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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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.

Product reviews from trusted sources: Consumer Reports and beyond

Making decisions about which product to buy can be difficult. Reviews on online shopping sites can be helpful, but sometimes you need an unbiased source. Consumer Reports is known for its objective, thorough reviews of products and services. They accept no advertising and are known for editorial integrity.

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.

Small business help

Small businesses drive innovation and grow community. Discover resources at the library that can empower your entrepreneurial journey.

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.

Learn more about Summer Reading Volunteering

The Summer Reading volunteer program is an opportunity to grow leadership skills, confidence, and gain experience.

Online help for learning English

Online help for learning English

Upskilling with Career Credentials

How to use online resources to learn about careers and find the right credentials for you.

Using maps for house and neighborhood history

Find detailed information about your neighborhood, street or even your house from maps.

Who lived in my house?

Research who lived in your house previously and ways to find the information you are looking for.

Who lived in my house? Dig deeper

Did searching in Portland city directories, or in Gresham and rural directories help you find all the past residents of your house? If not, try these other resources and strategies.

Who lived in my house? East of I-205

City directories are great tools for finding out who lived at a specific address in the past. Historical Portland city directories contain listings for people and businesses that were within Portland city limits when the directory was published.

Multnomah County has other cities, and plenty of houses in rural areas. Many Portland neighborhoods were built up before joining the city. If your house wasn’t in Portland when it was built, other directories can help you learn who lived there in past years.

Who lived in my house? Find past residents in Portland city directories

City directories are great tools for finding out who lived at a specific address in the past. Learn how to use city directories to find out who lived in houses that were within Portland city limits when they were built. If your house is in Gresham or in unincorporated Multnomah County, read more about using city directories for those communities.

Who lived in my house? Getting started

If you’re interested in your house’s history, you can find past residents of many Portland-area houses in two ways:

Look in old city directories (which are similar to phone books)
Search for the house’s address in digital newspaper archives

To get started, gather some basic facts about your house and your neighborhood. This will help you plan your research.

How to use Cell-Ed

Learn English, basic skills and more on your phone with Cell-Ed. All you need is a cell phone (basic or smart), but you can also connect with a tablet or computer that has internet access.

My Discovery Pass

My Discovery Pass is a partnership between Multnomah County Library and other local organizations to offer free educational and cultural experiences to Multnomah County Library cardholders.

Talking with kids about race and racism

Websites and recommended books for families

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.