MCL Blogs

Six stacked books being held by a person

Book bans are not new to public libraries, but challenges to censor books are rapidly rising across the country and around Oregon. This trend is troubling to public libraries like Multnomah County Library, which are deeply committed to your right to access information from all viewpoints and diverse authors. 

The American Library Association compiles data on book challenges that are reported on or covered by the media. A disproportionate number of challenged books are written by authors of color or include themes that represent the intersectionality of race, gender and sexuality. 

This month, the library is highlighting both Banned Books Week (October 1-7) and Latinx Heritage Month (through October 15). Join us in recognizing the contributions of Latinx writers by reading these banned books or attending the library’s special Banned Books Week event, “why your voice matters — even, and especially as censorship increases,” on October 5.

“What I love about the library is our ability to center equity, representation, intersectionality and diversity in our language and culture groups through our work with displays, community outreach, serving patrons throughout the day, connecting them with our resources, and even in simple conversations with families,” says Isabel Villareal, a staff member who is part of the Black Cultural Library Advocates team (BCLA).

Library staff with lived experience from communities of color and culture are creating more space and visibility to recognize and discuss the complexity of intersectional identities, through events, book displays and resources that connect with their communities. 

“When we hear intersectionality, we think about all the ways our identities can intersect and interact with each other, and how that shapes our experiences. I am a proud member of BCLA, just as I am proud of my queerness and my Latin identity. I hope to represent that intersectionality in all the work I do!” says Isabel. 

Library staff bring their whole selves to serving the community, providing cultural affinity and alliance. They help patrons find what they need, including their next favorite book. Contact us in person, by phone or online to let us help you explore new perspectives.

Read these banned books by Latinx authors

This is a long post showing meal resources in Multnomah County (and beyond). We start with school districts and then move to community organizations we know of that are helping the community. Please let us know if you need further assistance.

Para ver esta información en español, haga clic en Recursos de alimentos para familias. To see this information in Spanish, click Recursos de alimentos para familias.


Multnomah County School Districts

We have done our best to provide current information. Please confirm meal availability through the links shared below. The SUN Service System also has information on accessing food.

Centennial [updated 9/7/23]

The food pantry at Parklane Elementary, 15811 SE Main St., Portland, is open Fridays from noon to 1:30 p.m. Stop by to access 3-5 days’ worth of FREE, fresh, and healthy food for your family. Please bring your own bags. No identification or income verification materials required. Anyone is welcome to shop!

The food pantry at Patrick Lynch Elementary, 1546 SE 169th Pl., is open to the public on Tuesdays from 4:00 pm. to 5:00 pm.

Food 4 Families will have food distribution every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at Centennial High School, 3505 SE 182nd Ave, Gresham, 97030. 4:00pm to 5:00pm. Click here for distribution dates.

David Douglas [updated 9/19/23]

There are food pantries at the following David Douglas schools. Click here for a calendar that shows hours of operation and any closures.

  • Cherry Park Elementary: 1930 SE 104th Ave. Mondays, 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • Earl Boyles Elementary: 10822 SE Bush St. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. 
  • Mill Park Elementary: 1900 SE 117th Ave. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • Gilbert Park Elementary: 13132 SE Ramona St. Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • Menlo Park Elementary: 12900 NE Glisan St. Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. 
  • David Douglas High, Old Pool Building: 13030 SE Taylor Ct. Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Gresham-Barlow [updated 9/19/23]

Community food box information can be found at The Sunshine Division and Snowcap Community Charities

Parkrose [updated 9/7/23]

There are food pantries at the following schools (click the link for closures):


Portland [updated 9/7/23]

There are food pantries at the following schools. Please click on the link to check for closure information.


Reynolds [updated 3/9/23]

    Food pantries are located at the following schools. Click here for more information.
    • Glenfair Elementary: 15300 NE Glisan St. Tuesdays, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
    • Reynolds High: 1698 SW Cherry Park Rd., Troutdale. Last Tuesday of the month, 1:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m.
    • Alder Elementary: 17200 SE Alder St. Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Reynolds Middle: 1200 NE 201st Ave., Fairview. Fridays 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Wilkes Elementary: 17020 NE Wilkes Rd. 1st Friday of the month, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Davis Elementary: 19501 NE Davis St. 2nd Friday of the month, 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
    • H.B. Lee Middle: 1121 NE 172nd Ave. Call 503-706-2834 for information on accessing the food pantry
    • Walt Morey Middle: 2801 SW Lucas Ave., Troutdale. Call 503-810-9604 or 503-491-1935 for information on accessing the food pantry

    Agencies, Community Organizations and Restaurants

    Information may change so please check their websites if a link is provided.

    C3 Pantry (NE): 6120 NE 57th Ave., Portland. Tuesdays, doors open at 11:30am, shopping is 12-1pm.

    Crossroads Food Bank (NE): 2505 NE 102nd Ave., Portland. Thursdays 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon.

    Mainspring Food Pantry (NE):  3500 NE 82nd Ave.  They suggest following them on social media to see mobile food pantry locations.  Their current free food pantries are located at:
    • Español
    • русский
    • Dawson Park, 1 N Stanton St. Every 1st Tuesday from 10 am to noon
    • Community Transitional School, 6601 NE Killingsworth St. Every 2nd Tuesday from 10 am to noon
    • East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave. Every 2nd Wednesday from 9 am to 11 am
    • Victory Outreach, 16022 SE Stark St. Every 3rd Tuesday from 10 am to noon
    • Rockwood Village Apartments, 783 SE 185th Ave. Every 4th Tuesday from 10 am to noon
    Meals 4 Kids: serves qualified children and families within the City of Portland. Please visit their website to complete a request form.
    Northeast Emergency Food Program (NE): 4800 NE 72nd Ave., Portland. Open Tuesday, 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m; Thursday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Food boxes are prepared in advance for walk or drive up pick up.
    Portland Adventist Community Services (NE): 11020 NE Halsey St., Portland. Offering prepacked food boxes for pick up,  Monday – Friday 9 a.m.– 11 a.m. They also provide a mobile food pantry service to some neighborhoods.
    One Hope Food Pantry (NE): Located at 5425 NE 27th Ave., Portland 97211. Open for drive-through and pickup Saturdays, 11 a.m. - noon. Food boxes are available each week.
    St. Mark's Lutheran Church (SE): 5415 SE Powell Blvd., Portland 97206. Food pantry every Friday, 2:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.
    Sunshine Division (SE):  free emergency food boxes to pick up or be delivered. Pickup times are Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There are two locations:
    • 12436 SE Stark St.
    • 687 N Thompson St.

    Visit their website to request a food box delivery, or call 503-823-2102

    William Temple House (NW): 2023 NW Hoyt St., Portland. Offering a walk-in pantry, Tuesday-Thursday, 11 am-2 pm. A guide to the pantry can be found here.
    Lift Urban Portland (SW):  Located at 1838 SW Jefferson St., Portland 97201. Food pantry hours of operation are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. A random number lottery takes place 5 minutes before opening to determine your place in line.
    Portland Open Bible food pantry (SE):  Located at 3223 SE 92nd Ave., Portland 97266. Pick-up food boxes, information can be found here. Pantry times are Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Thursdays 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. You can also place an order online.
    St. Johns Food Share (N): 8100 N Lombard St., Portland 97203. Food pantry open Mondays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Urban Gleaners: multiple locations across Multnomah and Washington counties. Click here for a list of locations.
    Self Enhancement Inc also has a list of community food resources that includes sites in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washingon and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Vancouver, WA area schools. Click the link and scroll down to food resources.

    Are you a writer looking for inspiration, support and community? Portland is a writing city, with many organizations focused on the craft. Here's a brief and by no means comprehensive list of some of those organizations. 

    Writing groups, workshops, and classes

    Literary Arts offers an ongoing BIPOC Reading Series, intended to prioritize the safety, creativity, and stories of Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color. You can come to listen or sign up to share in an open mic. Anyone is welcome to attend, but only those who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color are invited to read.

    The Attic Institute presents workshops, classes, and individual consultation about writing projects.

    The Multnomah Arts Center offers some wonderful literary arts classes.

    Portland State University has a few different academic programs in creative writing.

    VoiceCatcher is a nonprofit connecting and empowering women writers in Portland.

    Write Around Portland offers free creative writing workshops, hosts a bimonthy BIPOC writing circle, and creates publication and reading opportunities for workshop participants.

    For a variety of author readings and all things literary, check out Literary Portland. They maintain lists of author readings, book and discussion groups, writing organizations and more. They are also the people behind Old Pal, a journal devoted to literature and art.

    Check out Meetup for a variety of creative writing groups in and around Portland.

    Membership organizations

    The Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) offers resources and workshops related to printing and book-making. They also have certificate programs in creative nonfiction/fiction, poetry, and comics/graphic novels.

    Oregon Poetry Association, Oregon’s oldest and largest literary organization, offers community, contests, and conferences.

    Oregon Writers Colony offers community, conferences and workshops, and the use of a beach house writing retreat!

    Rose City Romance Writers, the Portland, Oregon chapter of Romance Writers of America, educates, supports, and mentors published and unpublished romance writers.

    Willamette Writers hosts regular meetings for the exchange of ideas related to writing and craft.

    Reading series

    Literary Arts’ programs include Portland Arts and Lectures, Writers in the Schools, the Oregon Book Awards and Fellowships, and Delve Readers Seminars.

    There are many different reading series in Portland! You could head out to hear writers read their work at Burnt Tongue, Unchaste Readers, you could catch a reading when the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (FWWA) Pacific Northwest Reading Series has a Portland event...  or you could see one of the many readings at Powell's Books

    Local Publishers

    The Northwest is home to a vibrant publishing world. Here are just a few:

    • IPRC -  provides affordable access to space, tools, and resources for creating independently published media and artwork, and to build community and identity through the creation of written and visual art.
    • Ooligan Press -  is a student-run trade press dedicated to cultivating the next generation of publishing professionals. Ooligan works with the library to publish selections from The Library Writers Project. Visit the Library Writers Project page to learn more about submitting your self-published work to the library's digital collection.
    • Microcosm Publishing - Microcosm specializes in nonfiction DIY (Do-It-Yourself) books, zines, and decks that focus on the reader and teach self-empowerment.
    • Forest Avenue Press - publishes literary fiction on a joyride and the occasional memoir. Our titles are infused with a fresh, complex, sometimes nutty, and often-wondrous approach to storytelling.
    • Sasquatch Books - publishes books by the most gifted writers, artists, chefs, naturalists, and thought leaders in the Pacific Northwest and on the West Coast.

    To connect to more publishers and keep up with Northwest book news, especially indy stores and authors, check out the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association.

    Other stuff

    Although closures may impact availability, Multnomah County’s Central Library offers the Sterling Room for Writers, where writers can find a quiet work space in close proximity to all the resources the library has to offer. Interested writers must submit an application and be approved to gain access to the room. Please note that Central Library is currently closed for remodelling and will likely reopen in late 2024.

    Las conferencias con los maestros pueden provocar ansiedad, pero estar bien preparado nos ayuda a estar tranquilos. He aquí una lista de ideas de cómo prepararse.

    Antes de la reunión

    • Si no puede asistir a la junta el día establecido, informe al maestro y solicite una nueva fecha.
    • Solicite un intérprete si lo considera necesario; no permita que su estudiante traduzca durante la reunión.
    • Hable con su estudiante acerca de cómo se siente en la escuela y juntos elaboren metas para ese año escolar.
    • Revise los trabajos, los exámenes y la boleta de calificaciones de su estudiante y haga una lista de las áreas fuertes y de las áreas en donde su estudiante necesita más ayuda.
    • Esté preparado para hacer preguntas (vea ejemplos abajo) sobre las formas en que usted y el maestro pueden ayudar a su estudiante con algunos de sus desafíos.
    • Si es posible, envíe una nota a los maestros con anticipación con las dudas que tenga para que ellos se preparen y le tengan respuestas.


    Durante la reunión

    • Agradezca al maestro por su tiempo.
    • Pregunte acerca del desempeño académico de su estudiante; solicite evaluaciones y muestras del trabajo de su estudiante. 
    • Pida al maestro ideas de cómo ayudar a su estudiante en casa.
    • Preste atención a los comentarios de los maestros y tome nota de lo que se dice y planifica.
    • Pida aclaración de todo lo que no le quede claro y discuta respetuosamente las diferencias de opinión.
    • Centre su atención en lo académico; si su estudiante se involucra en comportamientos que están afectando su aprendizaje, pida otra reunión con su maestro para hablar al respecto.
    • Pida al maestro que se comunique con usted en cuanto ocurran situaciones que afecten el desempeño escolar de su estudiante; no tienen qué esperar hasta la siguiente conferencia de padres y maestros.


    Después de la reunión

    • Después de la reunión
    • Reflexione acerca de los temas que se revisaron y los que necesitan seguimiento.
    • Continúe hablando con su estudiante y trabajen juntos en un plan de acción. 
    • Manténgase en contacto con el maestro y establezcan una fecha para reunirse si es necesario.
    • Haga un esfuerzo por aprender más acerca del sistema educativo, el currículo escolar y los exámenes que su estudiante debe tomar; ¡la biblioteca puede ayudarle!


    Preguntas posibles para plantear durante las conferencias de padres y maestros

    1. ¿Cómo le va a mi estudiante en su clase?
    2. ¿Está mi estudiante leyendo al nivel del grado en que se encuentra? ¿Qué tal en matemáticas, ciencias y escritura? 
    3. ¿Está mi estudiante en alguna clase, programa o grupo especial? ¿Por qué?
    4. ¿Qué programas están disponibles en el distrito escolar para mi estudiante en caso que necesite ayuda extra?
    5. ¿Qué nos recomienda si mi estudiante necesita ayuda con la tarea en casa?
    6. ¿Qué es lo más importante que mi estudiante debe comprender y aprender para el fin del curso?
    7. ¿Cómo mide o califica el progreso académico?
    8. ¿Ha fallado mi estudiante en entregar tarea? ¿Qué recomienda para que se ponga al día?
    9. ¿Qué puedo hacer para ayudar a mi estudiante y apoyar el trabajo de usted?
    10.  ¿Cómo puedo comunicarme con usted?

    English | Español

    Celebra el Mes de la Herencia Hispana y Latina del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre en la Biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah. 

    El Mes de la Herencia Hispana y Latina es un tiempo para festejar las contribuciones de la comunidad hispana y latina en los Estados Unidos. 

    La comunidad hispana y latina incluye a gente con raíces españolas, de países sudamericanos, el Caribe, Centroamérica y México. Por causa de la colonización, la esclavitud y la migración, hay latinos en todas partes del mundo y con identidades diversas como afro-latina, indígena, asiática y más. La diversidad de la comunidad no se limita a solo un país o idioma; más bien la cultura latina e hispana es tan rica, que podemos disfrutar de la diversidad que existe en una cultura creada con tantas.

    La celebración empezó en 1968, cuando el Congreso de los Estados Unidos proclamó una semana en otoño como la Semana Nacional de la Herencia Hispana. En 1988 la celebración se extendió a un mes completo.

    Las fechas se escogieron para conmemorar varios eventos importantes, incluyendo el Día de la Independencia de México, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica y Chile.

    La biblioteca celebra nuestra comunidad hispana y latina todo el año y durante este mes tendremos eventos que se enfocan en la música y la comida.

    Juan García, bibliotecario para jóvenes en la Biblioteca de Rockwood, dice: “Me mudé de México a los Estados Unidos cuando tenía siete años y durante mucho tiempo me resultó difícil encontrar mi lugar en este país. La asimilación jugó un papel importante en mi educación, quería encajar y no me di cuenta de que estaba alejándome de mi cultura. Esta es una lucha que muchos inmigrantes tienen. Me hace muy feliz trabajar en un lugar como la biblioteca pública que no sólo reconoce nuestra cultura sino que crea espacios para celebrarla. Este Mes de la Herencia Latina estoy entusiasmado con todos los eventos que organizan mi biblioteca y las demás bibliotecas.”

    Un niño enfrente de una mesa con juegos.

    ¡Visita la biblioteca para participar en actividades para toda la familia!

    También habrá actividades artísticas y recomendaciones de libros en las bibliotecas. 

    Aprende sobre el equipo de la biblioteca que habla español  y mantente al tanto en la página web.

    The start of a new school year can be a stressful time as families transition to a new schedule and students adjust to new teachers and classmates. Here are some resources to assist you.

    Image of student running down a school hallway
    Educational Support

    Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Students & Families

    Find resources on everything from school busing to graduation requirements.

    Parent/teacher conferences

    Prepare ahead of time for parent/teacher conferences to feel more comfortable and confident. 


    This list of free tutoring opportunities includes the library’s K-12 Virtual Tutoring service, providing 30-minute sessions with adult tutors weekly on Tuesdays.

    Who’s Who in Your Child’s School

    This article from Reading Rockets introduces you to the various teachers, administrative staff and organizations you might encounter in your child’s school.



    Meal resources for families

    This post lists meal resources in Multnomah County (and beyond).



    Back-to-school anxiety

    Going back to school has always made kids - and their caregivers! - anxious. Here are some ideas to help smooth the transition. 

    Multnomah County Student Health Centers 

    Student health centers are like having a doctor’s office at school. They offer comprehensive primary and mental health care services to all Multnomah County youth ages 5-18. There are no out-of-pocket costs. 

    The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Mental Health and Well-being

    The ODE is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of Oregon students and their families.

    Help kids understand what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely, including how they can get help. 

    Talking with teens about mental health

    Caregivers should listen to teenagers and reach out if they see concerning signs. Here are some resources to help.



    Affordable Connectivity Program

    Provided by the FCC, this program helps households afford the broadband they need for school or work by providing a monthly discount.

    Library computers and internet access

    The library offers free access to computers, chromebooks, printers and scanners within our library buildings. Please contact Tech Help for more information or call us at 503.988.5123.


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

    Multnomah County Library is proud to participate in Banned Books Week (October 1- 7). Library staff in every state are facing a disturbing increase in challenges and book bans. The American Library Association documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022 alone, which is the highest number in the more than 20 years that statistics have been recorded. The titles being challenged and banned were predominantly by or about LGBTQIA+ persons and Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

    Image of Censored stamp

    Banned Books Week draws attention to the very real harm and dangers of such censorship by celebrating intellectual freedom. While adults have been given plenty of air time on this important topic, librarians decided to speak with those most impacted: the youth. To support and amplify the voices of these young readers, the library included some direct quotes from teens and tweens we surveyed across the county.

    We asked youth if they had ever read a book that was banned or challenged, what they thought of it, and why they thought someone would ban or challenge it. We also wanted to know if there was anything they wished people trying to ban books knew, what they would say to them, and who should be in charge of picking books for their school and public libraries.


    “I’ve read many banned books. For example Stamped by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi. I believe people challenged it because of its content on racism. And the history they wrote about it. I found it very interesting and a very important novel. We learn about history so we make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

    Halle, Woodstock library


    “I have read multiple banned or challenged books. Most of their content includes diversity, learning of other’s experiences, LGBTQ+ groups, “offensive” language or other experiences people refuse to accept or discuss. I think reading about these expands knowledge and is beneficial.”

    Gresham library youth


    “Many more diverse authors have been able to share their perspective in published books and as readers grow, misinformation about “explicit” pieces of literature (misunderstanding too often born about bigotry) also increase. I completed a project on banned books and found that PEN America reported 41% of banned books are LGBTQIA+ and 40% have characters of color. These bans reflect bias.”

    Ahnalya, Gresham library youth


    “I think books are being banned/challenged because people are afraid of what they don’t understand, so they try to get rid of it altogether.”

    Woodstock library youth


    “Many of these books talk about important issues today. I think the idea that the public learning how to fight back scares many of the people banning books. They need to realize that learning to fight back is good and can help us move forward from our current non-inclusive views.”

    Scout, Gresham library youth


    “We need to let children choose what they read, just like how children should choose what they like, wear, etc. because it’s THEIR experience. Reading should be about diversity and inclusion because we’re in a place in society where people are safer and more comfortable with coming out as their true, authentic selves and we can’t allow children to think that racism, sexism, etc. is okay from them not learning about it early on or being introduced to these topics. These books aren’t designed to sexualize children or encourage “inappropriate” behaviors as many are saying, but they are exposing children/young adults to important social justice topics to further deepen their social skills, development, awareness and overall empathy in the real world.”

    Mason, Northwest library youth


    The library applauds these young readers for speaking up and out about banned books and their impact on their growth and education. When the library says “All are welcome here,”  that means striving to include all communities, especially those who have experienced marginalization and systemic oppression. Everyone should have the chance to see themselves represented on library shelves and to have the opportunity to grow and expand their experience in a safe and inclusive environment for all. 

    “Let Freedom Read” is the theme of this year’s Banned Books Week, October 1-7. Join the library—and county youth—in uplifting, celebrating, and exploring these indispensable titles!

    Multnomah County Library is celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 24, 2-4 pm at Gresham Library

    This year's celebration includes performances by Portland Art & Cultural Center's Chinese children dance team and Van Lang Vietnamese School's Vietnamese dance team. Families can come and enjoy mooncakes, participate in a lantern-making craft activity, and listen to Chinese and Vietnamese storytimes. 

    The Mid-Autumn Festival is a holiday celebrated in China, Vietnam and other Asian countries. It is a time for friends and families to come together. It occurs on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar — meaning the festival falls between mid-September and early October.

    Multnomah County Library has several branches that have Chinese and Vietnamese-speaking staff members. Many said that their favorite part of the Mid-Autumn Festival was eating the mooncakes, which are small pastries stuffed with different fillings and typically eaten during the festival.

    "A fun part is getting with family, cutting the mooncakes and eating them. There are lots of different flavors, lotus seed, red bean paste and a combination, like pineapple mooncakes," says Toan Lam-Sullivan, Chinese bilingual librarian and member of this year's Mid-Autumn Festival planning team.

    Since the moon is the fullest and brightest during the Mid-Autumn Festival, many people also enjoy viewing it with their friends and family.

    The Mid-Autumn Festival has many folktales about what you can see on the moon’s surface while looking up at it. In Chinese culture, there is the story of Chang’e (嫦娥) and how she flew to the moon. And in Vietnamese culture there is the story of Cuội and the magic tree he planted. 

    Many of the cultures celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival also associate rabbits with the moon. That’s why you can see so much rabbit imagery during this celebration.

    The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the ways the library fosters connections between members of the Chinese and Vietnamese communities to celebrate their cultural heritage. 

    Woman smiling and holding a kids picture book

    Sally Li posing with 嫦娥奔月 by Yiyi Zhu (朱懿懿), a book about the tale of Chang’e (嫦娥)

    "Even though on the festival day we still need to go to work or school, I think it's important for the library to open the space for the community so they can be together to celebrate, and also so we can share the culture with the kids," says Sally Li, Chinese bilingual library assistant and a member of this year's Mid-Autumn Festival planning team.

    To participate in the Mid-Autumn Festival, take a look at the Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival booklist to read folktales about the moon and stories about the celebration. Woodstock Library will also host a smaller celebration on September 17 from 2-4 pm (registration is required) and will include a rabbit lantern craft activity, a guest presenter and Chinese storytime.

    The library offers volunteer opportunities for teens, adults and seniors. Patrons can also get involved in volunteer-led library programs.

    The library's largest teen volunteer effort is the Summer Reading program, for which teens help kids and families pick up their gameboard and learn about prizes. However, there are other year round opportunities for teens as well. In the teen and tween councils, teens can work on service projects for the library, like creating book displays and connecting with patrons. 

    our kids ranging in age from children to teens behind a table with a sign that says Summer Reading.

    Adults can volunteer in many ways: 

    • Tutor a child needing extra help on a specific subject. Volunteer tutors meet with students for 30-minute increments each week for an eight-week term. 
    • Read to the Dogs program. Adults with certified therapy dogs can meet with young readers to help develop confidence in their reading skills. 
    • Tutor other adults who are preparing to take their GED exam in reading, math and other skills.
    • Volunteer for talk time conversations to help adults who are practicing English or other languages.

    Grace Hashiguchi recently volunteered at the library through the summer tutoring program. Grace met with the same students virtually every week during this six-week program. She primarily focused on general literacy for elementary students. 

    “I’d brainstorm with the kids to find topics or series they were interested in, find relevant e-books and share my screen. Then I’d either have them read to me or we would alternate pages. We'd also discuss new vocab words or play spelling games and try to make that experience engaging,” says Grace.

    Grace has a public relations and writing background and wanted to find a way to use her skills to serve the community. “My favorite part is finding common ground with students. Through active listening and compassion, you can form a connection in two short months just by showing interest in their lives and learning goals. Seeing glimpses of empowerment, when a student feels capable — even if just for a sentence, or while learning a new game together — it’s just such an exciting feeling.”

    Alan Platt, another volunteer with the summer tutoring program, was previously a home teacher in California. He says, “I feel volunteering is a basic civic duty. Help in whatever way you can. If tutoring appeals to you, great. But duty aside, and regardless of how you volunteer, you get satisfaction from helping others, and often come away ‘enriched’ yourself in some fashion. In my case, teaching always leads to my own deeper understanding of the material we are studying. This is probably why I love teaching Social Studies and History so much!”

    Stay connected with the library and find volunteer opportunities that work for you!

    English | Español

    This Latinx Heritage Month, come to the library! Attend multilingual events, explore the cultural diversity within the Latino community, and find new and exciting books. 

    The United States first observed Latinx Heritage Month in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, the date was extended to a month-long period from September 15 - October 15. It was enacted as Public Law 100-402.

    At Multnomah County Library, the month-long cultural festivities are referred to as Latinx Heritage Month, to include the diversity in race, gender, language and countries that make up the Latino community. 

    “I personally identify more with Latinx,” says Maria Tobón López, library assistant at St. Johns Library. “I understand all of our experiences are different. It’s important to recognize that some of us don't fall under the perfect sphere of Hispanic and we have a lot of Indigenous communities that aren’t represented with it. What I like more about Latinx, is being representative and being able to observe all of our identities.”  

    Librarian in front of book shelves with books in Spanish smiling at camera

    St. Johns Library will change its displays to reflect the events it’s hosting- including comedy for kids, Loteria night, and a churro cooking class. 

    On the Noche de Loteria (Loteria night) Maria says, “It is very near and dear to my heart. I see it as an event where the community can come together, all different ages and walks of life to play a simple game. I’ve witnessed it before where people may not know how to play the game, but you see these little relationships come out, and I can’t wait to share this with St. Johns. I know there is a large Latino and Spanish-speaking community that will be excited to do this.”

    Library events will center on music and food! With events like Venezuelan arepa making and Paraguayan music, the Latino community can come together to share in culture and joy.

    Juan Garcia, teen librarian at Rockwood Library, says, “I moved to the United States from Mexico when I was 7, and for a long time it was hard for me to find my place in this country. Assimilation played a big part in my upbringing, I wanted to fit in and didn’t realize I was pushing my culture away. This is a struggle many other immigrants have. It makes me so happy to work at a place like the public library that not only acknowledges our culture but creates spaces to celebrate it. This Latinx Heritage month, I am excited about all of the events my library and neighboring libraries are hosting.”

    If you’re unable to attend an event but want to stay connected:

    Over three million children in the United States experience a disability and almost all of them attend school. Today, laws ensure that children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education.  

    Look out: acronyms ahead! You may need a special education glossary like this one from, which is a fantastic resource for parents looking to understand the special education system.

    Photo of child playing

    Birth to Kindergarten

    Some disabilities are apparent from birth, and some come to light in the first years of growth and development. In Multnomah County, the Multnomah Early Childhood Program (MECP) provides early intervention services for children with disabilities between birth and kindergarten.  

    If you have a concern about how your child sees, hears, walks, talks, plays, or learns between birth and kindergarten, you can ask for a developmental evaluation. Screen your child’s development using this online tool from the Oregon Screening Project at the University of Oregon. Call 503-261-5535 to get in touch with MECP for early intervention services. They will do several observations and interviews to assess your child.

    The results of the MECP evaluation may diagnose your child with a disability and qualify them for early intervention special education services. This could include services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, parent education, and special education preschool. You’ll meet with a team to develop an Individual and Family Support Plan (IFSP) that outlines which services your child and family will receive, how much, when, and where. MECP services are free and are part of public school.

    School Age

    Children with disabilities in grades K-12 have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or 504 Plans. Both outline what services and accommodations a child needs to be successful at school. 

    A child will qualify for an IEP if they have one of 13 disabilities defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IEPs have a more formal, standardized format and process for describing a child’s present levels of development, their annual goals, accommodations and modifications, service levels, and classroom placement.  

    A child qualifies for a 504 Plan if they have any disability that interferes with their ability to learn or navigate their school day. There is no standard format, but the plan usually lists the services, accommodations, and supports the school will provide and the names of the people who will provide them.  

    Learn more about the differences between an IEP and 504 Plan and what you can expect from each.  

    If your child has an IFSP, you and your team will write an IEP or 504 Plan when they go to kindergarten.  

    Some disabilities may not become apparent until a child enters school: ADHD or dyslexia, for example. Parents or educators who notice a child struggling in school can request an educational evaluation. That evaluation may lead to a diagnosis and an IEP or 504 plan. Getting an evaluation and effective IEP after starting school may require persistence. 

    When an IEP is in place, the child’s entire educational team meets annually to write the IEP for the coming year. As a parent, you are an important part of that team. The IEP includes a section for parent input where you can write about your child’s strengths, interests, and challenges to help the school know your child. Your child is assessed every three years to determine that they still qualify for special education services.

    Graduation and beyond

    During the IEP meeting of your child’s sophomore year of high school, you’ll begin talking about diploma options and plans for after high school. 

    Getting help

    You don’t have to navigate this system alone! Families and Communities Together (FACT Oregon) is a statewide group offering broad support for families experiencing disability. They offer help through parent education, connection to community, and a support line connecting you with other parents to help answer questions. The IEP Toolkit and The IEP: What You Need to Know online training are two of their most popular resources.

    Special education services can be complicated and confusing, and you might feel you need a second education about special education.  The many resources and support options help you understand and advocate for your child throughout their school life.

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

    Drawing of two figures and a large head with puzzle pieces

    It is important for caregivers to listen to teenagers and reach out if they see concerning signs. Here are some resources to help:

    Mental Health America (MHA): Talking To Adolescents And Teens

    MHA is a community-based nonprofit “dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all.” They have a series for caregivers of teens that starts with noticing symptoms, starting a conversation, and figuring out what to do and where to go. And they have a “Parent Test” you can take to help determine if your child is having emotional, attentional, or behavioral difficulties.

    Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

    This training is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers and more how to help a teen who is experiencing a mental health crisis. Many staff at the library have taken this course, and you can take it for free through Get Trained To Help. Beyond the course, the Mental Health First Aid folx have lots of good information on their website including 5 Tips for Talking to Your Teenager About Mental Health and 5 Signs Your Teen May Be Asking for Help

    Symptoms of Depression in Teenagers

    From the Child Mind Institute, this article lists signs of depression to look out for in your child and ways to help them feel comfortable sharing their feelings. The article is available in Spanish as well. 


    A teen-to-teen youth crisis and support service provided by Lines for Life. YouthLine operates a national helpline that provides support and referrals via call, text, and chat. It is answered by teen volunteers daily from 4 pm-10 pm PST (and by adults at all other times, 24-hours a day!). 

    Cascadia Health 

    Cascadia is the largest “community-based behavioral health and substance use treatment services organization in the state of Oregon” and they operate a Crisis Line in Multnomah County 24/7 (503-988-4888). Check out their Crisis Intervention page for more information. 

    Multnomah County EASA (Early Assessment and Support Alliance) program   

    EASA is a program that was created to help young people who are experiencing symptoms of psychosis. Research shows that getting help as early as possible makes treatment easier and recovery quicker.

    We <3 LGBTQ+ Kids & Teens!

    This blog post highlights organizations and resources that can provide support for LGBTQ+ youth.

    And of course we have books! Please see our book lists below. 

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at with any questions.

    Multnomah County Library branches celebrated pride this year with book displays, in-person activities, outreach events, and the special return of its popular Drag Queen Storytime events. 

    Drag Queen Storytime is an event catered to kids ages 2-6 where a drag performer reads children's books and leads the kids in learning activities and sing-alongs. Similar events have been organized at libraries, bookstores and community centers nationwide. 

    Famous Portland drag queen performers Poison Waters and Nicole Onoscopi read children’s books and delighted kids and families with learning activities and sing-alongs. Both performers have years of experience doing community outreach in Portland. Poison Waters was also one of the first drag queens to participate in Drag Queen Storytime at the library over eight years ago.

    Reflecting on when the library first invited Poison Waters, she says, ”I've been a [Multnomah County Library] card holder my whole adult life and so I thought, ’well, this is the time to do it.’ I was so happy and you know, I would have the infrastructure and the support of the whole library system behind me. I knew it was going to be a success.”

    Drag queen Poison Waters sitting on a chair smiling at the camera with four books in her hands.

    The books read by drag queens during Drag Queen Storytime touch on themes of gender identity, acceptance and diversity, including titles such as It‘s Ok To Be Different by Todd Parr, Annie‘s Plaid Shirt by Stacy B. Davids, and The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler.

    “It's been really fantastic that so many of the books are recognizable to the kids. They already know them from school or church, or they have them in their own house,” said Poison Waters.

    Although the activities are catered to kids, people of all ages attended the storytimes. Families listened to the stories, participated in arts and crafts and sang along to nursery rhymes like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

    Despite the challenges libraries faced when attempting to host drag queen storytimes throughout the country, Multnomah County Library successfully hosted this year‘s storytimes without major disruptions. 

    “Drag Storytime is an extremely family friendly event,” shared Maz S., a library patron. “I want my child to be exposed to an array of gender expressions in order to grow into a healthy sense of self. Drag Queens model self confidence, kindness, courage, creativity, and beauty in a way which is very theatrical and clever. They open up a world where children are free to love the uniqueness in themselves and others.” 

    Drag Queen Storytime and the other various Pride events encourage attendees to bring their full selves and experience joy. 

    The library remains committed to ensuring its spaces are welcoming for all community members, including LGBTQ+ individuals and families.  

    On June 12, 2023, Multnomah County Library held a groundbreaking ceremony for the highly anticipated approximately 95,000+ square foot East County Library in Gresham.

    In attendance were Multnomah County Library Director Vailey Oehlke; Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson; Multnomah County District 4 Commissioner Lori Stegmann; Director and Chief Information Officer of the Department of County Assets Tracey Massey; Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall; and TriMet General Manager Sam Desue, Jr.

    The groundbreaking ceremony began with a land acknowledgment and blessing performed by members of Native American Rehabilitation Association Northwest (NARA NW), including Sam Graywolf, Mohawk; Michele Pinkham, Nez Perce; and Krystie Holder, Chinook/Grand Ronde.

    Man on a stage playing a wooden flute, audience of people sitting on chairs in a large tent.

    Sam Graywolf performing the land blessing at the East County Library groundbreaking ceremony

    Image by Motoya Nakamura/ Multnomah County

    Library Director Vailey Oehlke made the first remarks saying, “I can't emphasize enough that this is the community’s library. People like me, who work here, our job is to run it. But it belongs to the community. And so we spent a lot of time talking to a lot of people… To hear from them about what it is that's important to you in terms of this new library.”

    Nine smiling people standing behind a large pile of dirt, wearing hard hats, shoveling dirt to the air.

    Left to right: Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall; Director of the Department of County Assets and Chief Information Officer Tracey Massey; Black Economic Collective Community Engagement Manager Terry Wattley; Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson; El Programa Hispano Católico Youth & Family Program Manager Sarai Rodriguez; NARA NW Chief Community Engagement & Development Officer SandeBea Allman; TriMet General Manager Sam Desue, Jr.; Library Director Vailey Oehlke.

    Image by Motoya Nakamura/ Multnomah County

    Also in attendance were NARA NW Chief Community Engagement & Development Officer, SandeBea Allman; El Programa Hispano Católico Youth & Family Program Manager, Sarai Rodriguez; and Black Economic Collective Community Engagement Manager, Terry Wattley.

    Sarai and Terry participated in the Community Library Champions group, which formed as part of the East County Library design community engagement and design process. Alongside other East County residents, Sarai and Terry shared their vision and dreams for the new library.

    “Just working with the team has been incredible for me as a Latina woman, as a mother, as a mystery book enthusiast, and as a member of the Gresham community. This is such an important project, and it's really awesome to be a part of all of it,” said Sarai Rodriguez.

    Woman standing behind a podium with a microphone looking towards an audience.

    Sarai Rodriguez speaking at the East County Library groundbreaking ceremony

    Image by Motoya Nakamura/ Multnomah County

    Terry concluded the ceremony by adding, “Being a part of this project is all about legacy and history, which is what Black Economic Collective is all about. It will be great for our generation to look back and say, ‘We were part of that; we did something great, built something great in our community’, and know that we're leaving behind something that will be here long after we're gone, impacting our community in a positive way.”

    East County Library is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2025. The new building will include:

    • A large auditorium with flexible seating 
    • A makerspace with room for classes to explore everything from robotics to construction to 3D printing
    • An audio visual studio
    • Outdoor space for community members to relax and connect 
    • New art that represents the community

    Holst Architecture, a local women-owned firm, led the design process. Adjaye Associates contributed to the project through the design development phase.

    In advance of the groundbreaking, on June 30, 2023, Multnomah County Library and TriMet finalized the library’s purchase of the former Gresham City Hall Park and Ride (1297 NW Eastman Pkwy, Gresham) from TriMet for use in building the East County Library.

    Multnomah County Library and TriMet will work together with the City of Gresham to establish the vision for the civic space and the surrounding area. Construction will begin in early 2024 and is expected to be completed in Fall 2025.

    Katie Grindeland is the author of The Gifts We Keep, a selection from The Library Writers Project, which highlights local self-published authors. In an innovative partnership, Ooligan Press worked with the library to publish this novel about an Oregon family struggling with past tragedy while caring for a Native Alaskan girl with sorrows of her own.

    Why did you want to tell this particular story?

    I have always been a very character-driven writer, so I was excited at the prospect of diving into first-person emotional exploration with a somewhat diverse group of people. It was really important to me to try and give voice to their internal experience since we don’t always have a platform for that in our put-together grown-up lives. Big feelings, authenticity, connection, these were pillars for me. Not just as words on a page, but as an open-handed gesture to the reader’s experience as well. If someone reads this story and feels emotionally seen or included, I would consider that my biggest success.

    Who or what inspires you, writing wise? Who inspires you in your life?

    I am always inspired by those really good writers who make you stop in your tracks, by virtue of how purely they can weave a phrase or present an idea. The kind where I have to put the book down to stare at nothing and just think for a few minutes. Yann Martel and Marilynne Robinson and Jonathan Safran Foer and Barbara Kingsolver. But I also really love the writer who just wants to borrow your ear for a minute to tell a cool story they know. Lynda Barry and Stephen King and Cheryl Strayed and Diane Ackerman. These and so many more. Outside of writing, hard workers inspire me. Nose-to-the-grindstoners inspire me. Bad-at-something-but-trying-it-anyway inspires me. I find a lot of bravery in authenticity. And kindness. Kind-hearted people are secret super heroes and they don’t even know it. That inspires me.

    Can you recommend a book you've recently enjoyed?

    All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It undid me, in all the best ways. Beautiful, meaningful, incandescent. I read much of this by headlamp on a solo camping trip near The Dalles, listening to trains run by in the dark, simply because I couldn’t put it down. I also love “S”, by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams. It's a novel within a novel, filled with miscellanies that fall out of the book into your lap if you aren’t careful, postcards, notes, photos -- all of which may or may not be clues to unraveling the story. Plus, if you’re anything like me, it will have you spouting about the Ship of Theseus paradox to friends and family, whose reception may be lukewarm in comparison to your enthusiasm for the idea!

    "You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive." - James Baldwin

    Stories help us understand ourselves and empathize with others. Explore these lists featuring authors and characters who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, Two-spirit and more. From romance to manga, history to science fiction, find your next good read here.

    Are you looking for books for kids and teens? Find them here. If you're looking for reading recommendations beyond these lists, try My Librarian.

    Reforzar la educación de los hijos durante el verano puede ser un desafío. Durante el verano los niños pueden llegar a perder hasta dos meses de aprendizaje si no realizan actividades de lectura y matemáticas. He aquí una lista de recursos y actividades para  ayudar a reforzar la educación de una manera divertida durante el verano. 

    Recursos gratuitos de la Biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah

    Juego de Lectura de Verano. Los bebés, niños y adolescentes pueden jugar el juego de Lectura de Verano y ganar premios. ¡Incluso hay un juego de lectura para adultos

    Taller Creativo de Rockwood (para grados de 6.º a 12.º). Los adolescentes pueden pasar el rato, crear proyectos independientes con los materiales de arte, conocer el equipo del Taller Creativo, usar tabletas y computadoras portátiles; ¡y más totalmente gratis!

    Programación para todos. No se pierda de lo que está sucediendo en su biblioteca más cercana: Horas de cuentos, actuaciones interactivas, programas de arte y manualidades.

    Library Connect. Usa tu número de identificación de estudiante como tarjeta de la biblioteca y descubre a dónde te puede llevar Library Connect. Los estudiantes pueden usar su cuenta para pedir prestados excelentes libros durante el verano y durante todo el año. 

    Recomendaciones de lectura personalizada- Usa tu cuenta de Library Connect y conéctate con nuestros bibliotecarios. Pide recomendaciones de libros, da sugerencias y aprende más acerca de lo que la Biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah tiene para ti.

    Fuentes de información confiables. Estas fuentes de información son confiables, precisas y gratuitas. Para empezar a usar los recursos solo necesita el número de su tarjeta de la biblioteca y su contraseña.

    Learning Express Library. Prepárense para los exámenes de ciudadanía, GED, admisión para la universidad, preparación para alguna carrera y mucho más.

    Recursos gratuitos para seguir reforzando la educación de los estudiantes: 

    Khan Academy en español. Es un recurso gratuito y excelente para que sus hijos practiquen y aprendan a su ritmo y usted vea lo que ellos deben aprender en cada grado escolar. Los adultos también pueden crear cuentas y practicar su habilidades matemáticas y de lectura.

    Khan Academy. Práctica de matemáticas. Un programa totalmente gratuito. Una vez que entre al sitio, desplácese hacia abajo de la página para ver todos los temas de matemáticas por grado.

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

    Centro de aprendizaje de matemáticas (Math at Home). Actividades, juegos y páginas de práctica para fomentar el razonamiento matemático. Es un recurso gratuito para ayudar a los estudiantes a desarrollar sus habilidades de mecanografía.

    Overdrive Kids. Libros electrónicos para aprender a cocinar, a tejer, doblar aviones de papel, hacer creaciones de Lego y algunos libros de chistes para que amplíe su repertorio.

    PBS Aventuras de verano.  Actividades para animar a los niños a probar algo nuevo. Imprima las actividades gratuitamente en su biblioteca más cercana. El sitio de PBS también incluye muchas actividades divertidas para la familia.

    Actividades recreativas 

    Arte para todos. ¡Muestre su tarjeta Oregon Trail y compre entradas por $5! Incluye el Museo de Ciencias e Industria de Oregón (OMSI)

    My Discovery Pass (pase cultural). Visite museos y organizaciones culturales locales de forma gratuita con My Discovery Pass; solo necesita su tarjeta de la Biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah. 

    Almuerzos de verano y otros recursos

    Almuerzo gratis y juegos: Actividades y almuerzo para menores de 18 años.



    Programas de SUN

    Recursos de alimentos para familias. Tratamos de mantener actualizada esta publicación sobre los recursos alimenticios en el condado de Multnomah y sus alrededores.


    We realize it’s only July, but we’re already thinking about going back to school in the fall and how to help you do it on the cheap! Here are some tips we’ve learned over the years:

    Reuse and Recycle! 
    Before heading to the store, look around your home first to see what office and art supplies you could use for the upcoming school year. And you might not need a new backpack or lunch box, maybe last year’s just needs a good wash!

    Borrow or trade school supplies
    Ask extended family and friends if they have spare supplies you could borrow or have. Or maybe they are interested in trading extra supplies? Maybe you have a bunch of pencils and your friend has extra notebooks–a swap would be a win-win situation for both of you! This can also work for clothes, if you know folks whose kids are older and outgrown their clothes, or check your community’s Facebook/NextDoor page or neighborhood newsletter for upcoming clothing swaps! Some neighborhoods even have “Buy Nothing” pages, like this one in St. Johns. Here are the Buy Nothing pages in Oregon and Washington.

    Buy second-hand!
    From backpacks to clothing, you can find real bargains at garage sales and thrift stores. Or check out Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace (or better yet, the Facebook Buy Nothing pages above) online.

    Start now!
    If you can, spread out your purchases over the summer. You don’t need to make extra trips to the store, just hit up the school supply aisle when you’re already out grocery shopping or running other errands. And be sure to check the front page of the store's circular or sales flier for items that are currently on sale! 

    And the flip side of the coin… wait!
    There are plenty of great sales to take advantage of during the back-to-school rush, but seasonal items such as fall clothing become cheaper after school starts (and they have to make way for the winter stuff). And fingers crossed, your kids won’t need that winter sweater for a little while!

    Follow your list
    School supply lists are available now for some schools in Multnomah County. Print the list and bring it with you every time you go shopping. And follow it - no need to get anything fancy that’s not on the list. Here is what we found as of the publishing of this post:

    • Centennial: We were unable to find updated supply lists on their website. Trying visiting the district website and clicking on the Schools link to find your school's individual page. Supply lists can often be found under the “Families” or “For Parents and Students” dropdown menus.  Or do a Google search for your school’s name and “supply list.” Be sure you are looking at the list for your school (check the address!) and for the coming school year.
    • David Douglas: Information on school supplies for the various schools can be found here.
    • Gresham Barlow: “Gresham-Barlow School District will be supplying elementary and middle school students with any necessary school supplies. Families will still need to provide their students with backpacks. Each school will be in contact with families regarding other school-specific details before the start of the school year.” More info here.
    • Parkrose: You will need to go into each school’s page to find their supply list. Once at your school’s page, look under the Student’s drop down menu for the supply list (if it has been made available). 
    • Portland Public Schools: Some schools provide supplies for free; unfortunately, each school is different. For the most part, find your school and look under the 'Our School' menu. Sometimes supply lists are linked directly from there. You can also try using the search feature (top right of page) and type in your school’s name and the word “supply”. 
    • Reynolds: Reynolds is on top of things and has one page with all the supplies needed!
    • Riverdale: Select your school and check the website.

    And definitely contact your school directly if you need help with getting supplies; they will help!

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at with any questions.

    Este verano, los invitamos a un viaje de exploración, creación y conexión en el Taller Creativo de la Biblioteca de Rockwood en donde la creatividad no tiene límites. Ya seas un experto o estés comenzando tu camino creativo, hay algo para que todos disfruten. Desde tecnología innovadora hasta artes y manualidades tradicionales, videojuegos y mucho más. ¡Todo gratis!

    ¿Cómo funciona?

    El Taller Creativo es para jóvenes de sexto a doceavo grados. Este verano estará abierto los martes, jueves, viernes y sábados, de 1–4 pm a menos que haya un campamento o taller programado. Les recomendamos que visiten la página de eventos del Taller Creativo antes de su visita. 

    Tengan en cuenta que la mayoría de los campamentos o talleres requieren inscripción y tienen una capacidad máxima. Si nos visitan durante el horario de apertura 1–4 pm cuando no hay clases o talleres programados, no necesitan inscribirse con anticipación y tendrán tiempo libre para utilizar cualquier equipo disponible en el Taller Creativo.

    Aquí está la lista de nuestros eventos y talleres de este verano: 

     Niños e impresora en 3D


    La máquina mágica que más utilizan los adolescentes 

    Imagina que tienes una máquina mágica que puede crear objetos desde cero. Eso es lo que hace la impresora en tres dimensiones, la Impresora 3D (Ultimaker), pero en lugar de magia, utiliza un tipo especial de plástico llamado ácido poliláctico (PLA por sus siglas en inglés). Nuestro personal puede guiarte en el proceso de impresión 3D, desde la etapa de diseño hasta que estés listo para imprimir. Puedes hacer todo tipo de cosas con una impresora 3D; como figurillas, joyas, herramientas e incluso piezas de repuesto para otras máquinas.

    Esperamos verlos este verano, ya sea que deseen hacer algo para ustedes mismos o para un amigo o simplemente quieran un lugar acogedor para pasar el rato y comer algunos bocadillos.

    *Adultos: Si están interesados en visitar el Taller Creativo, también tendremos horario abierto para ustedes este verano. Visite la página de eventos del Taller Creativo para mayor información. ¡Recuerden, todo es gratis!




    As the summer season approaches, we invite you to embark on an exciting journey of exploration, creation, and connection at the Rockwood Library’s makerspace! The Rockwood makerspace is a unique hub where creativity knows no bounds. Whether you're a seasoned maker or just starting your creative journey, there's something for everyone to enjoy, from cutting-edge technology to traditional arts and crafts, video games and so much more. 

    How does it work? 

    Photo of Rockwood Library makerspace

    The makerspace is primarily* for youth in grades 6-12. Drop-in time for the summer will be from 1-4 pm on most Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, unless there is a class or workshop. To find out when drop-in is happening or when a planned workshop is scheduled you can visit the makerspace’s Events page. Please note that most planned workshops require registration and have a max capacity. 

    This summer, we have an exciting array of events and workshops. Here's a glimpse of what awaits you:


    *Adults, if you are interested in checking out the makerspace, there will also be drop-in times for adults this summer. Those dates and times can also be found on the makerspace’s Events page

    What does drop-in time look like? 

    First things first, you don’t need to sign up ahead of time to come to the drop-in. Drop-in time is open time for teens to come check out the makerspace, meet our staff and other teens and use any of the equipment. We provide snacks and all of the materials and tools necessary. 

    Learn more about three of the most popular pieces of equipment our teens use during drop-in:  

    • Photo of 3D printer at work
      Ultimaker 3D Printer 

    Imagine you have a magical machine that can create objects from scratch. That's what a 3D printer does, but instead of magic, it uses a special kind of plastic called PLA. Our staff can guide you through the process of 3D printing, from the design stage all the way until you are ready to print. You can make all sorts of things with a 3D printer, like figurines, jewelry, tools, and even replacement parts for other machines. The makerspace has 4 Ultimaker 3D printers.

    • Heat Press 

    One of the most popular pieces of equipment in the makerspace is our heat press. The heat press is often used by teens to put designs on t-shirts. It involves a machine that uses heat and pressure to fuse your design onto the fabric. We have t-shirts available in the makerspace, but you could also bring your own piece of clothing. 

    • Laser Cutter

    Photo of projects made with the laser cutter
    The laser cutter is a machine that uses a special beam of light, called a laser, to cut through or etch on different materials like wood, acrylic, or fabric. Here's how it works: When you want to make a design, you upload or create your design on a computer using special software, then figure out the right settings for the laser cutter to get the effect you want. For instance, cutting through thick acrylic will need different settings than etching on fabric. Once you’re happy with the design, you send it to the laser cutter. The laser cutter has a little bed where you place the material. You tell the machine to start, and it moves the laser beam around following the lines you drew on the computer until your design is finished! 

    Hear what our staff has to say about the makerspace: 

    What do you like about working at the makerspace?

    My favorite part of working in the makerspace is getting to know the cool, creative teens in our community! I'm always so impressed with the ideas folks come up with, and it's an honor and a delight to get to help our artists and makers bring their ideas to life, whether it's designing a zine, sewing plushies, making custom finger boards, laser cutting a memorial plaque, creating a painting as a gift for a friend, 3D printing a samurai mask for a school event, or putting a hilarious meme on a t-shirt.

    What makes the makerspace special?

    People often think of the makerspace as being a big room with fancy equipment, but what really makes the makerspace special is the community of people in the space. Someone might visit because they're interested in 3D printing or just looking for a place to hang out after school, but when they arrive, they're greeted by friendly staff and volunteers and other young makers. It's inspiring to be around other creative people! Teens form friendships in the makerspace and work on projects together and we all learn from each other. That feeling of community is the beating heart of the makerspace.

    Image of students working in the makerspace

    What would you say to a teen thinking about coming to the makerspace?

    Come give it a try! Maybe you know exactly what you want to make and just need the equipment to do so. Or maybe you're feeling a little more uncertain and would rather hang out for a while to get the vibe of the space before seeing where your creative impulses take you. No matter who you are or what you're interested in, you're sure to find something or someone who inspires you at the makerspace!

    We hope to see you this summer, whether you want to make something for yourself or a friend or just want a cozy place to hang out and eat some snacks. 

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at with any questions.


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