How to

Librarians have written how to’s for many library resources, as well as other topics you might find useful. Ask staff if you need more help.

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Multnomah County Library is pleased to offer wi-fi internet access at all library locations for users with wi-fi-enabled devices such as laptops or smart phones.


My MCL is the library catalog where you can find library items and access e-books, online magazines, films and other online resources.

Books by mail

You can choose to receive books, DVDs and more in the mail.

Prepare for your parent-teacher conference

Parent-teacher conferences can make students and their grownups anxious, but it helps when you feel prepared. Here are some tips to help.

Library account basics

Use your library card to check out e-books, audiobooks, streaming media, place holds and access online services and resources.

How to use Library Connect

Library Connect is like a regular library card, using a number you already have.

Educator library cards

Teachers, families who homeschool and other educators in the community can get library cards with extra holds, no late fines and more.

Filling out online job applications

Many companies use an online job application form. Here are some items to have ready before you start.

Financial resources for your home

For information about programs that assist in buying, repairing a home or paying bills in an emergency, the resources below may be helpful. These agencies have financial help for specific purposes. Note that most of these programs have restrictions, and not everyone will qualify.

Five ways to help your child learn

Five easy, fun activities adults can do with even the youngest kids to help get their brains ready to learn to read and succeed in school later on.

Grants and scholarships

Finding grants for small businesses or getting grants to buy a home is a very common library question. However, most financial assistance programs are not grants in the traditional sense.


Find support for the education style and curriculum you choose for your child at the library.

House history

This page is for house history researchers.

How to find vital records

Birth, marriage, divorce, death: How to find vital records in Oregon

Northstar Online Learning

Learn how to use Northstar Online Learning for online tutorials and assessments on Basic Computer Skills, Internet Email, Windows and more.

Library card options

If you live in Multnomah County, you can use many libraries all over Oregon and Southwest Washington. If you live outside Multnomah County, you have options that may allow you to get an account here.

Mail-order house plan and design catalogs

Some houses are custom-designed by an architect, for a specific site. But most houses weren’t built that way. During the 20th century, many houses were built from plans that the owner or builder purchased from a catalog. Some houses came as “kits,” with plans and a complete set of building materials cut to size and ready to assemble.

Market research for your business

Market research can provide information to help you make informed decisions and keep your business healthy and thriving. It can also be a requirement for a business loan or grant to make a case for your business.

Microfilm at the library

When doing historical or genealogy research, you might find that the document you need is only on microfilm or another microformat.


When doing family history research, obituaries can be a rich source of information.

Parents' Guide to Multnomah County Library

The public library works with you to support your children’s reading needs. Library staff can answer your children’s questions, suggest great books they will love, and open up new worlds through events at the library.

Protect yourself online

Many of our everyday activities, like school, work, doctor’s visits and banking are now online. This can make personal information vulnerable to cybercriminals. Learn more about how to protect yourself online.

Research with primary sources

Historical research relies on documents and artifacts that date from the time period being studied. This is true whether you are studying world events like World War II or are trying to learn more about the life of your great-grandmother.

Search for an old photograph of a Portland-area house

Old photographs of your house can be difficult to find. If you are doing house history, there are a few places to look.

Suggest a purchase

Is there a book, movie, CD or magazine that you want the library to buy for the collection? Your suggestions help us keep the collections relevant to our community.