Блоги: Adults

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.

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.

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!

 

"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.

What is speculative fiction? Well, that depends who you ask. 

Some see speculative fiction as an umbrella term for any fiction with supernatural, futuristic, or fantasy elements. Others see it as books that ponder questions like, "what if this happened?' and "what if the world were this way" -- in other words, speculate. And still others see it as a  mish and mash elements from multiple genres that break the mold. I like this last definition, myself. In the past year I've seen so many books published lately that fit into sci-fi, fantasy, or horror, but bend the genres and include pieces that make them hard to categorize. The librarian in me wants to categorize them -- here's your fantasy, here's your horror -- but the reader in me delights in the unexpected mix of elements, often in a book I first took for just one thing. Though is any good book just one thing? 

Take Akwaeke Emezi's Pet as an example of what I mean: a novella set in a near-world society much like our own, except that it has rid itself of monsters (utopia). Teenage Jam meets a terrifying creature from another world named Pet, who emerges from a painting when a drop of Jam's blood is spilled on it (fantasy). Pet's come to hunt a monster... and the monster is in Jam's house (horror). So there you have utopia, fantasy and horror mixed together in a novella and which genre, my dears, do we set that inside? (the library places it simply on the fiction shelf, which makes things a lot simpler.)

This list includes just a few of my favorites in speculative fiction. Curious to learn more? This Book Riot article is a great introduction to the history and more recent definitions -- Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Leguin had a famous debate about it -- of speculative fiction. 

My love  for combining recipes into new dishes is a reflection of my upbringing in the US-Mexico border.

On summer evenings when my dad would take us to the ballpark to watch little league baseball games, an older brother who was a hotdog fan would drag me to the concession stand to satisfy his craving. Though not a hotdog fan myself, I would also purchase one. I would take a bite, then two, until I would finish it. On Sundays at noon on the Mexican side of the border -- yes, the same hotdog-loving brother -- would drag me after mass to a vendor in the mercado to get perritos calientes. While not a fan of Mexican hotdogs either, I would do the honorable thing and buy one. What I remember most and still enjoy on special occasions are the ingredients. The pico de gallo and fresh cilantro made a big difference to the ketchup and chopped white onions. 

 

 

 

Years later, when I found myself in Eastern Europe, I had a similar experience looking for home cooked meals. No! I wasn’t looking for hotdogs or hamburgers. I wanted something closer to

home. I was therefore surprised when I came across a Tex-Mex restaurant in Pécs, Hungary. Yes! Tex-Mex! I had to go in, and I had to have a guisado with flour tortillas. What could be more Texas Mexican than a beef guisado with nopalitos and flour tortillas? No! I did not have either. I did enjoy the soup and the piece of bread the server brought me. 

The lists of cookbooks below offer some of the recipes I have combined into original dishes. 

Buen Provecho

Starting January 1, new digital magazines will be available through OverDrive & the Libby app. Here's what you need to know about this change:

Should I keep the RBdigital app installed on my phone?
No. There will be no new issues added after December 31, 2020.

Can I still read the magazine issues I borrowed from RBdigital?
Yes. To read your borrowed magazine loans, visit zinio.com, or download the free ZINIO app. From the ZINIO app or website, register for a new ZINIO account. You will need to use the same email address you used to access RBdigital. Once you've registered, your RBdigital magazine loans will be available in your account.

Will OverDrive have a magazine reader like the one available on RBdigital?
The Libby app will offer an article and thumbnail view for magazine titles starting in January. The article view will not be available on the OverDrive app and website.

Will there be a checkout period for magazines?
Yes. Magazines will now checkout for 21 days.

Can I renew magazines?
Yes. You will have the option to renew a magazine within 3 days of the end of the lending period. Or you could borrow it again with no waiting. 

Will magazines count against my OverDrive checkout limit?
No. Magazines will not count toward checkout limits.

Will there be an option to automatically borrow new issues of a magazine?
No. OverDrive does not currently have plans to support auto-checkout of magazine titles, but their developers are considering a notification system for when new issues are added.

Cthulhu figurine
Maybe you’re reading Lovecraft Country or The City We Became. Or maybe you just like your fiction eerie, weird, or chock full of tentacles. Perhaps you find squidlike elder gods, or squids themselves, cute. In any event, despite H.P. Lovecraft’s despicable views - or as a reaction to them - current authors are gleefully reinterpreting his tales, giving them all kinds of twists he never would have imagined, and that he might have found downright... horrifying. Maybe even namelessly terrifying, indescribably eldritch, and worse yet (for him),  better written than the stories of old H.P. himself!

The fabulous irony of all this is that Lovecraft was an early proponent of fanfiction, shared universes, and remixing, so in a sense these authors are working in a tradition he encouraged, but use it in subversive and creative ways. And often that sense of otherworldly eerieness and creeping dread that is central to cosmic horror is even more vivid and terrifying than ever. Delve into this strange new world with the books below.

The Collected Works of Langston Hughes book jacket
I had never read the literary works of Langston Hughes before coming across The Collected Works of Langston Hughes at the North Portland Library.  I knew of him as a great poet and poetry was not my favorite genre.  Nonetheless, I leafed through the seventeen volume set on the shelf and I immediately was hooked on the works of one of the literary lions of the Harlem Renaissance.

Not sure where to begin, I skimmed through the volumes on poetry.  I read quickly a few poems, tried to digest others, but it was his prose that truly beckoned me.  I paused skimming midway through his oeuvre and read the first two short tales in depth.  I knew then, as I do now, that I had found a literary gold mine because weeks later, I’m still digging through the Simple stories in volumes 7 and 8.

Originally published in the Chicago Defender from 1943 to 1965, the Simple stories read more like weekly columns on race relations in the U.S. The tales are narrated in a conversational form to engage readers on multiple levels.  On one level, the stories are comical and reader-friendly, designed to show the human soul of Jesse B. Semple, or Simple as he is known, and draw the reader in.  Readers get to see and feel Simple’s failures and successes as well as his frustrations and dreams.  On another level, the stories portray the complex world that evolved in the Jim Crow era in a non-antagonizing way.  Simple’s conversations with his bar buddy not only lured readers into the national dialogue over race, but they also engaged readers in a constructive conversation over racism—the ideological foundation that defined the racial boundaries of Simple’s life and, by extension, African Americans.

Though it has been sixty-five years since Langston Hughes published the first Simple stories in book form, the ideas in these tales still resonate.  Racial progress has been made, but we still have a long way to go.  Both fictional characters would probably nod their heads.  Yes, over a cold beer.  Still, such ideas, now more than ever, need to be part of a national discourse.

 

Do you read Facebook or Twitter for news? Subscribe to a newspaper? Peruse websites, or watch videos? In an era of so many choices for information, how do you make a judgement about what's fact, what's slanted and what's just completely untrue? 

Here are some tips for evaluating what you are reading, listening to or viewing.  

  1. Consider the source. You can learn more about a website by clicking on the "About Us" link  that most provide, but don't stop there. Research the organization or author's credentials. If statistics are cited, see if you can find the source, and double-check that they are represented correctly.  
  2. Read beyond attention-getting headlines to check the whole article. If a statement is made, is a source given? Click through to check the sources, and do your own searching on those citations.
  3. Check the date. Sometimes old news stories resurface, and they might be out of date or inaccurate. If currency is important, limit your search to recent results
  4. Watch for bias, including your own. Check different sources to see how each treats a news item. Consider your own beliefs and perspectives and think about how that might change how you perceive what you are seeing. 
  5. Too weird to be true? If something seems implausible, see what fact-checking sites like Snopes, PolitiFact, and FactCheck have to say. 

For more about being a smart information consumer, check out the infographic, "How to Spot Fake News", provided by The International Federation of Library Associations. If you're more of a visual learner, take a look at the CRAAP test video from librarians at California State University. If you'd like to engage in some deeper learning, try this 3 hour online course, Check, Please!

And remember, if you're looking for reliable information, get in touch with us. We're always happy to help.

 

Pages

Subscribe to