News & facts

Media contacts

Shawn Cunningham, Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives 
Media inquiries, public records requests
mobile: 971.806.9432 |

Liz Sauer, Library Capital Bond Projects Communications Manager
For library bond inquiries
mobile: 971.469.9815 |

Paty Rincón, Bilingual Spanish Communications Coordinator
mobile: 503.956.2636 | 

Facts and figures

Multnomah County Library is the oldest public library on the west coast, with a history that dates back to 1864. Today, Central Library and 18 other neighborhood libraries make up a library system that offers more than 2.8 million books and other library materials. As Oregon's largest public library, Multnomah County Library serves nearly one-fifth of the state's population.

Interim Director of Libraries: Annie Lewis

Founded in: 1864

Number of libraries: 19

Service area: Multnomah County, including Portland, Fairview, Gresham and Troutdale

Population served: 810,242

Library cardholders: 347,856

In Fiscal Year 2022-2023:

  • Multnomah County Library patrons checked out or renewed 16.7 million items. That's an average of 21 items per person.
  • Library staff filled more than 1.2 million holds.
  • The library was visited online and in person 8.1 million times.
  • More than 99,000 children participated in the library's countywide 2022 Summer Reading program.
  • In total, virtual and in-person library programming targeted to all age groups, from infants to seniors, reached 79,000. This includes many Black/African American culture; Indigenous culture; and Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese language programs.

National data

Among U.S. libraries serving fewer than one million residents, Multnomah County Library ranks No. 2 in annual circulation of books and other materials, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) FY2021 Public Libraries Survey.

Last updated 6/4/24