The library’s Vietnamese team

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Multnomah County Library offers library services in Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian and Spanish. The library’s Vietnamese team helps patrons find materials and library services in Vietnamese.

“We come from different regions of Vietnam, sometimes speaking different dialects, but we work together. One thing that is similar is that we have passion, a passion to serve the community,” says Karen Nguyen, bilingual Vietnamese library assistant.

Vietnamese team members standing together smiling

At a library location

You can meet a Vietnamese speaking staff member at Gregory Heights Library, Woodstock Library and Rockwood Library and talk to a Vietnamese speaking staff on the phone when you call. 

When you come to a location, Vietnamese-speaking staff can help you find books or information about

  • Storytimes
  • Tech help
  • Resource and material selection in Vietnamese
  • Programs for adults and families (for example: flower arrangement workshops and cooking presentations)

“On a typical day someone could just walk in and say, I want to look for a job and I can help them,” shares Trang Oliver, temporary library program specialist. 

About the collection

Vietnamese collections are located at Central Library, Gregory Heights Library, and temporarily at Rockwood Library and Woodstock Library. E-content is also available through the library website.

If you can’t find a title in the catalog, you can suggest a purchase to the library! You can request a book, movie, CD, music, or magazine that you want the library to buy.  

“When I’m selecting materials, I think of the patrons first. I select things that could teach, entertain, or even challenge someone. I try to reflect our diverse community and hope the materials will connect and open people up to new interests and experiences.” says Kim Tran, bilingual Vietnamese and World Languages selector librarian.

Library in the community

Team members attend community events to connect the Vietnamese-speaking community with library services.. They go to schools and meet with students and teachers, providing storytimes, craft activities, and more. 

Once a month, the team visits the community at the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) for a trilingual storytime, where a story is read in Chinese, Vietnamese and English, all at the same time. The team also makes a monthly visit to two local senior centers to provide books and information to Vietnamese speaking senior citizens.

Cultural celebrations

During cultural events like Lunar New Year or the Mid-Autumn Festival, Vietnamese staff plan activities at the library and host events. The team also partners with community organizations to attend community events to share information about library services — meeting the community where they are.

“We are here for the Vietnamese community and we do our very best to retain the culture. We share our culture so that it can be appreciated more with anyone that wants to learn more,” says Tri Bui, bilingual Vietnamese library assistant.

Call us!

When you call the library, you can ask questions in Vietnamese and connect with Vietnamese speaking staff over the phone (503.988.5123 ext. 5) to:

  • Learn about information on English learning classes and apps
  • Place books on hold
  • Get help finding events on the library website

“I’m always listening with an open heart and mind. I listen and then share what resources are available at the library and also in the metropolitan area,” says Irene Nguyen, library contact center representative.