass and other plants for basketry and medicine.
por Donna Childs
Imagínese venir a un país donde no conoce el idioma, las sensibilidades, la geografía o las costumbres, y tomar la decisión de ofrecer servicios de voluntariado en la biblioteca local. Hay que tener valor, ¿no?
Elizabeth Cobos llegó a los Estados Unidos desde Oaxaca, México, hace ocho años. Ella superó su temor a lo desconocido y fue a la Biblioteca de St. Johns con la intención de convertirse en un gran ejemplo para su hija pequeña, Allison, y por su deseo personal de aprender, de ayudar a los demás y de ser útil.
Elizabeth es una asistente de búsquedas en St. Johns, adonde se dirige semanalmente para ayudar a buscar los materiales que están reservados. Aun cuando desconozca el significado de todas las palabras en un título, ella puede encontrar en el estante el libro que corresponde a la lista, lo cual la ayuda a familiarizarse con palabras nuevas. Aunque todo le resultaba extraño al principio, su trabajo le ha gratificado y le complacen las ocasiones cuando ha podido ayudar a hispanohablantes a utilizar los recursos de la biblioteca. Según uno de los bibliotecarios, Elizabeth ha ofrecido recomendaciones útiles para mejorar los servicios y programas en español de St. Johns. Ahí valoran sus contribuciones y ella le está muy agradecida a la biblioteca por darle esta oportunidad para desempeñarse de manera profesional y poder ayudar a otros miembros de la comunidad.
Deseosa de aprender inglés y participar en la vida de su hija y de la comunidad en general, Elizabeth asistió a una clase para madres e hijos en el prekinder de su hija y a una clase de inglés como segundo idioma (ESL) en Portland Community College; ella trabajó de voluntaria como asistente de maestro en un programa de Head Start bilingüe durante dos años y piensa trabajar como voluntaria en el salón de clase de kindergarten de su hija. También espera comenzar pronto en Mount Hood Community College el programa Transitions/Transiciones, que alienta y prepara a los estudiantes a comenzar o seguir sus estudios profesionales (ella cursó tres semestres universitarios en México). El objetivo final de Elizabeth es hallar un empleo que le permita trabajar con niños o en una biblioteca. Este parece un objetivo muy apropiado, dado su enfoque en la familia y la comunidad, así como su ánimo y determinación.
Algunos datos interesantes sobre Elizabeth
Su biblioteca local: St. Johns.
Lectura actual: a Elizabeth le gusta leer libros ilustrados para niños junto con su hija porque las imágenes la ayudan a aprender inglés, mientras que ayudan a su hija a aprender a leer.
El libro más influyente: El alquimista (The Alchemist) escrito por Paulo Coelho.
Libro favorito de su niñez: el libro infantil favorito de su familia es Un beso en mi mano (The Kissing Hand).
Su sección favorita de la biblioteca: libros de no-ficción y autoayuda o autoestima como Un corazón sin fronteras (A Heart without Borders), escrito por Nick Vujicic.
¿Prefiere libros electrónicos o en papel? En papel. Además, los videos de libros como El principito (Le Petit Prince), la ayudan a aprender palabras desconocidas.
Lugar favorito dónde leer: en cama con su hija y su esposo, o sola en el sofá a la luz de una vela.
Headed to the Macular Degeneration and Vision Expo on Saturday, October 28 at the Doubletree Hotel? In between learning about new adaptive technology options, stop by the library table to check out an audiobook or large print book and learn about our free online content. If you show us your library card (or sign up for one) we’ll give you a prize!
Can’t make it to the event? Learn about the accessibility resources we have for the blind and people with low vision on our website. Check out our large print and audiobook collections. Need some reading suggestions to help you narrow down those choices? We've got you covered. Prefer to access your books online? Learn how to use the Libby App to download ebooks (it's easy to make the font bigger!) and audiobooks. Just ask if you need any help.
Who you gonna call?
We may not have proton packs, containment units or sweet jumpsuits, but your friendly library staff have a few tricks up our cardigan sleeves to assist with your ghostly inquiries.
Before breaking out your electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recorder, here are a few things to think about:
Sometimes you find things. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you find things you don’t want to find.
Research takes time. Did you know you can book an appointment with a librarian to get you started?
Get organized. Create a system that works for you, and be prepared to take notes.
Start with the facts:
Was your neighborhood considered part of the city when your house or apartment was built? Check out the City of Portland’s annexation map for more information.
How old is your home? Property information records can be found at the City of Portland’s Portlandmaps.com.
Was it built before 1933? Your address or street might have changed!
Who lived in your home? Our city directories and phone books can get you started. Ask us how.
Into the upside down (and other Stranger Things):
While we may not be able to confirm nor deny the existence of paranormal phenomenon in your home, library staff are here and ready to help with your ghostly research. Armed with facts and your not-so-unbelievable electromagnetic field (EMF) detector, it’s time to dig into the paranormal.
Here’s some more resources that may help. Also don’t forget to contact us with any questions you may have.
Use the Historical Oregonian (1861-1987) to search for your address and information about former residents..
Search the local newspaper index at Central Library. In it you can find articles covering multiple local papers between 1930-1987. You may even find a murder.
The Historic Oregon Newspapers database offers a statewide collection of newspapers mostly from 1922 and earlier.
Central Library has archives of many local newspapers beyond the Oregonian. Check with a librarian to get started.
Maybe the Portland Oregon Paranormal Society can help!
Library Volunteer Building a New Community
by Donna Childs
Imagine coming to a country where you don’t know the language, sensibilities, geography, or customs, and deciding to volunteer at the local library. Pretty brave, eh?
Elizabeth Cobos came to the U.S. from Oaxaca, Mexico, eight years ago. She overcame her understandable fear of the unknown, and walked into the St. Johns Library, because she wanted to be a strong role model for her young daughter, Allison, and because of her own desire to learn, to help others, and to be useful.
Elizabeth is a Search Assistant at St. Johns, coming in weekly to look for items on paging lists. Even if she doesn’t know the meaning of all the words in a title, she can match the list with a book on a shelf, and it helps familiarize her with new words. Although everything was strange at first, she has found the work rewarding, and is delighted on the occasions when she has been able to help Spanish-speaking patrons connect with resources at the library. According to one of the librarians, Elizabeth has made helpful suggestions for improving Spanish language services and programs at St. Johns. They value her input, and she is very grateful to the library for giving her this opportunity to feel professional and to help fellow community members.
Anxious to learn English and to be involved in her daughter’s life and the larger community, Elizabeth took a class for mothers and children at her daughter’s nursery school, as well as an ESL class at Portland Community College; she volunteered as an assistant to the teacher at an English-Spanish Head Start program for two years; and she plans to volunteer in her daughter’s kindergarten classroom. And soon, she hopes to begin the Transitions/Transiciones program at Mount Hood Community College, which encourages and prepares students to begin or continue college. (She had three semesters of college in Mexico.) Elizabeth’s ultimate goal is to find a job working with children and/or in a library. This seems like a great fit, given her family and community focus, courage, and determination.
A few facts about Elizabeth
Home library: St. Johns
Currently reading: Elizabeth likes to read picture books with her daughter because the pictures help Elizabeth learn English while helping her daughter learn to read.
Most influential book: El Alquimista (The Alchemist) by Paulo Coelho
Favorite book from childhood: Their family’s favorite childrens’ book is Un Beso en Mi Mano (The Kissing Hand).
Favorite section of the library: Non-fiction self help, or self-esteem, books such as Un Corazon sin Fronteras (A Heart without Borders) by Nick Vujicic
Which do you prefer, E-reader or paper book? Paper. Also, videos of books such as Le Petit Prince help her learn unfamiliar words.
Favorite place to read: In bed with her daughter and her husband, or by herself on the sofa with a candle
Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.
12-year-old Sunny is taunted by classmates for looking different (her pale skin, yellow hair, and hazel eyes mixed with West African features cause her to stand out) and for being from a different place (New York-born to Nigerian parents, her family has moved back to West Africa… but neither country feels completely like home). In Akata Witch, Sunny discovered that she was one of the Leopard People -- those with magical abilities -- who live among regular folk. She and three friends used their powers to catch a ruthless serial killer who planned to awaken a monster from
Now she is back, in a sequel filled with African magic that I have long been waiting for: Akata Warrior. Sunny is stronger, a year older, and many years more fierce. She has been hard at work studying with her demanding mentor, Sugar Cream, and working to unlock the secrets that lie within her powerful Nsibidi, or spell book. But time waits for no one, and Sunny must travel through worlds both visible and invisible to find the mysterious town of Osisi -- where she will meet her destiny and fight a looming and apocalyptic battle to save humanity. Maybe it is the way Nnedi Okofore weaves Nigerian folktales into her magic, or how that magic is so seamlessly drawn into modern-day Nigeria -- but you’ll believe this original fantasy world really could exist.
I fell in love with Katherine Roy’s first book, Neighborhood Sharks, because it was as informative as it was beautiful -- exploring the lives of great whites that live in the waters of California’s Farallon Islands, its cover blooming with the (watercolor) blood of a sea
In her latest book, How to Be An Elephant, the author looks across the globe -- to the extraordinary lives of African Elephants and the unique skills a baby elephant learns as he grows into a majestic adult. Illustrated in lush grays, blues and blush tones, we follow a baby elephant from his birth beneath a star-filled savanna sky and into the welcoming trunks of his mother and aunts. Readers will find out just how a baby elephant takes his first steps, “sees” his world by following his nose, playfully explores, and stays in touch with family members miles away by feeling vibrations through the delicate, padded soles of his feet. This richly-illustrated, scientifically accurate book is a sweet exploration of family, community, and love as one elephant herd marches its way across the savanna.
Drawing on the latest scientific research and her own trip to Kenya, Katherine Roy has done another extraordinary job of bringing a unique animal -- and its pivotal place in our ecosystem -- to life for young readers.
October 11 is National Coming Out Day.
Every coming out experience is unique. For some it’s a hesitant whisper; for others, it’s a scream when you are in that “right now” moment. Regardless of volume or location, coming out is about sharing personal identity, being proud and, most importantly, being visible. As the Human Rights Campaign says, Coming Out Day is “a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out."
Beginning November 1, 2017, Multnomah County Library is updating its library rules.
The library is proud to be an open and inclusive institution for our community. With 19 locations across the county, we are always striving to balance a wide range of uses, needs and individual circumstances. Library rules are important to ensuring that our staff can continue to provide exceptional service and that our library remains a welcoming place for everyone.
It’s been nearly 20 years since we’ve made significant changes to our library rules, and in that time, we’ve offered countless new services and programs, grown our collection and even opened new library branches. After an extensive and thoughtful review process, we’ve included changes to library policies on food and beverages, threatening behavior, amount of personal belongings, and weapons. All of our rules ensure the protection of individual rights and necessary accommodations.
Thank you for helping make the library a wonderful and vibrant place. I hope you will visit us soon.
Director of Libraries
Readers, writers and book lovers! Mark your calendars for several of Portland's biggest book events:
Literary Arts' Wordstock: Portland's Book Festival Presented by Bank of America happens on November 11, when a literary who's who of authors will descend on us. Browse books by the authors, and visit Multnomah County Library's booth, where we can give you one-on-one advice about spending your $5.00 book coupon (included in the price of admission) on a title you'll love.
Portland Arts & Lectures author series features such luminaries as George Saunders, Jesmyn Ward and Viet Thanh Nguyen. You can also look forward to Everybody Reads in the new year, when we'll be discussing Mohsin Hamid's Exit West in preparation for the author's visit on April 5th, made possible by Literary Arts. Copies of the book will be made available in February, thanks to the support of The Library Foundation.
But let's face it - Portland's literary landscape is a field of dreams. Search the events calendar for the library’s author talks, book discussions and conversations featuring local writers. If you're a self-published writer yourself and would like library patrons to be able to read your work, check out the Library Writers Project
El mes de la Herencia Hispana se celebra cada año del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre. Es un homenaje y una celebración de la cultura, historias y contribuciones de los hispanos y latinoamericanos en los Estados Unidos.
Los invitamos a disfrutar en las bibliotecas la música, historias, libros, actividades y manualidades que celebran la herencia hispana y el impacto cultural a la sociedad.
Celebren la música latinoamericana con el grupo Mariachi Viva Mexico.
Vengan a viajar a través de la cultura latinoamericana, su historia y tradiciones en una forma interactiva con el famoso músico José Luis Orozco.
Escuchen la historia de los pilotos mexicanos del Escuadrón 201 que lucharon al lado de los Aliados durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial.
Laura B. está disponible para ofrecerles recomendaciones de lectura personalizada de acuerdo a su interés.