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When I decided I wanted to dust off my childhood knitting skills and learn to knit socks, my mother gave me one of the greatest presents a knitter can get -- a copy of the all-around practical guide, Mary Thomas’s Knitting Book.  This 1930s-era gem has instructions for all manner of knitting basics (different ways to form knit and purl stitches, pattern-drafting how-to, basic patterns for gloves and mittens and socks, different ways to wind yarn into a ball, and so on) as well as a lively history of knitting down the ages and some sections on sophisticated topics like beaded knitting and Shetland shawls.  If you must limit yourself to just one knitting book, this is the one you should have.

But who can limit themselves to just one book?  Mary Thomas teaches knitters how to design their own projects, and any knitter doing design work needs a guide to stitch patterns.  The most complete, most beautifully presented, most clearly explained series of knitting stitch patterns is definitely Barbara Walker’s four collections of stitch patterns gathered through extensive research and correspondence with knitters.  Just about every stitch you might ever want is contained in these four volumes: from ribbing to edging, from cables to mosaic patterns, from simple knit/purl patterns to elegant lace.  And every one has clear, cogent instructions and a helpful photograph of the finished result.

Should you find that designing your own projects really suits your style, you must run, not walk, to the last of my Three Queens of Knitting, Elizabeth Zimmermann.  Begin your exploration of Zimmermann’s brilliance with the pocket-sized Knitter’s Almanac, a collection of twelve projects for each of the twelve months of the year.  You’ll find detailed instructions for each, but Zimmerman also lays out her pattern design logic and explains the math of sizing patterns up and down to fit different figures or suit alternate yarn.  Even if you merely read the Knitter’s Almanac, but never make any of the projects, you will close the book a better, smarter knitter!  

What’s next after you’ve gotten to know the Three Queens of Knitting?  It’s up to you!  But rest assured, you can always find more books, dvds, and magazines for knitters at the library.

Questions?  Ask the Librarian!  We'd be glad to help you find the right knitting book, or help answer your other craft questions!

Who likes the post-apocalypse? How about when it happens right here in Multnomah County? Etiquette for an Apocalypse by Anne Mendel is the funniest book you’ll ever hear described as “a mystery-thriller set in northwest Portland after environmental disasters cause the collapse of of civilization as we know it.”

No, there aren’t any zombies for Sophie (the heroine) to battle, and who needs ‘em? Shady characters may be aiming to take over what’s left of the world, while an even shadier character may be engaged in serial killings. (Or is it the other way around?)

This is a perfect summer read if you want to 1) laugh, 2) turn pages one after the other not able to put the book down, and 3) get inspired to stockpile toilet paper, duct tape and big black garbage bags.

Dystopia has never been so much fun.

You may have heard of Polk's city directories, but there are other companies that published city AND rural directories. These are commercial products, so were developed to help businesses.

The earliest Portland City Directory was published by S.J. McCormick in 1863. It included information on new buildings and newcomers, on fires, city improvements, locations of fire stations and alarms. It also included the names of the men who lived in the city -- and the names of some women. (Primarily those who owned a business, had an occupation, or were unmarried, living outside of the parental home.)

Businesses paid to be listed in the Directory; some purchased highly detailed advertisements, while other smaller businesses like neighborhood general stores simply listed their name and location.

Another important value to business beyond advertising, was the list of residents in the city. If someone wanted to rent or buy services from a business, the Directory could be checked to find out if the person lived locally, and where; in later years a check of earlier directories under the name, would let the business know how long they lived in the City, what their occupation was, and whether they moved often. All information that helped a business decide whether to extend credit to a customer, to hire someone to do a job, to lease or sell to a person.

The best way to find these kind of directories in the library catalog is to search using the name of the city or the county and the word "Directories" as a subject keyword search; eg, Wasco Directories. Eugene Directories, Baker Directories.

A biography is a description of a person’s life, and they come in many shapes and sizes (the biographies, that is, as well as the people. Ba-dum ching!) If you are looking for in-depth information about a person's life, you may want to find an entire book about them: do a subject search in the library catalog for the author’s name, using the format “Doe, John”.

If you do not need an entire book about someone, or if no books exist about that person, then you might want to look in a resource that lists many brief biographies for different people. The library provides several electronic resources that are good basic sources of biographical information on many kinds of people:

Biography Reference Center: Offers a comprehensive collection of more than 450,000 full text biographies, including the complete full text run of Biography Today and Biography Magazine.

Biography Resource Center in Context: Provides more than 600,000 full text biographical entries spanning history and geography.

Biography and Genealogy Master Index: Indexes current, readily available reference sources, as well as the most important retrospective works that cover individuals, both living and deceased, from every field of activity and from all areas of the world. This resource does not include full-text articles, only citations.

In addition to these library resources, there are also many great websites with biographical information on people. Here are some of the best:

General Biography and Information

Bio: Over 25,000 historical and contemporary biographical sketches that include birth and death dates, photographs as available and links to other biographies on the Internet.

Distinguished Women of Past and Present: Search by name or subject for biographies from Internet sources; international in scope.

The History Makers: Profiling African American artists, politicians, athletes, scientists, entertainers, and more, the HistoryMakers' video oral history archive comprises the "largest archival project of its kind in the world."

Voice of America Pronunciation Guide: Having difficulty pronouncing a name? This site has phonetic spellings and audio file pronunciations for hundreds of names.

National and Local

American Life Histories: First-person accounts of life during the Great Depression as collected by the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Writer's Project. Ability to limit search to Oregon. Subjects include: folklore, occupations, agriculture, local history and genealogy, transportation, recreation and ethnic groups.

Born in Slavery: More than 2,300 first-hand accounts of slavery collected by the Works Progress Administration from 1936 to 1938, with photographs taken at the time of the interviews.

First Person Narratives of the American South: Accounts of the nineteenth-century American South from the viewpoint of Southerners: diaries, autobiographies, memoirs, travel accounts and ex-slave narratives of not only prominent individuals, but also of relatively inaccessible populations: women, African Americans, enlisted men, laborers and Native Americans.

Notable Oregonians Guide: Short biographical sketches that summarize the accomplishments of notable Oregonians. Some images are included.

Oregon Biographies: Brought to you by the Oregon History Project and the Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Biographies features stories and information related to some of Oregon's most significant historical figures.

Oregon Biographies Project: Pulling from sources that are no longer copyrighted, volunteers work to transcribe what is now over 2,000 Oregon biographies. Search by surname, county or keyword.

Politicians, Rulers and Leaders

World Leaders: From the CIA, frequently updated information giving the names of foreign government officials. Ambassadors to the United States and Permanent Representatives to the United Nations are included. This site does not give biographical information beyond the name.

Rulers: Lists of heads of state and heads of government of all countries and territories, from 1700 A.D. to the present time. Short political histories of each country followed by names and dates of all leaders. Names with links lead to a short biography.

Political Graveyard: A biographical website for American political history and cemeteries. Locate American politicians, judges and diplomats by name, place, election and offices held or sought. Additionally, search for names of politicians by category: gender, ethnic background, organizational affiliations, cause of death and many other subjects.

The Presidents: Official White House site for biographical information about each of the U.S. Presidents.

The First Ladies: From the White House website, this includes pictures and biographies of the U.S. First Ladies, from Martha Dandridge Custis Washington to the present.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Search by name, state or position for biographical information and photographs of past and present members of Congress. Some entries include bibliographies for finding additional information.

Congressional Directory: Up-to-date biographical information and political affiliation for current members of Congress. Includes email, address, phone and fax numbers and website address, plus the counties, cities and zip codes they represent.

Architects, Artists, Authors and Poets

Great Architects: A list of "master" architects, many with biographies and links to images and more information about their specific works.

The Union List of Artist Names: Currently incorporates approximately 100,000 individual artists (including performance artists, decorative artists, etc.) and architects from ancient times to contemporary. Many entries have biographical and bibliographical information on the artists. This union list can be difficult to use; here is a webpage with tips for searching in it.

Poets: Biographies, photographs and other information on more than 500 poets. Also search for poems, audio files and interviews.

African American Women Writers of the 19th Century: Biographies of 19th-century black women writers, produced by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Selected works by these authors may be read online.

Native American Authors: Search this site by author, title or tribe for biographical information on Native North American authors with bibliographies of their published works and links to online resources including interviews, online texts and tribal Web sites.

Scientists, Mathematicians and Astronauts

The Faces of Science, African Americans in the Sciences: African American men and women who have contributed to the advancement of science and engineering. Search by name or subject area within the realm of science for biographies with photographs.

Profiles in Science by the National Library of Medicine: Biographies of twentieth-century biomedical scientists, including electronic access to many of their published and unpublished materials.

The MacTutor History of Mathematics Biographies Index: International in scope, search for mathematicians alphabetically or chronologically by date of birth or death. Includes country maps for birthplaces of mathematicians, an index of women mathematicians, plus an historical timeline from 800 B.C. to the present.

Astronaut Biographies: Biographical information regarding those who participate or have participated in NASA's space flight programs as members of space flight crews.

… and these websites are really just the beginning of what's out there! If you ever need more help finding biographical information about a person, please ask a librarian and we will be happy to help.

It's summer - regress a little! Have a Popsicle (root beer and white licorice were the best flavors). Swing on the monkey bars. Revisit some of the books you loved as a child. The best ones will be just as good as you remembered, and offer fresh pleasures to an adult perspective.

George Bernard Shaw famously said that youth is wasted on the young; maybe some great kids' books are wasted on young readers. Two classics, The Yearling and National Velvet, were originally written for adults - but since their main characters are children, they were marketed, unimaginatively, as books for children. How many kids tossed them aside after a chapter or two? Years or even decades later, though, they're worth a second look.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Enid Bagnold both loved their home landscapes, the scrub woods of central Florida and the chalk cliffs of the English coast, which they evoke with such detailed vitality that the land itself becomes a vivid character in their books. Both stories are superficially about animals: The Yearling's title refers to an orphaned fawn adopted as a pet by a poor farming family, and National Velvet follows a horse-crazy village girl as she trains up a runaway piebald to be a steeplechaser.

While the animals and gorgeous settings are appealing, what's so moving and worthwhile in both books is their true common theme, which is how the deep, wordless bonds of community and family guide, ground, and sometimes confound us. These poignant books will reward and satisfy parents of sensitive misfit children, adults who were themselves those children, and everyone who's felt the ties which bind us so fiercely to people who don't always understand us very well.

Which children's books do you still like to read? Tell us in the comments!

It's nearing election season again and it's time to think about voting, if you're eligible. I remember being so excited about my right to vote that I registered on my 18th birthday. And then I moved two months later and had to update my registration! 

If you're registering for the first time, you can register online through the Secretary of State's office Elections Division at oregonvotes.org; print the form (PDF) and mail it; or register in person at the Multnomah County Elections office or any DMV office. If you've moved, changed your name or just want to change your party affiliation, you can use those same links to update your voter registration. 

Can I register to vote if I have a criminal record but am recently out of prison? Can I register to vote if I'm homeless? In Oregon, the answer is usually yes, and these questions and more are highlighted in the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Secretary of State's website. Multnomah County also has an FAQ for voter registration

Remember, the deadline to register for any Oregon election is 21 days before election day. November 6th is the date for this year's big election, so the deadline to register this year is October 16, 2012.

Three bookworms and a dog person took a shared place at the Oregon coast for a long weekend. Unsurprisingly it was a little damp, leaving plenty of time for books. And a vacation, however short and close to home, isn't the place for deep reading but for enjoying oneself!  So, without further ado, here are the titles that were the best of the weekend.

One person was reading Redshirts by John Scalzi. Based on their reaction this is absolutely hilarious if you've watched the first Star Trek series.  If, like me, you haven't but are familiar with the genre, it's still an amusing story riffing on the foibles of bad science fiction television - I'm pretty sure I missed many of the jokes but I liked it quite a bit anyway.

I read Casket of Souls by Lynn Flewelling. This is the sixth book about a pair of spies and thieves in a nicely detailed fantasy setting--think roughly halfway between medieval barbarism and the Renaissance and you should have a fairly good idea of the setting. The author has an earlier series set in a more standard medieval fantasy world called the Tamir Triad. Flewelling writes beautifully detailed settings and sympathetic, likable characters; these are the lightweight beach novels of the epic fantasy genre.

The last thing I read was Shadow Ops. Control Point by Myke Cole.  I'd noticed this debut novel had a very solidly positive set of reviews so I decided I'd give it a try. I had the oddest love/hate reaction to this book. I didn't like the plot. I didn't like many of the characters. I didn't like the setting. It was well written though, and so I'd have to say it just wasn't to my tastes, despite being quite good. A quick summary: magic has popped back into the world and America has reacted by cracking down HARD on the unfortunates who have magic. Our hero is a good soldier and a decent man who has the bad luck to turn up with a prohibited  magic power right after having a really hard time morally with the last target he was sent to take down. It's a page turner. I finished it in a single sitting and it was entertaining and deserved the good reviews. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes military science fiction/fantasy. I really liked this one in spite of myself. 

Congratulations! Your car is in a thousand parts on a blue tarp in your driveway. Now how are you going to put it all back together again? Luckily for you, we've got the resources you need to repair your vehicle and get your wheels back on the road.

Are you looking for a manual to figure out what part goes where? Auto Repair Reference Center is a comprehensive collection of repair and maintenance information on most major manufacturers of domestic and imported vehicles. 

You'll also find wiring diagrams and other useful information in Alldata, a source used by vehicle technicians around the country. This resource is available at the Central, Gresham and Midland libraries.

Can't find what you're looking for in these online resources? The library has a wide variety of automobile repair menus. Try searching with the keywords "automobile", "repair" and adding the make of your vehicle. And of course, you are always welcome to contact a librarian with your research question and we'll be happy to help you out.

If you've done a fine repair job and are now ready to sell your car, take a look at our blog post: Buying or Selling a Car? Get the information you need with these librarian-approved resources. 

Maybe you've given up on your car and are now ready to donate it to a worth cause? Take a look at Give.org. This site, built by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, reports on charitable organizations that are the subject of donor inquiries. The Alliance offers guidance to donors on making informed giving decisions through charity evaluations, various "tips" and giving information, and the quarterly Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide.

 

If you're looking for work and aren't sure where to start, consider these top sites that will help you begin your job search, network with others find out when jobs in your area of interest open up.

OregonLive: Best Local Jobs
Take a look at the Oregonian’s online employment classified section.
 
Craigslist isn't just for getting a couple of bucks for selling that old futon in your basement. You'll find lists of local jobs in a wide-variety of categories here.
 
LinkedIn is a profession-focused network that allows you to link to people you know and network with those who know them. Its job board allows you to post your resume. It also includes a browser toolbar widget that can help connect you with your targeted employer.
 
Indeed allows you to set up searches and have the results emailed to you daily and/or pushed to you via RSS. Easy to limit to a particular location. As with LinkedIn, this site also lets you post your resume.
 
 

In these days of cell-phones and unlisted phone numbers, it can be difficult to find contact information for people. The first thing to realize about searches like this is that they take time: you may have to check multiple sources and try contacting multiple phone numbers or addresses. Here is a list of directories and websites that you can use to search for people; you should search in as many of them as possible and try different spellings of names.

(Note: some websites will try to give you a little bit of free information and then ask you to pay before they show you more. Keep in mind that the additional information might or might not be what you need.)

  • ReferenceUSA: A Multnomah County Library-provided resource. Use the "U.S. Standard White Pages" section to search a database of U.S. residents. The data is not always up-to-date.
  • Dex Knows: A phone and address directory for people and businesses. Can look up by name, phone number, or address.
  • Yahoo! People Search: A directory to people which can be searched by name or phone number.
  • Switchboard: A nationwide business and residential directory.
  • Canada 411: A directory to find people and businesses in Canada.
  • Pipl: A website that searches various directories and websites to try to find people. Many of the results will only give a little bit of information for free, but it can still be useful.
  • Facebook: A social networking website where users create profiles. Users can choose whether they want their profiles to be findable via this search page.

Good luck! And if you get stuck, please contact a librarian and we'll be happy to help!

Looking for work, but not sure where to start? At CareerOneStop, you'll find career resources and workforce information for job seekers, students, businesses, and workforce professionals. The site is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. Within the site you'll find:

Explore career opportunities to make informed employment and education choices
 
Helps laid-off workers and other career changers find new occupations to explore
 
Employment, training, and financial assistance for laid-off workers.
 
Provides career information and links to work-related services that help veterans and military service members successfully transition to civilian careers.

These resources are great when you need to know more about a particular place (geography, statistics, history, politics, and more):

  • Columbia Gazetteer This resource offered by Multnomah County Library lists detailed information on geographical sites like countries, cities, lakes and mountains.
  • World Factbook: The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Created by the Central Intelligence Agency and updated weekly.
  • Country Studies: Studies and profiles from the Library of Congress's Federal Research Division that offer brief, summarized information on a country's historical background, geography, society, economy, transportation and telecommunications, government and politics, and national security. Not all studies and profiles are up-to-date.
  • NationMaster: A vast compilation of statistical data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Lets you use maps and graphs to compare statistics for different nations.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg! If you want to learn more about books, statistics, maps, and anything else that might help with your question, just ask a librarian! We are happy to help.

The Web is a large and awesome source of all kinds of information about health and wellness. Sometimes it's hard to separate authoritative and accurate information from resources that offer unrealistic claims and research that has not been verified or cited. Here are some resources we think are "at the top of the list" in terms of currency, timeliness, scope (the depth of the topics they cover), authority and sponsorship,  as well as ease of use.

MedlinePlus, from the National Library of Medicine,  is one of the best starting points for any kind of health topic. Not just for seniors, it does provide age categories to help limit the scope of your search.  All the information has been thoroughly vetted, and information comes from a variety of trusted sponsors and organizations. What else does it provide? Videos of an upcoming surgery, a dictionary, multiple languages, easy to understand articles, a comprehensive set of health organizations and directories as well as information about diseases and drugs, including holistic and alternative treatments. 

NIH Senior Health is another resource we highly recommend. The information is geared specifically for people over fifty and the site has a simple design with the ability to increase text size. Find information about diseases and drugs as well as information arranged in categories such as healthy aging and memory and mental health.

The Administration on Aging is a great resource because it links a wealth of information in one place and lets you search for resources and information locally. The misson of this organization is helping boomers find resources and services. The ElderCare Locator helps you find information in your area on a specific topic, like Alzheimer's, long-term care, or transportation services.   

Locally, we recommend SHIBA, the Senior Health Insurance Benefit Assistance Program. SHIBA helps with any kind of question about Medicare and Medicare benefits. You can call for individual counseling about coverage, eligibility, comparing plans and choosing a Medicare prescription drug plan.

Portland is a fabulously crafty city. We are host to Crafty Wonderland, which began as a small craft show at Doug Fir Lounge in 2006. It now happens twice yearly at the Oregon Convention Center and features hand made goods from artisans in the Pacific Northwest. Another treasure is the Portland Saturday Market which runs from March through December.  Portland is also home to a wide variety of artists and crafters, many of whom are bloggers and authors. 

Alicia Paulson, a local blogger and craft maven, loves to make things.  Her blog, Posie Gets Cozy, is full of projects, photos, and musings. Lee Meredith shares tutorials and knitting patterns on her blog, Lethal.NetDiane Gilleland, formerly Sister Diane of the Church of Craft, shares her love of crafting and writing on her blog, CraftyPod, where she also helps you with the business side of crafting.  Susan Beal blogs on West Coast Crafty.  Some of our crafters are also zinesters and the library carries a wonderful collection of zines of all kinds.

Portland also offers open studio spaces to crafty people, with no or low cost fees.  Modern Domestic on Alberta offers open sewing nights in their classrooms.  Collage on Alberta offers inexpensive classes to sample new creative techniques on Tuesdays and Fridays. SCRAP is a creative reuse center, brimming with used craft, art and office supplies. 100th Monkey Studio offers open art studios and supplies, for a small fee.  A haven for knitters and spinners, Portland yarn stores offer drop-in nights for chatting and socializing as well as knitting, especially great for those dark, rainy nights in the winter! 

The area also shines with galleries and exhibit spaces23 Sandy Gallery features book artists and book art. The Museum of Contemporary Craft is the primary exhibitor of crafts in the Pacific Northwest, with both permanent and visiting displays.  Oregon School of Arts and Crafts has recently added an MFA in craft to their masters programs and they have a fabulous gift store, as well as three galleries of exhibitions.

Our city has become a mecca for crafty people and you can find lots of meet-ups and events to keep you happily crafting throughout all of the seasons.  To find even more events, try DIY Alert, and check out the the library's crafty offerings too.

 

 

Wikipedia, is a free encyclopedia with over 4 million articles in multiple languages, created by users all over the world. Can you trust all of them? Probably not, although this website can be great for finding a quick answer when you don't need the information to be 100%-guaranteed accurate.

Your professor or teacher might say that you can't use Wikipedia when you're writing a research paper - but this doesn't mean that it's not useful to you in your research. Many of the articles in Wikipedia have citations indicated throughout them, and a list of references at the end where the authors are claiming to have found their information. This doesn't mean that you can take the Wikipedia information as authoritative - but if you find a fact in it that you need, you can use the citations and the list of references in the article to find out which possibly-authoritative source might have the fact. 

And if you need help finding any of the sources listed in your Wikipedia article, just ask a librarian and we can help!

I just finished listening to Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir Blood, Bones and Butter, and I feel like my best friend moved away. She narrated it herself. Hamilton’s the real deal, a chef and a writer, not a chef who writes or a writer who cooks.

Contemporary chef memoirs bug me. In 1999, when I graduated from cooking school, famous chefs were just that: chefs, only famous. Now many are full-blown media superstars, more concerned with scoring merchandising deals than actually cooking. So I eschewed Hamilton’s book (the Anthony Bourdain blurb on the cover wasn’t doing it any favors.) But I prefer the immediacy of recorded books read by the author, and hers fit the bill.

Lucky me. I love Hamilton’s voice, how unadorned her own words are coming from her own mouth, her wryness and lack of tolerance for B.S. It’s right there on the page, but when she speaks, it’s right there.

Hamilton’s mastery of culinary and literary arts shows in how seamlessly she weaves her narrative in and out of the kitchen. She nails the details we expect in such a book--the grating din of a ventilation hood whirring 18 hours a day, the punishing pleasure of surviving yet another brunch with one cook down--then one-ups genre conventions by making the non-industry parts of her life equally compelling, and often more so.

Yes, she spent Julys in Puglia at the seaside villa of her Italian husband’s family, but these sunny escapes have a turgid darkness lurking under the lusty Mediterranean idyll we Americans can’t seem to get enough of: the villa is crumbling, as is her marriage, as is her faith in her ability to maintain her composure, to just settle the hell down. Cooking, as it turns out, isn’t a magic bullet to bring about a blissful storybook ending. Like all worthwhile pursuits in life, it’s challenging and trying and immensely satisfying.

(Also indispensable for 'Read by the Author' fans: E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. You have not fully taken in this book until you have heard White’s Yankee intonations of “Fehn” and “Wilbaah.”)

I am not a fan of the heat. I have a few tried and true cool-down tactics: frozen berries, lots of fans, the occasional coupe colonel. And for a chilling of the mind, books and movies that are ‘cold’. Even penguins huddled together in a blizzard (as in March of the Penguins) are an object of envy to me when the temperature is above 90.

Right now I am reading a very cold book: The Terror by Dan Simmons. It is a nautical adventure where the ships never move. They are trapped in the arctic, frozen in place in their search for the Northwest Passage. And there is something on the ice with them, a malevolent creature shaped like a polar bear but much larger and much more intelligent.

I’m a fan of Dan Simmons’ Hugo-winning Hyperion and of Patrick O’Brian’s tales of the Royal Navy, so The Terror appeals to me on many fronts. But on a hot day, its greatest appeal is the ice that is groaning around the ships. Brrrrr!

Naturally, the color scheme of Commando, Johnny Ramone’s posthumous autobiography, is red, white, and blue. Johnny drove American cars and drank American beer, though it’s worth pointing out he capped himself at two bottles; his post-concert routine for most of his career was to hit up 7-11 for milk and cookies, then retreat to his hotel room.

In a band of dudes who are hard to love, Johnny was the hardest. His sourpuss face is synonymous with the band’s sulky collective persona. Spying multiple photos of Johnny smiling in Commando was shocking enough, but when I saw a picture of Johnny and his wife on Disney World’s dinosaur ride, I thought my face was going to melt off.

Don’t worry, Commando still teems with frowny Johnny photos. Hostility was his internal engine, his Bizzarro World Zen. Instead of denying his anger, he used it as a medium, the way a sculptor chisels a marble slab. Punk is the music of rebels, and Johnny was a rebel among punks. He stashed his earnings into a retirement account. His favorite president was Regan.

There are a lot of books by and about The Ramones. Direct and dynamic, Commando is easily the best. Johnny didn’t exactly exude compassion during his interview segments in the well-made 2005 documentary End of the Century: Story of the Ramones, so it’s refreshing to discover he had a human side.

Another enlightening look at the inner workings of the band is the unfortunately titled I Slept with Joey Ramone, by Joey’s brother, Mickey Leigh. While not a great read, it’s a worthwhile skim, and it offers many insights to Joey’s sickly constitution and obsessive-compulsive disorder (giving songs like “I Wanna Be Well” and “Go Mental” a bittersweet new dimension).

But for the best instant Ramones immersion, just watch Rock’n’Roll High School. Yes, it’s a schlocky teen b-movie, but it captures the spirit of the Ramones in the most buoyant fashion possible, and the concert scene at the end exudes a blissfully straightforward musical purity. Look out for Johnny’s solitary line: “We’re not students, we’re the Ramones.” 

Every nonprofit has to start somewhere and the library is a great first stop. Since 1973, Multnomah County Library has been part of the  Foundation Center's Funding Information Network, a nonprofit organization established in 1956 concerned exclusively with gathering, analyzing and disseminating information on philanthropic foundations. Foundation Center libraries are located throughout the United States.

Via our Nonprofit Resource Center, Multnomah County Library makes the publications of the Foundation Center available to the public along with other materials on foundations, corporate philanthropy, government grants, proposal writing, fundraising and nonprofit management. Library staff provide help in using these materials, and brief reference questions can be answered by telephone. Some of the indexes and directories published by the Foundation Center are also available online. Multnomah County Library provides access to these online Foundation Directory resources, including Foundation Directory Online Professional, a database of nearly 100,000 U.S.-based foundations, grantmaking public charities, and corporate givers and IRS 990s, has federal grant information and offers periodicals, newsletters and the Foundation Center's Web site, which contains current information on nonprofit management, grantmakers, news and events. And here are a few more handy sites that will help you track down just the right way to kick off your cause. 

A directory of Federal programs, projects, service and activities which provide assistance to the American public. It contains financial and nonfinancial assistance programs administered by departments of the Federal government.
 
An independent organization that evaluates the financial health of America's largest charities. Rates charities on their fundraising efficiency; fundraising, program, and administration expenses; primary revenue growth; and capital ratio. Can be searched by keywords, category of charity, or geographic region.
 
A nationally prominent charity rating and evaluation service dedicated to helping donors make informed giving decisions.
 
Provides news and information for nonprofit leaders, fund raisers, grant makers, and other people involved in the philanthropic enterprise. It also offers lists of grants, fundraising ideas and techniques, statistics, and more.
 
A National Charity Reports Index provides reports on charities and other soliciting organizations that solicit nationally. Reports on local charities that solicit regionally are also available via a link to local Better Business Bureaus. Reports provide contact information, evaluation conclusions, programs, governance, fund raising, tax status, and financials.
 
A central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs awarded to universities, researchers, cities, states, counties, and nonprofit organizations.
 
A comprehensive directory of public and private research funding resources from the Society for Research Administrators International.
 
The center provides links to more than 70 nonprofit groups' websites and the "Nonprofit Locator," a searchable data base of IRS data on charities in the United States.
 
On-line search tool that allows users to search for tax-exempt organizations that are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.
 
National clearinghouse of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States.
 
Formerly known as TACS, this is a statewide network of nonprofits, foundations, business partners, and individuals dedicated to supporting Oregon’s nonprofit sector.
 
In order to solicit for donations in Oregon, most charitable organizations must be registered with the Oregon Department of Justice. Before you give, check their database or call (971) 673-1880 to confirm that the organization is properly registered. Also has information on how to become a charity.
 
An overview of key topics for consideration by people who work for, lead, or support nonprofit organizations in the United States.

Yeah, that shoe box is probably not the best place to keep your nest egg. The library has a lot of great online resources that can help you make wise decisions about where to put your money. Take a look at Mergent Online and Standard & Poors NetAdvantage, both available from anywhere with a valid library card.

Here are some other websites to help you grow your savings:

Charts, reports, indicators and quotes on over 24,000 US stocks, mutual funds, and major market indexes. Historical quotes back to 1970.

EDGAR Database of Corporate Information
As of May 6, 1996 all public domestic companies are required to file SEC forms electronically on EDGAR, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis & Retrieval system.

InvestorGuide.com
Comprehensive information for investors, including links to market news and commentary, stock research, personal finance, and education.

Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments.

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