Blogs

March 14 Roosevelt HS walkout. Courtesy of the Gresham Outlook.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”

-- attributed to Margaret Mead, used with permission

The students at Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School -- who channeled their fear and outrage over the horrific event at their school into an organized, non-violent campaign advocating for an end to gun violence and mass shootings -- embody Mead’s thoughtful, committed citizens. In one short month, they organized the National School Walkout on March 14 and the upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24, as well as a third protest commemorating the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School on April 20. For more books about student activists and activism, take a look at this list.

Hundreds of Multnomah County students participated in the walkout on March 14. Reynolds High School students, who experienced a school shooting in 2014, heard from one of their classmates, as reported in the Gresham Outlook (photo left).

March for Our Lives in downtown Portland
"Divine Robertson, a 17 year-old junior and an organizer of the Reynolds event said it was meant 'to give a statement to everyone out in the world...that we're not accepting that there are school shootings and that schools aren't keeping kids safe like they should.'"

An estimated 12,000 people participated in Portland’s March for Our Lives on March 24. Students at a number of Multnomah County schools have registered their intention to walk out in peaceful protest on April 20.

The Extra Woman

“I’ve never been much for the spotlight.”

by Sarah Binns

For this month’s Volunteer Spotlight, I was delighted to interview someone whose studious work ethic and generosity is familiar: Tim Feliciano, search assistant at Northwest Library, began working at that library in 2014 around the same time I did. For a fun- and book-filled couple of years, Tim and I were a team, dividing up the paging list, fulfilling holds, and having a grand time.

“I wasn’t sure I’d like volunteering at the library,” he remembers. “I wasn’t sure I could get through the long paging list, but then you came on and we developed a system.” The rest is history! Though I am no longer there, Tim continues as a search assistant and also shelves holds, weeds out old books, and even does book repair. “It’s a recent promotion,” he laughs. “When people take a book to the beach and it gets sandy, the binding falls apart. So I re-glue the binding on books like that or get liquid spills off covers.”

Born and raised in Portland, Tim’s path to library volunteering is unexpected. After attending PSU, OHSU, and University of Texas Medical Branch he worked at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center in North Portland for 27 years. “I did everything from assisting at the blood bank to working on tissue typing for transplants. I enjoyed it a lot because I was behind the scenes. I’ve never been much for the spotlight.”

Along the way he met the person who would change his life—and his library habits—for good: “I met my wife Susan at a ballroom dance class about 30 years ago.”

“It was an intermediate swing class,” Susan adds. Susan Smallsreed is the Youth Librarian at Northwest Library, so Tim’s volunteer gig is all in the family. After retiring from the Red Cross, he says, “I needed things to do when you can’t play golf and the weather is bad, so I do things like bowling and pulling books at the library!”

Despite Susan’s library connection, Tim says he doesn’t read much besides the dictionary and technical or medical textbooks, which he memorizes thanks to a semi-photographic memory. He never stops learning, though, and is currently taking a PCC Italian language class to prepare for his and Susan’s trip to Italy in November. It will be a well-deserved vacation for one of Northwest’s longest-serving volunteers!


A few facts about Tim

Home library: Northwest

Favorite book from childhood: “For me it was Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, those all ends well fantasies. For my kids it was Where the Sidewalk Ends.”

Most influential book: The Baltimore Catechism. “I studied that for two or three years.”

Favorite book as an adult: Any action adventure books by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

Book that made him laugh: Growing up Catholic and They Kill Managers, Don’t They? “I thought, ‘this may help me’!”

E-reader or paper? Large print paper books

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

 

 

Recent changes in the global marketplace for recycling material have trickled down to the Portland area and has resulted in a shift to what you can and can’t recycle locally. Prior to the start of 2018, local recycling drop off sites were informing consumers of the coming change and stopped collecting plastic bags, plastic film, clamshell containers, and lids.

What changed?

China, one of the larger purchasers of local recycled material, announced that they were going to halt the imports of some recyclable plastics and paper by 2018.

What can you do?

  • Metro suggests that you sort by plastic shape, not by number, when placing items in your home recycling container.
  • Be mindful of the seven things to keep out of your recycling bin.

  • Metro has a online database to help you locate options for recycling by material and by location.


Where can you learn more?

Here is a list with additional sites and links to help you sort through the recent changes to local recycling.

Pick up a Metro refrigerator magnet at your local library with contact information on who to ask if you should toss or recycle (while supplies last).

Need more help? Contact a librarian and let us know how we can assist you.


 

In the face of tragedy and violence, it can be hard to know what to say to kids. How do you answer your child’s questions while reassuring them that you will keep them safe? The American Psychological Association says, "It is important to remember that children look to their parents to make them feel safe. This is true no matter what age your children are, be they toddlers, adolescents or even young adults."

Here are three resources that can help parents and caregivers:

Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting. From the American Psychological Association.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has several resources about mass violence available on their website including Talking to Children about the Shooting and Tips on Media Coverage

A Survival Guide for Parents of Teenagers: What if the next shooting is at my school? A tip sheet for talking to your teen about school violence. From the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development.

After Feb. 28, the library will no longer have audiobooks available via the Hoopla service. Here's the good news: Many of those same audiobooks are also available from OverDrive. We're making this change because it puts all of the audiobooks in one place and saves the library some money at the same time. To make sure you can still get the audiobooks you love, we’ve also added an “always available” audiobook collection to OverDrive comprised of 200 popular audiobooks from the Hoopla collection.

We made this change to our electronic offerings for a couple of reasons. The main one is budgetary: Hoopla operates on a cost per checkout basis, which means that it enables us to provide access to their whole catalog of material, but only pay for what gets used (usually $1.99-$3.99 per check out for audiobooks). This also means that the more it is used, the more we pay. Audiobooks have grown enormously in popularity over the past few years, on Hoopla, but especially on OverDrive (OverDrive audiobooks get about 5 times the checkouts Hoopla audiobooks do) and our budget has remained flat in that time as well. Since we can control costs on OverDrive better than we can on Hoopla and since it is the place most people already go for audiobooks, we decided to consolidate our audiobook offerings to the OverDrive service.

We know that this is disappointing for many people (we've heard from a lot of them), but we are trying to be good stewards of public funds. We plan to continue to support the unique content Hoopla offers (we will still offer music, video, and comic books on Hoopla) and expand the OverDrive collection, both in titles and in copies.

If you have never used OverDrive before, I hope you'll give it a try. We have made a page for easy browsing of currently available audiobooks here.


 

We know that snow day closures can throw things off-kilter. Don't worry, we've got you covered. For snow day closures:

  • Don't worry about returning your books when the library is closed for snow days.
  • Late fines won't be charged for the days the library is closed.
  • No holds will expire while the library is closed.

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

St Johns Library in the snow

A generation of sociopaths

You meet interesting people at the library
Pat Daggett

by Donna Childs

We know that libraries are full of stories, but they aren’t all between the book covers.  The staff and volunteers may have stories too.  Take Pat Daggett who enters holds data at the Sellwood Library every Tuesday.  Who would know that she and her husband lived in Saudi Arabia for four years?  A transportation expert, he helped the Saudis set up a bus system, while she did office work for the US Army Corps of Engineers.  After returning to the US with a new understanding of the region, they answered an ad to host Middle Eastern students.  That led to ten years of serving as second parents to students from Saudi Arabia, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.  Not only do the young people keep in touch after returning home, one called when a new student was arriving. He asked to speak to the new fellow to ensure that they’d be ok.   In addition to forming close friendships with their charges, they saw this venture as an “opportunity to create tolerance.”

In addition to the Corps of Engineers, Pat has worked for such diverse organizations as Reed College, AT&T, a congressman in Washington DC, attorneys in Ohio and Delaware, and the Oregon State Legislature.  She also spent 19 years working in many capacities at the American Tinnitus Association, where she became an expert in hearing issues.  

With a BA in Library Science, Pat was also an elementary school librarian for two years. As a member of the University Club’s Library Committee, she helps choose books for the club’s library and organize an annual dinner featuring a local writer as guest speaker.  Thus, it seemed natural for Pat to volunteer at Sellwood when she retired.  At first, she canvassed the library searching for holds, but now foot problems have necessitated a more sedentary task:  processing data on holds coming from and going to other County libraries.  Like many volunteers who work with holds, she relishes the chance to discover new books, and she enjoys Sellwood’s intimate atmosphere where she can get to know staff and patrons.


A few facts about Pat

Home library:  Sellwood

Currently reading:  Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

Favorite book from childhood:  The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Favorite section of the library:  Historical fiction and geography

E-reader or paper book?  paper

Favorite reading guilty pleasure:  before/during chores

Favorite place to read:  in a patch of sun

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

Irie Page is about to turn 14. Instead of, say, a birthday sleepover, she has planned a gift for her community, a free event featuring Mike Domitrz, the founder of the Date Safe Project and a consent educator for kids, teens and adults.  The funny, interactive presentation that he gives to teens and adults is called "Can I Kiss You?", which is also the title of his book. It focuses on how to have healthy, safe relationships and how to both avoid sexual assault and avoid sexually assaulting someone else. Her family raised money online to pay Domitrz's speaking fee, and after the story was covered on the local news, they got all the funding they needed. The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 9th in the Lincoln Recital Hall at Portland State University. PSU has waived the rental fees in support of Irie’s event.


I first met this remarkable young woman at the reference desk at my library when she was just a little kid signing up for our Read to the Dogs program. We book lovers who work at the library always notice the passionate readers, the ones who leave with huge stacks of books they’re obviously eager to dive into, and that was Irie. When she was old enough, I suggested that she volunteer for our Summer Reading program, giving out prizes to kids for reading, and she brought huge enthusiasm to this as well. When she told me last summer about the event she was planning, we decided to put together a book display. Irie chose all the books herself. If you can’t get in to see the display, here’s the list.

“After I saw Malala speak, I was inspired to do something for my community,” Irie told me. She originally wanted actress and feminist Emma Watson. "That's not going to happen," her mom told her, and then suggested Domitrz. When Irie happened upon a book here at the library about philanthropy parties, her idea took off.

“I’ve always seen things in the world and thought, ‘That’s messed up. I want to change that,” said Irie. Like Malala, the Pakistani advocate for girls’ rights to education, she decided she could make a difference. She chose to start here, in her own city. 


***EDITED to update Irie's story. This event was a huge success. There was so much community interest that Portland State University gave them a bigger theater in which to hold it, and it was still standing room only, with more than 500 in attendance. I took my middle school-age son and we both found it interesting and inspiring. I was delighted last week when I ran into Irie in the library and she told me she's one of two state honorees for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. This is a very big deal! She's won $1000, a silver medallion, and a trip to Washington, D.C. At a ceremony in D.C., five national honorees will be chosen from among the state award winners. The staff at my library, who has known Irie for so long, is rooting for her to win the national award, which comes with even more honors and with cash awards for her and for the charity of her choice. We're so proud of her.

 

cover of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
If I mention Peter and Fudge, I’m guessing there are 10-year-olds, 16-year-olds, 30- and 50-year-olds who will know these brothers. They probably also know that you can’t get freckles by drinking a nasty tasting potion. Many may remember the cruelty of classmates in Blubber. And they’ll probably know exactly who wrote Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Freckle Juice, and Blubber--Judy Blume of course!
cover of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

She happens to be celebrating her 80th birthday on February 12 and I've been reminded of how much I loved her books growing up. I commiserated with older sibling Peter living with his irrepressible little brother Fudge. I went along with Margaret as she dealt with friendships and puberty in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. We were checked for scoliosis at school and I thought of Deenie, the brace she wore and how much she wanted to be a regular teenager.

Judy Blume’s habit of writing real life and real characters continues in her adult novels. She wrote Summer Sisters for adults, but there are no doubt also teen readers for this book about friendship and choices. She later used an event from her own teenage years to explore loss, love and secrets as friends, families and strangers find their lives changed In the Unlikely Event.

Judy Blume is one of the most consistently challenged authors with books like Forever and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t. She hasn’t shied away from divorce, puberty, bullying, sex. It’s likely her honest and realistic writing is the reason for her fans across generations.

cover of Summer Sisters
I’m glad she’s been part of my reading life. Thank you for your books and happy birthday, Judy Blume!

 

 

 

 

 

Maya Lin:  Thinking with Her Hands book jacket
Every year I make a bunch of New Year's resolutions and this year is no different.  I've decided to ditch the annual "floss daily" one and add something more captivating (and hopefully more achievable). The most fun resolutions I make are all about reading and in 2018, I plan to read more non-fiction for kids and teens.  My nerdy librarian side has decided that I will take one "Dewey century" per month (which leaves me two months to read something else!) and explore books that provide inspiration for careers and vocations within each range.  I'm not talking about books like the super useful, but not super stimulating, Occupational Outlook Handbook, but books about interesting people doing interesting things.  I randomly came across a book about Maya Lin recently, so decided to start with architects and artists,
The Shape of the World book jacket
thus books from the 700-799 Dewey range were on my nightstand in January.  I loved  Maya Lin: Thinking Wtih Her Hands, a small, perfectly packaged book about Lin and some of her most famous projects like the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Washington, D.C.  I knew exactly nothing about another architect, I.M. Pei, until I read I.M. Pei: Architect of Time, Place and Purpose.  What a fascinating guy!  Beyond these two books, I read a number of picture book biographies for younger budding architects and artists.  You can find the list here.  So if you know some kids who love their L-squares, mechanical pencils and paint brushes, hand them a few of these books and see where they go! 

P.S.  I'd love to hear about YOUR reading resolutions for 2018!

Percy Julian
Welcome to Black History Month. Every day this month features people and events making significant contributions to American history and how we live Now! Don't miss programming, classes and events throughout February and beyond at a library near you.

 

Slavery to Civil Rights

Innovation

Fashion

Now!

 

2018狗年年宵会!
一年一度的年宵会, 將于二月十日星期六 (上午十时至下午六时), 在俄勒岗会展中心举行。(详情可参阅波特兰新闻)

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

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!

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

Chi tiết:

Chủ Nhật, Ngày 18 Tháng 2 Năm 2018

Giờ: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Địa điểm: 8439 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland OR 97220

 

Ursual Le Guin photo
When I learned of Ursula Le Guin’s passing, my world stopped spinning for a time. I reflected on her influence with a mixture of gratitude, admiration and awe. Ursula’s contributions to libraries, reading, literacy and to our community are immeasurable. She was tenacious, principled and gracious beyond words.

I first read The Left Hand of Darkness as a graduate student in library school, enthusiastically exploring my early feminist righteousness. Ursula Le Guin was a beacon to me then. I would have never imagined that, decades later, I would pass a lovely Portland winter’s afternoon in her home sipping tea, chatting about her life, career, ebooks, politics and her love of Multnomah County Library.

And, oh how Ursula put her library love into action! She was a deep and genuine friend to Multnomah County Library. She offered a list of her favorite works. She was a singular voice in support of issues that matter. She served on the Multnomah County Library Advisory Board in the 1990s, and she shaped how our library addressed issues that are important today. She leaves an impressive body of work, and she remains one of our library’s most popular authors.

For decades, Ursula Le Guin offered Multnomah County Library her unwavering support. She spoke, wrote and acted in support of library funding at every turn. She celebrated our milestones (even writing a poem celebrating Central Library’s reopening in 1997). She took on pivotal issues and daunting opponents: advocating for the rights of authors and artists; affordable library access to ebooks; and the importance of a person’s fundamental and constitutionally protected right to read, think, and pursue knowledge without scrutiny or constraint.

In her 1997 remarks about Central Library, she said, “A library is a focal point, a sacred place to a community; and its sacredness is its accessibility, its publicness. It’s everybody’s place.”

Of the many wonderful memories I have as director of Multnomah County Library, that gray afternoon with Ursula Le Guin is one of my most treasured. I will be forever grateful to have encountered her. May we honor her legacy by embodying who she was and what she stood for, in our own lives and communities.

- Vailey

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

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

Federal Hard Copy Forms

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

State Hard Copy Forms

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

Other States

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

Dusty adding machine keys
Online Filing

Once the tax season officially opens, both the IRS and Oregon Department of Revenue will have listings for online filing services. Remember, state and federal taxes are due by April 17th this year.

You can find tax preparation assistance through the AARP's Tax-Aide Locator, CASH Oregon and the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

 

The Woman in the Window

In the beginning of Gold Diggers of 1933 Ginger Rogers' face fills the screen, singing We're in the Money in pig latin. Thanks to the Northwest Film Center I finally had the pleasure of seeing this spectacle on the big screen it was meant for.
 
On its original run Gold Diggers of 1933 was shown in Portland as part of the grand opening of the Music Box Theater downtown on Broadway and Taylor. The Oregonian reported that the line went around the block. Imagine all of those depression-era Portlanders marvelling at the kaleidoscoping dance numbers and giggling at the risque humor.
 
Interested in other frothy early musicals? Check out my list, Musicals of the 1930s,

“I’ve always been a computer person.” 

by Sarah Binns

Dennis Pham is one of those people who does it all: “I go to school full time, work part time, then volunteer,” he says. For the past three years that volunteer time has been spent at Midland Library, where he started to earn volunteer hours for school: “Then I met the staff and it just felt right. I’ve kept at it ever since,” he says. Dennis was first a technohost and is now a Computer Lab Assistant. “That’s more my style,” he says of his new position, “overseeing all of it!”

A Woodstock native, Dennis now lives near Pleasant Valley with his family. Having “always been a computer person,” he’s studying for his bachelor’s degree in mechanical or chemical engineering at PSU. He’s also a production operator at Siltronics, a semiconductor manufacturer. Seeing how the machines work and knowing colleagues who’ve been with the company forty or fifty years inspires him: “One day that’s gonna be me!” he laughs.

While he sometimes works as many as 70 hours a week, Dennis says that’s just fine and the job helps him pay for school. It’s a wonder he still finds time to volunteer, but he doesn’t want to give it up, especially since he likes working with computers. “Computers are better than shelving! As a branch assistant there’s lots of the same thing over and over again—with computers it’s a different question every day.”

Midland’s computer lab operates simultaneously and in the same room as the library’s drop in tutoring for adults. Lisa Regimbal, Adult Literacy Coordinator, notes that there is significant crossover between basic computer literacy and literacy. Though Dennis doesn’t volunteer with the adult literacy program, Lisa thinks he is an outstanding partner and is always willing to help with room set-up and computer issues.

Dennis also sings the praises of the library staff.  “I like working with Lisa,” he says. “I think Lisa is amazing for getting that program started there, I look up to her.” He adds he wants to give a “shoutout to Darrel, Jessie, Maureen, Alán,” and the rest of the staff “for making my days awesome. They’re a really good crew, especially the branch assistants,” he says with a beaming smile. Given his commitment and enthusiasm for Midland, it’s easy to see how Dennis keeps coming back—and why the staff call him “an outstanding volunteer” right back!


A few facts about Dennis

Home library: Midland

Currently reading: “Not reading anything right now, just studying.” He does read lots of articles for school and work.

Favorite book from childhood: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. “He was my favorite author at the time.”

Most influential book: War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. “It stuck with me. It made me think anything can happen!”

Favorite browsing section: Sci-fi and then WWII historical. “I also like to brush up on nonfiction.”  

Book that made him laugh or cry: Overlord, a Japanese series, made him laugh. But, he says, “I’ve laughed at a lot of books.”

Favorite place to read: “Mostly I just read on my bed after 8pm. I’m a night reader.”

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

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