Blogs

I understand your hesitation.

I thought about making preserved lemons for years before I actually did it. You have to pack them into jars, then let them sit and ferment for weeks before you can cook with them. Who plans like that?

I do, now. Once I made them, using Eugenia Bone’s recipe from the book Well Preserved, I found that I can’t live without them, especially after I discovered this kale Caesar salad. Sadly, I do think you have to make your own. I bought a couple of different brands from my favorite Middle Eastern market, and the purchased ones tasted like a cleaning product.

Use Meyer lemons, which are in season right now-- they’re a little sweeter and have a delicious floral quality. And really, all you need are lemons and salt and some clean jars. You quarter the lemons and stuff them in a jar with several tablespoons of salt, then pour in enough fresh-squeezed lemon juice to fill up the jars. There’s no need to process them. Just let them sit on your counter for three or four weeks until the sour, salty, faintly funky magic happens. You eat the whole lemon-- the peel is especially delicious. Eugenia Bone suggests a couple of great ways to use them in this book, but I mostly use them in that kale salad and in tuna salad.

You can find a recipe for the lemons here, but do take a look at the book. Bone has ideas for lots of very special things to preserve in small batches, perfect for a novice or an experienced canner. The way things are going, it feels like the end times are nigh. Perhaps we'll enjoy them more with some nice things to have on our toast, with fancy cocktail cherries, or with bright, salty lemons.

From what I heard not too long ago from my kids about sex education at their schools, kids in the Portland area are getting abbreviated, inadequate information about sex in these classes. Studies show that kids are probably also getting plenty of information from Internet porn. Neither of these options are very good.

I want them to know things that are never talked about in sex ed class-- that sex is supposed to feel good for girls, too. That pornography almost always presents an insanely stylized, but also unimaginative version of sex, and that real sex won’t and shouldn’t look like that. There’s a whole host of conversations to have about our culture’s weird over-sexualization of girls. And what if our kids are different from the norm? Representation matters for young people who are LGBT or gender-nonconforming, for young people with disabilities or bodies of different shapes and sizes.

Clearly, we need to talk to our kids about sex, even though it is perhaps not their favorite subject for a chat with parents. For those questions they would never ask you, there’s a great sex-positive website called scarleteen you can point them to. And, of course, library books can help, too, so I created this list of really good books for kids of all ages.

The national theme for Black History Month 2022 is Health and Wellness for the Black Community

Join these virtual programs

It’s Black Storytime Live
Wednesdays at 5:15 pm • February 2, 9, 16 and 23

Peace of Mind: Navigating, stress, anxiety, school & COVID
with ZaDora Williamsz
Tuesday, February 8 • 6–7:30 pm
For teens

Stones, Bones and Black Eyed Peas
with Chefs Michelle Guinn and Sable Askew
Thursday, February 10 • 6–7:30 pm
Live event with recipe cards

Music and Movement for Children
with Nikki Brown Clown
Saturday, February 19 • 10–10:45 am

What’s Going On? A barber shop talk series
with James McKenzie, Nick Herrick and Cary Pratt Jr.
Wednesday, February 23 • 7–8 pm

Mental Wellness for the African American Community: Trauma-informed care
with Javelin Hardy
Tuesday, March 1 • 6–8 pm

Explore these related collections

We Had Jazz Exhibition
February–March 2022 • Collins Gallery, Central Library, 801 SW 10th Ave.
Highlights Albina and North Portland community’s jazz scene – 30 photos

National Museum of African American History and Culture — Searchable Museum
A place to explore history and culture through an African American lens.

For more information, visit library events or call 503.988.5123

All abilities are welcome. For disability accommodations, call 503.988.5123 or email help@multcolib.org 2-3 days before a program.

This is a long post showing meal resources in Multnomah County (and beyond). We start with school districts and then move to community orgranizations we know of that are helping the community. Please let us know if you need further assistance.

Para ver esta información en español, haga clic en Recursos de alimentos para familias. To see this information in Spanish, click Recursos de alimentos para familias.

Multnomah County School Districts

Multnomah County school districts continue to provide meal assistance during the summer. The SUN Service System also has information on accessing food.

We have done our best to provide current information. Please confirm meal availability through the links shared below.

Centennial [updated 9/30/21]

Every Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, there is a food pantry at Patrick Lynch Elementary School's cafeteria, 1546 SE 169th Pl, Portland. Bring your own bags and pick up 3-5 days' worth of free food for your family.

Food For Families will have distribution events on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month (second Wednesday only in December and March) during the school year, 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at Centennial High School, 3505 SE 182nd Ave, Gresham. An Authorized Representative form is required (en español).

Corbett [updated 9/15/21]

CSD students on free and reduced lunch, and families who are struggling, lunch pick-up is on Mondays from 9:00 to 1:00 at the door by the kitchen in the MPB.   We are trying to limit the lunch pick-up days to once per week to decrease the exposure of staff.  If you need lunches delivered, or these times do not work for you, please contact Seth Tucker at stucker@corbett.k12.or.us

David Douglas [updated 9/15/21] 

There are food pantries located at the following David Douglas school buildings. These are for families to pick up free groceries, not grab-and-go meals. Check the link for a calendar that shows times and any closures.

  • Cherry Park Elementary: 1930 SE 104th Ave. Mondays, 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • David Douglas High South Building: 1500 SE 130th Ave. Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
  • Earl Boyles Elementary: 10822 SE Bush St. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
  • Floyd Light Middle: 10800 SE Washington St. Mondays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
  • Gilbert Heights Elementary: 12839 SE Holgate Blvd. Fridays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Gilbert Park Elementary: 13132 SE Ramona St. Wednesdays 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Menlo Park Elementary: 12900 NE Glisan St. Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Mill Park Elementary: 1900 SE 117th Ave. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Gresham-Barlow [updated 11/10/21]

Food pantries are located at the following schools:

  • East Gresham Elementary: 900 SE 5th St., Gresham. Tuesdays, from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Highland Elementary: 295 NE 24th St., Gresham. 2nd Wednesday from 3:15 pm to 5:15 pm

Other community food box information can be found at The Sunshine Division and Snowcap Community Charities

Parkrose [updated 11/3/21]

There is a community pantry located at Shaver Elementary School, 3701 NE 131st Pl. Wednesdays, 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

Portland 

Reynolds [updated 9/13/21]

    Public food pantries are being held at the locations listed below. It is recommended that you arrive early as supplies run out quickly. Masks are required. Click here for more information and closures.
    • Glenfair Elementary School: 15300 NE Glisan St. Tuesdays, 3:45-5:15 pm
    • Reynolds High School: 1698 SW Cherry Park Rd, Troutdale. Last Tuesday of the month, 2:30 pm
    • Alder Elementary School: 17200 SE Alder St. Wednesdays, 2:30-4:00 pm
    • Reynolds Middle School: 1200 NE 201st Ave., Fairview. Fridays, 4:00-5:30 pm
    • Wilkes Elementary School: 17020 NE Wilkes Rd. First Friday of the month, 3:00-4:30 pm
    • Davis Elementary School: 19501 NE Davis St. Second Friday of the month, 3:30-5:00 pm
     

    Agencies, Community Organizations and Restaurants

    Information may change so please check their websites if a link is provided.

    C3 Pantry (NE): 6120 NE 57th Ave., Portland. Tuesdays, doors open at 11:30am, shopping is 12-1pm.

    Mainspring Food Pantry: Tuesday food pantry will "be popping up in different locations in the beginning of 2022", according to their site. The site suggests following them on social media to see locations. There is a free food pantry every 3rd Tuesday of the month at Victory Outreach parking lot, 16022 SE Stark St., from 10 am to noon. Every 2nd Wednesday of the month, there is a free food pantry at East Portland Community Center parking lot, 640 SE 106th Ave., from 9 am to 11 am.
     
    Meals 4 Kids: serves qualified children and families within the City of Portland. Please visit their website to complete a request form.
     
    Northeast Emergency Food Program (NE): 4800 NE 72nd Ave., Portland. Open Thursday and Saturday, 12-3 pm. Food boxes are prepared in advance for walk or drive up pick up.
     
    Portland Adventist Community Services (NE): 11020 NE Halsey St., Portland. Offering prepacked food boxes for pick up,  Monday – Friday 9am– 11am. They also provide a mobile food pantry service to some neighborhoods.
     
    One Hope Food Pantry (NE): Located at 5425 NE 27th Ave., Portland 97211. Open for drive-through and pickup Saturdays, 11 am - 1 pm. Food boxes are available each week and a hot meal is served on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.
     
    Sunshine Division (SE):  free emergency food boxes to pick up or be delivered. They are located at 12436 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97233. For hours and more information, please visit sunshinedivision.org or call 503.609.0285.
     
    William Temple House (NW): 2023 NW Hoyt St., Portland. Offering a walk-in pantry, Tuesday-Thursday, 11 am-2 pm. A guide to the pantry can be found here.
     
    Lift Urban Portland (SW):  Located at 1838 SW Jefferson St., Portland 97201. Food pantry hours of operation are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. A random number lottery takes place 5 minutes before opening to determine your place in line.
     
    Portland Open Bible food pantry (SE):  Located at 3223 SE 92nd Ave., Portland 97266. Pick-up food boxes, information can be found here. Pick-up times are Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Thursdays 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
     
    For more information about access to food for families including the Oregon Food Bank, please call 211, or  text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 877-877 for Meals locations. or visit oregonfoodfinder.org.
     
    Self Enhancement Inc also has a list of community food resources that includes sites in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washingon and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Vancouver, WA area schools.
     
     
     

    Are you an artist in grades 6–12? 

    Want thousands of people to see your artwork? 

    Enter your design for the 2022 Multnomah County Library Teen Summer Reading Art Contest. The theme is “Read Beyond the Beaten Path.” A panel of library staff and artists will select a winner from the entries.

    The winning design will appear on the cover of all teen gameboards. The winning artist will be awarded a $100 prepaid gift card.  

    More entries will be selected to produce a “Read Beyond the Beaten Path” coloring book that will be given to Summer Reading participants.

    The library will share the winner and all selected designs on social media.  

    ART SPECIFICATIONS 

    • Original artwork only.
    • Content should be appropriate for all ages.
    • Black & white image only.
    • If hand drawn, use black ink, marker, pen or hard pencil.
    • If digitally drawn, submit as black & white EPS or high resolution (300 dpi) PNG, JPG or TIF.

    NOTE: Final artwork will be printed at a maximum of 6” x 4.” You don’t have to use the entire box, but your artwork must fit inside it.  

    SUBMISSION DETAILS 

    Teen Summer Reading Art submission form (PDF)

    Please include your name, grade, school (if applicable) and a phone number or email address so we can reach you if you win. Winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

    • Follow art specifications above.
    • Show innovative interpretation of the theme, “Read Beyond the Beaten Path” —  be creative, try new things, find beauty in diversity. 
    • Show graphic design/artistic merit.
    • Submit your artwork electronically to summerreading@multcolib.org, bring it to your local library, or send a paper version to: 

    Summer Reading  |  Multnomah County Library Isom Building  |  205 NE Russell Street, Portland, OR 97212

    Entries must be received by FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2022

    Every year during tax filing season, the library is ready to help— whether that be books, workshops, one-on-one tax help, or printing out the forms you need, we're here for you! See Upcoming Events, Programs and Blog Posts directly to the right for the most up-to-date information.

    The deadline to file federal and state tax returns is  Monday, April 18, 2022. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to get help in person, you can still get tax preparation assistance and support in the following ways.

    Paper copies of tax forms or instructions

    Tax return preparation assistance

    Other tax assistance

    File your taxes online for free

    Still have questions?

    Call the library at 503.988.5123, send us an email or chat with us. Library staff cannot prepare returns, advise on tax matters, or interpret tax law.

    Nearly every house history researcher wants to see old photographs or drawings of their house.  Who wouldn't, right?  Unfortunately for Portland-area house history buffs, this can be one of the hardest bits of house history ephemera to track down!  But don't despair; there are surviving photographs of some houses and it is possible (sometimes) to find them. 

    The challenge is that there has never been a comprehensive house-portrait project in Portland -- or any other city or town in our area -- so there is no treasure trove of photos of local homes that you can dig through.  You might wonder, if there's no big archive of house pictures, where should you start?  There are a few possibilities:

    First, ask your neighbors or the people in your neighborhood association.  People who live on your street may have their own old photographs of family events, parties, or other occasions which include your house in the background.  And a bonus -- when you find that long-time resident and photo-saver, they may share stories about past residents of your house or other interesting neighborhood lore!

    Houses sometimes appear in the background of photographs taken to record activity on the street.  The city of Portland has a lot of photographs of infrastructure and maintenance work they've done over the years. 

    Many of these images are carefully preserved in the Portland City Archives collection. These images usually show city workers doing something in the neighborhood (such as repairing the sewer like in the photo at left) or were taken in connection with city planning work, like a street scene before the installation of a new traffic light.  You can search for records (including photographs) using the Archives' catalog, Efiles, and some have been published on the archives's Vintage Portland blog -- see below for more about that! But, most photographs in the collection aren't available online.  To look at original photographs in person, you'll need to visit the Archives reading room downtown (1800 SW 6th Ave., Suite 550; 503.865.4100).  

    NOTE: As of March 2021, the Portland City Archives is closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Contact them to see what services they can offer remotely.

    The Oregon Historical Society library is another treasure trove for house history researchers.  Their collection includes more than 2.5 million photographs and negatives of people, communities, commerce, and life in the Pacific Northwest -- the photograph collection doesn't have a section devoted to house portraits, but you may find photographs of your street, or photographs indexed under the name of a former owner of the house.  Some of the library's photographs have been digitized and are available through OHS's Digital Collections website, but many, many images are available only by visiting in person (1200 SW Park Ave.; 503.222.1741).  

    Another potential source for house portraits and street scenes is the Vintage Portland blog, run by the Portland City Archives.  Every weekday the site features a different historical photograph (or sometimes a map or drawing) of Portland.  The posts are sorted into categories for neighborhoods, street names, time periods, and topics.  For example, if you are curious about the development of your neighborhood as well as the history of your house, you might want to look at the blog's many aerial photographs; or you might try looking at a neighborhood street like Foster Rd., Powell Blvd., or 82nd Ave.

    If the house you're researching happens to be in the Albina district, you may find a photograph of it in The History of Albina, by Roy E. Roos.  The book begins with a brief a history of the district (and former city), but it also includes brief architectural history for a selection of houses and other buildings that are representative of different eras in Albina's development.  Many of the brief house histories are illustrated with contemporary photographs or have no pictures, but some have historic photographs or drawings.

    Have fun hunting for a historic photo of your house!

     

      Questions? Ask the Librarian.

    Reforzar la educación de nuestros hijos en el hogar es una gran oportunidad para ayudarlos a avanzar al siguiente nivel académico. Esta lista de recursos incluye sitios web donde pueden practicar actividades de diferentes materias escolares, recursos de ayuda con las tareas y consejos para padres. 

    Recursos para seguir reforzando la educación de los estudiantes: 

    Ayuda con las tareas en vivo: Tutor en vivo por medio de chat, ayuda personalizada en vivo de 2 p.m. a 10 p.m. diariamente. Se ofrece ayuda en español y en inglés. Necesita una tarjeta de la biblioteca para acceder al servicio. Pasos para usar el servicio.

    Consejos para padres: 10 consejos para apoyar el aprendizaje de los estudiantes en el hogar

    Cursos sin costo para estudiantes de la preparatoria: Estos cursos son excelentes opciones para estudiantes de preparatoria. 

    Khan Academy en español: Es un recurso excelente para que usted vea en su idioma lo que su hijo debe aprender por grado o para aprender algo totalmente nuevo.

    Khan Academy: Práctica de matemáticas. Un programa totalmente gratuito. Abajo de la página se encuentran todos los temas de matemáticas por grado.

    Khan Academy: Práctica de lectura e Inglés como materia. De la misma manera, desplácese hacia abajo de la página para ver los temas por grado.

    Mantener a los niños comprometidos y aprendiendo: Recursos para ayudar a los niños a mantenerse comprometidos y aprendiendo. 

    Oregon Starting Smarter: Aunque los estudiantes no presentarán los exámenes estatales este año escolar, este recurso le da ideas de las preguntas que vienen en los exámenes. Desplácese hacia abajo de la página para ver todos los recursos. Si prefiere ver la página en inglés, cambie en la parte superior derecha. 

    Otros recursos para toda la familia: Recursos de educación, salud, comida, tecnología y seguridad para toda la familia. 

    Tutoría virtual en la Biblioteca: El programa de tutoría virtual es para estudiantes en los grados K-12 que necesitan apoyo en lectura, escritura, matemáticas, ciencias naturales o ciencias sociales.

     Tres niños, enlace a el artículo Evaluación del Dominio del Idioma Inglés
    ¿Qué es la Evaluación del Dominio del Idioma Inglés (ELPA)?

    La ELPA mide el conocimiento del idioma inglés de los estudiantes en las áreas de lectura, escritura, expresión oral, comprensión auditiva y comprensión escrita. La ELPA se lleva a cabo en línea y está diseñada para ser interactiva e incluye preguntas que reflejan escenarios del mundo real. Su objetivo principal es calificar a los estudiantes para que reciban los servicios lingüísticos adecuados e informar y orientar a las escuelas para que apoyen mejor las necesidades de los estudiantes.

    El estado de Oregón es miembro de la Evaluación de Dominio del Idioma Inglés para el siglo XXI (ELPA21), un grupo de estados comprometidos a apoyar a los educadores, administradores escolares y comunidades a medida que adoptan e implementan los nuevos Estándares de Dominio del Idioma Inglés (ELPA, por sus siglas en inglés) y los estándares para la universidad y carreras profesionales.

    ¿Qué incluye la Evaluación del Dominio del Idioma Inglés (ELPA)?

    Incluye elementos de escritura, comprensión auditiva, expresión oral y preguntas de respuesta abierta para que el alumno demuestre su conocimiento crítico sobre el tema que se le presente.

    ¿Quién toma la prueba ELPA?

    Cualquier estudiante que califique para los servicios de Inglés como Segundo Idioma (ESL por sus siglas en inglés) o que haya salido del programa de ESL en algún momento durante el año escolar. Hable con el maestro para saber si su estudiante toma esta prueba y para saber en qué nivel se encuentra. Las escuelas envían los resultados de la prueba de su estudiante una vez al año por correo postal.

    ¿Qué mide o evalúa esta prueba?

    La evaluación sumativa de ELPA se basa en los nuevos estándares de Dominio del Idioma Inglés de Oregón y mide los cuatro dominios del lenguaje: lectura, escritura, comprensión auditiva y expresión oral. Estos dominios también se conocen como habilidades de comprensión lectora, producción escrita, comprensión auditiva y producción oral. Para obtener más información sobre lo que se incluye en esta prueba visite https://www.elpa21.org/about-us/

    ¿Cuándo se administra esta prueba?

    Por lo regular, ELPA se administra a fines del invierno o en la primavera. Los estudiantes tienen la oportunidad de tomarla una vez al año hasta que salgan del programa de ESL. Llame a la escuela de su estudiante para informarse de las fechas exactas en que tomará la prueba. 

    ¿Cómo se administra ELPA?

    Las evaluaciones se administran a los estudiantes a través del Sistema de Evaluaciones del Estado de Oregón (OSAS, por sus siglas en inglés). Este es el mismo sistema en línea que se utiliza para otras pruebas que administra el Departamento de Educación del Estado de Oregón (ODE, por sus siglas en inglés), como las pruebas de ciencias y artes del lenguaje inglés y matemáticas.

    Este es el tiempo estimado para realizar la prueba de acuerdo al grado en que se encuentre el estudiante:

    K​​ y 1.º grados: 1 h

    2.º y 3.º grados: 1.5 h

    6.º y 8.º grados: 3.25 h

    9.º y 12.º grados: 4 h

    ¿Cómo se usan los resultados de la prueba?

    Los resultados de las pruebas se utilizan para medir el conocimiento del idioma inglés de los estudiantes y determinar si un estudiante está listo para salir del programa de ESL. Los resultados también se utilizan para cumplir con las responsabilidades estatales y federales del departamento de educación.

    Los resultados se envían por correo a las familias una vez al año, a finales del verano o principios del otoño. Los maestros también pueden compartir los resultados con las familias durante las conferencias de padres y maestros y otras reuniones. Asegúrese de pedir los resultados de la prueba y conversar con el maestro de su estudiante acerca de cómo ayudarle a mejorar su proficiencia en el idioma inglés. 

    ¿Quién lo requiere?

    El estado lo requiere. Los estudiantes desde el kínder hasta el 12.º grado, cuyo idioma materno no es el inglés, deben ser evaluados en el dominio del idioma inglés de acuerdo a la Ley Federal y Estatal de Oregón. En Oregón, se usa la prueba ELPA.

    ¿Tiene la evaluación ELPA componentes para apoyar a los estudiantes con discapacidades o necesidades especiales? 

    Sí, la prueba ELPA tiene varios componentes para ayudar a los estudiantes con discapacidades o necesidades específicas de aprendizaje. Hable con el maestro de su estudiante para mayor información.

     

    ¿En dónde puedo encontrar más información acerca de ELPA?
    Contacte al Representante de la ELPA21 en Oregón: Ben Wolcott, 503-947-5835, ben.wolcott@ode.state.or.us. O llame al Departamento de Educación de Oregón, 503-947-5600. 

    O en este volante de la ELPA21

     

    También puede comunicarse con el maestro de su estudiante.

    the cover of vol. 1 FullMetal Alchemist
    Curious about the library’s collection of manga (Japanese-style comics and graphic novels)?  Wondering which manga series are right for you?  Looking for a new series to try?  Whether you are new to manga or already deep into it, we’re here to help.   Elle from Central Library has compiled a few booklists full of their favorite manga series.  For beginners, they created First Stop: Manga, which is full of recommendations for those who are new to manga.  For fans of Jujutsu Kaisen by Gege Akutami, Elle shares the best of the shounen genre in this booklist.  

    Looking for more?  We asked library staff who read a lot of manga to share their favorites!  We hope you find plenty to read and explore.  Here’s what they have to recommend:  

    Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi

    “The classic manga about teen girls who discover they're reincarnated Sailor Guardians who protect the universe continues to be a fun read about friendship, hope, courage, and talking cats. Sprinkled with some references to astronomy, mythology, and mineralogy mixed with humor and romance, read this under the moonlight.” -Kimberly, Central Library

    Laid-back Camp by Afro

    “A group of girls revive the school camping club, dust off the old supplies, and head out to the forests and lakes in the foothills of Mount Fuji.  Along the way, the girls form lasting friendships.  Reading about their trips made me fall in love with camping all over again and now I always plan for an instant ramen lunch or dinner when I spend a weekend outdoors. File under cute, cozy, and low key.”  -Karen M., Gregory Heights Library

    FullMetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

    “How would you react if you were handed a series of unexpected outcomes? What if your actions only made the situation worse?  FullMetal Alchemist deals with these very injustices. Two brothers work through their trials as well as develop to understand that other members of their community are also dealing with difficulties too.”  -Juan, St. Johns Library

    Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui

    “If you find yourself dreaming of food while watching anime or playing D&D then Delicious in Dungeon will satisfy your appetite. Monsters, dragons, and dumplings, oh my!”  -Erica, Technical Services

    Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama

    “It's gorgeous, and I got caught up in the growing mystery of what's really going on with learning magic in and outside of magic school!”  -Natasha, Hollywood Library

    a shelf full of manga series books
    Uzumaki by Junji Itō

    “If you like horror at all, you owe it to yourself to check out the works of Junji Itō. All his books and short stories are chilling, but Uzumaki is the perfect place to start.  A twisted tale in the vein of H.P. Lovecraft, about a quiet coastal town that slowly spirals into madness.  It's guaranteed to shock, terrify, and leave you hungry for more.”  -Ophelia, Belmont Library

    Golden Kamuy by Satoru Noda

    "I'm not usually a fan of westerns, but my favorite ongoing series has all the hallmarks of a Sergio Leone cowboy movie, with a unique eastern perspective.  Set in the early 1900s, the series follows an unlikely alliance between a grizzled Japanese war veteran and a young indigenous Ainu huntress as they journey across snowy Hokkaido, fighting vicious killers and dangerous creatures in pursuit of a hidden gold fortune. The series has all the bloody action and colorful characters you want from a Shonen manga, with a surprising amount of comedy and cooking tips. But my favorite part is its rich depiction of the Meiji Restoration, when Japan's push towards modernity began to engulf the ancient traditions of its native people. A real page-turner; my only complaint is that there isn't more yet."  -Ophelia, Belmont Library

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    Young kids in line at school getting temperatures taken by a teacher
    Dear families, we know you have been through the wringer for almost two years and it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. As we start 2022, we find ourselves once again having to worry about school closures and remote learning. And we are still trying to figure out how to get tested for and vaccinated against Covid-19. Here are some resources to help support you and your family during this difficult time. 

    Testing information

    Vaccination information

    Finding masks

    School closure information

    Remote Learning resources

    And remember, the library is here to help. We can help you find something good to read, watch or listen to while you are isolating. And you should contact us if you have holds ready for pickup, but are not able to get to the library due to Covid. 

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    child brushing teeth in bathroom
    Dental health is an important part of our overall health. Two of the best things we can do for our children’s dental health are regular dental checkups and helping them develop a daily toothbrushing habit. Learn more about children’s oral health at the CDC.

    If you need dental insurance, Multnomah County can help you apply.

    Ever wondered why dental insurance is separate from the rest of your health insurance? Find out why in this Sawbones podcast episode.

    It is odd, right? Our teeth and our mouths are just as much part of our bodies as our arms or stomachs. They’re also part of our sensory systems, so children with sensory processing issues often have sensory problems with oral care. If your child has a poor tolerance for tooth brushing, see if any of these strategies help. Communicate with your child’s dentist about sensory processing issues ahead of time to talk about strategies to create a successful dental visit, such as mitigating noise, getting used to the reclining chair, or being sensitive to your child’s cues.  A social story, such as one from this list or from your dentist, explains the dental visit step by step so that your child knows what to expect.

    Another good idea? Books of course! Here is a link to books for kids about the dentist and another about taking care of yout teeth

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    sad person covering head with sweatshirt hood
    If you, or your child, feel a sense of fatigue and sadness when summer ends and the weather changes to a pattern of continuous cloudy or rainy days, it may be more than just a case of the ‘winter blues.’

    Some people experience a regular low period when the seasons change. Doctors have a name for it - Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. It is more common in adults, and more so in women, but children and teens can sometimes be affected, as well. 

    SAD is a type of depression that can appear when there is less sunlight. Unlike other types of depression, SAD symptoms seem to arrive as winter arrives and then fade away as spring approaches. Like other depressions, Seasonal Affective Disorder can be mild, or it can be more severe. 

    Why does this happen? In most cases, SAD seems to be related to the loss of sunlight. Researchers have found that reduced sunlight can affect the body in ways that could contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder. These include: Circadian rhythm (biological clock) – the decrease in sunlight could disrupt your body’s natural rhythms. There may also be a drop in vitamin D levels and in the brain chemical, Serotonin, that affects our mood. These changes can lead to depression.

    Symptoms of SAD may include:

    • change in appetite, especially craving sweet or starchy foods
    • fatigue
    • sleeping more than normal
    • difficulty concentrating
    • irritability and anxiety
    • increased sensitivity to rejection
    • avoidance of social situations
    • loss of interest in the activities you used to enjoy

    If you or your child are experiencing some of these symptoms your doctor can help determine the best way to cope and feel better.

    And here is an article written for teens about SAD from Nemours KidsHealth (also available in Spanish). 

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    For many regions around the world, from China and Vietnam, to Singapore and South Korea, the Lunar New Year is a time of appreciation, reflection and celebration with family, friends and cultural traditions. For Multnomah County libraries and staff, Lunar New Year is a special time for fun and engaging library events and programs that share the history and traditions of this celebration with the local community. 

    “Being with family as a reunion, to say goodbye to the old and to welcome a new beginning is what this time is about,” says Toan Lam-Sullivan, Bilingual Chinese Regional Librarian. 

    Tiger with stripes that read 2022

    Lunar New Year, the start of a new lunar calendar year, occurs at the end of January or in early February. Each lunar year is guided by a zodiac animal. There are 12 animals in the zodiac, all of which are real, except for one which is mythical — the dragon. This year, 2022, is the Year of the Tiger. 

    “The Tiger is a strong animal — it is assertive and has influence on how we proceed this new year. If the Tiger is your year, meaning that you were born in the year of the Tiger, then you may have to be extra attentive to what you do and to your health,” says Lan Phan, Bilingual Library Assistant at Gregory Heights Library.

    Lunar New Year traditions vary by country and region, and often include dancing, lighting fireworks, sharing red envelopes with small amounts of money among family, and eating traditional foods. This celebration can last anywhere from 3-16 days and ends with the Lantern Festival being the culmination of all the celebrations to finish the new year.

    In Vietnamese culture, the Lunar New Year offers a chance to “reflect on the past year and look forward to the upcoming one,” says Phan. Families will “give well wishes to the elderly for the new year, clean the house, prepare gifts, cook Bánh chưng, a traditional and delicious sweet rice cake, and share the red envelopes as a token of good luck.”

    Each region also has its own culinary tradition and unique foods to begin the new year.

    “In the North of China, there are many foods with a base of wheat flour, then in the South of China there are many dishes with a rice flour base,” says Lam-Sullivan. “In the southern part of China, where my family came from, we eat sweet rice balls with sesame seeds filling (汤圆/Tāngyuán). The round shape symbolizes harmony and togetherness.” 

    While culinary traditions differ from region to region, one similarity across cultures are the two types of dances performed through the Lunar New Year— the lion dance and the dragon dance— which are meant to bring prosperity and success in the coming year. The lion dance consists of two performers and the dragon dance consists of more than five. 

    For the past ten years, the library has hosted Lunar New Year events and activities, which often draw hundreds of patrons of all ages. This year, the library will offer virtual performances and events to celebrate. Some events include crafts and supplies that you can reserve and pick up at a local library. 

    On Tuesday, January 25, Vietnamese staff will celebrate the Year of the Tiger with a lion dance performance by White Lotus; a solo presentation of Vietnamese traditional musical instruments by David Dahl from Tieng Hoai Huong Ensemble; and a special introduction of traditional Vietnamese attire. There will be craft materials for each participating family, and special gifts for the first 60 registrants. Registration opens on Monday, January 3, 2022

    In February, Chinese staff will also be celebrating the Lunar New Year with additional virtual events.

    • January 29: Write Spring Festival Couplet (Calligraphy workshop). A Chinese tradition of positive phrases written on red paper with gold lettering spread throughout the house. 
    • February 1: Lunar New Year Family Dumpling Time. Learn how to make dumplings, a traditional Chinese food, in which making and eating them is symbolic to bringing good fortune in the new year. 
    • February 10: Lunar New Year Family Night. An event where you can learn to make an origami tiger. 
       

    Attention educators! Did you miss our summer educator workshops this year? They are a great place to learn about the latest and greatest materials to use in the classroom. Don't worry; we now have booklists and videos available to share.

    Gotta Read This: New Books to Connect with Your Curriculum: This workshop highlights new books you might integrate into your language arts, social studies, math, science and arts curriculum.

    For K-5th grade educators: Watch part 1 and part 2 of the Gotta Read This K-5 recorded webinar.

    For 6th-12th grade educators: This booklist is broken down by subject, so you can choose the topics most relevant for you.

     

    Novel-Ties (for 4th -8th grade educators): Discover hot, new fiction to use in book discussion groups and literature circles. 

    Watch the Novel-Ties videos (and feel free to show them to students, too).

     

    Talking Equity and Social Justice: School Corps librarians share quick booktalks on titles that address these topics, in this recorded webinar. A list of all the books and other resources mentioned in the talk can be found below the videos on YouTube.

    Contact School Corps with any questions!

    While reviews on online shopping and crowd-sourced review sites are often helpful, the average person doesn’t purchase and compare five vacuum cleaners at once. The reviewer that does do that is Consumer Reports, which accepts no advertising and is known for editorial integrity. The library subscribes to the paper issues at all 19 locations, which you can browse whenever you visit the library.

    Image of Consumer Reports and Annual Buying Guide

    But did you know that there is also a way to access Consumer Reports  from home?


    The Consumer Reports website has limited coverage if you aren’t a subscriber; you can see that a particular product was reviewed, but not the review itself. However, you can read the full text of the reviews, and see the illustrations of the ratings in chart form, with your library card through MasterFILE Premier. Go to MasterFILE Premier, click "Publications" at the top of the screen,  and type "Consumer Reports"  in the Browsing:  MasterFILE Premier -- Publications box. Once you click on Consumer Reports, you can either browse by issue date, or search within the publication for your topic.

    If you use “search within this publication,” add your search term to the JN "Consumer Reports” that the database has already filled in, for example, JN "Consumer Reports" and mattress. The results default to “Relevance,” so change that drop-down box to “date newest” to see the most recent reviews.

    You can also search in the Consumer Reports Buying Guide by starting in the library catalog; select the “Click here to access title” link on the right of the page to access the content of the guide.

    Consumer Reports isn't the only source out there, though!  Here are some other well-regarded product review sites:

    Wirecutter:  Reviews of technology, appliances, home goods, etc. from the staff of the New York Times. If you hit a paywall, some Wirecutter content is in the New York Times (1980-present) database (log in with your library card number and PIN/password).

    Good Housekeeping:  GH has been testing consumer products and awarding the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval since 1900. Focuses on domestic products like kitchen appliances, toys, cleaning products and personal care items like cosmetics and bras.

    CNET: Primarily reviews of technology (phones, streaming services, laptops), but also some non-tech items like mattresses and meal kits.

    The Strategist:  From New York magazine, focusing on online shopping. Also has lists of recommendations on a theme (books by genre/reader) as well as traditional reviews by topic (pillows, picture frames, etc).

    Specialty Reviews

    If there’s a magazine or website for a particular hobby or interest, chances are they review products for that hobby. For example:

    Image of Cooks Illustrated, Runner's World and Car and Driver magazines
    Cooks Illustrated can recommend an air fryer or bakeware.

    Runner’s World tests running shoes, athletic clothes and earbuds that won’t fall out while you do laps.

    Car and Driver is another source besides Consumer Reports to look for automobile recommendations.

    How to evaluate a review or shopping site

    Not sure if that mattress review site is independent, or a fake that only posts positive reviews of the products sold by the website? Here’s some things to look for:

    • A review site should have an “about us” page that tells you who owns it or funds it, and should describe its editorial policies. 
    • You won’t necessarily get wrong information from a site that sells products to consumers, but a site that wants to sell you office supplies or mattresses will probably not be willing to evaluate a product it carries as “unacceptable” (like Consumer Reports occasionally will).
    • Any site that allows customers to review products or services without verifying purchases (for example, Amazon, Yelp, Tripadvisor) can be manipulated, and it’s worth reading these reviews with a degree of caution or skepticism.

     

    For more tips and strategies, please see How to evaluate a website. And happy shopping!

     

    El Día Internacional del Migrante es muy significativo para mí porque hace más de veinte años, sin entender mucho de las implicaciones de dejar nuestro país natal, mis hermanos, mis padres y yo nos despedimos de todo lo que sabíamos hasta ese momento. Conscientes del cambio que significaría para nuestra familia emigrar a Estados Unidos, mis padres optaron por trasladarnos a un lugar donde pudiéramos tener una vida mejor. Si bien los desafíos que enfrentamos como extranjeros nos dejaron cicatrices que siempre nos recordarán lo difícil que fue este cambio, la inmigración a este país nos llevó a un futuro donde había espacio para metas personales y profesionales. Metas por las que los mienbros de mi familia han trabajado incansablemente.

    Sin embargo, no podría contar mi historia de inmigración sin agradecer a mi padre por arriesgar tanto en su búsqueda de horizontes más prometedores. Sin muchas garantías pero obligado por las consecuencias de las políticas internacionales, decidió emprender un viaje hacia una vida mejor. Pero compartir cómo me convertí en inmigrante no estaría bien si omitiera el papel de mi madre en esta decisión. Desde su primer viaje a los Estados Unidos, mi madre sabía que tendríamos refugio en este país. Y una vez que mi padre entró a Estados Unidos como trabajador agrícola, confirmó la lista de posibilidades a las que podíamos acceder, muchas de ellas imposibles de lograr en México. Si bien la transición entre sus deseos y sus logros no fue fácil, hoy mis hermanos y yo hemos logrado hacer realidad ese sueño que tenían para cada uno de nosotros.

    woman standing tall

     

    International Migrants Day is very significant for me because more than twenty years ago, without understanding much of the implications of leaving our native country, my brothers, my parents, and I said goodbye to everything we knew up to that moment. Aware of the change that immigrating to the United States would mean for our family, my parents chose to move us to a place where we could have a better life. While the challenges we faced as foreigners left us with scars that will always remind us of how difficult this change was, immigration to this country led us to a future where there was room for personal and professional goals. Goals my family members have worked tirelessly for.

    However, I could not tell my immigration story without thanking my father for risking so much in his search for more promising horizons. Without much guarantee but forced by the consequences of international policies, he decided to undertake a journey to a better life. But sharing how I became an immigrant would not be well told if I omitted my mother's role in this decision. From her first trip to the US, my mother knew we would have refuge in this country. And once my father entered the United States as an agricultural worker, he confirmed the list of possibilities that we could access, many of them impossible to achieve in Mexico. While the transition between their wishes and their achievement was not easy, today, my brothers and I have managed to make that dream that they had for each of us come true.

    When David Shine, an English teacher with the Multnomah Education Service District, and Multnomah County Library (MCL) Program Specialist Jody Redifer teamed up, their goal was to bring the youth at Donald E. Long (DEL) Juvenile Detention Center together for a national songwriting competition. The library’s outreach work at DEL is made possible by a longstanding partnership between the library and Multnomah County’s Department of Community Justice.

    The songwriting competition, held by BreakFree Education, supports the organization's mission to “radically improve education in the juvenile justice system.” 

    Microphone and audio equipment on shelf at library

    For Jody, who has been facilitating a music production class in the library at DEL since late 2020, it was exciting to have English teacher David Shine approach him to collaborate on this competition.

    During his time teaching the music production class, Jody has recorded over 200 songs by more than 50 youth. With the combination of David and Jody working together, students at DEL were thrilled to have this project underway. David took lead on the writing, and Jody managed the production and engineering. 

    Through the songwriting competition youth not only explored music, but also the specific themes pertaining to each song. It is this lesson plan component that allows the youth to grow introspectively, while gaining new musical skills. 

    BreakFree Education’s mission for this program is that "through this initiative, students explore policy issues that impact their lives. Students harness the power of music to create, produce, and share songs that address issues related to juvenile justice reform.” The songwriting competition is the result of this work, and through it the organization “amplifies the voices of youth justice.”

    Students at DEL put their all into the songwriting and performances. This is something which may sound practical, but is not always easy in a detention environment. They expressed their perspective on social conditions and the struggles they and other youth face.

    As a result of the hard and thoughtful work the youth put in and the collaboration between MESD and MCL, two of the units at DEL finished in the top 10 nationwide, with unit A2 taking 3rd place on October 28, 2021!

    Students at DEL, David and Jody are excited for the prospect of more partnerships like this. In the immediate future, the next collaboration looks to be the publication of works of fiction and non fiction by the students at DEL with the help of MCL. With David working on the writing aspect, and Jody on the publication side, this is bound to be a successful venture! Again bridging the creative ideas of youth, into hands-on and constructive skills.

    Article written by BCLA Program Specialist Jody Redifer, with support from Communications Specialist Paty Rincon

    "Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know." - Alberto Manguel

    Talking with people about books is a shortcut to knowing them -- what they think, value and love. Talking together about books builds understanding and community. Get started with these resources to find, join and sustain book groups.

    People reading and talking online
    Finding a book group

    The library is currently focused on providing online book groups for youth. Find listings for these book clubs, as well as one time events by searching for Book Clubs and Discussion Groups under “type of event” on the library’s events page.

    Everybody Reads is the library’s community wide reading project, taking place each year from January to March. Check the Everybody Reads page for details about book discussions and related events.

    Mt. Hood Reads - Every year, Mt. Hood Community College invites students and members of the community to join them for discussions around a book or books.

    Noname Book Club is an online/irl community dedicated to uplifting POC voices by highlighting two books each month written by authors of color. Here is a list of their past picks available from Multnomah County Library.

    Indigenous Book Club is a digital book club for reading Indigenous authored books and books about Indigenous people. All are welcome, with special respect and centering of Indigenous people.

    Science Friday book club - Science Friday runs this online book club for those interested in reading and exploring science. 

    BookBrowse Online Book Club offers a curated resource of contemporary fiction and nonfiction, with an emphasis on books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding.

    Delve Reader Readers’ Seminars, via Literary Arts - There is a cost to participate in these discussions featuring canonical books.

    Sustaining a book group

    Finding books that appeal to everyone can be challenging, but we have resources to help. Check out our Pageturner to Go kits that include 10 copies of popular book discussion titles.

    Do you need help with ideas for you next read? Ask our My Librarian team - we can provide customized lists based on the tastes of your group, and help you place holds on multiple copies. We can also help with books in Spanish.

    If you’re primarily using digital titles, check out this  "Always Available" e-book collection from OverDrive, made up of some 3000 classic titles.

    Here are the most popular available e-books - this link updates automatically to available titles. 

    Is your question about book groups still unanswered? Contact us for more information.

    Every year, we create a beautiful page of the best books of the year -- the ones our staff and volunteers have loved. Whether you're a fan of picture books that celebrate bravery, suspense stories that keep you guessing, or books centering the voices of Black, Indigenous and people of color, we have you covered. 

    Check out our favorite books for 2021. 

    Want to see what we've recommended in past years? Explore the links below:

    Best Books 2020

    Best Books 2019

    Best Books 2018

    Best books 2017

    Best Books 2016

    Looking for personalized book recommendations? Ask the My Librarian team.

     

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