Our collection

Multnomah County Library provides a variety of physical and digital material to support the informational, educational, and recreational needs of our community. The collection reflects the diverse population of our county.

To create and maintain our collection, the library considers these factors:

  • demand
  • accuracy
  • objectivity
  • contemporary or historical significance
  • diversity of viewpoints
  • artistic excellence
  • suitability of format for library use

Multnomah County Library has 19 neighborhood locations, including Central Library in downtown Portland. Each collection is tailored to the size of the library, community interests and cultural makeup. We maintain collections in several languages, including Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Freedom to access

Multnomah County Library adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom, which favor liberty of thought and an opposition to censorship. We support your right to access a wide variety of materials even if the content may be controversial, unorthodox or unacceptable to others.

Library users of all ages can access the entire collection. We encourage parents and guardians to help their children choose resources that keep with their values. Our staff can help find materials appropriate for each family.

Maintaining the collection

To provide a high-quality collection within limited space, we judiciously remove outdated and worn items. We replace materials that are still in demand. Some of our books and other documents have enduring value, particularly those with local historical significance. We will mend and preserve these whenever possible.

Make a suggestion

You are welcome to suggest an item you’d like us to add to the collection. We take each suggestion under serious consideration. To meet patron needs, we also regularly borrow materials from other libraries with Interlibrary Loan.

The library's collections, along with our many services, enable our community to learn and create.