Blogs

The Library Connect program

Chances are if your child is a K-12 student in Multnomah County, they already have a library card! The Library Connect program allows students to have instant access to books, online resources, movies, music and more. 

Students in Centennial,David Douglas, Gresham-Barlow, Parkrose, Portland and Reynolds School District can come to Multnomah County Library any time and use their school ID card to check out items. Their school ID is already connected with our library system. 

More than 100,000 students have full access to Multnomah County Library thanks to this program. Of these students, two out of three did not have a library card previously.

Five students giving thumbs up

One family that had recently moved to the Portland area went into the library with intentions of getting a library card. When North Portland Teen Librarian Isy Ibibo asked if the children had started school yet, and they said they had, she told them this most likely meant they already had cards because of the Library Connect program. 

“The whole family was excited to hear it. I asked for their names and birthdays and looked them up. The mom was stunned at how quickly we had gotten them set up with Library Connect cards since they hadn’t been in the school system for very long,” says Isy. “Everyone agreed that it was such a cool service that we offered!”

Librarians are connecting with students within the library, but there are also staff members who have been going to schools and sharing information about Library Connect with teachers and students. Of these staff members, there is a dedicated full-time librarian focusing on developing this transformational relationship between the public library and school districts.

Recently Youth Librarian Brianne Williams spent some time at Whitman Elementary. “It was such a thrill for me to be inside a school again, talking with kids! The teachers were so grateful for the books, and so were the kids,” says Brianne. 

The K-5 students Brianne connected with had great feedback to share about the books. One student shared “I love Zoey and Sassafras! I’ve read a bunch of the others, but not this one.” Another student said with delight  “this jumbie book looks really scary. I only have three chapter books at home. I really need another one. Thank you!” These giveaway books and more are made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation. These incentives have provided opportunities to engage students about Library Connect resources and build relationships with students and educators. 

With the Library Connect program there is something for every age in the K-12 range. For elementary and middle school students there are ebooks, audiobooks, comics, TV from Hoopla and documentaries from Kanopy. For grades 9-12 there is even more! With a collection for teens at OverDrive Teens, there are curated books and even digital copies of some of their favorite magazines from the Libby App. For teens thinking about the PSAT or SAT, they can find sample tests, live homework help, and other resources too.

The Library Connect program can even help during the summer when students are out of school and looking for something to do. “You can come in and immediately start borrowing books, ebooks, music. Or if you want to watch a movie this summer log on to Kanopy,” says Youth Services Project Librarian Kate Carter. 

“If your kid automatically has an account, how about getting one for yourself too as a form of modeling and library use? There is access to all these things for summer entertainment, and also to help keep kids engaged through the summer,” says Kate.

Library Connect reduces barriers to access of library resources for kids and families. There is no longer a barrier of having to come in and sign up for a card, or even having to do the online form. You and your students can access all that the library has to offer.

For more information on Library Connect, go to https://multcolib.org/libraryconnect

Visit your local library for yours

Don’t miss out on a chance to receive your makerspace minikit! The Circuits and Bots minikits are available now at your neighborhood library. These kits are intended for teens, tweens, and youth under 13 years old with recommended supervision. 

Makerspace minikits are STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) based activities in a bag. Each series shows kids how to be creative in interpreting the materials and making the final product. The minikits come with instructions in several languages: Russian, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Nicole Newsom, Judith Guzman-Montes, Desiree Wolcott-Cushman, and Melody Hamaker (pictured) along with other staff have been working behind the scenes to assemble thousands of kits.

“For this series, bristlebots are what I’ve worked on the most,” says Melody. “We receive materials in bulk, and then someone takes one of each item and makes sure we have all the components needed in a bag. To make these kits we have volunteers and staff working on them. It’s a mini assembly line each time.”

Staff assembling craft mini kits

The minikits currently available explore circuitry and the flow of energy. Youth can move electricity from a light to an LED using conductive materials; make a complete circuit; learn about parallel circuits; and experiment with making an on/off switch. Young patrons can learn, build and play by making a paper circuit card, light-up bugs, and bristlebots.” 

Mom and child holding minikit bag

Pictured are library patrons Marcos and his mom, Angeles, receiving their first minikit.

Each minikit series builds on the skills from the last, although patrons do not need to have done the previous series to participate in upcoming ones. 

“This was amazing and such a joy for the kids to do on a rainy day,” said one patron about the bridges minikits series.  

Other patrons have provided feedback saying that the minikits inspire them to do more at home projects. For the catapult minikit, one patron mentioned that the “rocket was the best part.”

The makerspace minikits are made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation. The minikits started as a way to offer at-home programming for youth while libraries were closed due to the pandemic. Previous to this, the Rockwood Library makerspace regularly hosted STEAM-based programs for teens. The space was designed for teens to hang out, learn new skills like movie making, video game design, computer coding and other advanced technology skills. Teens often visited after school and on weekends, creating robots, using the  3D printer and even completing projects with a laser cutter. The Rockwood makerspace first opened in 2016, which was made possible by the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission and The Library Foundation. 

There are two more scheduled minikits coming out in the next few months. 

  • Fiber arts minikit will be available beginning May 28, 2022. This minikit explores the art and science of fabric, through measuring, problem solving and sequencing patterns.
  • The soft circuits minikits will be available on June 4, 2022. In this series, experiment with circuit building and move electricity to a light. 

Library patrons can receive one minikit series per person, while supplies last.The minikits are free and include all materials.

Thank you to The Library Foundation.

Mary Frances Isom

Multnomah County Library would not be what it is today without the leadership and influence of Mary Frances Isom, a champion for local public libraries in the Portland community, Multnomah County, and for school libraries.

Mary Frances was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1865, to prominent parents. Her father was a surgeon for the Union Army, and Mary Francis' mother focused on raising her. After the Civil War, Mary Frances' family returned to their home in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1883, Mary Frances attended Wellesley College. After only a year, she went back home, and her mother died. When her father passed away in 1899, Mary Frances became the heir to her family’s wealth. 

Motivated to continue her education and a career path Mary Frances started at Pratt Institute’s Library School in New York in the fall of 1899. She received a certificate for completing the standard one-year course and then completed a second course in 1901. Her programs focused on cataloging, training on administration, library organization, and hands-on experience.

Mary Frances’ first job as a librarian was as a cataloguer for the Library Association of Portland. Her move came at an opportune time since there was a collection of thousands of books that needed her expertise. Portland pioneer merchant John Wilson gifted his collection of books to the Library Association of Portland, with the condition that the whole collection be free to all. As a result, the library transitioned from a subscription model in which it would cost money to access resources from the library, to a free public library. 

When Mary Frances arrived in Portland in 1901, she got to work to catalog the 8,891 books gifted by Wilson. As referenced in the biographical article, “Making the library be alive,” the 1901 library annual report refers to Mary Frances as having, “ worked with zeal and enthusiasm and the members of the staff transferred to her department have received the most efficient training and instruction.”

A year later in 1902, the library director left abruptly, and Mary Frances was offered the role of head librarian of the Library Association of Portland. As head librarian, she focused on three of the core needs identified at the time: books, space, and funding. Mary Frances also realized that the need for resources went further than just the Portland area. There was a need for books in the more rural parts of Oregon as well. 

Isom hadn't been at the library for more than two years when she began drafting a law enabling Multnomah County to levy taxes for library purposes. The library levy passed in 1903, paving the way for Multnomah County Library to become the first county library system on the West Coast.

She then focused her efforts on building a community around the library and attracting patrons into this new system. Realizing that people outside of the Portland area faced transportation challenges and barriers in getting to a branch, she developed book stations (also known as deposit stations) throughout rural areas of the county as a form of outreach. Each station carried about 50-100 books. This program snowballed into the idea of developing more opportunities for children to access books. 

As a collaborative leader, Mary Frances and her team developed child-focused programming at the library and distributed books to schools throughout the county. In addition, they also placed librarians at the community high schools.  

Portland was growing, and there was an interest in branch libraries. In 1907, some of the deposit stations became library branches. The first few new branches were Sellwood, Albina and East Portland libraries. 

At this same time, Andrew Carnegie began funding public libraries across the country. In 1911 and 1912, the library received Carnegie grants to build seven branch libraries. Of these St. Johns, Albina, and North Portland libraries are still in use today. Simultaneously, Mary Frances worked closely with Chief Architect Albert E. Doyle who led the design of the Central Library building, opening in 1913.

Mary Frances described the library as “the great social center of the community,” which she helped to create in her time in Portland. She lived a life that was rich and meaningful both professionally and personally.

Mary Frances Isom died in 1920. She was 55 years old. Upon her passing, Multnomah County Library had 16 public libraries. On the day of her death, the library closed for several hours to honor her works and life. The Multnomah County Library system our community knows and loves would not have been possible without the determination and vision of Mary Frances Isom more than a century ago. 

For more information about Mary Frances Isom and her life, please visit “Making the library be alive”: Portland’s librarian, Mary Frances Isom.
 

Interviewing for a job is stressful, especially if you haven’t done it before and you’re not sure what to expect. But just like anything else, the more you prepare, the more likely it is that you’ll feel confident.

The career site Indeed.com has useful information about preparing for an interview, including a video explaining how to answer the question “Tell me about yourself.” Here are some other questions you might be asked in an interview, and some questions you might want to ask the person or people interviewing you.

General Questions

  • Why are you looking for a job?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What makes you the best candidate for this job?
  • What are some of your biggest accomplishments?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What are you learning in school that will help you with this position?
  • Tell me about a problem you had recently and how you solved it.
  • Do you have any questions about the job?

Questions you might want to ask the people interviewing you:

  • Are schedules for people in this job likely to change often from week to week, or mostly stay the same?
  • What’s the best advice you have for someone starting out at this job?

The library can help you prepare for job interviews. We have community professionals who will do practice interviews with you and give you feedback. To schedule an appointment, contact us at workplace@multcolib.org.

You may have heard that “networking” is important when you’re looking for a job, and you might be wondering what it means to “network” when you’re a teenager. The basic idea is to make connections with people who can help you with your job search. Think about everyone you already know: friends, family, teachers, counselors, coaches, people at a place of worship or other activity you do in the community. One of the simplest ways to network is to tell people in your life that you’re looking for work. A counselor might know about an upcoming job fair. A friend might work at a grocery that has other job openings. A teacher might be able to provide a reference for you. Here’s a networking worksheet to help you brainstorm. Download the PDF document and open it in Google Docs or another word processor to edit it.

Think of the library as being part of your network, too! The library has resources to help you find what jobs are available to teens, to make a resume and prepare for an interview. To schedule an appointment, contact us at workplace@multcolib.org.

Teens need resumes too! It can be challenging to create your first resume but the library can help. First, start thinking about all of your experiences. Even if you’ve never had a job you probably have a lot of great skills and work experience. Check out this blog post to help you think about your experience.

The library can help you create your resume. We have librarians who can sit down with you and help you create your resume from scratch. We also have community professionals who will review your resume when it’s ready and help you make it even better. 

To schedule an appointment, contact us at workplace@multcolib.org

Here is a handy template to help you get started. Download the PDF document and open it in Google Docs or another word processor to edit it. 

Are you a teen thinking about getting a job but you don’t have any work experience? You probably have more experience than you think. 

Think about your hobbies, interests, and volunteer work. These can be things you do at home, school, community center, or place of worship. 

Think about all the things you know how to do. Can you type? Use a computer and different kinds of software? Do you help do certain things around the house? Speak or understand a language besides English? These are all great things to add to a resume. 

LinkedIn Learning for Libraries is a free online resource you can use with your library card. It has tons of video courses to help you learn new skills. You can even earn badges to add to your resume or online profiles. 

To help you brainstorm more about all the things you could add to a resume, we’ve created this handy worksheet to help get you started! Download the PDF document and open it in Google Docs or another word processor to edit it.

For more information on job searching for teens, check out this video from indeed.com.

If you’ve checked out a copy of George by Alex Gino recently, you might have noticed some changes to the cover. Many of the covers have been altered to change the title from George to Melissa’s Story. This was done in response to a blog post from the author encouraging readers to engage in #SharpieActivism. That is, to alter the covers of their book to the title Melissa’s Story to reflect the gender identity of the main character. In the post, Gino (who uses they/them pronouns) talks about the importance of using a person’s preferred name and that they regret using Melissa’s birth name as the title. They go on to share their experience of growing up nonbinary and the message that something as small as a book title can send.

Over the past several months, the Online Teen Council set to work on the library collection. Equipped with washi tape and colored Sharpies, the teens altered approximately 60 copies of the book in English, Spanish, and Books on CD. The results were rich and varied. Some were as simple as crossing out the old title and adding the new. Others were ornate. Some of the titles had been altered even before the project began. The teens brought their individuality to the project, as I’m sure Gino intended.

Covers of book Melissa's Story

On October 22nd, 2021, Scholastic announced that they have changed the title of the book to Melissa. The book will be printed with the new name starting in April 2022. In the meantime, you can visit Alex Gino’s blog for printable covers and to order stickers. Or else you can engage in your own #SharpieActivism.

Resources:
The Trevor Project
It Gets Better Project
Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC)
Oregon Youth Line (call, text, chat, or email)

For Families and Allies:
PFLAG
GLAAD
TransFamilies

¡La biblioteca te ayuda a prepararte para el fin de cursos!

Recibe ayuda para completar tus trabajos escolares con Live Homework Help from Tutor.com. Los tutores pueden revisar y editar tus escritos y ayudarte a resolver problemas matemáticos. Tutor.com también ofrece prácticas para exámenes como PSAT, SAT, ACT y Clases Avanzadas (AP). Los tutores están disponibles todos los días de 2 a 10 pm; y pueden ayudarte en español, inglés y vietnamita. 

Tenemos varios libros electrónicos y guías de estudio para ayudarte con las matemáticas, ciencias y escritura de ensayos; así como prepararte para los exámenes de Clases Avanzadas. Otro sitio para practicar los exámenes del SAT y ACT es LearningExpres Library. ¿Indeciso si tomar el SAT o el ACT?

Para usar los recursos en línea, solo necesitas una tarjeta de la biblioteca o tu número de Library Connect, que es como una tarjeta de biblioteca. Para usar Library Connect, revisa estos pasos. Si necesitas una contraseña, llámanos por teléfono, correo electrónico o chat entre las 9 am y 5 pm.

 

El terminar la preparatoria es emocionante, pero también puede ser preocupante. He aquí algunos Recursos para la Vida Después de la Preparatoria

Entra al colegio de dos años o a la universidad de cuatro años

Muchos estudiantes deciden continuar sus estudios superiores en una universidad o colegio. La biblioteca te ofrece varios recursos para elegir la universidad o colegio y solicitar ayuda financiera. 

Información adicional que puede ayudarte a decidir:

Algunas ideas

Continúa una carrera universitaria

Aprovecha el tiempo en la universidad

Ideas para padres para ayudar a su adolescente

Aprende algún oficio

Con el alto costo de las universidades, muchos estudiantes buscan alternativas. Los colegios comunitarios y escuelas que ofrecen carreras técnicas, pueden ser una opción. Los programas de escuelas vocacionales como Benson Polytechnic, pueden abrirte la puerta directamente a una práctica de aprendizaje. Girls Build ofrece campamentos después de la escuela para animar a las chicas a entrar al trabajo de construcción.

Si ya te graduaste de la universidad o colegio, Oregon Tradewomen ofrece clases y carreras de oficios como el primer paso para aprender acerca de los trabajos en construcción y entrar a una práctica de aprendizaje pagada.   

Si estás interesado en el trabajo y servicio comunitario, AmeriCorps tiene muchas posiciones para ayudarte a desarrollar y mejorar tus habilidades y hacer una diferencia en la comunidad. 

Si tienes alguna discapacidad, puedes trabajar con Vocational Rehabilitation Youth Services desde los 14 años de edad para empezar a desarrollar habilidades, explorar intereses y opciones, y aprender acerca de los recursos que pueden ayudarte a encontrar un trabajo y mantenerte empleado. Una vez que entres al tercer año de preparatoria (junior), puedes empezar a trabajar con el equipo de apoyo de tu escuela para conocer las opciones y obtener tu diploma de preparatoria. También puedes empezar el plan de transición para tus años después de la escuela preparatoria.

Haz una práctica o voluntariado en el área de tu interés

La experiencia en un campo puede ayudarte a determinar si esa carrera es para ti. ¿Te interesa la medicina? Inscríbete como voluntario en OHSU.  ¿Te interesa la tecnología? Prueba Free Geek. ¿Estás interesado en un trabajo social? Prueba el  Banco de Comida de Oregón.  Si estás interesado en la construcción, prueba The Rebuilding Center. ¿Te gustan los animales o deseas estudiar para ser veterinario? Prueba el Zoológico, la Audubon Society o la Humane Society. ¿Te gusta la biblioteca? ¡Conviértete en voluntario con nosotros!  

De acuerdo a la ley de Oregón, todos los distritos escolares ofrecen Programas de Educación Profesional y Carreras Técnicas: Portland Public Schools, Gresham, Centennial, Parkrose, Reynolds y David Douglas. Estos programas incluyen una amplia variedad de oportunidades de aprendizaje práctico en clase y en la comunidad.

¿Deseas más ideas de qué hacer después de la preparatoria? Con gusto te ayudamos, comunícate con nosotros a aprendiendo@multcolib.org

Graduating student in cap and gown taking selfie with Elder.
The whole wide world is open to you after high school. You can be anything you want! But what choices do you want to make out of the millions available to you? 

There’s an infinite variety of work out there. What matters most to you? Which skills and talents do you already have and which do you want to build? What Color Is Your Parachute for Teens helps narrow down those infinite choices into some concrete steps.  

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is an online database that outlines the skills and education needed for hundreds of careers in a wide variety of fields. It identifies which fields and jobs are growing or shrinking and which jobs are related and how. 

By Oregon law, every school district offers Career and Technical Education programs - Portland Public Schools, Gresham, Centennial, Parkrose, Reynolds, and David Douglas. These include a wide variety of hands-on learning opportunities in class and in the community.  

Hands-on experience in a field can help you figure out if that’s the career for you. Interested in a medical career? Volunteer at OHSU. Interested in Information Technology? Try Free Geek. Interested in social work? Try Oregon Food Bank. Interested in construction? Try The Rebuilding Center. Interested in a career with animals? Try the Zoo or the Audubon Society or the Humane Society. Love the library? Volunteer for us!

If you’re thinking about a business career, De la Salle North Catholic High School offers a work-study program where you can work in a corporate partner office one day a week to pay for your private high school tuition and learn job skills.

If you’re interested in being an entrepreneur, you can start now. Moziah Bridges started making and selling bow ties at age nine and wrote a guide to starting a business at age 17. Mikaila Ulmer started her lemonade stand as a kid and grew it into a multi-million dollar foundation to help save bees by age 15. If those stories inspire you, The Young Adult Library of Small Business and Finance ebook series takes you through making a plan, finding funding, and marketing your business. Librarian Tara wrote a blog post about library resources to use when starting a business.

Many students from all sorts of backgrounds and with all sorts of goals choose to go to college after high school. The library has collected sources of information on financial aid, choosing a college, college admissions, and studying abroad on our College help for teens page.

But with the high cost of college, many people are looking at alternatives. In a survey, more than half of teens said they were not interested in a four-year degree. They’d rather have shorter, job-focused training. And many of those going to college are looking for apprenticeship or internship opportunities.

Many skilled construction trades offer interesting and challenging work with good pay and benefits. Vocational high school programs, like Benson Polytechnic, can get you directly into an apprenticeship. Girls Build offers camps and afterschool programs to encourage girls to enter the building trades.

For those who have already graduated, Oregon Tradewomen offers a Trades and Apprenticeship Careers Class as a first step to learn about construction trades and enter into a paid apprenticeship.  

Portland Youth Builders has two programs: Youth Build combines work toward a high school diploma or GED with vocational training in construction or technology. Or if you’ve already earned a high school diploma or GED, you can enter the nine-week Bridge program that prepares you for a paid apprenticeship and includes career counseling and leadership development.

If you have a disability, you can work with state Vocational Rehabilitation Youth Services as early as age 14 to start building skills, exploring interests, and learning about the supports that can help you find and keep a job. Once you enter your junior year, you’ll start working with your school team to learn about your diploma options and plan your transition into your next steps after high school.

The number of students taking a gap year is up* thanks to the pandemic. For many, a gap year offers time to rest, explore and mature before settling on a major and career. There are pros and cons to a gap year. Some people engage with a gap year program, but many young people take an independent gap year, working full or part time, living away from home for the first time, volunteering at home or abroad, or traveling.

For those with an interest in community service, AmeriCorps has many positions to grow your skills and make a difference. AmeriCorps members serve part time or full time for year-long positions, such as helping run after school programs, teaching cooking classes at the food bank, or helping veterans find affordable housing. The National Civilian Conservation Corps division of AmeriCorps works on hands-on conservation and climate change mitigation projects. Members in either program get a modest monthly stipend and an education award at the end of the year that can go for tuition or paying off student loans.

Still daunted? That’s okay! You’ve got your whole life and a lot to explore. Failing and recovering are part of what makes a great life after high school as much as your successes and achievements. So try something new, muck around, change your mind, and have fun!

*You will need a library card number to access these library databases. You will also need one to place holds on library books and/or check them out. Thankfully, Multnomah County Library has partnered with public school districts to provide students with automatic library accounts. See Library Connect for more information. 

This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

Baby playing with number magnets on a table
It’s good to know that we, as caregivers, don’t need to have a background in statistics, geometry or calculus in order to give our kids a head start in math skills. But you may be asking yourself, does math even matter in the early childhood years?

It does. A child’s math knowledge at the start of kindergarten predicts later academic achievement. Fortunately, young children are born curious and are very tuned-in to the world around them. They notice how things have different sizes, shapes and colors. How things move fast or slow, or go up and down. They notice when someone has more gold fish crackers on the plate than they have.

They learn to recite numbers early on and that is important, but math is much more than counting and numbers. Think of how a child might line up all their stuffed animals against a wall from the shortest to the tallest (measurement). They may put the collection of leaves they gathered during their walk into groups of the same color (classification) or place pretend plates and spoons on the table for a make-believe picnic (representation).  

Young children practice spatial sense, geometry and problem-solving when building with a variety of blocks. They notice and create patterns when drawing or doing crafty art. They experiment with weight and density when noticing what will float and what will sink in the bath or pool.

There are many opportunities during the day to explore math. Adults can assist by being enthusiastic explorers with their child. It’s helpful for a child to hear the vocabulary of math and science during their play or when cooking with the family. When they get to school, words like experiment, estimate, organize, predict will already be familiar to them. Math talk enriches everyday learning experiences for young kids and helps build their self-confidence as future learners.

Here are some more great ideas for you to help your child develop early math skills at home.

Have babies or toddlers? Check out Math in the Bath. (Added bonus, they’ll be squeaky clean at the end of the lesson!)

Have a range of ages in your family? Try these lists of excellent books for all ages.

Have a kid in grades K-5? Check out this cooking class for kids, where we'll talk about measuring, counting and shapes while making delicious snacks!

And in honor of March MATHness, the library is celebrating math with lots of fun booklists:

This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

 

“I need help finding grants for my small business”

“Are any grants available for low income people and/or veterans for home repair?”

“I want to find grants to buy a home or for real estate investment”

We get questions like this in the library every week, and we are happy to help!  But the first thing to know about many financial assistance programs is that most of them are not grants in the traditional sense, and that searching grants databases will not get you the information you want.

This post sorts through some of the myths about grants, and to point to sources of funding that might help for the types of questions we typically get at the library. And yes, we’ll cover actual grants, too!

Who gets grants?

Most grants are awarded to:

  • nonprofits like charities, schools, and arts and community organizations,
  • state & local government agencies,
  • federally-recognized tribes,
  • and public safety agencies like hospitals, police and fire departments

Most grants are for specific projects that will benefit many people, such as to produce a museum exhibit, to fund science or technology advances, or infrastructure projects (like installing broadband in a rural community). Grants are not generally given to individuals.  Grants are almost never available to businesses to hire staff, for ongoing expenses, or to expand. 

Applying for grants is a very involved process: you need to explain how you will spend the money, how it will benefit the targeted audience, and how you will document all of this. There’s a reason that “grant writer” is a full-time job held by people at places like non-profits and museums! 

Yep, that sounds like me and/or my organization! So how do I get a grant?

Grants.gov 
 “Despite what the late-night infomercials want you to believe, the federal government does not provide grants for business expansion and growth. There is no ‘free’ money for you to start or grow a business.”  Grants.gov is the source to find and apply for federal grants. It is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards. Grants.gov does not provide personal financial assistance; it’s more like a directory. In order to find grants, go to the grants.gov web site and click on “Search Grants”  On the left hand side you can narrow eligibility to categories like 501(c)(3) nonprofits, state governments, independent school districts, etc. You can also narrow by category, or at least un-check the areas you don’t qualify in. They also have a mobile app.

SAM.gov Assistance listings  (formerly known as Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, or CFDA)
Sort of a companion to Grants.gov, and you may see some overlap. Covers assistance to both individuals and groups, especially state agencies, city governments, school districts, and Indigenous tribal governments and agencies. Some assistance listed here is administered by a state or county agency, which may have application requirements beyond those listed here.

Foundation Directory Online Professional
Library resource. Find potential grant-makers for your nonprofit by geographic area, type of organization, or population to be served. You can also see what kinds of projects a particular grantmaker has funded. Applicants must be a registered 501(c)(3) organization or an international NGO. This database must be used at a library location (no remote access).

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online
Library resource.  Similar to Foundation Directory Online Professional, this is easy to search. You can narrow by people served and geographic location served. It must be used at a library location (no remote access) 

Getting Your Share of the Pie : The Complete Guide to Finding Grants
E-book you can read online with a library card. One important thing it points out in the section on grants to individuals is that “Grant opportunities for individuals are very few in number” and “The vast majority of grants available in this category come in the form of scholarships or fellowships.” 

Candid's knowledge base
The company behind the Foundation Directory has answers to lots of common questions for grant seekers of all stripes, including artists and information on topics like fiscal sponsorship, crowdfunding, and corporate sponsorship. They also publish Philanthropy News Digest, which includes news and RFPs.

Okay, so it sounds like I’m not actually looking for a grant. What other kind of financial help is out there?

Here are some typical areas where individuals can get financial help for a specific purpose. Note that most of these have lots of restrictions, and not everyone will qualify.

Buying a home

Help is available in the form of down payment assistance or government-backed loans. Here are a few in the Portland area. To qualify for any of these programs, you’ll need to meet specific criteria:

Portland Housing Center down payment assistance
Down payment assistance is restricted to Portland Housing Center registered homebuyers.

Proud Ground
For first time homebuyers who meet income requirements

NeighborhoodLIFT and other bank programs
Banks sometimes have programs where a loan is forgiven after you live in the home for 5-10 years, such as NeighborhoodLIFT : “The NeighborhoodLIFT down payment assistance program provides a forgivable, zero-interest down payment loan with no required payments. Eligible homebuyers use the money from this loan for the down payment and closing costs of a home mortgage loan.”

Home Purchase Assistance Program 
Assistance with own payment and closing costs for first and non-first-time homebuyers looking to purchase a home within Portland city limits. (Currently unavailable, November 2021)

African American Alliance for Home Ownership
Programs include HAPP (The Homeownership Asset Preservation Program), a service for qualifying homeowners to protect homeownership and transfer wealth between generations,  pre-purchase counseling, and foreclosure prevention help.

Camino A Casa (thru Hacienda CDC)
Provides coaching for the homebuying process and help with down payments and closing costs through programs like a 3:1 match savings plan (the Individual Development Account) to larger down payment assistance loans.

NAYA
Provides culturally-specific homeownership coaching and assistance for Indigenous people, as well as repair grants

Home repair

Weatherization and Repair from Community Energy Project
Free weatherization and safety repairs for hundreds of low-income households, seniors, and people with disabilities in Portland.

Water leak repair program  
Free water leak repair services for income-qualified homeowners in Portland. Through this program, they can arrange to repair leaking toilets, faucets, or underground water pipes. Sewer repairs are not eligible.

Oregon Energy Trust
Multiple programs, including Savings Within Reach, for help with home energy upgrades for income-qualified households and utility bill payment assistance and help with weatherization improvements for low-income households

Rent and utility assistance for people impacted by COVID-19 (or other emergencies):

Multnomah County Emergency Rent Assistance
Local rent relief for tenant households with incomes at or below 80% area median income who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19. 

Afloat: Utility Debt Relief
A limited-time program to give bill credits for overdue sewer/stormwater/water bills to low-income households with debt related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline to apply for a bill credit  is April 11, 2022.

211
211 is a good place to look for other social service or crisis/ emergency needs.

Aunt Bertha/Findhelp.org
Type in your ZIP code, then click “money” icon and “Help pay for housing”

Small Business help

Small Business Association (federal government) 
Multiple programs for small businesses, including grants and loans

Business Oregon (State government) : Access to Capital- Loans, Loan Guarantees, and Bond Programs
Provides direct loans, and other programs to fund your business.

Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs Credit Corporation (OAMECC)
Helps minority small businesses to overcome the specific problems that limit their success and growth through technical assistance and loans.

Mercy Corps Northwest
Provides financing, mentorship and education to small business owners. This includes loans ranging from $500-$50,000 to startups and existing small businesses and matching contributions to  an Individual Development Account (IDA). They also run Oregon Women's Business Center (open to everyone, despite the name), a training and coaching service for small business owners.

Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO)
Provides loans up to $250,000 to small businesses and matching contributions to an Individual Development Account (IDA), a matched savings account that helps people with modest means to save towards the purchase of assets.

SCORE
Not a funding source, but a great resource for entrepreneurial questions. "SCORE is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses. The Portland Chapter is run by about 70 volunteers who have in depth, practical experience running and managing businesses." SCORE also runs a mentorship program. 

Livelihood NW (formerly known as the PSU Business Outreach Program) 
Non-profit organization that provides free and low cost professional business support to underserved entrepreneurs and small business owners in Portland, OR and throughout the Pacific NW.

Grants and Scholarships for College

Please begin by reading this Planning and Paying for College resource list from MCL’s home learning team.

Oregon Goes to College
Need-based grants, such as Pell Grants, the Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) and Oregon Promise Grants

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online 
Library resource.  Similar to Foundation Directory Online Professional, this is easy to search. It must be used at a library location (no remote access)  Grants and scholarships for higher education, generally restricted to a particular course of study/degree program and/or to people meeting specific criteria. Some examples of scholarships listed in this database:

  • Need-based Scholarships for dependents of those killed or permanently disabled as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks 
  • Scholarships to graduating high school seniors of Walla Walla County, WA 
  • Scholarships for WA and OR residents of Danish descent who have shown exceptional involvement in the Danish community
     

Scholarship America
Free website listing scholarship opportunities with links to sponsoring organizations. These also tend to be for specific courses of study, for people with residency or demographic matches, or students who have demonstrated leadership or ability in certain areas.

And of course, contact the financial aid and scholarship office at your college or university for more ideas!

Everything Else

SAM.gov Assistance listings (formerly known as Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, or CFDA)
Sort of a companion to Grants.gov, and you may see some overlap. Covers assistance to both individuals and groups, especially state agencies, city governments, school districts, and Indigenous tribal governments and agencies. Some assistance listed here is administered by a state or county agency, which may have application requirements beyond those listed here.

Some examples of assistance for individuals listed here are  grants intended to help very low-income owner-occupants in rural areas repair their properties, scholarships for American Indians and Alaska Natives studying health professions who commit to serving in the Indian Health Service for two years ,and financial assistance to organic producers and handlers for certification programs.

Benefits.gov
A list, searchable by state and subcategory (Living assistance, Insurance, etc) of state and federal government-funded programs, from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to Crop Insurance to State Crime Victims Compensation. Includes links to apply for assistance or get more information about eligibility.

Black Resilience Fund
An emergency fund dedicated to healing and resilience by providing immediate resources to Black Portlanders.

Oregon IDA
Individual Development Accounts, or IDAs, are matched savings accounts that build the financial management skills of qualifying Oregonians with lower incomes while they save towards a defined goal. Oregonians who qualify can save for goals including homeownership or home repair, small business start-up or expansion, post-secondary education or job training, employment-related adaptive equipment, vehicle purchase, and more.

 

Have more questions? Contact us if you have other questions about grants or financial assistance, or if there's a resource we should add.

 

 



 

Students looking at grammar workbook together, outside
As the end of the school year comes closer, students start thinking about spring finals and Advanced Placement exams, or looking ahead to the PSAT, SAT or ACT for colleges. The library is here to help with print and online resources and live tutoring help, along with some study tips.

Your student can get started with study guides and learn how to organize and stop putting off their homework and studying. The library has books to help with math, science, essay writing, and AP exams. The library can help with college entrance exams too!

Be sure to also check out our online resources. Students of all ages can get live help in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, 2-10 pm daily, with Live Homework Help from Tutor.com. Tutors can proofread papers and work through math problems with students. Tutor.com also has practice tests, PSAT study guides, AP exam tips, flashcards and more.

High school students can find more AP practice tests, flashcards, study guides and practice college entrance exams in Learning Express Library. They can also find resources for their math, science, language arts, social studies, and technology classes.

All this is free and available with a library card number. Chances are your child has one with Library Connect, our partnership with public school districts. If they know their student ID number, check for your district code to begin using the resources. If password help is needed, the quickest way is by phone. You can also use email or chat between 9 am and 5 pm to reach one of our staff members.

Now that your student is ready to use and borrow library resources, the next step is studying. Teachers and school counselors have tips to help:

  • Plan ahead. Create a schedule of when each test is and how much time to study for each. Avoid stress and worry by spacing out study time rather than cramming.
  • Find a place where your child can concentrate and be comfortable. The library can be a great place! It’s free and there are computers to use for those online resources mentioned above.
  • Have study supplies ready--notes, textbooks, highlighter, pen or pencil, paper. If using a tablet or laptop, make sure it’s charged or that the charger and an outlet are handy.
  • People learn in different ways. What does your child need: a fidget to occupy hands and focus their mind? space to move? ability to listen to a video or audio recording or to read aloud?
  • Remind your student about silencing or using the ‘do not disturb’ feature on their cell phone if they have one. Remind them to close any apps and tabs on their laptop that aren’t for studying.
  • Set an alarm so your child gives their mind and body a short break every hour or so. Suggest to your child that they take a walk, get some food and/or talk to family or friends before returning to study.
  • Ask a couple classmates if they’re interested in forming a study group to support each other.
  • Know what can be taken into the test. If notes are okay, organize them. Only #2 pencils allowed? Have a couple extra ready. Check calculator batteries.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.

Most important is remembering that it’s okay to ask for help, especially if they have feelings of anxiety. Worrying about tests is common. If your child has anxiety about test taking or school in general, we have recommended resources for parents, children and teens that may help.

This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

Child with pirate face paint at Día de los Niños at St Johns Library, 2019
Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros, conocido como Día, es una celebración de la niñez, el alfabetismo bilingüe y la diversidad en nuestra cultura con un enfoque en la inclusión. Para celebrar este día especial, los niños pueden venir a la biblioteca para recibir un paquete de actividades encantador y un libro de su gusto completamente gratis. Los paquetes y libros estarán disponibles en nuestras 19 bibliotecas desde el 25 de abril; y serán regalados hasta agotar existencias. No es necesario inscribirse.

En asociación con organizaciones comunitarias, la biblioteca será anfitriona de celebraciones del Día de los Niños en la comunidad. Síganos en nuestra página de Facebook o nuestro sitio multcolib.org/es para más información y conocer los últimos detalles.

El día de los niños/El día de los libros es posible en parte gracias a La Fundación de la Biblioteca con apoyo de The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation.

Día de los Niños / Día de los libros (Children's Day / Book Day), commonly known as Día, is a celebration of childhood, bilingual literacy and multiculturalism with a focus on inclusion. To celebrate this special day, children can come to the library to receive a free activity kit and a book of their choice starting April 25th, until supplies last. Kits will be available at all 19 Multnomah County Library locations. No registration necessary.

In partnership with community organizations, the library is also planning on hosting Día celebrations out in the community.  Follow us on our Facebook page and multcolib.org for updates. 

Children's Day/Book Day is made possible in part by The Library Foundation with support from The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation.

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Hằng năm vào mùa khai thuế, thư viện chuẩn bị sẵn sàng để hỗ trợ — hoặc là sách, buổi hướng dẫn, giới thiệu dịch vụ trợ giúp khai thuế, hay in ra các biểu mẫu khi quý vị cần. Chúng tôi ở đây là vì quý vị! Hãy tìm kiếm những hoạt động trợ giúp sắp diễn ra, chương trình, và bài Blog đăng trên trang mạng của chúng tôi để có những thông tin mới nhất.

Hạn chót để nộp tờ khai thuế liên bang và tiểu bang là thứ Hai, ngày 18 tháng 4, 2022. Mặc dù dịch bệnh COVID-19 đã gây khó khăn cho việc giúp đỡ trực tiếp, quý vị vẫn có thể nhận được sự trợ giúp và hỗ trợ khai thuế theo những cách sau.

Bản sao các biểu mẫu hoặc tập sách hướng dẫn

Hỗ trợ chuẩn bị khai thuế

Các hỗ trợ khác về thuế

Khai thuế miễn phí qua mạng

Quý vị còn có câu hỏi?

Gọi thư viện số 503.988.5123, gửi mẫu thư, hoặc trò chuyện với chúng tôi. Nhân viên thư viện không thể giúp chuẩn bị hồ sơ khai thuế, tư vấn cho những vấn đề thuế, hoặc giải thích luật thuế.

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Todos los años, durante la temporada de declaración de impuestos, la biblioteca está lista para ayudar, ya sea con libros, talleres, referencias para ayuda con los impuestos o para imprimir los formularios que necesita, ¡estamos aquí para ayudarle! Busque los próximos eventos, programas y publicaciones de blog en nuestro sitio web para obtener la información más actualizada.

La fecha límite para presentar declaraciones de impuestos federales y estatales es el lunes, 18 de abril de 2022. Aunque la pandemia de COVID-19 ha dificultado la obtención de ayuda en persona, aún puede obtener asistencia y apoyo para la preparación de impuestos de las siguientes maneras:

Copias en papel de formularios o instrucciones de impuestos

Asistencia para la preparación de las declaraciones de impuestos

Otra asistencia fiscal

Declare sus impuestos en línea gratis

¿Todavía tienes preguntas?

Llame a la biblioteca al 503.988.5123, envíenos un correo electrónico o chatee con nosotros. El personal de la biblioteca no puede preparar declaraciones de impuestos, asesorar sobre asuntos fiscales o interpretar la ley fiscal.

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Каждый год во время сезона подачи налоговых деклараций библиотека готова помочь с предоставлением необходимой литературы, семинаров, распечаткой необходимых вам форм и информации об организациях, где можно получить индивидуальную помощь. Мы всегда готовы вам помочь! Чтобы получить самую свежую информацию следите за сообщениями в блогах, новостями о предстоящих событиях и программах на нашем сайте.

Крайний срок подачи федеральных и государственных налоговых деклараций — понедельник, 18 апреля 2022 г. Пандемия COVID-19 осложняет получение непосредственной помощи, но вы все равно можете получить поддержку в подготовке налоговых деклараций следующими способами:

Бумажные копии налоговых форм или инструкций

  • Загрузите и распечатайте формы и инструкции для федеральных налогов с страницы Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Forms & Instructions, а для штата Орегон с страницы Oregon Department of Revenue Forms and Publications. Если у вас нет возможности распечатать формы и инструкции дома, то вы можете их отправить на принтеры библиотеки практически с любого устройства или из любого места, где есть подключение к Интернету.
  • Получите формы по почте. Чтобы получить федеральные налоговые формы по почте, следуйте инструкциям на веб-сайте IRS  или позвоните по телефону 800.829.3676. Чтобы получить налоговые формы штата Орегон по почте, заполните форму онлайн-заказа или позвоните по телефону 503.378.4988 или 800.356.4222 (бесплатно).
  • Обратитесь в библиотеку. Ограниченное количество федеральных налоговых форм доступно в библиотеках. Чтобы узнать, что конкретно имеется в ближайшей к вам библиотеке, позвоните по телефону 503.988.5123 или свяжитесь с нами, отправив электронное сообщение.
  • Налоговое управление штата Орегон больше не отправляет налоговые формы и инструкции в библиотеки, поэтому у нас не будет в наличии никаких бумажных форм штата Орегон. Однако мы можем распечатать многие из необходимых вам форм. Свяжитесь с нами или спросите сотрудников в любом отделении библиотеки.

Помощь в оформлении налоговой декларации

  • Волонтеры, прошедшие сертификацию IRS, будут оказывать виртуальную помощь в заполнении налоговых деклараций начиная с 29 января. Необходима предварительная запись. Позвоните по телефону 503.966.7942, чтобы узнать, соответствуете ли вы требованиям, и записаться на прием. Доступны услуги переводчика. Вы можете найти дополнительную информацию и получить пакеты документов онлайн с веб-сайта организации Metropolitan Family Service и CASH Oregon в рамках программы IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
  • Другие общественные группы организуют очные и виртуальные программы налоговой помощи IRS (VITA)  для налогоплательщиков, отвечающим определенным требованиям; проверьте сайт бесплатной подготовки налоговой декларации  IRS Free tax return preparation для партнеров, предоставляющих эту услугу в вашем регионе.
  • CASH Oregon также может помочь с заявкой и продлением индивидуального идентификационного номера налогоплательщика (ITIN). Звоните 503.874.6075 для получения дополнительной информации.
  • Служба налоговой помощи фонда AARP предлагает налоговую помощь онлайн. Есть обширный раздел самопомощи. Вы также можете отправить им по электронной почте свои вопросы о федеральном подоходном налоге. Чтобы получить индивидуальную налоговую помощь от организации AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, используйте их сайт, чтобы найти ближайшее к вам местонахождение.
  • Если вы являетесь самозанятым водителем, то Roadmap to Rideshare Taxes может помочь вам сориентироваться в том, как работают налоги на самозанятость, как подсчитывать свой доход от вождения, как отслеживать налоговые вычеты и как платить ориентировочно-предполагаемые налоги.
  • Получите помощь от IRS онлайн или по телефону 800.829.1040.
  • Получите помощь в Налоговом управлении штата Орегон онлайн отправив электронное письмо по адресу question.dor@oregon.gov или позвоните по телефонам 503-378-4988 или 800-356-4222. Рабочие часы - с 7:30 до 17:00 с понедельника по пятницу. Телефонные линии закрыты с 9:00 до 11:00 по четвергам и в праздничные дни.
  • Дополнительную информацию о подоходном налоге на Portland Arts Education и Access Income Tax можно получить на веб-сайте Portland Revenue Online или по телефону 503-865-4278.

Другая налоговая помощь

  • На веб-сайте IRS вы также можете узнать о налоговых льготах (Coronavirus Tax Relief ) и проверить статус ваших выплат за экономические последствия (Economic Impact Payment) в связи с коронавирусом.
  • Если вам нужна помощь с налоговым вопросом, выходящим за рамки обычной налоговой декларации, возможно вам сможет помочь Low Income Taxpayer Clinic юридической школы Lewis & Clark. Они обеспечивают бесплатное юридическое представительство по вопросам федерального налогообложения, специализируясь на спорах клиентов с IRS. Свяжитесь с ними по электронной почте sarahlora@lclark.edu или заполните онлайн-форму.
  • У вас есть вопросы об административных постановлениях и позициях IRS? Хотите прочитать анализ последнего налогового законодательства или информационный бюллетень налоговых брифингов CCH Tax Briefings? VitalLaw (ранее CCH Cheetah) - это ресурс, предназначенный главным образом для налоговых юристов и профессиональных налоговых специалистов, который может помочь в нестандартных налоговых ситуациях. Он доступен в любом из 19 наших библиотек (без удаленного доступа).

Подайте налоговую декларацию онлайн бесплатно

MyFreeTaxes от United Way помогает правомочным налогоплательщикам бесплатно подготовить и подать в электронном виде свои федеральные налоговые декларации и налоговые декларации штата, а также предлагает различные способы получения поддержки.

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每年在报税季节,图书馆随时准备提供帮助——无论是书籍、研讨会、转介税务辅助,还是打印您需要的表格,我们都在这里为您服务!

请在我们的网站上查看即将举行的活动、节目和博客文章,以获取最新信息。

2022年4月18日是提交联邦和州府报税表的截止日期。虽然 COVID-19 新冠疫情使现场的报税辅助变得很困难,但是您仍然可以通过以下方式获得准备报税方面的帮助和支持。

报税表或说明书

报税辅助

其他税务协助

  • 您可以在 IRS 网站上找到有关新冠疫情报税纾困查询如何获取补助金的信息。
  • 如果您需要在常规报税准备之外的其他帮助,请联系 Lewis & Clark Law School 的低收入纳税人服务处,他们或许能帮助您。他们提供联邦税务方面依据民众基本需求而定的免费法律协助,专门处理纳税人与 IRS 的争议。请发送电邮至sarahlora@lclark.edu在网上填写表格与其联系。
  • 您是否有关于 IRS 的行政裁决与立场方面的问题? 或是想阅读近期税法分析或 CCH 税务简报(时事通讯)?VitalLaw (前身为 CCH Cheetah) 主要是提供税务律师和专业报税员所用,参考这个资料库或许有助于处理某些特殊税务情况,我们所有19个图书馆都备有 VitalLaw 资料库 (无法远端使用)。

免费网上报税 

  • CASH Oregon 列出了免费上网报税的选项,如果您符合条件便可免费使用。
  • IRS Free File 网站有免费的网上准备和提交联邦所得税服务供您使用。
  • Oregon Department of Revenue 列出了免费的认证报税软件,如果您符合资格便可免费使用。了解更多有关俄勒冈州税电子申报信息
  • 从2022年1月24日开始,使用 IRS free fillable forms 网上免费可填写表格,俄勒冈州不再提供免费可填写表格。
  • MyFreeTaxes (United Way) 免费协助符合条件的纳税人准备以及电子提交联邦与州税申报表,协助并包括其他数种支援方式。

仍然有问题吗?

请致电 503.988.5123 或发电邮与我们连络。图书馆工作人员无法为您准备报税表、就税务问题提供建议、或解释税法。

 

In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8), Multnomah County Library is highlighting renegade women authors who challenge the status quo with their innovative and groundbreaking work.

#BreakTheBias and discover women authors past and present that have been writing about changes in society, what they hope to see, and how we can get there. 

Svetlana Alexievich (1948 - present)
Journalist, poet, and Nobel Prize laureate Svetlana Alexievich writes in Russian, and currently lives in Germany. Her father was Belarusian, her mother Ukrainian, and she was born in Ukraine. Her first book The Unwomanly Face of War received strong criticism and praise for adding over 500 perspectives of women in war, as both victims and soldiers. Her books have sparked conversation and broken barriers. She has spoken out about the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, the children of World War II, and the fall of the Soviet Union. Alexievich’s novel Secondhand Time was the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. It is an oral history of the collapse of the USSR, focusing on the voices of women and men whose stories may have been lost. Alexievich has channeled her works in sharing stories of war and turmoil, while humanizing those most impacted. Find books by Svetlana Alexievich

Renegade author Svetlana Alexievich
 
Octavia Butler (1947 - 2006)
Science fiction author and winner of the MacArthur “Genius” Grant, Octavia Butler wrote dystopian novels about women’s rights, Black injustice, and the climate crisis. Butler’s novel Parable of the Sower centers on an African American woman in 2025, suffering from a hereditary trait where she feels other people's pains as her own.  Her novels focused on the points of view of characters that had not been written about before and brought their experiences to light with empathy and integrity. Butler won awards for best science fiction or fantasy, including several Nebula and Hugo Awards. She also won the PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award. Find books by Octavia Butler.

Renegade author Octavia Butler
 
Laura Kate Dale (1991 - present)
Laura Kate Dale is an activist, author, and video game journalist. She is most well known for writing about and for the transgender and autism communities. Her second book Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman is an autobiographical account of her life. Dale’s third book Gender Euphoria: Stories of Joy from Trans, Non Binary and Intersex Writers is a joyful set of essays about the happiness of living out your true identity. Dale constantly pushes back on the narrative of gender dysphoria and struggles of being transgender through true gender euphoria. Find books by Laura Kate Dale.

Renegade author Laura Kate Dale
 
Joy Harjo (1951 - present)
Performer, author, and Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo has written poetry books, plays, memoirs and children’s books. An American Sunrise is a collection of poems about the Mvskoke people who were forcibly removed from their original land. Harjo intertwines her personal story and journey with tribal history. She is the first Native American to serve as Poet Laureate for the United States, and is on her third term. Harjo has received many accolades and awards for her work. In the last decade, she won the Lilly Prize for poetry and music (2017), the Griffin Poetry Prize (2016), and the Wallace Stevens Award by the Academy of American Poets (2015). Find books by Joy Harjo.

Renegade author Joy Harjo

bell hooks (1952 - 2021)
Renowned author bell hooks, also known as Gloria Jean Watkins, was a feminist, activist and cultural critic. Ms. hooks, who intentionally did not capitalize her name so as to place more attention on her work than herself, wrote more than 30 books exploring racism, gender, class, sexism, intersectionality, and history. She is most well-known for Ain't I a woman? Black Women and Feminism and the Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. She was critical of the feminist movement for centering whiteness and rallied people to consider a new wave of feminism where race and class where interwoven. Her books ranged in genre including children’s fiction, poetry, education, and memoirs. Central to conversations about race, sex, and feminism, hooks' literature has won numerous awards. Find books by bell hooks.

Renegade author bell hooks

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929 - 2018)
Ursula K. Le Guin was an essayist who wrote short stories, poetry, science fiction and fantasy. Her novel, The Dispossessed, won her a Nebula Award, and made her the first woman to win the Hugo Award. This book also made her the first person to win two distinguished awards in science fiction at the same time. Her 1969 novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, pushed discussion about gender and sex roles. Set in a world where people are androgynous or ambisexual, she challenged ideas on human connection and expectations. She fought against the digitization of books by Google and was critical of Amazon’s treatment of authors. In 2014, Le Guin was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She won several Nebula, Hugo, Jupiter, and Locus awards throughout her lifetime. Le Guin was active in the Portland and Oregon literary community. She was a member of both the Literary Arts and Multnomah County Library advisory boards. Find books by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Renegade author Ursula LeGuin

Gabby Rivera (1982 - present)
Gabby Rivera is a queer Puerto Rican woman from the Bronx, and an LGBTQ+ youth advocate. She is also the first Latin woman to write for Marvel Comics, in a series titled America. In America, Rivera features Chavez as the first Latina lesbian teen superhero of the comic. Rivera focuses on centering joy in the narratives about LGBTQ+, Latinx and people of color. In her 2016 young adult novel Juliet Takes a Breath, Rivera’s character makes the move to Portland, Oregon, after coming out to her family. This book won her the 2017 Silver IPPY Award for Best LGBTQ Fiction, and was re-published by Penguin Random House in 2019. Rivera is a public speaker, writer, activist, and youth mentor. Find books by Gabby Rivera.

Renegade author Gabby Rivera

Jenny Zhang (1983 - present)
Jenny Zhang is a writer, poet and essayist. Her books touch on different perspectives for current and sensitive topics including extreme poverty, sexual assault, the immigrant experience and identity. In her 2017 novel, Sour Heart, Zhang writes a collection of short stories about the complex relationships between Chinese-American families. In 2018, she won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction). This same year, Zhang won the PEN/ Robert W. Bingham Prize for Sour Heart, an award specifically for debut work in fiction, where the collection of stories showcase great literary achievement. Throughout her career, Zhang has written numerous essays and poetry. In Dear Jenny, We Are All Find, Zhang writes poems that vary in structure and style. She covers racism, sexism, and objectification, with the outcome of self discovery. Find books by Jenny Zhang.

Renegade author Jenny Zhang

Discover more women breaking the bias with these My Librarian book recommendations.
 

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