Leading the Readers
by Donna Childs
To say high school sophomore Nasra Ali participates in the Follow the Reader program at Gregory Heights Library is a significant understatement. Nasra was introduced to Follow the Reader by a friend and she quickly became not just a participant, but an enthusiastic leader and advocate. She distributes flyers, recruits and tutors budding readers, and recommends ways to expand and improve the program, like including foreign language reading.
Follow the Reader matches younger readers in grades K-5 with older students who have been trained to help with reading. Tutors generally meet one-on-one with three children each Saturday for a half hour each, between 4:00 and 5:30. Invested in her young readers, Nasra takes pains to encourage them, choosing books based on their interests, and missing them when they move on. When asked what she likes most, she promptly replied, “watching a child improve and become excited by reading!”
Nasra is an impressive student herself. A sophomore at Franklin High School, she earns As in Advanced Placement classes, which entails college-level work that is usually reserved for juniors and seniors. “No Bs for me; to me, Bs are like Fs,” she insisted. Not surprisingly, she has been accepted into a summer program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., which will allow her to live on campus and take more college-level courses. Meanwhile, she participates in a college preparatory program for high school students in Portland on Saturdays. Afterward, she volunteers with her readers at the library. This year, Nasra’s science fair project won first place, not only for Franklin but also for all Portland Public School students. She moves on to the state competition later this month.
“Nasra brings heart and enthusiasm” to Follow the Reader, according to the librarian who oversees the program. Describing herself as “a middle child between two older brothers and two younger brothers” (though happily there is now a baby sister as well), Nasra credits her love of reading to seeking a quiet escape. While she might treasure the occasional sojourn into the world of a good book, escape is not the word many who know her would associate with the energetic and involved Nasra Ali.
A few facts about Nasra
Home library: Gregory Heights and Hollywood
Currently reading: Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.
Book that made you laugh or cry: The Night She Disappeared by April Henry.
E-reader or paper? Paper; it’s just more traditional
Walking memoirs abound, with a resurrgence tied to Cheryl Strayed's Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. But don't miss the earlier A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot details the author's effort to become more intimately acquainted with his country by starting at his home in Cambridge, England and following the old roads and ancient tracks that crisscross his country. For a take on women and walking, try Lauren Elkin’s Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London.
If you're hankering for a long walk but have no time, walk vicariously with this list. Happy reading, and happy trails.
Geoff, who is fluent in Mandarin, has a degree in Asian Languages and first went to Taiwan to study for what he thought would be one year — it actually turned out to be ten. There, he started working at the National Central Library in international exchange, contacting libraries from around the world and exchanging books with them. His passion for libraries continued as he made his way to Oregon and began working for Multnomah County Library.
Today Geoff continues his work with diverse communities. As part of the library’s Outreach Services team, he helps people across Multnomah County access library materials through several programs: Words on Wheels, a volunteer-supported library program that matches specially-trained volunteers with homebound patrons; a lobby service program that provides library materials to senior living communities each month; and through outreach to 50 organizations that assist people without permanent housing.
Each of these programs is meaningful for Geoff because of the opportunity to connect with patrons who may not make it into a library branch:
"I love hearing from community partners how Multnomah County Library’s shelter program improves their guests’ and clients’ lives. It’s fun visiting the senior communities, seeing residents from different cultures poring over books and movies in their native languages, then catching up with our staff and one another at these library-focused gatherings. And I enjoy playing matchmaker, going along with Words on Wheels volunteers on their first visits to their patrons’ homes. It amazes me how often the pair have things in common."
As part of the library’s effort to connect the houseless community to library services, Geoff manages library donations to local shelters and organizations. Last year, with delivery help from volunteers, the library donated 15,000 materials in English and Spanish, from books for leisure reading to titles on GED test preparation, substance abuse and recovery, parenting, and mental health.
During his outreach, Geoff meets a variety of patrons, young and old, English-speaking and non-native speakers. In recalling a special moment, he remembers a Mandarin-speaking patron, a woman in her 80s, who called asking for United States citizenship information.
"After checking with our resident expert on naturalization, Lisa Regimbal, MCL’s adult literacy coordinator, I sent this patron exactly what she needed. A few months later, when we visited her apartment building, she came over to thank me. She’d just gotten her citizenship and was excited and grateful for the information the library provided. It was wonderful to have helped a person become a proud new US citizen."
The report, From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018 (FATF), an update to a report from 2008, was produced by OCLC Research, in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) and its Public Library Association (PLA) division. The report’s findings are both affirming and cause for concern. They call for urgent action.
Think about our world 10 short years ago. The iPhone and the App Store, Kindle, and Netflix all launched around then–right around the time the original From Awareness to Funding report was released.
About 10 years ago:
- Google did about 365 billion searches; in 2016 Google did over 2 trillion searches
- 24% of the US population was using social media; in 2017 81% was using it
- 11% of Americans were using smartphones; in 2017 81% were using them
According to the recently released 2018 Tech Trends report by Amy Webb and The Future Today Institute, the next decade will bring continuing and unprecedented change, including a “new era of computing and connected devices which we will wear and will command using our voices, gestures and touch….[which] will forever change how we experience the physical world.” (p.8). It’s hard to believe that within the span of 20 years the smartphone as we know it will have come and gone. To state the obvious, the world and the communities in which our libraries exist are dramatically different than they were the year FATF was first released. And these changes are impacting the perception people have of public libraries--their value and relevance.
Given all this, it is no wonder that, according to the updated report, the perception that “the public library has done a good job of keeping up with changing technology” dropped from 60% in 2008 to 48% in 2018. And in spite of, or perhaps because of, this it is imperative that libraries continue to prioritize their role in digital equity. Where else can those among us with the fewest resources and opportunities find free, quality access to and assistance in effectively using the technology increasingly imperative for thriving in our world?
Technology’s relentless evolution isn’t the only trend to which we must constantly adapt. The demographic shifts we see demand investment to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity and access. A widening opportunity gap presents critical challenges for people who are new to this country and others who might be left in the margins. According to Pew, “by 2055, the U.S. will not have a single racial or ethnic majority. Much of this change has been (and will be) driven by immigration.” It is heartening, then, to learn that in the 2018 report there was a 10% increase in the number of participants who acknowledge that the library “provides classes, programs, and materials for immigrants and non-English speakers.”
Of concern, there was a 20 point drop in the number of respondents who are likely to see the library as a resource for children (71% in 2008; 51% in 2018). Support for early literacy and school success have long been a cornerstone of the library’s value. No doubt, technology is a factor in this shift. Not only do most folks now turn to Google and the internet for their basic information needs (including homework), but more and more people, especially youth, seem to prefer digital entertainment (YouTube, Spotify, Snapchat) over reading. According to Flurry Analytics, the average U.S. consumer spends over five hours a day on a smartphone and, from 2016 to 2017, media consumption on mobile devices jumped 43%. According to a 2015 Common Sense Media report, US teens “use an average of nine hours of entertainment media per day” and tweens “use an average of six hours a day, not including time spent using media for school or homework.”
Other findings that were hard to read, but vitally important, include a decline in respondents’ enthusiasm about library staff. There were notable drops from the 2008 findings in “having the right staff to meet the needs of the community” as well as the perceptions that staff are friendly and approachable, true advocates for lifelong learning, knowledgeable about my community, understand the community’s needs and how to address them through the public library, and have excellent computer skills. All of this likely contributed to a decline in the library’s perceived value and relevance to the community. In 2008 73% of respondents agreed that “having an excellent public library is a source of pride.” In 2018 that percentage dropped to 53%. Additionally, in 2008 71% agreed that “if the library were to shut down, something essential would be lost.” In 2018, only 55% of respondents felt this way.
It would be natural for librarians to respond to all of this with defensiveness and/or despondence. And while that’s certainly understandable, neither response is constructive. I would encourage us to assign a sense of urgency to these results. We’ve known for years that the ways in which the world is changing will impact how we do what we do. These sorts of findings provide us direction in charting our future. I think we can all agree that libraries are in an increasingly unique position to improve the lives of those we serve and build stronger, more resilient communities. How we do that may be different than it was decades ago, but it is no less important. In fact, our communities need us now more than ever. Fortunately, the percentage of respondents that agreed their local library is “a place for people in the community to gather and socialize” increased from 35% in 2008 to 44% in 2018 and more people believed that to be an important role for the library–a fact that sets us up nicely for serving as conveners and facilitators of the important conversations and connections our communities need.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “libraries are essential to a functioning democracy.” In his new book, The People vs. Democracy, Yasha Mounk writes that “over two-thirds of older Americans believe that it is extremely important to live in a democracy; among millenials, less than one-third do.” If all of that is true, then we have an obligation to ensure that America’s public libraries are strong, relevant and responsive. And we need to do the work to ensure that our communities believe they are. It’s up to us.
So how about a new equation? If libraries = democracy; and democracy = important; then libraries = important. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!
Anyone who is up to no good can monitor your activity on public wi-fi. Hackers easily get software that makes this possible. Your personal information, private documents, contacts, photos, even your login credentials can be seen. This information can be used to access your accounts, impersonate you or steal your identity.
Public wi-fi includes open networks (which don’t require a password) and semi-open networks (which do, but anyone can log on).
- If possible, wait until you can use a network you know is secure to check email or do online banking or shopping. They all involve sending passwords and personal information.
- When you do use public wi-fi, check that you are connecting to the correct network. A coffee shop’s wi-fi may be named espresso1, but someone could have set up a false wi-fi and named it freecoffee. If you login to freecoffee, all your information will flow through the hacker’s computer.
- Look for https in the address bar. This means that the site is encrypted. A hacker can still intercept your information, but it will now be harder to read and use. Every page of a website should be encrypted. If you find yourself on an unencrypted page, log out right away.
- Change your computer’s wi-fi settings to public and turn off file sharing.
- Limit your time. Stay logged into wi-fi only while you need it.
- Sign out of accounts. Log out when you are done.
- Keep your computer and security software up to date. Pay attention to warnings that a site is unsafe.
- Do not use the same passwords for different websites. If someone gains access to one of your accounts, they won’t have access to your other accounts.
- Consider changing settings so your mobile device does not automatically connect to wi-fi.
- Your phone’s cellular data is much more secure than public wi-fi. If in doubt use cellular.
If you regularly access online accounts through wi-fi hotspots, using a virtual private network (VPN) may be a good idea. VPNs encrypt traffic between your computer and the internet, even on unsecured networks. You can get a personal VPN account from a VPN service provider. Some organizations create VPNs to provide secure, remote access for their employees. VPN options are also available for mobile devices; they can encrypt information you send through mobile apps.
Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi Networks (Federal Trade Commission)
VPN Beginner's Guide (The Best VPN)
More ways to protect yourself online.
Due to the iregular fiscal quarter, we will need to upload our monthly reports early and to a different server. Click on this link spreadsheet or the attatchment below to upload your financial reports. Keep up the good work!
Todd Goodatmanagement Esq.
CEO- Your Org
Consider the above email. Anything seem odd? Out of place? Abnormal? Too good to be true? Go with your gut!
Criminals running phishing scams are crafty chameleons who excel at impersonating agencies and authorities in order to trick you into releasing valuable data. Email is a very common medium for these con artists. Be suspicious of any email out of the ordinary. Look closely at the following items to protect yourself.
1. From: Is the sender’s email address from a suspicious domain? Is this not someone you usually communicate with?
2. To: Were you cc’d on this email but don’t recognize the other names who received it? Is there an unusually large amount of people in the To field? Do all the names start with the same letter?
3. Date: Did you receive the email during regular business hours? Did you receive it suspiciously late at night?
4. Subject: Does the subject line seem unrelated to the content of the email? Are there misspellings? Is the message a reply to something you never sent or requested?
5. Content: Is the sender asking you to click on a link or attachment to avoid a negative consequence or gain something of value? Is the email asking you to look at a compromising picture of you or someone you know? Are there misspellings and bad grammar? Do you get a gut feeling that something is not right?
6. Hyperlinks: Remember, "hover to discover." Hover your cursor over the link without clicking to display the full web address. Is it what the email claims? Is it slightly different than an address you know? Is the email just a hyperlink?
7. Attachments: Is this attachment unexpected or seems to not relate to the message? Is it an odd file type? The only file type that is always safe to click on is a txt file.
Want some more info? Check out these articles:
And of course, your library has hundreds of books to arm yourself with.
More ways to protect yourself online.
A phishing website or email is a scam to trick you into revealing personal information by appearing to be from a someone or an organization you know.
Phishing is a game as old as time. Call them hackers, social engineers or bad actors — just new names for the huckster, the hustler, the confidence man. Smooth talkers who manipulate people into parting with their hard earned money, then disappear.
Legitimate agencies rarely ask you to send sensitive information through email or text messages.
It’s probably phishing if:
- There are spelling and grammar mistakes
- The language is urgent or threatening
- The message asks for personal information, such as social security number, bank account number, your mother’s maiden name
- It’s too good to be true
What if I’m unsure about an email?
- When in doubt, delete it.
- Do not reply.
- Do not open any attachment.
- Do not click on any links.
- Hover your cursor over links to see the true address
- If you know the sender, reach out to them by phone or text to ask if this is a valid email
- You can report suspicious emails and phishing scams to your email providers, or to email@example.com
Want more info on phishing? Check out these videos:
Everyone knows I love a good tiger-striped coat (for evidence, note our two tabby cats and one brindle dog), and that I have a soft spot for rescued pets. My family’s first kitten sauntered up to our doorstep, climbed up the screen door, and meowed to high heaven during dinner hour. My siblings and I named her, in the straightforward style of children under five, Tiger.
The author of Maverick and Me chose a more unique name for her pet (I think you can guess what it is), the real-life rescue dog this book is based upon. The story begins on a cold and rainy afternoon, when a woman finds a sick and tiny puppy with a tiger-striped coat by the side of a road. She nurses him back to health, and gets him ready to find a home.
When a young girl named Scarlett meets Maverick at an adoption event, his life takes a turn for the better. Together, they come up with a fun way to tell all of her friends about other puppies that need homes. This heartfelt picture book introduces kids to the concept of pet adoption, and will spark conversations about helping pets in need.
April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. If you're thinking of adding a new furry (or feathered!) member to your family, our local shelters have some great pets to choose from. If you aren’t looking for a pet of your own, here are other ways you can help out pets in need:
- Foster a dog or cat up for adoption at your local animal shelter
- If you’re 12 or older, you can volunteer at the Multnomah County Animal Shelter or the Oregon Humane Society
- Donate supplies. Most shelters are always in need of blankets, toys, and dog/cat food. If you happen to buy some food that your pet doesn't like, why not donate it? The Multnomah County Shelter even has an Amazon wish list to make donations easier.
- Share the idea of pet adoption with family and friends who are looking for a pet. There's nothing like love from a pet who's found its furrever home!
“I’ve never been much for the spotlight.”
by Sarah Binns
For this month’s Volunteer Spotlight, I was delighted to interview someone whose studious work ethic and generosity is familiar: Tim Feliciano, search assistant at Northwest Library, began working at that library in 2014 around the same time I did. For a fun- and book-filled couple of years, Tim and I were a team, dividing up the paging list, fulfilling holds, and having a grand time.
“I wasn’t sure I’d like volunteering at the library,” he remembers. “I wasn’t sure I could get through the long paging list, but then you came on and we developed a system.” The rest is history! Though I am no longer there, Tim continues as a search assistant and also shelves holds, weeds out old books, and even does book repair. “It’s a recent promotion,” he laughs. “When people take a book to the beach and it gets sandy, the binding falls apart. So I re-glue the binding on books like that or get liquid spills off covers.”
Born and raised in Portland, Tim’s path to library volunteering is unexpected. After attending PSU, OHSU, and University of Texas Medical Branch he worked at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center in North Portland for 27 years. “I did everything from assisting at the blood bank to working on tissue typing for transplants. I enjoyed it a lot because I was behind the scenes. I’ve never been much for the spotlight.”
Along the way he met the person who would change his life—and his library habits—for good: “I met my wife Susan at a ballroom dance class about 30 years ago.”
“It was an intermediate swing class,” Susan adds. Susan Smallsreed is the Youth Librarian at Northwest Library, so Tim’s volunteer gig is all in the family. After retiring from the Red Cross, he says, “I needed things to do when you can’t play golf and the weather is bad, so I do things like bowling and pulling books at the library!”
Despite Susan’s library connection, Tim says he doesn’t read much besides the dictionary and technical or medical textbooks, which he memorizes thanks to a semi-photographic memory. He never stops learning, though, and is currently taking a PCC Italian language class to prepare for his and Susan’s trip to Italy in November. It will be a well-deserved vacation for one of Northwest’s longest-serving volunteers!
A few facts about Tim
Home library: Northwest
Favorite book from childhood: “For me it was Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, those all ends well fantasies. For my kids it was Where the Sidewalk Ends.”
Most influential book: The Baltimore Catechism. “I studied that for two or three years.”
Favorite book as an adult: Any action adventure books by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
Book that made him laugh: Growing up Catholic and They Kill Managers, Don’t They? “I thought, ‘this may help me’!”
E-reader or paper? Large print paper books
Recent changes in the global marketplace for recycling material have trickled down to the Portland area and has resulted in a shift to what you can and can’t recycle locally. Prior to the start of 2018, local recycling drop off sites were informing consumers of the coming change and stopped collecting plastic bags, plastic film, clamshell containers, and lids.
What can you do?
- Metro suggests that you sort by plastic shape, not by number, when placing items in your home recycling container.
Be mindful of the seven things to keep out of your recycling bin.
Metro has a online database to help you locate options for recycling by material and by location.
Where can you learn more?
Here is a list with additional sites and links to help you sort through the recent changes to local recycling.
Pick up a Metro refrigerator magnet at your local library with contact information on who to ask if you should toss or recycle (while supplies last).
Need more help? Contact a librarian and let us know how we can assist you.
In the face of tragedy and violence, it can be hard to know what to say to kids. How do you answer your child’s questions while reassuring them that you will keep them safe? The American Psychological Association says, "It is important to remember that children look to their parents to make them feel safe. This is true no matter what age your children are, be they toddlers, adolescents or even young adults."
Here are three resources that can help parents and caregivers:
Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting. From the American Psychological Association.
After Feb. 28, the library will no longer have audiobooks available via the Hoopla service. Here's the good news: Many of those same audiobooks are also available from OverDrive. We're making this change because it puts all of the audiobooks in one place and saves the library some money at the same time. To make sure you can still get the audiobooks you love, we’ve also added an “always available” audiobook collection to OverDrive comprised of 200 popular audiobooks from the Hoopla collection.
We made this change to our electronic offerings for a couple of reasons. The main one is budgetary: Hoopla operates on a cost per checkout basis, which means that it enables us to provide access to their whole catalog of material, but only pay for what gets used (usually $1.99-$3.99 per check out for audiobooks). This also means that the more it is used, the more we pay. Audiobooks have grown enormously in popularity over the past few years, on Hoopla, but especially on OverDrive (OverDrive audiobooks get about 5 times the checkouts Hoopla audiobooks do) and our budget has remained flat in that time as well. Since we can control costs on OverDrive better than we can on Hoopla and since it is the place most people already go for audiobooks, we decided to consolidate our audiobook offerings to the OverDrive service.
We know that this is disappointing for many people (we've heard from a lot of them), but we are trying to be good stewards of public funds. We plan to continue to support the unique content Hoopla offers (we will still offer music, video, and comic books on Hoopla) and expand the OverDrive collection, both in titles and in copies.
If you have never used OverDrive before, I hope you'll give it a try. We have made a page for easy browsing of currently available audiobooks here.
You meet interesting people at the library
by Donna Childs
We know that libraries are full of stories, but they aren’t all between the book covers. The staff and volunteers may have stories too. Take Pat Daggett who enters holds data at the Sellwood Library every Tuesday. Who would know that she and her husband lived in Saudi Arabia for four years? A transportation expert, he helped the Saudis set up a bus system, while she did office work for the US Army Corps of Engineers. After returning to the US with a new understanding of the region, they answered an ad to host Middle Eastern students. That led to ten years of serving as second parents to students from Saudi Arabia, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Not only do the young people keep in touch after returning home, one called when a new student was arriving. He asked to speak to the new fellow to ensure that they’d be ok. In addition to forming close friendships with their charges, they saw this venture as an “opportunity to create tolerance.”
In addition to the Corps of Engineers, Pat has worked for such diverse organizations as Reed College, AT&T, a congressman in Washington DC, attorneys in Ohio and Delaware, and the Oregon State Legislature. She also spent 19 years working in many capacities at the American Tinnitus Association, where she became an expert in hearing issues.
With a BA in Library Science, Pat was also an elementary school librarian for two years. As a member of the University Club’s Library Committee, she helps choose books for the club’s library and organize an annual dinner featuring a local writer as guest speaker. Thus, it seemed natural for Pat to volunteer at Sellwood when she retired. At first, she canvassed the library searching for holds, but now foot problems have necessitated a more sedentary task: processing data on holds coming from and going to other County libraries. Like many volunteers who work with holds, she relishes the chance to discover new books, and she enjoys Sellwood’s intimate atmosphere where she can get to know staff and patrons.
A few facts about Pat
Home library: Sellwood
Currently reading: Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent
Favorite book from childhood: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Favorite section of the library: Historical fiction and geography
E-reader or paper book? paper
Favorite reading guilty pleasure: before/during chores
Favorite place to read: in a patch of sun
“After I saw Malala speak, I was inspired to do something for my community,” Irie told me. She originally wanted actress and feminist Emma Watson. "That's not going to happen," her mom told her, and then suggested Domitrz. When Irie happened upon a book here at the library about philanthropy parties, her idea took off.
“I’ve always seen things in the world and thought, ‘That’s messed up. I want to change that,” said Irie. Like Malala, the Pakistani advocate for girls’ rights to education, she decided she could make a difference. She chose to start here, in her own city.
***EDITED to update Irie's story. This event was a huge success. There was so much community interest that Portland State University gave them a bigger theater in which to hold it, and it was still standing room only, with more than 500 in attendance. I took my middle school-age son and we both found it interesting and inspiring. I was delighted last week when I ran into Irie in the library and she told me she's one of two state honorees for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. This is a very big deal! She's won $1000, a silver medallion, and a trip to Washington, D.C. At a ceremony in D.C., five national honorees will be chosen from among the state award winners. The staff at my library, who has known Irie for so long, is rooting for her to win the national award, which comes with even more honors and with cash awards for her and for the charity of her choice. We're so proud of her.
She happens to be celebrating her 80th birthday on February 12 and I've been reminded of how much I loved her books growing up. I commiserated with older sibling Peter living with his irrepressible little brother Fudge. I went along with Margaret as she dealt with friendships and puberty in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. We were checked for scoliosis at school and I thought of Deenie, the brace she wore and how much she wanted to be a regular teenager.
Judy Blume’s habit of writing real life and real characters continues in her adult novels. She wrote Summer Sisters for adults, but there are no doubt also teen readers for this book about friendship and choices. She later used an event from her own teenage years to explore loss, love and secrets as friends, families and strangers find their lives changed In the Unlikely Event.
Judy Blume is one of the most consistently challenged authors with books like Forever and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t. She hasn’t shied away from divorce, puberty, bullying, sex. It’s likely her honest and realistic writing is the reason for her fans across generations.
P.S. I'd love to hear about YOUR reading resolutions for 2018!
Slavery to Civil Rights
I first read The Left Hand of Darkness as a graduate student in library school, enthusiastically exploring my early feminist righteousness. Ursula Le Guin was a beacon to me then. I would have never imagined that, decades later, I would pass a lovely Portland winter’s afternoon in her home sipping tea, chatting about her life, career, ebooks, politics and her love of Multnomah County Library.
And, oh how Ursula put her library love into action! She was a deep and genuine friend to Multnomah County Library. She offered a list of her favorite works. She was a singular voice in support of issues that matter. She served on the Multnomah County Library Advisory Board in the 1990s, and she shaped how our library addressed issues that are important today. She leaves an impressive body of work, and she remains one of our library’s most popular authors.
For decades, Ursula Le Guin offered Multnomah County Library her unwavering support. She spoke, wrote and acted in support of library funding at every turn. She celebrated our milestones (even writing a poem celebrating Central Library’s reopening in 1997). She took on pivotal issues and daunting opponents: advocating for the rights of authors and artists; affordable library access to ebooks; and the importance of a person’s fundamental and constitutionally protected right to read, think, and pursue knowledge without scrutiny or constraint.
In her 1997 remarks about Central Library, she said, “A library is a focal point, a sacred place to a community; and its sacredness is its accessibility, its publicness. It’s everybody’s place.”
Of the many wonderful memories I have as director of Multnomah County Library, that gray afternoon with Ursula Le Guin is one of my most treasured. I will be forever grateful to have encountered her. May we honor her legacy by embodying who she was and what she stood for, in our own lives and communities.