Blogs

Graduates from the library's adult tutoring GED program
A group of graduates shared their joy and dreams with families, staff, tutors and patrons at Midland Library during its first-ever graduation ceremony for adults who earned their GEDⓇ certificate thanks to Multnomah County Library’s drop-in tutoring program. 

The graduates donned caps and gowns, posed for photos and shared cupcakes, shared stories and described their plans for the future. Tiffany, a full-time administrator’s assistant in a busy social service program, now qualifies for a promotion. Cherille, a single mom who studied all summer with a tutor, finished school to be a role model for her children. Chance has worked many jobs but now dreams of entering a veterinary technician program at Mt. Hood Community College. Diana, a bilingual mom and businesswoman, juggled family, business and her studies and proved to her daughter that she could finish school.

The GEDⓇ drop-in tutoring program, coordinated by Adult Literacy Coordinator Lisa Regimbal, has served 103 older and younger adults over the past year. Many of the program’s attendees were nervous about the test and didn’t know how to study or where to begin. Thanks to a one-year Oregon GEDⓇ Program Wraparound Services Grant, the library has been able to offer attendees free GEDⓇ testing, tutoring by volunteers, and coaching from GEDⓇ Coordinator Colleen Latimer. Multnomah County Library was the only library system in the state to receive the funding. 

A cadre of 30 volunteer tutors helped the students stay motivated while remembering the intricacies of algebra and fractions, and studying science, social studies and language arts. Library staff ensured students felt welcomed and provided books for kids while parents studied.

The ceremony was a reminder of the importance and significance of graduation for the students who had dropped out of school years earlier. Graduate Cherille was surrounded by her children, nieces, nephews, elderly mother and other family members. She pointed to the children and smiled,  “I wanted to show them I could do it.” 

Drop-in tutoring and GEDⓇ assistance is currently available at six library locations: 

  • Mondays, 4 to 6 pm, St. Johns Library
  • Mondays, 5 to 7 pm, North Portland Library
  • Tuesdays, 5 to 7 pm, Midland Library
  • Wednesdays, 10 am to 12pm, Rockwood Library
  • Wednesdays, 4 to 6 pm, Gresham Library
  • Thursdays, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Central Library

Rockwood makerspace
Nestled in a back room of Rockwood Library is a space for teens to create, make and try out cutting-edge technologies. Separate from the library, the Rockwood makerspace offers local youth access to high and low-tech activities— for free—without expectations. 

Echoing trends by public libraries across the world to give people free and open access to new technologies, Multnomah County Library opened the 1,000 square foot collaborative space in 2016 with the support of The Library Foundation and the Mount Hood Cable Regulatory Commission. The Rockwood makerspace is the only space in Multnomah County that provides youth with free and open access to these cutting-edge technologies. 

On any given day, teens are huddled together on Macbooks, coding new video games or designing items in CAD software to produce on the space’s 3D printer; building robots; sewing costumes; or just hanging out and being teens. The space is comfortable and inclusive, offering numerous open labs throughout the week for teens to drop in and use the space however they choose. The makerspace has been so popular with the community that it recently opened limited times for adults to use it, including offering some bilingual adult programs.  

In addition to needing dedicated, and specially trained, staff and volunteers, the makerspace requires thoughtfully designed infrastructure to operate successfully, including open and powered spaces and separate ventilation for heat-producing equipment such as laser cutting machines. Due to space constraints across the library system, the library is only able to offer one makerspace for the more than 800,000 people it serves.   

The Rockwood makerspace has become a community, providing young people opportunities to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and math, while having fun. While the access to new technologies and creative space helps teens develop skills that may contribute to their future career path, it most importantly offers them the freedom to try new ideas, to fail without judgment or consequence, to build their confidence, and to be who they are

“It has changed my life, actually. It’s taught me to not be scared, to just try new things,” said Mariah, a Rockwood makerspace participant. 

Currently, the Rockwood makerspace is the only space of its kind at a Multnomah County Library location. Multnomah County Library is working hard on a plan to bring these kinds of creative and modern spaces to other libraries and communities. Learn more at multcolib.org/planning.

Join us to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November. 

The Prairie Blossoms: Shining the Spotlight on Native American Music 
November 2 at Kenton Library
November 9 at Woodstock Library
November 10 at North Portland Library
November 17 at St. Johns Library
November 23 at Central Library

Edible Native American Plants
November 2 at Troutdale Library

Dream Catcher Weaving 
November 8 at Fairview-Columbia Library

Native American Jewelry Making
November 9 at Gregory Heights Library
November 13 at Rockwood Library
November 15 at Troutdale Library

Native American Indian Storytelling and Drumming
November 16 at Kenton and Albina libraries

Connecting Cultures: Native American Children's Songs 
November 16 at Hillsdale Library
November 23 at Holgate Library

Native American Dance
November 21 at North Portland Library

PDX Native Film Night: Warrior Women 
November 25 at Hollywood Theatre

Vailey Oehlke image

Dear library patrons and community members,

Multnomah County Library (MCL) works hard to serve you. We are committed to meeting the changing needs of our community by providing free and open access to the resources, programs, technology and spaces that people want and need. But we are facing a daunting new challenge: large publishers are imposing new restrictions that limit libraries’ ability to offer users new digital content.

Beginning November 1, 2019, Macmillan publishers, one of the country’s “big five” publishers, is imposing an eight-week embargo on new e-books. This embargo means that for the first eight weeks after a book is released, libraries will only be able to purchase a single copy of new Macmillan e-books. This restriction applies whether a library serves a community of a thousand people or a million people.

The impact of this embargo and the other severe restrictions being placed by publishers on public libraries across the country will hurt readers near and far. Multnomah County Library is the sixth top-circulating library in the country for digital content. Under these new restrictions, the wait for many Macmillan e-book titles will skyrocket to four months or more.

What’s more, libraries are forced to license this content and cannot own it. A licensing model increases costs and limits how many times patrons can check out a book before the library must re-license. Many people also aren’t aware that e-book costs to libraries are often FOUR TIMES the price of a retail copy. With these limitations in place, we estimate that MCL will soon spend at least 25 percent of its e-book budget ($307,000) on re-licensing items already in the collection. These excessive costs will prevent the library from buying a broader range of titles or buying more copies of popular titles in order to reduce wait times.

On top of this, Amazon—which owns audio and e-platforms Audible and Kindle—is an unapologetic charging bull within the publishing industry, as it exclusively signs digital and audio rights for authors like Dean Koontz and Mindy Kaling and refuses to license those titles to libraries.

Macmillan has said that libraries undercut publishers’ profits by allowing readers free access to materials that they would otherwise purchase. Macmillan is presenting this as a zero-sum game—that every circulation of a library book is a lost sale for the publisher and author. That reductivist argument is disingenuous and capricious, and it shuts out those with the fewest resources. Not everyone can afford to use Amazon as an alternative to their public library.

The result of these unfair practices by publishers puts not only libraries and readers in a challenging position, but also authors, who should not be forced to choose between making a living and supporting the mission of a library to make information free and open to all. Public libraries provide free marketing and massive exposure to authors and publishers at more than 16,500 locations in communities across the United States and online. In fact, there are more public libraries in the United States than there are McDonald’s or Starbucks locations.

Multnomah County Library has a long history of supporting authors. Every day, patrons come into our libraries or browse the online catalog to find new titles to enjoy. We offer readers advisory services like My Librarian where library staff help readers find new books and authors. At 19 libraries, MCL hosts storytimes, author readings and other programs that expose people to books, resources and authors that they may not have discovered otherwise. Our Library Writers Project offers an opportunity for local authors to have their work added to the library’s e-book collection. As an integral part of the literacy ecosystem, public libraries encourage reading from the earliest ages, and support it over a lifetime by introducing people to content as their interests, needs and technologies change.

These harsh and unfair restrictions on public libraries are a troubling trend that we must stop. Please join me, readers and libraries across the country in opposing Macmillan’s new e-book embargo.

Sign the petition at ebooksforall.org to tell Macmillan that access to e-books should not be delayed or denied.

Thank you for supporting your public library.

Director's pen signature image

 

 

 

 

 

Vailey Oehlke
Director of Libraries
Multnomah County Library
Former president, Public Library Association

 

 

old time radio

My Dad's family is on a first name basis with country music performers. 'I wish Johnny was still here', my Mom says wistfully about Johnny Cash' or 'I'd reconize Mother Maybelle's voice anywhere', my Dad says as if  speaking of his own mother. Throughout the Great Depression in North Dakota, my parent's  family was held together not only by the Carter Family music but similar music from Mississippi, New Orleans and Kentucky.  It gave them the faith to survive in a world gone crazy as black clouds of dust, war and poverty  swept them up out of their home into the bright sunshiney newness of the West Coast. When I was a small girl, I was fascinated by the Carter Family, thinking that they were our distant musical cousins.

Our family was not unique. This is what comes through loud and clear in the new eight- episode documentary by Ken Burns, Country Music. A mixture of cultures and nationalites gave the development of country music variety and spark, but  it was that personal appeal, the way that its stories illuminate the human conditon that made it outrageously  popular.   

Unlike the upper end classical music of Carnegie Hall, the country music stories that came pouring out of the new affordable radios could be enjoyed by the poorest child in Mississippi,  a farming family in the Midwest, or  a migrant worker in New Mexico.  Because all of us know  happieness is fleeting and sadness feels like forever, but life is easier if there is someone who understands.  Country Music artists and their songs do just that. From The Carter's Family's Single Girl, Married Girl, to Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry to Loretta Lynn's Don't Come Home a-Drinkin' with Lovin' on Your Mind to Charlie Prides' All I Have to Offer You is Me, country music tells us with every song that we are not alone and our feelings are real  enough to put into the words of a song.

HIspanic migrant family on the road

 

Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15 - October 15. It is a recognition and celebration of the culture, histories and contributions of Hispanic and Latin Americans to the United States.

Initially celebrated as Hispanic Heritage week in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson, it was expanded to a month by President Ronald Reagan. The start date of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. With Mexico, Belize and Chile celebrating their independence September 16, 18 and 21.

Here is a small sample of events that are happening at the library during Hispanic Heritage month to celebrate the rich heritage and cultural impact that Latin Americans have had on the nation and society.

Contact the library, visit the events page or check in with your local library to learn about additional programs and events during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Looking for a personalized reading list? Contact Laura B for a recommended reading list. 

 
 

El Mes de la Herencia Hispana se celebra cada año del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre. Es un homenaje y una celebración de la cultura, historias y contribuciones de los hispanos y latinoamericanos en los Estados Unidos.

Inicialmente proclamada la Semana Nacional de la Herencia Hispana por el presidente Lyndon B. Johnson en 1968, el reconocimiento fue extendido a un mes por el presidente Ronald Reagan en 1988. Se inicia el 15 de septiembre por ser el aniversario de la independencia de cinco países latinoamericanos: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua. México, Chile y Belice celebran su independencia el 16, 18 y 21 de septiembre, respectivamente.

Los invitamos a disfrutar en las bibliotecas la música, historias, libros, actividades y manualidades que celebran la herencia hispana y el impacto cultural a la sociedad.

Para más información sobre programas y eventos adicionales durante el Mes de la Herencia Hispana comuníquese con la biblioteca.

Laura B. está disponible para ofrecerles recomendaciones de lectura personalizada de acuerdo a su interés.

Talk Time Host

by Donna Childs, MCL volunteer

Talk Time is a library program for people from around the world to practice English conversation.  For 11 years, Daniel Friedman has hosted such Monday afternoon conversations at Central Library. What keeps him coming back all these years?  According to Daniel, it’s the people he has met, and their patience, warmth, and generosity with each other, and their inspiring optimism and courage.  Talk Time has helped Daniel shed his own stereotypes and taught him more about the world. Most importantly, he believes this is a way to effect small changes and to feel more hopeful; though, he admits to understandable fury at the cruel treatment many immigrants currently receive in the United States.  

According to Daniel, Talk Time attracts people with a wide range of conversational abilities, from those not literate in their native languages to PhDs with good English skills:  “a day laborer from Guatemala to a post-doc from Iraq.” Some participants have attended language schools and want to supplement their grammar and vocabulary lessons with conversation, such as one attendee, a bus driver from Budapest, Hungary, who attends Talk Time when he visits Portland every couple years.  

Daniel sees his chief objective as encouraging everyone to speak. Sometimes the program begins with a theme or a conversation-starting question; other times, attendees talk about themselves. He uses a computer and an overhead projector to search a new word or place that arises in conversation and share it with everyone.  Daniel also projects vocabulary words and then emails the list to participants. The number of attendees at the 90-minute sessions has ranged from about seven to more than 20. There are two hosts each program, so the group divides in half when needed, to allow everyone to talk.

Although Daniel began volunteering with digital literacy classes for older adults and tutoring at the library, Talk Time is a natural fit for him. A retired professor of psychology, he is comfortable leading conversations, and he has long been interested in the immigrant experience. In fact, he made an award-winning film about four teens from India in Atlanta, which has been used in many college classrooms.  In these times of such difficulty for many immigrants, it is encouraging to know that those who attend Talk Time sessions find support in Daniel and his fellow hosts. For more information about the library's Talk Time program, please visit multcolib.org/events/talk-time.


A few facts about Daniel

Home library: Central

Currently reading:  Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity by Lilliana Mason

Most influencial book:  Practical Ethics by Peter Singer

Favorite book from childhood:  Mad Magazine

A book that made you laugh or cry:  Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. 

Favorite section of the library:  Social Science

E-reader or paper book?  My Huawei Mediapad X2 tablet: a nine-ounce branch library in my backpack!

Favorite reading guilty pleasure: American Splendor by Harvey Pekar

Favorite place to read:  On a bench in Jamison Square park

Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.

Multnomah County Library operates on a set of pillars and priorities based on input from the community it serves. This library system is accountable to its taxpayers and patrons, offering programs, services and resources that reflect this community’s values.

The public library is based on the ideal that our collective resources and knowledge should be freely accessible and open to everyone. This library strives to live up to that ideal by lifting up people and communities that have been historically excluded, marginalized and discriminated against.

In representing the diversity of our community, this library will offer materials and viewpoints some people may find offensive. When outside voices seek to shame or pressure Multnomah County Library into conforming to standards other than those in our own community, we will not be cowed.

Multnomah County Library will continue to offer materials, services and programs that acknowledge and celebrate the value of the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants and refugees, people who speak a language other than English, Black and African American people, Native and indigenous people, and all others who have been systematically oppressed. We will evolve and expand that work over time as our community’s values dictate.

Planning to attend the 25th annual Oregon Small Business Fair on September 14th? Be sure to stop by the MCL booth to learn all about our resources for small businesses. Check out the lists below for even more resources to get your business up and running.

La siguiente información es un recurso para inmigrantes y refugiados sobre sus derechos como individuos y la aplicación de leyes migratorias. Esta lista es solamente un comienzo; si necesitas más información, por favor contacta a la biblioteca.   

La biblioteca cuenta con listas de libros que podrían ayudarte y en los que se discute la experiencia de inmigrantes para personas de todas las edades y niveles de lectura.   

La siguiente lista será actualizada con frecuencia; por favor revisa constantemente para obtener la información más reciente.
ACTUALIZADA 8/19

Recursos disponibles para conocer tus derechos

Las personas no ciudadanas que viven en los Estados Unidos — sin importar su situación migratoria — por lo general tienen los mismos derechos constitucionales que los ciudadanos cuando las autoridades policiales las paran, cuestionan, arrestan o buscan en sus hogares. - ACLU

Folletos informativos de ACLU:
Inglés, ruso, español         

Tarjeta informativa sobre Conociendo tus Derechos:
Inglés, somalí, vietnamita, chino, español, ruso, árabe

Conoce tus derechos – Información sobre discriminación anti-islámica:
Inglés, árabe, urdupersaespañol

Aplicaciones móviles:
Mobile Justice: aplicación de ACLU que contiene la tarjeta informativa sobre Conociendo tus Derechos y tiene la capacidad para reportar incidentes a ACLU en tiempo real por medio de un video.
MiConsular MEX: aplicación creada por la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) del gobierno mexicano que permite a las personas de nacionalidad mexicana encontrar el consulado más cercano a ellas y que llamen o envíen un texto en caso de emergencia.   
Cell 411: aplicación que permite a los usuarios publicar y responder a emergencias provenientes de familiares, amigos y vecinos en tiempo real.  
Notifica: La aplicación que te ayuda a estar preparado contra la deportación. Usa Notifica para prepararte, informarte y actuar si estás en riesgo de ser detenido por agentes migratorios.

Aplicación de leyes migratorias:
Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de los Estados Unidos (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés): encuentra a una persona detenida o un centro de detención, además de información de contacto.

Los testigos de actividades de ICE pueden reportarlas a la línea telefónica sobre inmigración de ACLU de Oregón por medio de un texto o llamada al 971-412-ACLU (971-412-2258).

Para acciones alrededor de Portland, puedes contactar a la línea telefónica de la Coalición para los Derechos de Inmigrantes de Portland (PIRC, por sus siglas en inglés) al 1-888-622-1510.
Inglés y español

Plan para Preparación de la Familia:
Inglés español

Recursos legales de bajo costo para inmigrantes provee una lista de organizaciones sin fines de lucro que pueden asistir a las personas con problemas migratorios.

Directorio de Servicios Culturales del Condado Multnomah provee una lista de organizaciones sin fines de lucro, grupos religiosos y programas del gobierno que sirven a los inmigrantes y refugiados en el área metropolitana de Portland.

Información sobre DACA/Soñadores  

Herramientas y Guía de Recursos de DACA:
Inglés

Organizaciones locales

Lutheran Community Resources Northwest
605 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
503-231-4780

Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR)
7931 NE Halsey St. #314
Portland, OR 97213
503-284-3002

Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice
1704 NE 43rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97213
503-550-3510

Catholic Charities 
2740 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
503-231-4866

Causa
700 Marion St NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-409-2473

El Programa Hispano
138 NE 3rd St #140
Gresham, OR 97030

Latino Network
410 NE 18th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
503-283-6881

Coalition of Communities of Color
221 NW 2nd Ave #303
Portland, OR 97209
503-200-5722

APANO
2788 SE 82nd Ave #203
Portland, OR 97266
971-340-4861

IRCO
10301 NE Glisan St.
Portland, OR 97220
503-234-1541

Russian Oregon Social Services
4033 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
503-777-3437

Northwest China Council
221 NW 2nd Ave. Suite 210-J
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 973-5451

AILA Oregon
888 SW 5th Ave #1600
Portland, OR 97204
503-802-2122

ACLU Oregon
506 SW 6th Ave #700
Portland, OR 97204
503-227-3186

Oficinas consulares

Consulado Mexicano de Portland
1305 SW 12th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
503-227-1442

Consulado de El Salvador en Seattle
615 2nd Ave. #50
Seattle, WA 98104
206-971-7950

Consulado Honorario Guatemalteco  
7304 N Campbell Ave.
Portland OR, 97217
503-530-0046

Oficina Consular de Japón en Portland
Wells Fargo Center, Suite 2700
1300 S.W. 5th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
503-221-1811

Across the globe, many individuals and organizations are contending with complex questions of how to preserve and protect our natural world.  The Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts is one such organization. 

A land trust is a nonprofit that works with individuals and communities to conserve land. Explore this list, made in collaboration with COLT, that includes nonfiction, poetry, novels and children's books that address questions of conservation and that celebrate Oregon's natural environment.

The following information is a resource for immigrants and refugees on individual rights and immigration enforcement. This list is a start; if you require further information please contact the library.

The library has helpful booklists that discuss the immigrant experience for all ages and reading levels.

The following list will be updated frequently; please check back for the most current information.
(List Updated 8/19)

Know Your Rights Resources

Non-citizens who are in the United States — no matter what their immigration status — generally have the same constitutional rights as citizens when law enforcement officers stop, question, arrest, or search them or their homes. ACLU

ACLU Information Pamphlets:
EnglishRussianSpanish 

Know Your Rights Information Card:
EnglishSomaliVietnameseChineseSpanishRussianArabic, Hmong

Know Your Rights- Anti-Muslim Discrimination Information:
EnglishArabicUrduFarsiSpanish

Mobile Apps:
Mobile Justice: ACLU app with Know Your Rights Information card, ability to report incidents to the ACLU in real time with video capability.
MiConsular MEX: App created by the Mexican Government’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE) that allows Mexican nationals to locate their nearest consulate and either text or call them in an emergency.
Cell 411: App that allows the user to issue and respond to emergencies from family, friends and neighbors in real time.
Notifica: App which allows undocumented immigrants to activate a plan if they come in contact with immigration law enforcement authorities or find themselves at risk of being detained.

Immigration Enforcement:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): Find a detainee or detention center, and general contact information.

Witnesses to ICE activity can report it to the ACLU of Oregon's immigration hotline via text or call 971-412-ACLU (971-412-2258).

For actions around Portland, you may contact the Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition (PIRC) hotline at
1-888-622-1510.
Information: English 

Family Preparedness Plan: 
English and Spanish

Low-cost legal resources for immigrants provides a list of nonprofit organizations that can assist people with immigration issues.

Multnomah County Cultural Services Directory provides a list of nonprofits, faith groups and government programs that serve immigrants and refugees in the Portland Metro area.

DACA/Dreamers Information

DACA Toolkit 
This toolkit was created by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) to help inform DACA recipients about their rights as well as how other community members can support DACA recipients during these challenging times.

Local Organizations

Lutheran Community Resources Northwest 
605 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
503-231-4780

Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR) 
7931 NE Halsey St. #314
Portland, OR 97213
503-284-3002

Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice
1704 NE 43rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97213
503-550-3510

Catholic Charities 
2740 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
503-231-4866

Causa
700 Marion St NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-409-2473

El Programa Hispano
138 NE 3rd St #140
Gresham, OR 97030

Latino Network
410 NE 18th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
503-283-6881

Coalition of Communities of Color
221 NW 2nd Ave #303
Portland, OR 97209
503-200-5722

APANO
2788 SE 82nd Ave #203
Portland, OR 97266
971-340-4861

IRCO
10301 NE Glisan St.
Portland, OR 97220
503-234-1541

Russian Oregon Social Services
4033 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
503-777-3437

Northwest China Council
221 NW 2nd Ave. Suite 210-J
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 973-5451

AILA Oregon
888 SW 5th Ave #1600
Portland, OR 97204
503-802-2122

ACLU Oregon
506 SW 6th Ave #700
Portland, OR 97204
503-227-3186

Consular Offices

Mexican Consulate of Portland
1305 SW 12th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
503-227-1442

Consulate of El Salvador in Seattle
615 2nd Ave. #50
Seattle, WA 98104
206-971-7950

Guatemalan Honorary Consulate
7304 N Campbell Ave.
Portland OR, 97217
503-530-0046

Consular Office of Japan in Portland
Wells Fargo Center, Suite 2700
1300 S.W. 5th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
503-221-1811

Belmont Library is a cornerstone of inner southeast Portland’s Sunnyside neighborhood. The small building at the corner of SE César E. Chávez Blvd and SE Taylor St. opened in 1924 as the first neighborhood library to be built on its own by a community. 

With only 4,259 square feet of public space, Belmont Library is not much larger than a neighborhood convenience store. Despite its small footprint, it is a beloved and heavily used community space. Over the past year, Belmont Library had more than 230,000 visits, hosted 862 programs and filled more holds than any other library in the county!

Belmont Library is one of the busiest libraries in Multnomah County; however, the community is missing out on enjoying library activities and resources because it lacks adequate seating and has only one small meeting room. The free meeting room is in such high demand that library staff had to deny more than 70% of meeting room requests over a three-month period in 2018. In addition, popular children’s programs like storytime often fill to capacity. We’ve heard from you about Belmont’s lack of space: 

Belmont Library
“I loved to hang out before Belmont was stuffed to the gills with computers. I do feel offering computer access to people who don’t have it is a really important service. But there really is no room for much of anything else.” — community survey respondent

“We have tried to come to children’s storytime 3 times. Each time we arrive 10 minutes early and storytime is full and we have never been able to attend. . .” — Belmont patron

Multnomah County Library wants to fix this problem at Belmont and other undersized libraries so that all people have access to modern, relevant library spaces. Learn more at multcolib.org/planning/.

“It’s fun to see kids get so excited about reading.”

by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer

The first thing that struck me about library volunteer Jordan “Jordy” Pardo was his order of a cold brew—it’s not every day I meet a thirteen-year-old who embraces coffee! But Jordy, soon to enter Franklin High School as a freshman, is one of those delightful people who embraces everything with gusto—including his longtime position as a Summer Reading volunteer at Holgate Library

For many young readers, Multnomah County Library’s Summer Reading program is the highlight of summer break. The program encourages all youth, from birth through high school, to read. To participate, participants track the number of days they read (or are read to) and record them on a game board to win prizes. Jordy learned about the program at age four when his older sister started volunteering. “She’d take care of me and I’d go with her [to the library]. It fascinated me. I thought, ‘When I’m old enough, I want to do that.’” In the summer before fifth grade Jordy was accepted to the program—“I’ve been doing it ever since.” 

Jordy’s favorite part of volunteering is giving participants their game boards. “It’s fun to see kids get so excited about reading and then get rewarded for reading,” he says. Book-wise, Jordy enjoys mysteries, especially Scooby Doo. “It keeps me interested, and I always want to figure out who did it in the end.” He typically ends his day with a book: “Reading is my melatonin,” he says, laughing. 

In his free time, Jordy hangs out with his sister and friends all over Portland, which he navigates by bus. With his friends, he says, “We could go look at a tree. As long as you’re with people you love and people who love you, it’s fun.” He applies the same philosophy to school, where he enjoys math and language arts. “I like solving for x or y,” he says—just like solving his mystery novels. 

When I ask if he’s excited for high school he says, “I just want to get started, graduate, and be successful!” Given his passion for learning and curious nature, it’s easy to see that Jordy will be successful at anything he puts his mind to. 


Home library: Holgate

Currently reading: Schooled by Gordon Korman

Most influential book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. 

Favorite section to browse: Teen or kids books. “It’s nice to read a shorter book sometimes, it’s a change of pace.”

Favorite book from childhood: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. “My mom would read me that book at night. I couldn’t go to sleep without being read to.” 

Favorite place to read: On a couch. “I’ll sit and drink coffee while reading.”

E-reader or paper: Paper. “The point is you’re taking time away from your phone and technology!”

Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.

Pageturners book groups will welcome several authors during the 2019-20 season. You don’t have to sign up — just read the book, then join us to discuss with the author.

 

Stevan Allred
Cover for and link to catalog entry for The Alehouse at the End of the World

The Alehouse at the End of the World

Capitol Hill Library

Thursday, September 5, 2019, 1:30-2:30 pm

 

Katie Grindeland
Cover for and link to catalog entry for The Gifts We Keep

The Gifts We Keep

Capitol Hill Library

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 6:30-7:45 pm

St. Johns Library

Monday, October 14, 2019, 6:30-7:45 pm

Holgate Library

Saturday, October 19, 2019, 10:30 am-12 pm

Troutdale Library

Monday, March 9, 2020, 6:30-7:45 pm

Midland Library

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 6:30-7:30 pm

 

Rudy Owens
Cover for and link to catalog entry for You Don't Know How Lucky You Are

You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are

Belmont Library

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 6:30-7:30 pm

 

Omar El Akkad
Cover for and link to catalog entry for American War

American War

Kenton Library

Tuesday, September. 17, 2019, 6:30-7:30 pm

Hollywood Library

Thursday, September. 19, 2019, 6:30-7:45 pm

 

Willy Vlautin
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Don't Skip Out on Me

Don’t Skip Out on Me

St. Johns Library

Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 1-2:30 pm

Woodstock Library

Monday, March 9, 2020, 6:30-7:45 pm

 

Leni Zumas
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Red Clocks

Red Clocks

Midland Library

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 1-2:15 pm

 

Kenneth R. Coleman
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Dangerous Subjects

Dangerous Subjects

Rockwood Library

Friday, October 18, 2019, 10-11:30 am

 

Jerry Sutherland
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Calvin Tibbets: Oregon's First Pioneer

Calvin Tibbets: Oregon’s First Pioneer

North Portland Library

Saturday, October 19, 2019, 4:30-5:30 pm

 

Linda L. Graham
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Two Mice and a Dragonfly

Two Mice and a Dragonfly

Gresham Library

Thursday, December 5, 2019, 2-3 pm

 

Check at your library to see whether a book group copy of the book is available during the month before each meeting.

Pageturners is supported by a generous grant from the Friends of the Library.

Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. The event spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. You can learn more about books that have been challenged or banned from the American Library Association's Banned and Challenged Books site, hosted by ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

This year, Multnomah County Library will celebrate the freedom to read with displays at libraries and with Drag Queen Banned Books Bingo, featuring Poison Waters. In the meantime, explore some of the titles that have been the object of challenges over the years.

For those of us who love classic literature, Multnomah County Library is a great resource. There are ongoing Classics Pageturners book discussion groups at Hillsdale Library and Hollywood Library, plus a Quarterly Classics group at Capitol Hill Library.  Copies of the books will be available two months in advance of the discussions.  Please call the branch to confirm.  Following that are lists of Western and non-Western literature from every era.

Here are the Classics book group schedules:

Hillsdale Library Classics Pageturners,

Second Saturdays, 3-5 pm

 

June 8, 2019, Civilization and Its Discontents, by Sigmund Freud

 

September 14, 2019, Selected Poetry, by John Donne. (This is a different edition than we will be reading.)

 

October 12, 2019The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane

 

November 9, 2019To the Finland Station,by Edmund Wilson

 

December 14,  2019, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard in Anton Chekhov's Selected Plays, by Anton Chekhov

 

January 11, 2020, Sentimental Education, by Gustave Flaubert

 

February 8, 2020, The Death of the Heart, by Elizabeth Bowen

 

March 14, 2020, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Coleridge

 

April 11, 2020, : The Misanthrope, by Jean Molière

 

May 9, 2020, Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen

 

June 13, 2020, The Rubaiyat of Omar Kayyam

Hollywood Library Classics Pageturners,

Third Sundays, 2-4 pm

 

June 16, 2019The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing

 

September 15, 2019Persuasion, by Jane Austen

 

October 20, 2019The Twelve Caesars, by Suetonius. (This is a different translation than we will be reading.)

 

November 17, 2019 Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy

 

December 15, 2019The Log From the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck

 

January 19, 2020The Oresteia, by Aeschylus

 

February 16, 2020The Moon and Sixpence, by W. Somerset Maugham

 

March 15, 2020Cry the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton

 

April 19, 2020Selected Stories of Anton Chekov

 

May 17, 2020, Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius. (This is a different translation than we will be reading.)

 

June 21, 2020Man and Superman, by George Bernard Shaw

 

Capitol Hill Library Quarterly Classics

Second Wednesdays, 1:30 pm, October 2019, January, April & July 2020

 

October 9, 2019, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson, and The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka.

 

January 8, 2020, Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley.

 

April 8, 2020, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.

 

July 8, 2020, Silas Marner, by George Eliot.

 

Libraries can make us nostalgic. They evoke memories of childhood, new discoveries and finding just the right book for that sunny spot. 

But all things change. 

Yes, our libraries are still home to about two million books and other items, but today, libraries are so much more than buildings with books inside. 

Historical image of librarian
In Multnomah County, our libraries are:

  • The largest provider of free, high speed internet access in Oregon with about 2.5 million computer and wi-fi sessions every year
  • A place for free summer lunches for young people who might not have adequate nourishment when school is not in session
  • A platform for emerging authors and musicians to gain greater exposure
  • Gathering spaces with resources that reflect the diversity of our community
  • Safe and welcoming space for teenagers to study and hang out
  • A common space for civic life and a place to explore differing ideas and points of view

While library staff and services are constantly evolving to keep up with changing times, our buildings have not. They simply don’t have enough space, enough seating, enough outlets or enough places for groups to gather, 

We’re hard at work creating a vision for modern library spaces in Multnomah County. Join us as we explore ways to bring all people in Multnomah County modern and adequate library spaces that they need and deserve. Learn more at multcolib.org/planning/

Andrew Carnegie was many things: an immigrant, an industrialist and philanthropist. Among his greatest legacies was the widespread establishment and expansion of the free public library. In 47 U.S. states, in Canada and abroad, Carnegie helped create about 3,000 libraries, many of which are still in existence today.

In Multnomah County, St. Johns and North Portland libraries, with their stately red brick exteriors — both original Carnegie libraries — are remnants of that legacy. Inside St. Johns Library, the passage of a century has a different impact. 

St. Johns Library is typical of the small libraries we find across Multnomah County. One hundred years ago, the main function of those buildings was to house books. 

Today, libraries are spaces for people, programs and hands-on learning — and yes, books. Some programs, like children’s storytime, are so popular, people are regularly turned away. Other times, the library is forced to hold programs amidst the book stacks, making them inaccessible to others. 

A crowd pictured at an event at St. Johns Library
With more than 5,400 storytimes in our libraries and more than 110,000 young people participating in summer reading each year, our community’s children feel the space pinch every day. And some of our most popular new programs, like the makerspace (a science and technology space just for teenagers) at Rockwood Library, are only offered in one location because we don’t have enough space in other library buildings.

In our region and across the country, other libraries are greeting the future with open arms, with spaces for children to read, explore and play. Imagine if children at our libraries could have not only space for storytime, but perhaps a dress-up closet, structures to climb on, learning gardens, functioning kitchens or science and technology learning.

Imagine if more of our library buildings could offer space to sit and learn together, for workshops, or private rooms for a Skype job interview. 

We’re hard at work creating a vision for modern library spaces in Multnomah County. Join us as we explore ways to bring all people in Multnomah County modern and adequate library spaces that they need and deserve. Learn more at multcolib.org/planning/

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