Sterling Room for Writers

2nd floor, Central Library
801 SW 10th Avenue
Portland, OR 97205

(503) 988-5123

The Sterling Room for Writers is temporarily closed. Please check back here or with library staff for updates. 

The Sterling Room for Writers was established through the generosity of Donald Sterling, Jr. and Sis Hayes in honor of their parents Donald and Adelaide Sterling. Donald Justus Sterling was a newspaperman in Portland for 42 years, and managing editor at the Oregon Journal from 1919–1952. Adelaide Armstrong Sterling, a writer herself, was one of the founding members of the Town Club and active in many charitable organizations. The family's goal is to provide writers with space for convenient access to the holdings of Multnomah County Library.

The room's separation from the busy public areas of Central Library creates a relatively quiet place for writing and research. Four large tables provide ample workspace. Electrical outlets supply power for laptop computers, and Wi-Fi is available throughout Central Library.

Application and Admission

You may complete and submit an online application for admission to the Sterling Room for Writers. Printed applications are also available. Pick one up at Central Library or request one by calling the Central Library director's office at 503.988.5231. You may also mail your request for an application to the Central Library, Central Director's Office, 801 S.W. 10th Ave., Portland, OR, 97205.

The selection of writers for admission to the Sterling Room for Writers is the responsibility of employees of Multnomah County Library. Individual applications are accepted throughout the year and reviewed on a regular basis.

Once a writer's application is reviewed and accepted, a library representative will contact the writer with further details. Admission to the Sterling Room for Writers is on a drop-in basis, and four desks are available during each hour the library is open. Writers must visit the lobby desk on the second floor to obtain a room key, which they must return when they leave.

The terms, qualifications and processes associated with the Sterling Room for Writers are subject to change. Multnomah County Library will provide notice of any such change to accepted writers and all others as deemed appropriate. Admission is granted for 1 year.

Room Use Regulations

Please do:

  • Respect the quiet atmosphere of the Sterling Room for Writers and refrain from unsolicited conversation.
  • Ask library staff if you need to use reference materials in the Sterling Room for Writers, and return reference materials to the subject section at the end of the day.
  • Use drawers for your convenience while you are in the library. Drawers should only be used while you are in the library.
  • Bring your laptop computer to the room if you wish.
  • Remove your equipment and personal items when you leave. Multnomah County Library is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • Vacate the room 15 minutes before the library closes.
  • Notify the person at the second floor desk of any issues or concerns you have about the chairs, lamps, etc.
  • Check the Welcome Desk (first floor) for lost items.
  • Return the key if you are going to be gone from the room for more than 30 minutes.

Please do not:

  • Smoke.
  • Disturb others by using music players,
  • cellular phones, etc.
  • Ask library staff to deliver messages to you.
  • Leave library materials that have not been checked out to you in the room.