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Every year during tax filing season, the library is ready to help— whether that be books, workshops, referrals to tax help, or printing out the forms you need, we're here for you!

Look for Upcoming Events, Programs and Blog Posts on our site for the most up-to-date information.

The deadline to file federal and state tax returns is  Monday, April 18, 2022. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to get help in person, you can still get tax preparation assistance and support in the following ways.

Paper copies of tax forms or instructions

Tax return preparation assistance

Other tax assistance

File your taxes online for free

Still have questions?

Call the library at 503.988.5123, send us an email or chat with us. Library staff cannot prepare returns, advise on tax matters, or interpret tax law.

Nearly every house history researcher wants to see old photographs or drawings of their house.  Who wouldn't, right?  Unfortunately for Portland-area house history buffs, this can be one of the hardest bits of house history ephemera to track down!  But don't despair; there are surviving photographs of some houses and it is possible (sometimes) to find them. 

The challenge is that there has never been a comprehensive house-portrait project in Portland -- or any other city or town in our area -- so there is no treasure trove of photos of local homes that you can dig through.  You might wonder, if there's no big archive of house pictures, where should you start?  There are a few possibilities:

First, ask your neighbors or the people in your neighborhood association.  People who live on your street may have their own old photographs of family events, parties, or other occasions which include your house in the background.  And a bonus -- when you find that long-time resident and photo-saver, they may share stories about past residents of your house or other interesting neighborhood lore!

Houses sometimes appear in the background of photographs taken to record activity on the street.  The city of Portland has a lot of photographs of infrastructure and maintenance work they've done over the years. 

Many of these images are carefully preserved in the Portland City Archives collection. These images usually show city workers doing something in the neighborhood (such as repairing the sewer like in the photo at left) or were taken in connection with city planning work, like a street scene before the installation of a new traffic light.  You can search for records (including photographs) using the Archives' catalog, Efiles, and some have been published on the archives's Vintage Portland blog -- see below for more about that! But, most photographs in the collection aren't available online.  To look at original photographs in person, you'll need to visit the Archives reading room downtown (1800 SW 6th Ave., Suite 550; 503.865.4100).  

NOTE: As of March 2021, the Portland City Archives is closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Contact them to see what services they can offer remotely.

The Oregon Historical Society library is another treasure trove for house history researchers.  Their collection includes more than 2.5 million photographs and negatives of people, communities, commerce, and life in the Pacific Northwest -- the photograph collection doesn't have a section devoted to house portraits, but you may find photographs of your street, or photographs indexed under the name of a former owner of the house.  Some of the library's photographs have been digitized and are available through OHS's Digital Collections website, but many, many images are available only by visiting in person (1200 SW Park Ave.; 503.222.1741).  

Another potential source for house portraits and street scenes is the Vintage Portland blog, run by the Portland City Archives.  Every weekday the site features a different historical photograph (or sometimes a map or drawing) of Portland.  The posts are sorted into categories for neighborhoods, street names, time periods, and topics.  For example, if you are curious about the development of your neighborhood as well as the history of your house, you might want to look at the blog's many aerial photographs; or you might try looking at a neighborhood street like Foster Rd., Powell Blvd., or 82nd Ave.

If the house you're researching happens to be in the Albina district, you may find a photograph of it in The History of Albina, by Roy E. Roos.  The book begins with a brief a history of the district (and former city), but it also includes brief architectural history for a selection of houses and other buildings that are representative of different eras in Albina's development.  Many of the brief house histories are illustrated with contemporary photographs or have no pictures, but some have historic photographs or drawings.

Have fun hunting for a historic photo of your house!

 

  Questions? Ask the Librarian.

Reforzar la educación de nuestros hijos en el hogar es una gran oportunidad para ayudarlos a avanzar al siguiente nivel académico. Esta lista de recursos incluye sitios web donde pueden practicar actividades de diferentes materias escolares, recursos de ayuda con las tareas y consejos para padres. 

Recursos para seguir reforzando la educación de los estudiantes: 

Ayuda con las tareas en vivo: Tutor en vivo por medio de chat, ayuda personalizada en vivo de 2 p.m. a 10 p.m. diariamente. Se ofrece ayuda en español y en inglés. Necesita una tarjeta de la biblioteca para acceder al servicio. Pasos para usar el servicio.

Consejos para padres: 10 consejos para apoyar el aprendizaje de los estudiantes en el hogar

Cursos sin costo para estudiantes de la preparatoria: Estos cursos son excelentes opciones para estudiantes de preparatoria. 

Khan Academy en español: Es un recurso excelente para que usted vea en su idioma lo que su hijo debe aprender por grado o para aprender algo totalmente nuevo.

Khan Academy: Práctica de matemáticas. Un programa totalmente gratuito. Abajo de la página se encuentran todos los temas de matemáticas por grado.

Khan Academy: Práctica de lectura e Inglés como materia. De la misma manera, desplácese hacia abajo de la página para ver los temas por grado.

Mantener a los niños comprometidos y aprendiendo: Recursos para ayudar a los niños a mantenerse comprometidos y aprendiendo. 

Oregon Starting Smarter: Aunque los estudiantes no presentarán los exámenes estatales este año escolar, este recurso le da ideas de las preguntas que vienen en los exámenes. Desplácese hacia abajo de la página para ver todos los recursos. Si prefiere ver la página en inglés, cambie en la parte superior derecha. 

Otros recursos para toda la familia: Recursos de educación, salud, comida, tecnología y seguridad para toda la familia. 

Tutoría virtual en la Biblioteca: El programa de tutoría virtual es para estudiantes en los grados K-12 que necesitan apoyo en lectura, escritura, matemáticas, ciencias naturales o ciencias sociales.

 Tres niños, enlace a el artículo Evaluación del Dominio del Idioma Inglés
¿Qué es la Evaluación del Dominio del Idioma Inglés (ELPA)?

La ELPA mide el conocimiento del idioma inglés de los estudiantes en las áreas de lectura, escritura, expresión oral, comprensión auditiva y comprensión escrita. La ELPA se lleva a cabo en línea y está diseñada para ser interactiva e incluye preguntas que reflejan escenarios del mundo real. Su objetivo principal es calificar a los estudiantes para que reciban los servicios lingüísticos adecuados e informar y orientar a las escuelas para que apoyen mejor las necesidades de los estudiantes.

El estado de Oregón es miembro de la Evaluación de Dominio del Idioma Inglés para el siglo XXI (ELPA21), un grupo de estados comprometidos a apoyar a los educadores, administradores escolares y comunidades a medida que adoptan e implementan los nuevos Estándares de Dominio del Idioma Inglés (ELPA, por sus siglas en inglés) y los estándares para la universidad y carreras profesionales.

¿Qué incluye la Evaluación del Dominio del Idioma Inglés (ELPA)?

Incluye elementos de escritura, comprensión auditiva, expresión oral y preguntas de respuesta abierta para que el alumno demuestre su conocimiento crítico sobre el tema que se le presente.

¿Quién toma la prueba ELPA?

Cualquier estudiante que califique para los servicios de Inglés como Segundo Idioma (ESL por sus siglas en inglés) o que haya salido del programa de ESL en algún momento durante el año escolar. Hable con el maestro para saber si su estudiante toma esta prueba y para saber en qué nivel se encuentra. Las escuelas envían los resultados de la prueba de su estudiante una vez al año por correo postal.

¿Qué mide o evalúa esta prueba?

La evaluación sumativa de ELPA se basa en los nuevos estándares de Dominio del Idioma Inglés de Oregón y mide los cuatro dominios del lenguaje: lectura, escritura, comprensión auditiva y expresión oral. Estos dominios también se conocen como habilidades de comprensión lectora, producción escrita, comprensión auditiva y producción oral. Para obtener más información sobre lo que se incluye en esta prueba visite https://www.elpa21.org/about-us/

¿Cuándo se administra esta prueba?

Por lo regular, ELPA se administra a fines del invierno o en la primavera. Los estudiantes tienen la oportunidad de tomarla una vez al año hasta que salgan del programa de ESL. Llame a la escuela de su estudiante para informarse de las fechas exactas en que tomará la prueba. 

¿Cómo se administra ELPA?

Las evaluaciones se administran a los estudiantes a través del Sistema de Evaluaciones del Estado de Oregón (OSAS, por sus siglas en inglés). Este es el mismo sistema en línea que se utiliza para otras pruebas que administra el Departamento de Educación del Estado de Oregón (ODE, por sus siglas en inglés), como las pruebas de ciencias y artes del lenguaje inglés y matemáticas.

Este es el tiempo estimado para realizar la prueba de acuerdo al grado en que se encuentre el estudiante:

K​​ y 1.º grados: 1 h

2.º y 3.º grados: 1.5 h

6.º y 8.º grados: 3.25 h

9.º y 12.º grados: 4 h

¿Cómo se usan los resultados de la prueba?

Los resultados de las pruebas se utilizan para medir el conocimiento del idioma inglés de los estudiantes y determinar si un estudiante está listo para salir del programa de ESL. Los resultados también se utilizan para cumplir con las responsabilidades estatales y federales del departamento de educación.

Los resultados se envían por correo a las familias una vez al año, a finales del verano o principios del otoño. Los maestros también pueden compartir los resultados con las familias durante las conferencias de padres y maestros y otras reuniones. Asegúrese de pedir los resultados de la prueba y conversar con el maestro de su estudiante acerca de cómo ayudarle a mejorar su proficiencia en el idioma inglés. 

¿Quién lo requiere?

El estado lo requiere. Los estudiantes desde el kínder hasta el 12.º grado, cuyo idioma materno no es el inglés, deben ser evaluados en el dominio del idioma inglés de acuerdo a la Ley Federal y Estatal de Oregón. En Oregón, se usa la prueba ELPA.

¿Tiene la evaluación ELPA componentes para apoyar a los estudiantes con discapacidades o necesidades especiales? 

Sí, la prueba ELPA tiene varios componentes para ayudar a los estudiantes con discapacidades o necesidades específicas de aprendizaje. Hable con el maestro de su estudiante para mayor información.

 

¿En dónde puedo encontrar más información acerca de ELPA?
Contacte al Representante de la ELPA21 en Oregón: Ben Wolcott, 503-947-5835, ben.wolcott@ode.state.or.us. O llame al Departamento de Educación de Oregón, 503-947-5600. 

O en este volante de la ELPA21

 

También puede comunicarse con el maestro de su estudiante.

the cover of vol. 1 FullMetal Alchemist
Curious about the library’s collection of manga (Japanese-style comics and graphic novels)?  Wondering which manga series are right for you?  Looking for a new series to try?  Whether you are new to manga or already deep into it, we’re here to help.   Elle from Central Library has compiled a few booklists full of their favorite manga series.  For beginners, they created First Stop: Manga, which is full of recommendations for those who are new to manga.  For fans of Jujutsu Kaisen by Gege Akutami, Elle shares the best of the shounen genre in this booklist.  

Looking for more?  We asked library staff who read a lot of manga to share their favorites!  We hope you find plenty to read and explore.  Here’s what they have to recommend:  

Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi

“The classic manga about teen girls who discover they're reincarnated Sailor Guardians who protect the universe continues to be a fun read about friendship, hope, courage, and talking cats. Sprinkled with some references to astronomy, mythology, and mineralogy mixed with humor and romance, read this under the moonlight.” -Kimberly, Central Library

Laid-back Camp by Afro

“A group of girls revive the school camping club, dust off the old supplies, and head out to the forests and lakes in the foothills of Mount Fuji.  Along the way, the girls form lasting friendships.  Reading about their trips made me fall in love with camping all over again and now I always plan for an instant ramen lunch or dinner when I spend a weekend outdoors. File under cute, cozy, and low key.”  -Karen M., Gregory Heights Library

FullMetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

“How would you react if you were handed a series of unexpected outcomes? What if your actions only made the situation worse?  FullMetal Alchemist deals with these very injustices. Two brothers work through their trials as well as develop to understand that other members of their community are also dealing with difficulties too.”  -Juan, St. Johns Library

Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui

“If you find yourself dreaming of food while watching anime or playing D&D then Delicious in Dungeon will satisfy your appetite. Monsters, dragons, and dumplings, oh my!”  -Erica, Technical Services

Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama

“It's gorgeous, and I got caught up in the growing mystery of what's really going on with learning magic in and outside of magic school!”  -Natasha, Hollywood Library

a shelf full of manga series books
Uzumaki by Junji Itō

“If you like horror at all, you owe it to yourself to check out the works of Junji Itō. All his books and short stories are chilling, but Uzumaki is the perfect place to start.  A twisted tale in the vein of H.P. Lovecraft, about a quiet coastal town that slowly spirals into madness.  It's guaranteed to shock, terrify, and leave you hungry for more.”  -Ophelia, Belmont Library

Golden Kamuy by Satoru Noda

"I'm not usually a fan of westerns, but my favorite ongoing series has all the hallmarks of a Sergio Leone cowboy movie, with a unique eastern perspective.  Set in the early 1900s, the series follows an unlikely alliance between a grizzled Japanese war veteran and a young indigenous Ainu huntress as they journey across snowy Hokkaido, fighting vicious killers and dangerous creatures in pursuit of a hidden gold fortune. The series has all the bloody action and colorful characters you want from a Shonen manga, with a surprising amount of comedy and cooking tips. But my favorite part is its rich depiction of the Meiji Restoration, when Japan's push towards modernity began to engulf the ancient traditions of its native people. A real page-turner; my only complaint is that there isn't more yet."  -Ophelia, Belmont Library

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.

Young kids in line at school getting temperatures taken by a teacher
Dear families, we know you have been through the wringer for almost two years and it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. As we start 2022, we find ourselves once again having to worry about school closures and remote learning. And we are still trying to figure out how to get tested for and vaccinated against Covid-19. Here are some resources to help support you and your family during this difficult time. 

Testing information

Vaccination information

Finding masks

School closure information

Remote Learning resources

And remember, the library is here to help. We can help you find something good to read, watch or listen to while you are isolating. And you should contact us if you have holds ready for pickup, but are not able to get to the library due to Covid. 

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 brushing teeth in bathroom
Dental health is an important part of our overall health. Two of the best things we can do for our children’s dental health are regular dental checkups and helping them develop a daily toothbrushing habit. Learn more about children’s oral health at the CDC.

If you need dental insurance, Multnomah County can help you apply.

Ever wondered why dental insurance is separate from the rest of your health insurance? Find out why in this Sawbones podcast episode.

It is odd, right? Our teeth and our mouths are just as much part of our bodies as our arms or stomachs. They’re also part of our sensory systems, so children with sensory processing issues often have sensory problems with oral care. If your child has a poor tolerance for tooth brushing, see if any of these strategies help. Communicate with your child’s dentist about sensory processing issues ahead of time to talk about strategies to create a successful dental visit, such as mitigating noise, getting used to the reclining chair, or being sensitive to your child’s cues.  A social story, such as one from this list or from your dentist, explains the dental visit step by step so that your child knows what to expect.

Another good idea? Books of course! Here is a link to books for kids about the dentist and another about taking care of yout teeth

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.

sad person covering head with sweatshirt hood
If you, or your child, feel a sense of fatigue and sadness when summer ends and the weather changes to a pattern of continuous cloudy or rainy days, it may be more than just a case of the ‘winter blues.’

Some people experience a regular low period when the seasons change. Doctors have a name for it - Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. It is more common in adults, and more so in women, but children and teens can sometimes be affected, as well. 

SAD is a type of depression that can appear when there is less sunlight. Unlike other types of depression, SAD symptoms seem to arrive as winter arrives and then fade away as spring approaches. Like other depressions, Seasonal Affective Disorder can be mild, or it can be more severe. 

Why does this happen? In most cases, SAD seems to be related to the loss of sunlight. Researchers have found that reduced sunlight can affect the body in ways that could contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder. These include: Circadian rhythm (biological clock) – the decrease in sunlight could disrupt your body’s natural rhythms. There may also be a drop in vitamin D levels and in the brain chemical, Serotonin, that affects our mood. These changes can lead to depression.

Symptoms of SAD may include:

  • change in appetite, especially craving sweet or starchy foods
  • fatigue
  • sleeping more than normal
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability and anxiety
  • increased sensitivity to rejection
  • avoidance of social situations
  • loss of interest in the activities you used to enjoy

If you or your child are experiencing some of these symptoms your doctor can help determine the best way to cope and feel better.

And here is an article written for teens about SAD from Nemours KidsHealth (also available in Spanish). 

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.

Attention educators! Did you miss our summer educator workshops this year? They are a great place to learn about the latest and greatest materials to use in the classroom. Don't worry; we now have booklists and videos available to share.

Gotta Read This: New Books to Connect with Your Curriculum: This workshop highlights new books you might integrate into your language arts, social studies, math, science and arts curriculum.

For K-5th grade educators: Watch part 1 and part 2 of the Gotta Read This K-5 recorded webinar.

For 6th-12th grade educators: This booklist is broken down by subject, so you can choose the topics most relevant for you.

 

Novel-Ties (for 4th -8th grade educators): Discover hot, new fiction to use in book discussion groups and literature circles. 

Watch the Novel-Ties videos (and feel free to show them to students, too).

 

Talking Equity and Social Justice: School Corps librarians share quick booktalks on titles that address these topics, in this recorded webinar. A list of all the books and other resources mentioned in the talk can be found below the videos on YouTube.

Contact School Corps with any questions!

While reviews on online shopping and crowd-sourced review sites are often helpful, the average person doesn’t purchase and compare five vacuum cleaners at once. The reviewer that does do that is Consumer Reports, which accepts no advertising and is known for editorial integrity. The library subscribes to the paper issues at all 19 locations, which you can browse whenever you visit the library.

Image of Consumer Reports and Annual Buying Guide

But did you know that there is also a way to access Consumer Reports  from home?


The Consumer Reports website has limited coverage if you aren’t a subscriber; you can see that a particular product was reviewed, but not the review itself. However, you can read the full text of the reviews, and see the illustrations of the ratings in chart form, with your library card through MasterFILE Premier. Go to MasterFILE Premier, click "Publications" at the top of the screen,  and type "Consumer Reports"  in the Browsing:  MasterFILE Premier -- Publications box. Once you click on Consumer Reports, you can either browse by issue date, or search within the publication for your topic.

If you use “search within this publication,” add your search term to the JN "Consumer Reports” that the database has already filled in, for example, JN "Consumer Reports" and mattress. The results default to “Relevance,” so change that drop-down box to “date newest” to see the most recent reviews.

You can also search in the Consumer Reports Buying Guide by starting in the library catalog; select the “Click here to access title” link on the right of the page to access the content of the guide.

If Consumer Reports didn't review your item recently, try a MasterFILE Premier search for the item and the phrase "product evalutation". For example, "backhoe and product evaluation" yields reviews from publications like Underground ConstructionENR: Engineering News-Record, and Landscape Management.

Consumer Reports isn't the only source out there, though!  Here are some other well-regarded product review sites:

Wirecutter:  Reviews of technology, appliances, home goods, etc. from the staff of the New York Times. If you hit a paywall, some Wirecutter content is in the New York Times (1980-present) database (log in with your library card number and PIN/password).

Good Housekeeping:  GH has been testing consumer products and awarding the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval since 1900. Focuses on domestic products like kitchen appliances, toys, cleaning products and personal care items like cosmetics and bras.

CNET: Primarily reviews of technology (phones, streaming services, laptops), but also some non-tech items like mattresses and meal kits.

The Strategist:  From New York magazine, focusing on online shopping. Also has lists of recommendations on a theme (books by genre/reader) as well as traditional reviews by topic (pillows, picture frames, etc).

Specialty Reviews

If there’s a magazine or website for a particular hobby or interest, chances are they review products for that hobby. For example:

Image of Cooks Illustrated, Runner's World and Car and Driver magazines
Cooks Illustrated can recommend an air fryer or bakeware.

Runner’s World tests running shoes, athletic clothes and earbuds that won’t fall out while you do laps.

Car and Driver is another source besides Consumer Reports to look for automobile recommendations.

How to evaluate a review or shopping site

Not sure if that mattress review site is independent, or a fake that only posts positive reviews of the products sold by the website? Here’s some things to look for:

  • A review site should have an “about us” page that tells you who owns it or funds it, and should describe its editorial policies. 
  • You won’t necessarily get wrong information from a site that sells products to consumers, but a site that wants to sell you office supplies or mattresses will probably not be willing to evaluate a product it carries as “unacceptable” (like Consumer Reports occasionally will).
  • Any site that allows customers to review products or services without verifying purchases (for example, Amazon, Yelp, Tripadvisor) can be manipulated, and it’s worth reading these reviews with a degree of caution or skepticism.

Happy shopping!

 

El Día Internacional del Migrante es muy significativo para mí porque hace más de veinte años, sin entender mucho de las implicaciones de dejar nuestro país natal, mis hermanos, mis padres y yo nos despedimos de todo lo que sabíamos hasta ese momento. Conscientes del cambio que significaría para nuestra familia emigrar a Estados Unidos, mis padres optaron por trasladarnos a un lugar donde pudiéramos tener una vida mejor. Si bien los desafíos que enfrentamos como extranjeros nos dejaron cicatrices que siempre nos recordarán lo difícil que fue este cambio, la inmigración a este país nos llevó a un futuro donde había espacio para metas personales y profesionales. Metas por las que los mienbros de mi familia han trabajado incansablemente.

Sin embargo, no podría contar mi historia de inmigración sin agradecer a mi padre por arriesgar tanto en su búsqueda de horizontes más prometedores. Sin muchas garantías pero obligado por las consecuencias de las políticas internacionales, decidió emprender un viaje hacia una vida mejor. Pero compartir cómo me convertí en inmigrante no estaría bien si omitiera el papel de mi madre en esta decisión. Desde su primer viaje a los Estados Unidos, mi madre sabía que tendríamos refugio en este país. Y una vez que mi padre entró a Estados Unidos como trabajador agrícola, confirmó la lista de posibilidades a las que podíamos acceder, muchas de ellas imposibles de lograr en México. Si bien la transición entre sus deseos y sus logros no fue fácil, hoy mis hermanos y yo hemos logrado hacer realidad ese sueño que tenían para cada uno de nosotros.

woman standing tall

 

International Migrants Day is very significant for me because more than twenty years ago, without understanding much of the implications of leaving our native country, my brothers, my parents, and I said goodbye to everything we knew up to that moment. Aware of the change that immigrating to the United States would mean for our family, my parents chose to move us to a place where we could have a better life. While the challenges we faced as foreigners left us with scars that will always remind us of how difficult this change was, immigration to this country led us to a future where there was room for personal and professional goals. Goals my family members have worked tirelessly for.

However, I could not tell my immigration story without thanking my father for risking so much in his search for more promising horizons. Without much guarantee but forced by the consequences of international policies, he decided to undertake a journey to a better life. But sharing how I became an immigrant would not be well told if I omitted my mother's role in this decision. From her first trip to the US, my mother knew we would have refuge in this country. And once my father entered the United States as an agricultural worker, he confirmed the list of possibilities that we could access, many of them impossible to achieve in Mexico. While the transition between their wishes and their achievement was not easy, today, my brothers and I have managed to make that dream that they had for each of us come true.

When David Shine, an English teacher with the Multnomah Education Service District, and Multnomah County Library (MCL) Program Specialist Jody Redifer teamed up, their goal was to bring the youth at Donald E. Long (DEL) Juvenile Detention Center together for a national songwriting competition. The library’s outreach work at DEL is made possible by a longstanding partnership between the library and Multnomah County’s Department of Community Justice.

The songwriting competition, held by BreakFree Education, supports the organization's mission to “radically improve education in the juvenile justice system.” 

Microphone and audio equipment on shelf at library

For Jody, who has been facilitating a music production class in the library at DEL since late 2020, it was exciting to have English teacher David Shine approach him to collaborate on this competition.

During his time teaching the music production class, Jody has recorded over 200 songs by more than 50 youth. With the combination of David and Jody working together, students at DEL were thrilled to have this project underway. David took lead on the writing, and Jody managed the production and engineering. 

Through the songwriting competition youth not only explored music, but also the specific themes pertaining to each song. It is this lesson plan component that allows the youth to grow introspectively, while gaining new musical skills. 

BreakFree Education’s mission for this program is that "through this initiative, students explore policy issues that impact their lives. Students harness the power of music to create, produce, and share songs that address issues related to juvenile justice reform.” The songwriting competition is the result of this work, and through it the organization “amplifies the voices of youth justice.”

Students at DEL put their all into the songwriting and performances. This is something which may sound practical, but is not always easy in a detention environment. They expressed their perspective on social conditions and the struggles they and other youth face.

As a result of the hard and thoughtful work the youth put in and the collaboration between MESD and MCL, two of the units at DEL finished in the top 10 nationwide, with unit A2 taking 3rd place on October 28, 2021!

Students at DEL, David and Jody are excited for the prospect of more partnerships like this. In the immediate future, the next collaboration looks to be the publication of works of fiction and non fiction by the students at DEL with the help of MCL. With David working on the writing aspect, and Jody on the publication side, this is bound to be a successful venture! Again bridging the creative ideas of youth, into hands-on and constructive skills.

Article written by BCLA Program Specialist Jody Redifer, with support from Communications Specialist Paty Rincon

Every year, we create a beautiful page of the best books of the year -- the ones our staff and volunteers have loved. Whether you're a fan of picture books that celebrate bravery, suspense stories that keep you guessing, or books centering the voices of Black, Indigenous and people of color, we have you covered. 

Check out our favorite books for 2021. 

Want to see what we've recommended in past years? Explore the links below:

Best Books 2020

Best Books 2019

Best Books 2018

Best books 2017

Best Books 2016

Looking for personalized book recommendations? Ask the My Librarian team.

 

From what I heard not too long ago from my kids about sex education at their schools, children in the Portland area are getting abbreviated, inadequate information about sex in these classes. Studies show that kids are probably also getting plenty of information from Internet porn. Neither of these options are very good.

I want them to know things that are never talked about in sex ed class-- that sex is supposed to feel good for girls, too. That pornography almost always presents an insanely stylized, but also unimaginative version of sex, and that real sex won’t and shouldn’t look like that. There’s a whole host of conversations to have about our culture’s weird over-sexualization of girls. And what if our kids are different from the norm? Representation matters for young people who are LGBT or gender-nonconforming, for young people with disabilities or bodies of different shapes and sizes.

Clearly, we need to talk to our kids about sex, even though it is perhaps not their favorite subject for a chat with parents. For the questions they would never ask you, there’s a great sex-positive website called scarleteen you can point them to. And, of course, library books can help, too, so I created this list of really good books for kids of all ages.

What is speculative fiction? Well, that depends who you ask. 

Some see speculative fiction as an umbrella term for any fiction with supernatural, futuristic, or fantasy elements. Others see it as books that ponder questions like, "what if this happened?' and "what if the world were this way" -- in other words, speculate. And still others see it as a  mish and mash elements from multiple genres that break the mold. I like this last definition, myself. In the past year I've seen so many books published lately that fit into sci-fi, fantasy, or horror, but bend the genres and include pieces that make them hard to categorize. The librarian in me wants to categorize them -- here's your fantasy, here's your horror -- but the reader in me delights in the unexpected mix of elements, often in a book I first took for just one thing. Though is any good book just one thing? 

Take Akwaeke Emezi's Pet as an example of what I mean: a novella set in a near-world society much like our own, except that it has rid itself of monsters (utopia). Teenage Jam meets a terrifying creature from another world named Pet, who emerges from a painting when a drop of Jam's blood is spilled on it (fantasy). Pet's come to hunt a monster... and the monster is in Jam's house (horror). So there you have utopia, fantasy and horror mixed together in a novella and which genre, my dears, do we set that inside? (the library places it simply on the fiction shelf, which makes things a lot simpler.)

This list includes just a few of my favorites in speculative fiction. Curious to learn more? This Book Riot article is a great introduction to the history and more recent definitions -- Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Leguin had a famous debate about it -- of speculative fiction. 

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System and many employers utilize it these days. Basically, it means a computer will scan your resume first. If it is not readable or doesn’t have the proper information it may be passed over. Here a just a few tips for making your resume “ATS Friendly”:

  • Keep your format simple. Avoid graphics, embedded tables and columns.
  • Avoid using headers and footers.
  • Make sure your resume is in an acceptable file format. PDF is often best but .doc and .docx can also be acceptable. Check the application instructions for the job you are applying to.
  • Most importantly, the ATS is looking for keywords that match the job description. Look for words and terms used often in the job description and apply them to your resume in your job duties, skills and education as appropriate.

For more details, check out these articles from LinkedIn and Indeed about writing ATS friendly resumes.

Get Help from the Library

We can help you review and improve your resume. Email a copy to workplace@multco.us and one of our volunteers will review it to provide feedback in a virtual consultation.

We have books to help you create and improve your resume too!

 

a group of kids help pick up trash at a park
Winter is a wonderful time to give back to the community.  Did you know that you can volunteer with your kids?  It's true!  Many local organizations allow young people to volunteer alongside the adults in their lives.  Read on for community service opportunities where your whole family can make an impact.  

Start with a Short-Term Project.  Hands On Greater Portland, a volunteer program of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, connects thousands of volunteers to projects every year.  There are short-term (2 hours maximum) and long-term opportunities with a variety of organizations.  Start with the Volunteer with Your Kids page for their calendar of upcoming family-friendly projects.  

Help Fight Hunger.  Check with Oregon Food Bank or Sunshine Division, which rely on volunteers in getting food and other necessities to families and individuals who need them the most.  

Gather Supplies for Shelters. Spend a few hours collecting and distributing items needed for shelters that serve people experiencing houselessness.   Organizations in need of supplies include: Portland Family Homeless Solutions, Blanchet House, JOIN, CityTeamPortland Rescue Mission, and Transition Projects.  Check their websites for their most urgent needs.

Deliver Meals and Groceries. Bring your kids along to drop off meals or food baskets to people who cannot easily leave their homes.  Volunteer with Meals on Wheels People and Store to Door of Oregon

Get Outdoors.  Plant trees, get rid of invasive weeds, and help maintain school, community and public gardens!  Check out Zenger Farm, Portland Fruit Tree Project, Friends of Trees, City of Gresham, and Portland Parks and Recreation for outdoor, nature-based opportunities.  

Give Books! Collect used children's books in your community or neighborhood to donate to kids in the area who may not have access to books at home or at a library.  Children's Book Bank is a local organization that distributes books to local Head Start programs and other community organizations in need of books.  

Do you know of additional family-friendly service opportunities that we should include here?  Please let us know and we'll add it to the list.  

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.

1. What do you think of Jacob’s style of art? Would the story have been less or more effective with a different style?

2. Have you ever read a graphic novel or illustrated memoir? How do the illustrations help the reader to understand the relationships between characters?

3. How do the big historical events described in the book tie in with the storyline of Jacob’s life -- do they advance the story? Setting aside that this is a memoir, could a plot without reference to national events have been as effective?

4. How does the relationship between Mira and her son serve to underline the themes of the book? How are Z’s questions different from those an adult might ask, and how do they change our understanding of the author’s narrative?

5. Jacob includes many conversations around skin color and how that shapes her marriage opportunities. How did she first learn that “dark meant ugly” within her Indian culture? How does she connect and contrast that colorism to the choices she makes and her relationships with family?

6. As a first generation American, Jacob’s personal and romantic life contrast with those of her family, who expect her to marry an Indian man. How does she navigate the cultural divide? How does she explore issues of sexuality?

7. The title Jacob chose is sometimes said at the end of a difficult conversation. How is that common usage played upon in the memoir?

8. Think about your own life and the conversations that you might include in your own memoir. Why were these conversations significant? Were there any important conversations about world events? Is there a common theme among them?

9. Here are some more topics for further discussion: Relationships between generations and cultures; immigrants parenting first generation Americans; unconscious bias and microagressions; the role of religion in politics.

Learn about Everybody Reads and upcoming events.

Everybody Reads 2022, a community reading project of Multnomah County Library, is made possible in part by gifts to The Library Foundation with author appearance made possible by Literary Arts.

Imagen de dinero y birrete

Préstamos federales para estudiantes. El préstamo federal para estudiantes está solo a nombre del estudiante. Estos préstamos tienen cantidades limitadas, tasas de interés y tarifas de apertura generalmente razonables. Para una licenciatura de cuatro años, la cantidad máxima que el estudiante puede pedir prestada es de $27,000. Para calificar para el préstamo federal para estudiantes, el estudiante debe completar la FAFSA (Solicitud Gratuita de Ayuda Federal para Estudiantes) que está disponible a partir del 1.º de octubre. 

Cómo completar la FAFSA paso a paso. Este video contiene información importante de cómo completar el formulario FAFSA. 

Si los padres del estudiante no cuentan con número de seguro social. La ciudadanía de los padres del estudiante no afecta la capacidad del estudiante para completar el formulario FAFSA. Si los padres del estudiante no tienen SSN (Número de Seguro Social), deben ingresar 000-00-0000 cuando el formulario FAFSA solicite sus SSN. Si los padres del estudiante no tienen SSN, no podrán crear una FSA ID (Identificación y contraseña en el sitio web para la Ayuda Federal para Estudiantes) y por lo tanto, no podrán firmar el formulario FAFSA electrónicamente. El estudiante o sus padres tendrán que imprimir la página de firma del formulario FAFSA en línea para que los padres puedan firmarlo y enviarlo por correo a la dirección indicada.

Más respuestas a otras preguntas relacionadas con el tema.

Solicitud de ayuda estatal de Oregón (ORSAA). Los estudiantes elegibles indocumentados o bajo el programa de DACA (Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia) en Oregón, pueden completar esta solicitud para recibir ayuda estatal incluyendo la Beca de Oportunidad de Oregón (Oregon Opportunity Grant) y la beca Promesa de Oregón (Oregon Promise).

Esta beca también está disponible desde el 1.º de octubre. 

Becas y ayuda que no tienen que reembolsar. El gobierno federal y los gobiernos estatales otorgan becas por varias razones, desde la necesidad financiera hasta el desempeño académico o deportivo. Con una sola solicitud, los estudiantes pueden postularse para la mayoría de estos programas de ayuda.

Ayuda Financiera de Oregón. Un portal para varias solicitudes de ayuda financiera y becas. Los estudiantes pueden ver la descripción de cada una de las ayudas financieras y becas. 

Becas Federales Pell. Estas subvenciones no son préstamos por lo que no es necesario pagarlas. Los estudiantes pueden recibir una Beca Federal Pell por 12 semestres o menos tiempo, pero no más.

Becas para estudiantes hispanos o latinos. No existen leyes federales ni estatales que prohíban a mujeres y hombres indocumentados presentar solicitudes, inscribirse y graduarse de instituciones de enseñanza superior públicas o privadas. Sin embargo; al ser clasificados como extranjeros, los estudiantes indocumentados pierden la capacidad de ser elegibles para recibir asistencia financiera federal y tarifas de matrícula reducidas para residentes estatales. Este sitio tiene información sobre becas para estudiantes extranjeros.

Becas para estudiantes mexicanos que viven en los Estados Unidos. El Gobierno de México, a través del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME) y los Consulados de México en Estados Unidos de América, entrega recursos a las organizaciones e instituciones educativas que participan en la convocatoria y se comprometen a aportar fondos complementarios que al menos dupliquen los recibidos por parte del Gobierno de México, y así aumentar las becas disponibles para los estudiantes mexicanos. Los estudiantes tienen que pasar por el proceso de selección que tenga cada institución educativa para el otorgamiento de las becas.

 

Mother and child in kitchen making a salad with letters, zucchini and peppers
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and that got us thinking about how to support children with chronic illness.  

Maybe you know a child with a chronic illness directly or maybe you just want to support them in spirit. Certainly you’ve seen fundraisers to help families with a sick child. We can’t tell you where to send your money, but a real, concrete action you can take is to get yourself vaccinated for Covid-19Medically fragile and immunocompromised children need herd immunity.  

Also, get your healthy children all their regular immunizations! Children with chronic illness are more susceptible to diseases of all kinds. They often can’t get immunized themselves and need the rest of us to provide a line of defense against outbreaks of diseases like measles or whooping cough. If you don’t have insurance for regular well child check ups and vaccinations, you can get childhood vaccinations through the Multnomah County Primary Care Clinics at low or no cost, or get vaccines and other health care for K-12 students through the Student Health Center at your child’s school at no cost.  

Cancer is awful and thinking about a child you know being diagnosed with cancer can be devastating. In this One Bad Mother podcast episode, the hosts talk with Jessica Phillips Lorenz, mother of a pediatric cancer survivor, about the experience of having a child diagnosed with cancer and how friends and family can help. Often, it’s by stepping up to help with really practical stuff like house cleaning, caring for siblings, and food delivery. She suggests doing these things without having to be asked and continuing to do these things over the long haul of the illness. 

If you have a child with a chronic illness, the diagnosis definitely requires you to level up on your parenting skills. Children’s Hospital of Colorado offers advice on parenting a child with a chronic illness. The Swindells Resource Center at Providence offers resources to families with children experiencing many sorts of disabilities and chronic illnesses. They have a lending library and offer many events and webinars available to anyone, not just Providence members. Take care of your own mental health with a support group or counseling. All health insurance plans will cover mental health care - it’s the law! Call 211 if you need low or no cost suggestions or referrals.

If your child is coming back to school after a long illness with conditions they need to manage, these tips from The Mighty will be helpful. You’ll develop a plan with your school to provide your child with the support they need to get through their day. This is called a 504 plan. Understood.org is a great website with extensive information for parents to guide you through the process of getting a 504 plan and working with schools.  

And here are a couple more resources, if you'd like to investigate further:

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

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