Blogs

28 de julio de 2020

El 7 de julio, la biblioteca del condado de Multnomah notificó a su personal que había tomado la difícil decisión de reducir su fuerza laboral. Los despidos entrarán en vigencia el 30 de septiembre. Este es un triste giro de eventos para todos en la biblioteca del condado de Multnomah. Al igual que otros grandes sistemas de bibliotecas públicas, junto con empresas, escuelas y otras organizaciones, las decisiones de nuestra biblioteca están siendo impulsadas por COVID-19 y su impacto significativo en los servicios y operaciones de la biblioteca en el futuro previsible.

Esta es una decisión triste y frustrante de tomar, y sé que es más difícil para aquellos cuyos trabajos se ven afectados. Hemos analizado muchas formas en que esta biblioteca sirve a la comunidad, pero dado el impacto muy real de las limitaciones físicas en nuestros servicios, la biblioteca no puede acomodar el trabajo de todo el personal que emplea.

Quiero compartir con ustedes cómo tomamos esta decisión y qué haremos a continuación. En marzo, cuando los edificios de la biblioteca se cerraron al público, teníamos poca información sobre el virus y esperábamos que el cierre de la biblioteca fuera breve. Le pedimos al personal que podía hacer su trabajo de forma remota que lo hiciera, y continuamos pagando el salario y los beneficios de los trabajadores cuyos trabajos no se pueden realizar de forma remota. A medida que COVID-19 continúa propagándose dentro de las comunidades en todas partes, y las pautas estatales y de salud pública imponen limitaciones a las interacciones en persona, quedó claro que necesitábamos planificar este escenario durante un período de tiempo mucho más largo.

Muchas de las 19 ubicaciones públicas de la biblioteca son muy pequeñas (la más pequeña mide aproximadamente 3600 pies cuadrados). Teniendo en cuenta la distribución del edificio, las salidas, los baños, las estanterías y los muebles y las pautas de ocupación máxima, cualquier regreso al servicio de biblioteca en el edificio debe realizarse con grandes limitaciones. Es razonable suponer que esos requisitos estarán vigentes en el futuro previsible. Aproximadamente la mitad del personal de la biblioteca tiene trabajos que requieren trabajo en persona, como mover físicamente los materiales de la biblioteca. No hay suficiente espacio dentro de los edificios de la biblioteca para acomodar a todos en la era actual.

La biblioteca debe cumplir con su obligación para con el público que financia la biblioteca actuando como un administrador reflexivo y transparente de los recursos públicos. No es como siempre. En consulta con la Oficina del Presidente del Condado de Multnomah, la Junta del Distrito de Bibliotecas y el equipo de liderazgo de la biblioteca, llegué a la difícil conclusión de que la biblioteca no puede pagar indefinidamente a una parte significativa de su fuerza laboral por trabajos que no pueden hacer durante la pandemia. En esta situación, simplemente no hay una buena opción a mano.

La decisión de reducir nuestra fuerza laboral no es un reflejo de la calidad del trabajo del personal en todo el sistema de la biblioteca, y no significa que todo el personal que no puede trabajar de forma remota será despedido. Los miembros del personal de la biblioteca han trabajado de manera innovadora y creativa durante esta pandemia. Actualmente ofrecemos recogida en espera con cita previa, almuerzos de verano en algunos lugares y una amplia gama de servicios en línea, por teléfono, correo electrónico y chat. Nuestra biblioteca y los miembros de su personal han ampliado enormemente los recursos disponibles y han hecho que algunos programas sean ofertas virtuales.

De cara al futuro, la biblioteca está trabajando activamente para cambiar los servicios existentes y poner en marcha nuevos servicios en un entorno virtual, con aportes del personal de la biblioteca y en consonancia con las prioridades de la biblioteca del condado de Multnomah. Estamos planeando servicios de biblioteca que se ven diferentes de lo que son ahora, como acceso a computadoras al aire libre y préstamo de puntos de acceso wi-fi y Chromebooks. Primero buscaremos llamar a los miembros del personal de la biblioteca para este trabajo siempre que sea posible. Incluso cuando podamos reanudar algunos servicios en el edificio, no será el mismo que antes.

Estoy profundamente agradecido con los trabajadores talentosos y dedicados que hacen de las bibliotecas un activo valioso para la comunidad. Estamos trabajando con el sindicato de trabajadores de la biblioteca, AFSCME Local 88, para finalizar los detalles de la reducción de acuerdo con el acuerdo laboral y notificaremos directamente a los miembros del personal afectados. Nuestros planes involucran una serie de medidas destinadas a mitigar el impacto de la reducción de la fuerza laboral en los miembros del personal afectados, incluida la atención médica y otros beneficios durante los tres meses posteriores a la separación. Si bien estas medidas no cambian fundamentalmente la pérdida de un medio de vida, es algo que podemos hacer para mejorar un poco una mala situación.

La biblioteca del condado de Multnomah se centra en ayudar a nuestra comunidad a recuperarse de la pandemia. La biblioteca centrará la carrera en su trabajo y enfatizará los esfuerzos que sirven a aquellos que están más profundamente afectados, con la salud y la seguridad a la vanguardia. Espero con ansias el momento en que estas limitaciones profundamente desafiantes ya no existan. Estoy seguro de que la biblioteca saldrá de esta crisis con un enfoque agudo en nuestra misión de servicio, incluso en los momentos más difíciles.

Vailey Oehlke, directora de bibliotecas
Biblioteca del condado de Multnomah

28 июля 2020 г.

7 июля библиотека округа Малтнома уведомила своих сотрудников о том, что она приняла трудное решение о сокращении штата. Увольнения начнутся 30 сентября. Это печальный поворот событий для всех в библиотеке округа Малтнома. Как и в случае с другими крупными публичными библиотечными системами, а также с предприятиями, школами и другими организациями, решения нашей библиотеки определяются COVID-19 и его значительным влиянием на библиотечные услуги и работу в обозримом будущем.

Это печальное и огорчающее решение, и я знаю, что это тяжелее для тех, чья работа затронута. Мы рассмотрели множество способов, которыми библиотека служит обществу. Учитывая реальное влияние физического дистанцирования на наши услуги, мы пришли к выводу, что библиотека не может вместить весь персонал, который в ней работает.

Хочу поделиться с вами, как мы приняли это решение и что будем делать дальше. В марте, когда здания библиотек закрылись для посетителей, у нас было мало информации о вирусе, и мы надеялись, что закрытие библиотеки будет кратковременным. Мы попросили сотрудников, которые могут выполнять свою работу удаленно, сделать это. Вместе с этим мы продолжили выплачивать заработную плату и оплачивать страховки тем работникам, чья работа не может быть выполнена удаленно. Поскольку COVID-19 продолжает распространяться, а руководства штата и общественного здравоохранения накладывают ограничения на личное общение, стало ясно, что нам необходимо планировать сценарий на гораздо более длительный период времени.

Многие из 19 зданий библиотеки очень маленькие (самое маленькое - около 3600 квадратных футов). Принимая во внимание планировку здания, выходы, туалеты, стеллажи и мебель, а также правила максимальной заполняемости, любое возвращение к библиотечным услугам внутри здания должно происходить с жесткими ограничениями. Разумно предположить, что эти требования будут действовать в обозримом будущем. Около половины сотрудников библиотеки имеют работу, требующую личное присутствие на рабочем месте, например, физическое перемещение библиотечных материалов. В настоящее время внутри библиотечных зданий не хватает места для всех.

Библиотека должна выполнять свои обязательства перед обществом, которое финансирует библиотеку, действовать прозрачно и разумно распоряжаться государственными ресурсами. Посоветовавшись с офисом председателя округа Малтнома, советом библиотечного округа и руководством библиотеки, я пришла к трудному заключению, что библиотека не может бесконечно оплачивать значительную часть своего персонала за работу, которую они не могут выполнять во время пандемии. В этой ситуации другого хорошего выбора просто нет.

Решение о сокращении наших трудовых ресурсов не является отражением качества работы сотрудников всей библиотечной системы, и это не означает, что все сотрудники, которые не могут работать удаленно, будут уволены. Во время пандемии сотрудники библиотеки работали новаторски и творчески. В настоящее время мы предлагаем выдачу забронированных материалов по предварительной записи, летние обеды в некоторых библиотеках и ​​широкий спектр услуг онлайн, по телефону, электронной почте и в чате. Наша библиотека и ее сотрудники значительно расширили доступные ресурсы и сделали некоторые программы виртуальными.

Заглядывая в будущее, библиотека активно работает над изменением существующих и внедрением новых виртуальных услуг при участии сотрудников библиотеки и в соответствии с приоритетами библиотеки округа Малтнома. Мы планируем предоставить библиотечные услуги, которые выглядят иначе, чем сейчас, например доступ к компьютеру на открытом воздухе, предоставление точек доступа Wi-Fi и заимствование Chromebook. По возможности, для выполнения этой работы, в первую очередь мы постараемся вернуть сотрудников библиотеки. Даже когда мы сможем возобновить предоставление некоторых услуг внутри зданий, все будет не так, как раньше.

Я глубоко благодарна талантливым и самоотверженным работникам, которые делают библиотеку ценным достоянием общества. Мы работаем с профсоюзом библиотеки AFSCME Local 88, чтобы завершить детализацию сокращения в соответствии с трудовым соглашением и напрямую уведомим затронутых сотрудников. Наши планы включают в себя ряд мер, направленных на смягчение воздействия сокращения рабочих мест на пострадавших сотрудников. Медицинская страховка и другие льготы будут действительны в течение трех месяцев после увольнения. Хотя эти меры принципиально не влияют на проблему утраты средств к существованию, мы делаем это, чтобы немного облегчить плохую ситуацию.

Библиотека округа Малтнома помогает нашему сообществу оправиться от пандемии. В своей работе библиотека сосредоточит внимание и сделает упор на усилия, направленные на оказание помощи тем, кто больше всего пострадал, при этом здоровье и безопасность будут стоять на первом месте. Я с нетерпением жду того времени, когда этих чрезвычайно сложных ограничений больше не будет. Я уверена, что библиотека выйдет из этого кризиса, уделяя больше внимания нашей миссии обслуживания, даже в самые тяжелые времена.

Vailey Oehlke, директор Библиотеки округа Малтнома
Библиотека округа Малтнома

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything. Every person, every family, every organization has to think differently now, including Multnomah County Library.

Some of the changes required by this new reality include changes in staffing. While living with the pandemic, we have significant limits to in-person service and far fewer in-person library users than we did before. Therefore, we are in the difficult process of reducing some jobs for the duration of the pandemic. (I wrote here to explain why). 

There has been incorrect information going around about what’s happening at the library, and I want to make sure the public is up to date and has accurate information.

This library has made major adjustments over the past few months, adding new services like expanded online access and curbside book pickup — and more adaptations are on the way. We know how much our community values library resources, and the hardworking and dedicated library staff, who are the heartbeat of Multnomah County Library. 

We are working with the union representing library workers — AFSCME Local 88 — to help people who ultimately will be laid off from their library jobs. While no one has been laid off yet, the union contract between Multnomah County and Local 88 guides this process and sets rules, mostly based on seniority, for who can stay and who must leave when positions are cut.

As we reduce the size of our workforce, we are working closely with the union to minimize the impacts of layoffs in the following ways:

  • Offering incentives for voluntary retirement and voluntary layoff
  • Identifying impactful new services that can be delivered within COVID constraints
  • Looking for job placement options at Multnomah County for pandemic response and other kinds of work

Some have overstated the scale of the planned library layoffs and expressed concern about the impact on staff members who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. The library has about 580 employees. We currently expect to reduce represented staff by 79 positions, with an additional six positions moving from full time to part time. It is our hope and expectation that at least some of the people filling these positions will not be out of work, but will fill other positions at Multnomah County. This number is lower than our original projections and is a result of our collaborative discussions with union leadership and library employees.

We hope to reduce the number of layoffs even further and will know the final number by the end of August. We will look creatively at options for every single person and strive to support them during this difficult process.

Our library has worked hard to hire more staff who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) especially in recent years. Some of those workers’ positions have additional Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) protections, tied to language and culture. Other BIPOC staff members have jobs without those protections and have a higher chance of being “bumped” by staff with greater seniority. Those are factors we cannot change since they are governed by the union contract. We have severely limited reductions of those KSA positions to four positions because our priorities focus on serving BIPOC communities and others most affected by the pandemic.

Since the pandemic began, the library has used staff input to work in new ways. Through innovative online programs, modified summer reading, expanded access on subjects that matter, free summer lunches, reaching out to seniors and homebound patrons, outreach with community partners and more, we have expanded our work. 

The library will continue to look and listen to its staff for impactful ideas and suggestions that we can put into place quickly and over time to help our community. This week, the library will begin outdoor computer labs. Next up is free mobile printing at all locations. We will loan Chromebooks and wi-fi hotspots and offer remote technology help. We have received lots of other ideas and proposals we will develop and act on.

The library will do everything it can right now to offer options, support and compassion in this process. We will focus on helping our community recover, with a workforce aligned to do that. We will also keep our eye on the horizon with a vision to better serve future generations.

Vailey Oehlke, director of libraries
 

Image of wordless books
“Wordless book” sounds like a contradiction. But wordless books use illustrations to tell a story, with very few or even no words included with the pictures. Believe it or not, they can actually be a great way to help anyone trying to grow their reading skills, no matter their age or what languages they speak at home.

One important part of reading is decoding the shapes of letters and seeing them as words, but there are other skills that are just as important. Learning to read in any language involves:

  • knowing what words mean (vocabulary),
  • figuring out how they make sense together in a sentence (context), and 
  • understanding what sentences mean all together (comprehension).

Wordless books can be great tools for growing and strengthening all three of those skills for new and more experienced readers, including for a wide variety of reader ages. You can see some examples of this in these videos in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Vietnamese, showing ways to read the book Draw! by Raúl Colón.

When there aren’t written words to rely on for a story, readers can become active characters in the story and talk more about what’s happening in the illustrations. Adults and teens use a lot of unusual words that don’t come up in regular, daily conversations to describe the setting and characters and to ask questions about what is going on. Children flex their creativity and observation muscles as they look at and think about the illustrations. They practice asking questions and coming up with answers as they figure out what is happening and what might happen next. Together you can decide what characters are saying and thinking or even make up your own stories based on what the readers see and interpret. All of that literacy development happens with no written words at all.

Whether you regularly use wordless books in your family reading or are just getting started, here are some ideas:

  • Remember there are no right or wrong ways to read a wordless book! It’s all about the conversations between kids and caregivers, and those will be different from reading to reading and kid to kid.
  • Think about first taking a “story walk” through the book. Look through the pages to get children used to the book and the illustrations. We all know kids love reading books over and over again!
  • Try taking a look at the book from cover to cover. Sometimes artists hide fun details on the front/back cover, the title page, and even under the removable paper cover that comes with some books (usually called a dust jacket or dust cover).
  • Maybe ask questions like “what do you see?” and “what is going on in this picture?” and “what do you see that makes you say that?” (borrowed from Visual Thinking Strategies)
  • Encourage children to tell the story in their own words and help them learn new words  when they ask for more information about  an emotion or concept. Example: “yes, that duck looks angry and sad. Do you know what that feeling is called? Some people call it frustration, like when you’re sad you don’t get to do something and you’re mad about it, too.”
  • Have fun with it!

For some great, inclusive wordless book suggestions, take a look at the booklist Wordless (or mostly wordless) books for all ages, including some for teens and even adults. 

Physical distancing doesn’t mean social distancing. Staying in touch with family and friends is important. Games can be a way to connect with the kids in your life or to connect your kids with their friends and family while at home. Whether one, two or multi-player, there are some good options for free apps and online games for preschoolers to tweens to teens.

photo of iPad with children's app icons

The Association for Library Service to Children creates an annual Notable Children's Digital Media list that has web-based and app-based games for pre-k up through middle school (some free, some for a small fee) and the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award has suggestions for younger children.

Common Sense Media posts reviews and rates based on developmental criteria and factors such as ease of play, positive messages, violence, and consumerism. Reviews from parents and kids are also available.Their site has lists of suggestions for free online games and free apps that can be sorted by age. 

Check out Online Games for Families to Play Together, an article from Parents magazine. It includes some classics and some new ones, and it’s a good starting point for multi-generational game ideas. Another article shares 15 free online learning games.

Board Game Arena has thousands of games for all ages--Connect Four, Battleship, Can't Stop, King Domino, and Carcassonne to name a few. Games can be played by inviting friends or joining tables. You can also change the language for the site and play.

If branded games are okay, many networks have kids gaming sites that tie in with their characters. Some of those are PBS Kids, Disney Jr., Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Nick Jr

Toca Boca has a lot of different games that are great for creative, open-ended play. They offer a good amount of gameplay for free, but you can purchase additional content. 

Loteria is a traditional Latin American bingo game you can play on Google Doodle Loteria. Begin by clicking the red play button for the video at the top of your screen. You can play with friends by sharing the link it gives you.

And if you ask kids, they will say Minecraft! Minecraft Classic can be played for free online although players can't save their progress.

The 14-year-old gamer son of one of our librarians suggested Forza for middle schoolers and older. Forza is a series of car racing games that is available from Microsoft Games to play on different devices.

Whatever the gaming choice, talking with your children about going online is always a good idea. SafeKids.com, Connect Safely and the Federal Trade Commission have resources for parents and children.

Have fun and game on!

July 28, 2020

On July 7, Multnomah County Library notified its staff that it has made the difficult decision to reduce its workforce. Layoffs will be effective September 30. This is a sad turn of events for everyone at Multnomah County Library. Like other large public library systems, along with businesses, schools and other organizations, our library’s decisions are being driven by COVID-19 and its significant impact on library services and operations for the foreseeable future. 

This is a sad and frustrating decision to make, and I know it is harder for those whose jobs are impacted. We have looked at many ways this library serves the community, but given the very real impact of physical limitations on our services, the library cannot accommodate work for all of the staff it employs.

I want to share with you how we made this decision and what we will do next. In March, when library buildings closed to the public, we had little information about the virus and we hoped for the library closure to be brief. We asked staff who could do their jobs remotely to do so, and we continued to pay the salary and benefits of workers whose jobs cannot be done remotely. As COVID-19 continues to spread within communities everywhere, and state and public health guidelines place limitations on in-person interactions, it became clear we needed to plan around this scenario for a much longer period of time.

Many of the library’s 19 public locations are very small (the smallest at about 3,600 square feet). Considering building layout, exits, restrooms, shelving and furniture and maximum occupancy guidelines, any return to in-building library service must take place with stark limitations. It is reasonable to assume that those requirements will be in place for the foreseeable future. About half of library staff have jobs that require in-person work, such as physically moving library materials. There isn’t enough room inside library buildings to accommodate everyone in the current era. 

The library must honor its obligation to the public that funds the library by acting as a thoughtful and transparent steward of public resources. It’s not business-as-usual. In consultation with the Multnomah County Chair’s Office, Library District Board, and the library’s leadership team, I reached the difficult conclusion that the library cannot pay a significant portion of its workforce indefinitely for work they are not able to do during the pandemic. In this situation, there is simply no good choice at hand. 

The decision to reduce our workforce is not a reflection of the quality of work from staff across the library system, and it doesn't mean that all staff who can't work remotely will be let go. Library staff members have worked in innovative and creative ways during this pandemic. We are currently offering holds pickup by appointment, summer lunches at some locations and a wide range of services online, by phone, email and chat. Our library and its staff members have greatly expanded available resources and made some programs virtual offerings

Looking forward, the library is actively working to shift existing services and stand up new services in a virtual environment, with input from library staff, and in alignment with Multnomah County Library’s priorities. We are planning for library services that look different than they are now, like outdoor computer access and loaning of wi-fi hotspots and Chromebooks. We will look first to recall library staff members for this work wherever possible. Even when we are able to resume some in-building services, it will not be the same as before.

I am deeply grateful to the talented and dedicated workers who make libraries a treasured community asset. We are working with the library’s labor union, AFSCME Local 88, to finalize details of the reduction according to the labor agreement and will notify impacted staff members directly. Our plans involve a series of measures intended to mitigate the impact of workforce reduction on affected staff members, including health care and other benefits for the three months after separation. While such measures don’t fundamentally change the loss of a livelihood, it’s something we can do to make a bad situation a small amount better.

Multnomah County Library is focused on helping our community recover from the pandemic. The library will center race in its work and emphasize efforts that serve those who are the most deeply impacted, with health and safety at the fore. I look forward to the time when these profoundly challenging constraints no longer exist. I am confident that the library will emerge from this crisis with a sharpened focus on our mission of service, even in the most trying of times.

Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries
Multnomah County Library
 

Rene Denfeld is an internationally bestselling author, journalist, and death penalty investigator. 

Local libraries were my sanctuaries growing up, and in each one I left a child version of myself, roaming the aisles, pulling out titles or checking out the books where librarians had left little tags that said read this. The best ones were those little-known gems, the books that may not have hit the bestseller list but still ended up lodged in my heart.

When I was a young child, the North Portland library was my refuge. I will forever associate that beautifully carved wooden ceiling with my favorite books of childhood: Trask by Don Berry, which I must have read a hundred times, or Crazy Weather by Charles McNichols. It was from the wide selection of African-American folktales. I discovered my own joy of fable in books like The Cow-Tail Switch by Harold Courlander, with its jubilant stories and unforgettable phrasing: “A man is not truly dead until he is forgotten.”

When I was in middle school my family moved to Sellwood, then a blue-collar neighborhood where fishermen still hung the catch outside the local tavern. I spent endless drowsy afternoons in the local library, and remember the books that tore the sides of the paper grocery bags I carried home: from the astonishing Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter to the gentle yet wise memoir, West With The Night by Beryl Markham.

By fifteen, I was on my own, and like a lot of hardscrabble kids, the downtown library was my safe place. I celebrated my birthday on the second floor of that library while rain howled outside. Just the sight of that brick and stone façade brings back memories of all the books I discovered there, including Yellowfish by John Keeble and The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet—I’m the one who dog-eared all those pages—and who could forget the warmly humorous science fiction by our late and lamented local author Robert Sheckley?

Libraries saved my life. They gave me comfort, solace, and a vision of life as limitless as the shelves. They made me the writer I am today. So when I recommend my secret treasures, what I am really recommending is my own memories, and want to caution: the best way to find your own is to wander the stacks. Feel your hand on the books—reach for them the way we reach for each other, with longing and an open heart. Then you will never be dissatisfied.

photo of children at Wizard Camp library program
For the past several years, the Hollywood Teen Council has hosted a Hogwarts Camp for 1st-3rd graders during the winter break from school. As many camps and summer programs aren’t happening this summer, they want to share some ideas so that you can create your own wizard camp at home.
 
Usually the teen council would make the gathering of supplies a big part of the first day of camp, and you can pick and choose which supplies you will want to make. During camp, they would try to expose burgeoning witches and wizards to a variety of wizard school subjects such as Potions, Care of Magical Creatures, Charms and more. At home, with more time, there are many possibilities. You can also find ideas for games and activities as well as some magical treats to make. Imagination is the key ingredient for all of these. Here is a list of supplies and activities for your DIY Wizard's Camp.

As Carla Davis knows well, library storytime is a playful and magical experience— a time full of singing, dancing, playing, and yes— also reading stories. Storytime programs enable Carla to introduce babies and toddlers to the library, while also connecting with parents about ways to continue to support their child’s literacy and learning. 

“The library is about exploration, and I love that I get to bring that to children,” said Carla. 

Carla Davis Youth Librarian

Carla, or even “Ms. Carla” as some of her young storytime attendees often like to call her, is a Youth Librarian at Midland Library, and she organizes several storytimes each week, in addition to serving as a storytime mentor teaching other library staff how to build age appropriate storytime curriculum and connect with young patrons. Carla is also part of Multnomah County Library’s Black Cultural Library Advocates (BCLA) team which focuses on bringing culturally relevant materials, programs and services to the Black community.

Since the closure of Multnomah County libraries in mid-March due to COVID-19, librarians like Carla have continued to support the community through this crisis. Carla has been working with a team of other Youth Librarians and BCLA staff to bring their storytimes online (find Carla’s virtual Black storytimes on the MCL Youtube It’s Black Storytime playlist). In addition, she is working with the Black Cultural Library Advocates Team to provide valuable resource information online for the Black community— everything from food and health to educational resources. Carla also volunteered to support Multnomah County’s emergency shelters, working shifts at the Oregon Convention Center shelters.

“It was a valuable  opportunity for my teammates and I to serve in the shelters. It’s always rewarding to not only help, but to meet and get to know great people who reside there,” said Carla

Carla started her career with Multnomah County Library as a Clerk. She later went on to earn her Masters in Library Science from Pratt University in New York. She’s worked with various libraries such as  Atlanta Fulton Public, and Shearman and Sterling Law Library as an intern. Like many library professionals, she was drawn to a career in the library from a love of books.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Carla was working with a team of library staff from across the county on a community engagement project with the Coalition of Communities of Color aimed at helping prepare Black children ages 0-6, and their families, for kindergarten. 

The project is supported by the Equitable Education Grant from Meyer Memorial Trust and The Library Foundation. Recently, she initiated a survey at the largest national Martin Luther King (MLK) program in Portland. It included parents of Black children ages 0-6, and their awareness of library storytimes and services.  

“It is my hope that as our Education Equity team learns more about the needs of parents and educators, that Multnomah County Library will be a major conduit through which educational gaps will be filled in even more creative ways as a result of these and other kinds of assessments.” 

Carla’s dedication and service to children and families was recently nationally recognized by the American Library Association, and awarded the 2020 Random House Penguin Young Readers Group Award and stipend for her comprehensive programming efforts at Midland Library. Beyond organizing and delivering numerous weekly storytimes, Carla hosted a teen-led Teen Talent Showcase and organized a Black History Gospel Timeline that shows how gospel music developed from the 18th century to the present day. 

“Being in a library is the best kind of ‘work,” she said. “I love to be in an environment where I can  “theoretically” read— even though in reality I’m usually busy preparing for programs, working with community organizations, and helping youth and families navigate the library.”

After more than 20 years in library service, Carla sees the library evolving as a hub for the community, especially as people look to the library for services beyond books and traditional programs. 

“As we shift in the way we serve due to the crisis, thankfully the library has always been a viable source of online information and resources, and we will continue to expand the ways we deliver to our users.”

Download Me and White Supremacy today.

Layla F. Saad's book Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor  leads readers through a journey of understanding their

Me and White Supremacy cover
white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on Black people, Indigenous people and people of color. Wherever you are in the challenge, here are some supporting resources to help.

Getting started:

Find copies of Me and White Supremacy in the catalog. If you are able, consider supporting the author by purchasing a copy. White Supremacy and Me is designed as a 28-day workbook, so you may need to renew or place another hold if you are using the hardcopy.

Learn more:

Website: The National Museum of African American History & Culture breaks out history, bias, whiteness, antiracism and more. Includes videos and questions for self-reflection and discussion.

For parents talking to children about racism 

Podcast: Talking Race with Young Children, from NPR and Sesame Street

This 20 minute podcast shares ideas for talking about race with children, starting when they are very young.  Additional resources are included at the end.

Website: EmbraceRace

​A great place to start for webinars and more, EmbraceRace was founded by two parents (one Black, one multiracial) seeking to nurture resilience in children of color; nurture inclusive, empathetic children of all stripes; and raise kids who think critically about racial inequity.

Start with the short action guide and then dive into their many book lists, highlighting diverse titles for a wide variety of ages.

Book: Not My Idea, by Anastasia Higginbotham (for elementary school-aged children)

Not My Idea follows a young white girl who is unsatisfied when her family won’t answer her questions about the shooting of an unarmed Black person by a police officer. Higginbotham has a track record of tackling challenging topics (from divorce to death) in a way that respects young readers and gives them the honesty they deserve. Includes activities on how to stand up against injustice and highlights how white people can disrupt white supremacy.

More on talking to kids and teens about race and racism.

Next steps: If you want to engage more deeply in the work of antiracism

Website: Take a look at the offerings from Layla F. Saad's Good Ancestor Academy. A series of classes are offered, including "Allyship in the Workplace" and "Parenting and White Supremacy."

Video: How to be a Good Ally--Identity, Privilege, Resistance, by Ahsante the Artist

Guide: Let's Talk: Discussing Race, Racism and Other Difficult Topics with Students, from Teaching Tolerance

Thinking about starting a discussion group around Me and White Supremacy? Here are some tips on facilitating conversations that challenge participants or cause discomfort.

Video: "What if white people led the charge to end racism?", Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler, TedXMileHigh, Jan. 30, 2020.

What if white people led the charge to end racism? | Nita Mosby Tyler | TEDxMileHigh

The words We Must Act in white on a black square background
Over the past days and weeks, we have witnessed horrific and senseless anti-Black violence that has taken place at the hands of police and others. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are among the lives lost most recently, but this violence has been embedded into the fabric of our society since 1619. Outrage, pain and deep sadness are at the forefront for many of our staff, patrons and community members. 

Multnomah County Library stands in solidarity and in support of our Black community, not just in this moment of crisis but as we look forward to working collectively to end inequity and systemic racism in our community and across the country. To combat the systemic racism that has perpetuated violence and inequities in our communities of color, we must act, not just feel. Multnomah County Library is taking action and we will expand those actions.

As Director, I will:

  • Affirm and validate the harm that hundreds of years of racism and oppression causes and has caused Black, Indigenous, People of Color and other marginalized communities
  • Lead the library’s efforts with race at the fore
  • Center Black, Indigenous, People of Color and other marginalized communities in our service
  • Rethink the library’s exclusionary history and redefine the library’s legacy through action
  • Check my own biases and assumptions alongside those of the institution I lead

Finally and importantly, I want to honor library staff—and one member, in particular, Elle Budd, a Library Assistant on the Black Cultural Library Advocates team—who started something incredible in the past few days. Elle took the brave step of emailing hundreds of their colleagues to share perspective and resources around the history of violent protest in America in an effort  “. . . to cultivate a very different culture here at the library where we talk about anti blackness, whiteness, white supremacy, racism, and how we as an institution are working to uphold it.” It was the perfect step in that moment.

Others engaged, expressing support, gratitude, solidarity, acknowledgement, willingness to hear and learn and offered even more resources. I will list some of those below but—to me—this was especially resonant, Sam Cooke's incredible and inspiring A Change is Gonna Come

Here’s a portion of what library staff have shared with their peers:

And here are some additional resources from the library’s website:

This library will be part of the change that’s gonna come.

Vailey
 

Difficult conversations are happening in our country, states, cities and homes about race, racism, and anti-racism. These are not topics only for adults though. Talking with teens, tweens and younger children is important. Research has shown that children as young as six months notice race [Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race by Erin N. Winkler, Ph.D. University of Wisconsi-Milwaukee, PACE Vol. 3-No. 3,  2009 HighReach Learning Inc]. 

If you are unsure how to start and continue talking with your children as they grow, there are books to share and websites with resources to help. Several of these also discuss how you can be a model since actions often talk louder than words.

Teaching Young Children About Race is a guide for parents and teachers from Teaching for Change

EmbraceRace.org has articles, webinars and action guides about how kids learn about race, seeing and talking about differences, using picture books to have meaningful conversations, and more.

Talking about Race from the National Museum of African American History & Culture shares reflection questions, videos, and links to other resources.

Teaching Tolerance was created for educators, but parents may also find it useful to discuss race and ethnicity, and rights and activiism among other topics. The home page currently features articles about Black Lives Matter and Teaching about Race, Racism and Police Violence.

Talking to Children about Racial Bias from the American Academy of Pediatrics includes how parents can confront their own racial bias and a doctor's story of his encounter with racism as a 7-year-old.

Explaining the News to Our Kids from Common Sense Media offers tips by age.

 

Exterior of Title Wave Used Book Store, new location for Albina Library
Multnomah County Library has made the difficult decision to relocate Albina Library. On July 1, 2020, it will be moved to its former home at 216 NE Knott St., a larger, historic Carnegie library building. We anticipate the new Albina Library location will offer holds pickup service sometime later this summer. 

This decision will feel like an unexpected and difficult loss for many Albina Library patrons who have shaped their lives around neighborhood amenities like the library. Relocating any neighborhood’s library is not a decision we take lightly. A variety of factors contributed to our decision, including this pandemic, which has caused us to make hard choices and think in new ways about how the library can serve the community.

The current location is the smallest branch in the Multnomah County Library system at just 3,500 square feet. It is so small that it doesn't have a public meeting room. Because of the operational constraints around physical distancing for the foreseeable future, it is unlikely that the building would be feasible for much more than sidewalk service. The Knott St. building is about 2,000 square feet larger.

The library’s lease of Albina Library expires on June 1, 2020, with an option for a three-year renewal at a cost of more than $260,000. As a steward of public resources, the library is unable to justify that expenditure, when a suitable and larger option exists nearby. The building where Albina Library is moving to currently serves as The Title Wave Used Bookstore, but it was the home of Albina Library from 1912 to 1960

The distance between the two locations is 1.1 miles, a 23-minute walk, a seven-minute bike ride, a five-minute drive or about 15 minutes by bus. The Knott St. location complements the nearby Matt Dishman Community Center, Urban League of Portland and other community-facing services and affordable housing. We are working hard to get the new location ready. We will notify Albina Library patrons about holds pickup and when sidewalk service will begin. 

The sale of retired library materials to the public will continue, with specific details also to be determined.

For information about our phased reopening plan, an FAQ and instructions for using the holds pickup service at other locations, please visit multcolib.org/covid19.

We look forward to serving you soon at the new Albina Library location.
 

The library may be closed and people are staying home, but it doesn't mean parents and caregivers are alone in trying to help young children learn and develop.  This collection of resources includes articles, videos, webinars, and activities to help parents and caregivers support their children's healthy development during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

For parents:

How to Support Children (and Yourself) During the COVID-19 Outbreak
The Center on the Developing Child offers three main activities that can help parents promote their young child’s healthy development and manage their own stress during the pandemic. PDFs are provided in both English and Spanish.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus
From PBS Kids for Parents website. A parent shares how she talked with her children about the coronavirus. Includes “four ways we can help young kids build germ-busting habits.” The article is also available in Spanish.

A support guide for parents raising babies and toddlers through the coronavirus crisis
This article from Quartz offers reassurance to parents who are concerned that their child is missing out on opportunities for growth and development during these times of uncertainty and isolation. Included are resources to help keep young children engaged and learning, ideas for parental self-care, and links to sources of information about child development.

For childcare providers:

5 ways early care and education providers can support children’s remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic
From Child Trends.

Trauma and Resilience: The Role of Child Care Providers
A webinar focused on the effect of trauma on children’s learning.It addresses the role of teachers and providers using resilience building strategies to support children across the age continuum.

For anyone interested in children’s development and well-being:

Being Black Is Not A Risk Factor: A Strengths-Based Look at the State of the Black Child
This report from the National Black Child Development Institute includes articles such as “ The Black Family: Re-Imagining Family Support and Engagement” and highlights successful programs like Great Beginnings for Black Babies, Inc.

How to Teach Children to Stay 6 Feet Apart
Tips on how to teach social distancing to children from No Time for Flashcards.

Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Guidance, recommendations, and resources provided by child trauma experts at Child Trends and the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts.

Resilience
A short video and an article about how children build resilience from the Center on the Developing Child.

What Is COVID-19? And How Does It Relate to Child Development?
From the Center on the Developing Child: “An infographic that explains the basics of what COVID-19 is, and what it can mean for stress levels in both children and adults… it explains how all of us can work to ensure the wellbeing of the community now and in the future”. PDFs are available in English and Spanish.

More information:

2 Ways COVID-19 is Creating Even Greater Inequities in Early Childhood Education
A brief article from The Education Trust, a national nonprofit that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families.

The Brain Architects Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition: Creating Communities of Opportunity
Dr. David Williams discusses ways in which the coronavirus pandemic is particularly affecting people of color in the U.S., and what that can mean for early childhood development. 

Thinking About Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Impacts Through a Science-Informed, Early Childhood Lens
An article from the Center for the Developing Child.

With the rapid changes in response to COVID-19, teens are under a great deal of stress. They are struggling with adapting to online school, being isolated from their friends, and losing out on important milestones and opportunities. As parents and caregivers are working through their own stresses and difficulties, it can be difficult to know how to support teens during this time. Here are some resources to help.

Library resources

If you don't already have a library card, you can sign up for a temporary card online.

Find great young adult audio and e-books on Overdrive Teens.

Stream movies and music, and find graphic novels and comics on Hoopla.

Even though the library isn’t recruiting Summer Reading volunteers this year, we will still have the Summer Reading Program. It starts June 15 and participants can play online or with a paper game board. The grand prize is the choice of a Technology Package or an Experience Portland Family Fun Package.

Check out more resources highlighted on our teen page.

Mental and emotional health

Teens can get peer support from YouthLine. No problem is too big or too small. Call 877.968.8491 or text 83986. YouthLine has also created a list of support resources specifically for COVID-19.

UNICEF has six strategies for how teens can cope with COVID-19.

John Krasinski of The Office launched a YouTube Channel called Some Good News to help lift spirits during quarantine.

With nearly 7.5 million followers, Yoga with Adriene is a very high quality YouTube channel. She has videos on meditation, physical fitness, and using yoga to process emotions.

Teens can help combat the spread COVID-19 in their communities by donating homemade masks to Multnomah County Joint Response. The CDC has instructions on how to make and properly use cloth face masks.

Resources for parents and caregivers

For up-to-date information and resources, check the Multnomah County page on COVID-19.

The Education Development Center has tips for Parenting an Older Teen in a COVID-19 World.

The Search Institute has a Relationships Checkup tool for parents, other caregivers and educators.

Quaranteengers: Strategies for Parenting in Close Quarters, a New York Times article, offers advice on how parents and caregivers can support teens during quarantine.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has created a helpful fact sheet for parents and caregivers. It contains a table broken down by age group that lists some common reactions children and teens might have to stress as well as ways that parents and caregivers can support youth. 

It’s also important to take care of yourself while taking care of others. Here are some resources for self-care for parents and caregivers.

National Parent Helpline, 1.855.427.2736

Mental Health and Coping with Stress from the CDC

Why Parents Need Self-Compassion During the Coronavirus Pandemic from the Chidlren's Hospital of Philadelphia

Parenting During Coronavirus: You Are Enough from PBS Parents

 

by Jane Salisbury, MCL volunteer

Clarissa Littler had volunteered since 2016 for Multnomah County Library, teaching computer skills at neighborhood libraries, and teaching programming and other skills at the Rockwood Library Makerspace, but when the COVID-19 pandemic came to Oregon early in 2020, she embarked on an entirely new venture: using 3D printers to make face shields and other protective equipment to help frontline workers all over Multnomah County. 

Clarissa’s path to this amazing project was long and full: she was a physicist and a computer science researcher who eventually began working in curriculum design, with an emphasis on programs for teens. She worked as the director of curriculum design for Pixel Arts Game Education, a non-profit whose mission is to create safe learning spaces for young people to play and design games together. When the schools closed for the year because of the pandemic, she had time on her hands.

All over the world, the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) was rising, and designers were developing plans that could be used on ordinary 3D printers. A Czech company called Prusa developed a 3D printer design for a face shield that could be used widely. Using the makerspace equipment at Rockwood Library, and working with Ben Sanford, the makerspace coordinator, Clarissa began working 10-hour days making face shields. These are being distributed through OHSU and Portland Public Schools to frontline workers. Clarissa said, “During the COVID-19 outbreak, I was so glad to be able to use the makerspace. I really wanted to do something to help. I learned so much in the actual doing of this project.” 

Beyond her wonderful dedication to the library and her work as a curriculum designer, Clarissa pursues many interests: philosophy, art, and music, including a genre called algorithmic music, a subset of electronic music, which involves using coding to compose and perform music live. She reads widely. For example, at the moment, she is reading The Affect Theory Reader, a scholarly text, and a cozy mystery involving witches, which she describes as “silly fluff.”

Asked which book has influenced her most deeply, Clarissa cited The Phenomenology of Perception, by the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. She spoke of its deep implications for consciousness and its exploration of how we perceive the world.

The library is deeply important in Clarissa’s life. She’s happy to have a good stack of books that she snagged before library buildings closed to the public. But more seriously, she said, “I see libraries as the last bastion of community space...it’s something I care about. I can get academic texts through interlibrary loan that I couldn’t possibly afford otherwise. I hope to continue working in the library.”  

Before the closure, Clarissa often walked the two miles from her home to Woodstock Library to pick up her books and spend time there. And she often took the bus to different libraries, way up to St. Johns, for example, to read and code and write in the comfort and community of the library space, which she values so highly. Her remarkable dedication and love of the library is a bright light in these complex times. 

As we are continuing to shelter in place through the end of the school year, here are some of our favorite authors and illustrators bringing their work directly to your kids and teens at home.

Jason Reynolds’ Write. Right. Rite. series. Create an award for yourself. Write a letter to a 15-year-old loved one. Design a book cover. Jason Reynolds, the seventh National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, brings weekly lessons and writing prompts about learning the ritual of “authentic”—not to be confused with “correct” or “exact”—expression. Throughout the series, he will share his passion for storytelling while discussing topics like creativity, connection, and imagination.  

Thank You Thursdays! With Mo Willems. Mo Willems and Yo-Yo Ma created a special play list of songs just for you. Get lost in the songs as you listen and doodle! If you haven't already joined in, check out the archive of Thank You Thursday and Lunch Doodles for more doodle sessions with Mo. 

The Guinness Book of World Records Weekly Challenge. The Guinness Book of World Records has created an at-home platform for kids to explore the stories of people who have set world records, and try breaking some of their own. Join each weekly challenge with ##gwrchallenge

Reading Rockets - video Interviews. Want to learn more about one of your favorite authors? Watch one of these videos! 

Storyline Online. Join celebrated actors like Rashida Jones, Betty White, and Rami Malek reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. 

#Operation Read Aloud. This Facebook page has links to all kinds of folks - famous people, authors and others, reading books out loud. 

Kids Ask Authors. Kids Ask Authors (subscribe here!) is  a weekly 5-10 minute podcast where children’s book author/illustrator Grace Lin and a guest author answer a question from a child reader. You can read their answers on this website.  Most episodes end with a book review, poem, short story or a joke by kids! Submit a question HERE! Submit a kid book review, poem, short story or joke HERE!

The coronavirus pandemic is challenging for everyone. For the community of children experiencing autism, it can be especially confusing. Here are some suggestions for help with navigating the crisis.

For fun

Enjoy the videos in Multnomah County Library's It's Storytime! collection, especially the Sensory Storytime playlist. Mix and match the short videos in this growing collection to create the perfect storytime for your child.

Spectrum Storytime with Ethan - fun books read by a very engaging young man who is on the spectrum.

Inclusive Storytime, Hillsboro Library & PSU - This collaborative storytime,  specifically designed for kids with varying learning styles and abilities, has moved online. Join the Facebook group and gain access to all of the parent guides and videos they have created. 

For information

Disability Rights Oregon - Know Your Rights: Education Rights During COVID-19 outlines a process for assessing and advocating for your child’s educational needs.

COVID-19 Resources for Families of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs from the Oregon Health Authority provides a similar list of resources to this one.

DIY Ways to Meet a Child's Sensory Needs at Home from Edutopia. Occupational therapists and trauma-informed teachers weigh in on how to create sensory tools and spaces with what you have at home.

FACTOregon.com shares Additional COVID-19 Resources, a compilation of resources relating to COVID-19 and education. They have a series of Distance Learning Webinars (Sample: Special Education and the IEP: Distance Learning Edition) and the “Special Education and Distance Learning: What You Need to Know Toolkit” available in English and Spanish.

Autism Society of Oregon Resources for School Closure has created a page with links to a variety of homeschooling sites, activities, virtual tours, exercise and more.

Understood.com Coronavirus Latest Updates and Tips has a LOT of resources to help parents and atypical children cope with learning and supporting your child at home. Here’s one example: Stuck at Home? 20 Learning Activities to Keep Kids Busy

The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) provides Emergencies and National Disasters: Helping Children and Families Cope, a collection of resources for parents of young children that include charts and a number of social stories to help your child understand what’s happening.

Các Thư viện

  • Tất cả thư viện Quận Multnomah đóng cửa do dịch COVID-19 cho đến khi có thông báo thêm. Xin đừng trả lại thư liệu cho thư viện trong thời gian này. Quý vị sẽ không bị tính phí trả muộn.
  • Chúng tôi nhớ quý vị!

Cách Tận Hưởng Thư viện Trực Tuyến của Quý vị

Dịch vụ/Chương trình tạm ngừng

  • Những chương trình, lịch biểu có gặp gỡ trực tiếp tạm ngừng cho đến tháng 8.
  • Các thư viện hủy bỏ hoặc không chấp nhận đơn đặt trước phòng họp cho đến tháng 8.

Khi nào Thư viện sẽ mở cửa lại?

Thư viện Quận Multnomah sẽ mở cửa lại khi có sự chỉ đạo của Chủ tịch Deborah Kafoury và hướng dẫn từ các quan chức y tế cộng đồng. Mặc dù hiện tại chưa có ngày tháng xác định, nhưng thư viện đang theo dõi tình hình chặt chẽ, và đang lập kế hoạch để khôi phục lại dịch vụ thư viện khi thấy an toàn để làm như vậy.

Xin vô trang COVID-19 của Quận Multnomah để biết thêm thông tin mới cập nhật về y tế và nguồn lực cộng đồng.

Здания библиотек 

  • Все библиотеки округа Малтнома закрыты в связи с пандемией COVID19 до дальнейшего уведомления 
  • Мы по вам скучаем! 

Пользуйтесь библиотекой в режиме онлайн 

Отмена мероприятий 

  • Все программы библиотеки отменены до конца Августа 
  • Бронирование помещений для собраний отменено до конца Августа

Когда библиотеки откроются?

Библиотеки будут открыты по указанию председателя округа Малтнома Деборы Кафури и под руководством должностных лиц здравоохранения. В настоящее время нет установленной даты, но библиотека внимательно следит за рекомендациями и планирует открыться, когда это будет считаться безопасным.

Для получения регулярно обновляемой информации, посетите официальный веб-сайт Департамента здравоохранения округа Малтнома COVID-19
 

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