Six stacked books being held by a person

Book bans are not new to public libraries, but challenges to censor books are rapidly rising across the country and around Oregon. This trend is troubling to public libraries like Multnomah County Library, which are deeply committed to your right to access information from all viewpoints and diverse authors. 

The American Library Association compiles data on book challenges that are reported on or covered by the media. A disproportionate number of challenged books are written by authors of color or include themes that represent the intersectionality of race, gender and sexuality. 

This month, the library is highlighting both Banned Books Week (October 1-7) and Latinx Heritage Month (through October 15). Join us in recognizing the contributions of Latinx writers by reading these banned books or attending the library’s special Banned Books Week event, “why your voice matters — even, and especially as censorship increases,” on October 5.

“What I love about the library is our ability to center equity, representation, intersectionality and diversity in our language and culture groups through our work with displays, community outreach, serving patrons throughout the day, connecting them with our resources, and even in simple conversations with families,” says Isabel Villarreal Stewart, a staff member who is part of the Black Cultural Library Advocates team (BCLA).

Library staff with lived experience from communities of color and culture are creating more space and visibility to recognize and discuss the complexity of intersectional identities, through events, book displays and resources that connect with their communities. 

“When we hear intersectionality, we think about all the ways our identities can intersect and interact with each other, and how that shapes our experiences. I am a proud member of BCLA, just as I am proud of my queerness and my Latin identity. I hope to represent that intersectionality in all the work I do!” says Isabel. 

Library staff bring their whole selves to serving the community, providing cultural affinity and alliance. They help patrons find what they need, including their next favorite book. Contact us in person, by phone or online to let us help you explore new perspectives.

Read these banned books by Latinx authors

This is a long post showing meal resources in Multnomah County (and beyond). We start with school districts and then move to community organizations 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

We have done our best to provide current information. Please confirm meal availability through the links shared below. The SUN Service System also has information on accessing food.

Centennial [updated 9/7/23]

The food pantry at Parklane Elementary, 15811 SE Main St., Portland, is open Fridays from noon to 1:30 p.m. Stop by to access 3-5 days’ worth of FREE, fresh, and healthy food for your family. Please bring your own bags. No identification or income verification materials required. Anyone is welcome to shop!

The food pantry at Patrick Lynch Elementary, 1546 SE 169th Pl., is open to the public on Tuesdays from 4:00 pm. to 5:00 pm.

Food 4 Families will have food distribution every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at Centennial High School, 3505 SE 182nd Ave, Gresham, 97030. 4:00pm to 5:00pm. Click here for distribution dates.

David Douglas [updated 9/19/23]

There are food pantries at the following David Douglas schools. Click here for a calendar that shows hours of operation and any closures.

  • Cherry Park Elementary: 1930 SE 104th Ave. Mondays, 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • Earl Boyles Elementary: 10822 SE Bush St. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. 
  • Mill Park Elementary: 1900 SE 117th Ave. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • Gilbert Park Elementary: 13132 SE Ramona St. Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • Menlo Park Elementary: 12900 NE Glisan St. Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. 
  • David Douglas High, Old Pool Building: 13030 SE Taylor Ct. Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Gresham-Barlow [updated 9/19/23]

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

Parkrose [updated 9/7/23]

There are food pantries at the following schools (click the link for closures):


Portland [updated 9/7/23]

There are food pantries at the following schools. Please click on the link to check for closure information.


Reynolds [updated 3/9/23]

    Food pantries are located at the following schools. Click here for more information.
    • Glenfair Elementary: 15300 NE Glisan St. Tuesdays, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
    • Reynolds High: 1698 SW Cherry Park Rd., Troutdale. Last Tuesday of the month, 1:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m.
    • Alder Elementary: 17200 SE Alder St. Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Reynolds Middle: 1200 NE 201st Ave., Fairview. Fridays 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Wilkes Elementary: 17020 NE Wilkes Rd. 1st Friday of the month, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Davis Elementary: 19501 NE Davis St. 2nd Friday of the month, 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
    • H.B. Lee Middle: 1121 NE 172nd Ave. Call 503-706-2834 for information on accessing the food pantry
    • Walt Morey Middle: 2801 SW Lucas Ave., Troutdale. Call 503-810-9604 or 503-491-1935 for information on accessing the food pantry

    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.

    Crossroads Food Bank (NE): 2505 NE 102nd Ave., Portland. Thursdays 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon.

    Mainspring Food Pantry (NE):  3500 NE 82nd Ave.  They suggest following them on social media to see mobile food pantry locations.  Their current free food pantries are located at:
    • Español
    • русский
    • Dawson Park, 1 N Stanton St. Every 1st Tuesday from 10 am to noon
    • Community Transitional School, 6601 NE Killingsworth St. Every 2nd Tuesday from 10 am to noon
    • East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave. Every 2nd Wednesday from 9 am to 11 am
    • Victory Outreach, 16022 SE Stark St. Every 3rd Tuesday from 10 am to noon
    • Rockwood Village Apartments, 783 SE 185th Ave. Every 4th Tuesday from 10 am to noon
    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 Tuesday, 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m; Thursday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to noon. 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 9 a.m.– 11 a.m. 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 a.m. - noon. Food boxes are available each week.
    St. Mark's Lutheran Church (SE): 5415 SE Powell Blvd., Portland 97206. Food pantry every Friday, 2:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.
    Sunshine Division (SE):  free emergency food boxes to pick up or be delivered. Pickup times are Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There are two locations:
    • 12436 SE Stark St.
    • 687 N Thompson St.

    Visit their website to request a food box delivery, or call 503-823-2102

    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. Pantry times are Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Thursdays 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. You can also place an order online.
    St. Johns Food Share (N): 8100 N Lombard St., Portland 97203. Food pantry open Mondays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Urban Gleaners: multiple locations across Multnomah and Washington counties. Click here for a list of locations.
    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. Click the link and scroll down to food resources.

    Are you a writer looking for inspiration, support and community? Portland is a writing city, with many organizations focused on the craft. Here's a brief and by no means comprehensive list of some of those organizations. 

    Writing groups, workshops, and classes

    Literary Arts offers an ongoing BIPOC Reading Series, intended to prioritize the safety, creativity, and stories of Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color. You can come to listen or sign up to share in an open mic. Anyone is welcome to attend, but only those who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color are invited to read.

    The Attic Institute presents workshops, classes, and individual consultation about writing projects.

    The Multnomah Arts Center offers some wonderful literary arts classes.

    Portland State University has a few different academic programs in creative writing.

    VoiceCatcher is a nonprofit connecting and empowering women writers in Portland.

    Write Around Portland offers free creative writing workshops, hosts a bimonthy BIPOC writing circle, and creates publication and reading opportunities for workshop participants.

    For a variety of author readings and all things literary, check out Literary Portland. They maintain lists of author readings, book and discussion groups, writing organizations and more. They are also the people behind Old Pal, a journal devoted to literature and art.

    Check out Meetup for a variety of creative writing groups in and around Portland.

    Membership organizations

    The Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) offers resources and workshops related to printing and book-making. They also have certificate programs in creative nonfiction/fiction, poetry, and comics/graphic novels.

    Oregon Poetry Association, Oregon’s oldest and largest literary organization, offers community, contests, and conferences.

    Oregon Writers Colony offers community, conferences and workshops, and the use of a beach house writing retreat!

    Rose City Romance Writers, the Portland, Oregon chapter of Romance Writers of America, educates, supports, and mentors published and unpublished romance writers.

    Willamette Writers hosts regular meetings for the exchange of ideas related to writing and craft.

    Reading series

    Literary Arts’ programs include Portland Arts and Lectures, Writers in the Schools, the Oregon Book Awards and Fellowships, and Delve Readers Seminars.

    There are many different reading series in Portland! You could head out to hear writers read their work at Burnt Tongue, Unchaste Readers, you could catch a reading when the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (FWWA) Pacific Northwest Reading Series has a Portland event...  or you could see one of the many readings at Powell's Books

    Local Publishers

    The Northwest is home to a vibrant publishing world. Here are just a few:

    • IPRC -  provides affordable access to space, tools, and resources for creating independently published media and artwork, and to build community and identity through the creation of written and visual art.
    • Ooligan Press -  is a student-run trade press dedicated to cultivating the next generation of publishing professionals. Ooligan works with the library to publish selections from The Library Writers Project. Visit the Library Writers Project page to learn more about submitting your self-published work to the library's digital collection.
    • Microcosm Publishing - Microcosm specializes in nonfiction DIY (Do-It-Yourself) books, zines, and decks that focus on the reader and teach self-empowerment.
    • Forest Avenue Press - publishes literary fiction on a joyride and the occasional memoir. Our titles are infused with a fresh, complex, sometimes nutty, and often-wondrous approach to storytelling.
    • Sasquatch Books - publishes books by the most gifted writers, artists, chefs, naturalists, and thought leaders in the Pacific Northwest and on the West Coast.

    To connect to more publishers and keep up with Northwest book news, especially indy stores and authors, check out the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association.

    Other stuff

    Although closures may impact availability, Multnomah County’s Central Library offers the Sterling Room for Writers, where writers can find a quiet work space in close proximity to all the resources the library has to offer. Interested writers must submit an application and be approved to gain access to the room. Please note that Central Library is currently closed for remodelling and will likely reopen in late 2024.

    Las conferencias con los maestros pueden provocar ansiedad, pero estar bien preparado nos ayuda a estar tranquilos. He aquí una lista de ideas de cómo prepararse.

    Antes de la reunión

    • Si no puede asistir a la junta el día establecido, informe al maestro y solicite una nueva fecha.
    • Solicite un intérprete si lo considera necesario; no permita que su estudiante traduzca durante la reunión.
    • Hable con su estudiante acerca de cómo se siente en la escuela y juntos elaboren metas para ese año escolar.
    • Revise los trabajos, los exámenes y la boleta de calificaciones de su estudiante y haga una lista de las áreas fuertes y de las áreas en donde su estudiante necesita más ayuda.
    • Esté preparado para hacer preguntas (vea ejemplos abajo) sobre las formas en que usted y el maestro pueden ayudar a su estudiante con algunos de sus desafíos.
    • Si es posible, envíe una nota a los maestros con anticipación con las dudas que tenga para que ellos se preparen y le tengan respuestas.


    Durante la reunión

    • Agradezca al maestro por su tiempo.
    • Pregunte acerca del desempeño académico de su estudiante; solicite evaluaciones y muestras del trabajo de su estudiante. 
    • Pida al maestro ideas de cómo ayudar a su estudiante en casa.
    • Preste atención a los comentarios de los maestros y tome nota de lo que se dice y planifica.
    • Pida aclaración de todo lo que no le quede claro y discuta respetuosamente las diferencias de opinión.
    • Centre su atención en lo académico; si su estudiante se involucra en comportamientos que están afectando su aprendizaje, pida otra reunión con su maestro para hablar al respecto.
    • Pida al maestro que se comunique con usted en cuanto ocurran situaciones que afecten el desempeño escolar de su estudiante; no tienen qué esperar hasta la siguiente conferencia de padres y maestros.


    Después de la reunión

    • Después de la reunión
    • Reflexione acerca de los temas que se revisaron y los que necesitan seguimiento.
    • Continúe hablando con su estudiante y trabajen juntos en un plan de acción. 
    • Manténgase en contacto con el maestro y establezcan una fecha para reunirse si es necesario.
    • Haga un esfuerzo por aprender más acerca del sistema educativo, el currículo escolar y los exámenes que su estudiante debe tomar; ¡la biblioteca puede ayudarle!


    Preguntas posibles para plantear durante las conferencias de padres y maestros

    1. ¿Cómo le va a mi estudiante en su clase?
    2. ¿Está mi estudiante leyendo al nivel del grado en que se encuentra? ¿Qué tal en matemáticas, ciencias y escritura? 
    3. ¿Está mi estudiante en alguna clase, programa o grupo especial? ¿Por qué?
    4. ¿Qué programas están disponibles en el distrito escolar para mi estudiante en caso que necesite ayuda extra?
    5. ¿Qué nos recomienda si mi estudiante necesita ayuda con la tarea en casa?
    6. ¿Qué es lo más importante que mi estudiante debe comprender y aprender para el fin del curso?
    7. ¿Cómo mide o califica el progreso académico?
    8. ¿Ha fallado mi estudiante en entregar tarea? ¿Qué recomienda para que se ponga al día?
    9. ¿Qué puedo hacer para ayudar a mi estudiante y apoyar el trabajo de usted?
    10.  ¿Cómo puedo comunicarme con usted?

    English | Español

    Celebra el Mes de la Herencia Hispana y Latina del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre en la Biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah. 

    El Mes de la Herencia Hispana y Latina es un tiempo para festejar las contribuciones de la comunidad hispana y latina en los Estados Unidos. 

    La comunidad hispana y latina incluye a gente con raíces españolas, de países sudamericanos, el Caribe, Centroamérica y México. Por causa de la colonización, la esclavitud y la migración, hay latinos en todas partes del mundo y con identidades diversas como afro-latina, indígena, asiática y más. La diversidad de la comunidad no se limita a solo un país o idioma; más bien la cultura latina e hispana es tan rica, que podemos disfrutar de la diversidad que existe en una cultura creada con tantas.

    La celebración empezó en 1968, cuando el Congreso de los Estados Unidos proclamó una semana en otoño como la Semana Nacional de la Herencia Hispana. En 1988 la celebración se extendió a un mes completo.

    Las fechas se escogieron para conmemorar varios eventos importantes, incluyendo el Día de la Independencia de México, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica y Chile.

    La biblioteca celebra nuestra comunidad hispana y latina todo el año y durante este mes tendremos eventos que se enfocan en la música y la comida.

    Juan García, bibliotecario para jóvenes en la Biblioteca de Rockwood, dice: “Me mudé de México a los Estados Unidos cuando tenía siete años y durante mucho tiempo me resultó difícil encontrar mi lugar en este país. La asimilación jugó un papel importante en mi educación, quería encajar y no me di cuenta de que estaba alejándome de mi cultura. Esta es una lucha que muchos inmigrantes tienen. Me hace muy feliz trabajar en un lugar como la biblioteca pública que no sólo reconoce nuestra cultura sino que crea espacios para celebrarla. Este Mes de la Herencia Latina estoy entusiasmado con todos los eventos que organizan mi biblioteca y las demás bibliotecas.”

    Un niño enfrente de una mesa con juegos.

    ¡Visita la biblioteca para participar en actividades para toda la familia!

    También habrá actividades artísticas y recomendaciones de libros en las bibliotecas. 

    Aprende sobre el equipo de la biblioteca que habla español  y mantente al tanto en la página web.

    The start of a new school year can be a stressful time as families transition to a new schedule and students adjust to new teachers and classmates. Here are some resources to assist you.

    Image of student running down a school hallway
    Educational Support

    Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Students & Families

    Find resources on everything from school busing to graduation requirements.

    Parent/teacher conferences

    Prepare ahead of time for parent/teacher conferences to feel more comfortable and confident. 


    This list of free tutoring opportunities includes the library’s K-12 Virtual Tutoring service, providing 30-minute sessions with adult tutors weekly on Tuesdays.

    Who’s Who in Your Child’s School

    This article from Reading Rockets introduces you to the various teachers, administrative staff and organizations you might encounter in your child’s school.



    Meal resources for families

    This post lists meal resources in Multnomah County (and beyond).



    Back-to-school anxiety

    Going back to school has always made kids - and their caregivers! - anxious. Here are some ideas to help smooth the transition. 

    Multnomah County Student Health Centers 

    Student health centers are like having a doctor’s office at school. They offer comprehensive primary and mental health care services to all Multnomah County youth ages 5-18. There are no out-of-pocket costs. 

    The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Mental Health and Well-being

    The ODE is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of Oregon students and their families. 


    Help kids understand what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely, including how they can get help. 

    Talking with teens about mental health

    Caregivers should listen to teenagers and reach out if they see concerning signs. Here are some resources to help.



    Affordable Connectivity Program

    Provided by the FCC, this program helps households afford the broadband they need for school or work by providing a monthly discount.

    Library computers and internet access

    The library offers free access to computers, chromebooks, printers and scanners within our library buildings. Please contact Tech Help for more information or call us at 503.988.5123.


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

    Multnomah County Library is proud to participate in Banned Books Week (October 1- 7). Library staff in every state are facing a disturbing increase in challenges and book bans. The American Library Association documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022 alone, which is the highest number in the more than 20 years that statistics have been recorded. The titles being challenged and banned were predominantly by or about LGBTQIA+ persons and Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

    Image of Censored stamp

    Banned Books Week draws attention to the very real harm and dangers of such censorship by celebrating intellectual freedom. While adults have been given plenty of air time on this important topic, librarians decided to speak with those most impacted: the youth. To support and amplify the voices of these young readers, the library included some direct quotes from teens and tweens we surveyed across the county.

    We asked youth if they had ever read a book that was banned or challenged, what they thought of it, and why they thought someone would ban or challenge it. We also wanted to know if there was anything they wished people trying to ban books knew, what they would say to them, and who should be in charge of picking books for their school and public libraries.


    “I’ve read many banned books. For example Stamped by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi. I believe people challenged it because of its content on racism. And the history they wrote about it. I found it very interesting and a very important novel. We learn about history so we make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

    Halle, Woodstock library


    “I have read multiple banned or challenged books. Most of their content includes diversity, learning of other’s experiences, LGBTQ+ groups, “offensive” language or other experiences people refuse to accept or discuss. I think reading about these expands knowledge and is beneficial.”

    Gresham library youth


    “Many more diverse authors have been able to share their perspective in published books and as readers grow, misinformation about “explicit” pieces of literature (misunderstanding too often born about bigotry) also increase. I completed a project on banned books and found that PEN America reported 41% of banned books are LGBTQIA+ and 40% have characters of color. These bans reflect bias.”

    Ahnalya, Gresham library youth


    “I think books are being banned/challenged because people are afraid of what they don’t understand, so they try to get rid of it altogether.”

    Woodstock library youth


    “Many of these books talk about important issues today. I think the idea that the public learning how to fight back scares many of the people banning books. They need to realize that learning to fight back is good and can help us move forward from our current non-inclusive views.”

    Scout, Gresham library youth


    “We need to let children choose what they read, just like how children should choose what they like, wear, etc. because it’s THEIR experience. Reading should be about diversity and inclusion because we’re in a place in society where people are safer and more comfortable with coming out as their true, authentic selves and we can’t allow children to think that racism, sexism, etc. is okay from them not learning about it early on or being introduced to these topics. These books aren’t designed to sexualize children or encourage “inappropriate” behaviors as many are saying, but they are exposing children/young adults to important social justice topics to further deepen their social skills, development, awareness and overall empathy in the real world.”

    Mason, Northwest library youth


    The library applauds these young readers for speaking up and out about banned books and their impact on their growth and education. When the library says “All are welcome here,”  that means striving to include all communities, especially those who have experienced marginalization and systemic oppression. Everyone should have the chance to see themselves represented on library shelves and to have the opportunity to grow and expand their experience in a safe and inclusive environment for all. 

    “Let Freedom Read” is the theme of this year’s Banned Books Week, October 1-7. Join the library—and county youth—in uplifting, celebrating, and exploring these indispensable titles!

    Multnomah County Library is celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 24, 2-4 pm at Gresham Library

    This year's celebration includes performances by Portland Art & Cultural Center's Chinese children dance team and Van Lang Vietnamese School's Vietnamese dance team. Families can come and enjoy mooncakes, participate in a lantern-making craft activity, and listen to Chinese and Vietnamese storytimes. 

    The Mid-Autumn Festival is a holiday celebrated in China, Vietnam and other Asian countries. It is a time for friends and families to come together. It occurs on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar — meaning the festival falls between mid-September and early October.

    Multnomah County Library has several branches that have Chinese and Vietnamese-speaking staff members. Many said that their favorite part of the Mid-Autumn Festival was eating the mooncakes, which are small pastries stuffed with different fillings and typically eaten during the festival.

    "A fun part is getting with family, cutting the mooncakes and eating them. There are lots of different flavors, lotus seed, red bean paste and a combination, like pineapple mooncakes," says Toan Lam-Sullivan, Chinese bilingual librarian and member of this year's Mid-Autumn Festival planning team.

    Since the moon is the fullest and brightest during the Mid-Autumn Festival, many people also enjoy viewing it with their friends and family.

    The Mid-Autumn Festival has many folktales about what you can see on the moon’s surface while looking up at it. In Chinese culture, there is the story of Chang’e (嫦娥) and how she flew to the moon. And in Vietnamese culture there is the story of Cuội and the magic tree he planted. 

    Many of the cultures celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival also associate rabbits with the moon. That’s why you can see so much rabbit imagery during this celebration.

    The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the ways the library fosters connections between members of the Chinese and Vietnamese communities to celebrate their cultural heritage. 

    Woman smiling and holding a kids picture book

    Sally Li posing with 嫦娥奔月 by Yiyi Zhu (朱懿懿), a book about the tale of Chang’e (嫦娥)

    "Even though on the festival day we still need to go to work or school, I think it's important for the library to open the space for the community so they can be together to celebrate, and also so we can share the culture with the kids," says Sally Li, Chinese bilingual library assistant and a member of this year's Mid-Autumn Festival planning team.

    To participate in the Mid-Autumn Festival, take a look at the Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival booklist to read folktales about the moon and stories about the celebration. Woodstock Library will also host a smaller celebration on September 17 from 2-4 pm (registration is required) and will include a rabbit lantern craft activity, a guest presenter and Chinese storytime.

    The library offers volunteer opportunities for teens, adults and seniors. Patrons can also get involved in volunteer-led library programs.

    The library's largest teen volunteer effort is the Summer Reading program, for which teens help kids and families pick up their gameboard and learn about prizes. However, there are other year round opportunities for teens as well. In the teen and tween councils, teens can work on service projects for the library, like creating book displays and connecting with patrons. 

    our kids ranging in age from children to teens behind a table with a sign that says Summer Reading.

    Adults can volunteer in many ways: 

    • Tutor a child needing extra help on a specific subject. Volunteer tutors meet with students for 30-minute increments each week for an eight-week term. 
    • Read to the Dogs program. Adults with certified therapy dogs can meet with young readers to help develop confidence in their reading skills. 
    • Tutor other adults who are preparing to take their GED exam in reading, math and other skills.
    • Volunteer for talk time conversations to help adults who are practicing English or other languages.

    Grace Hashiguchi recently volunteered at the library through the summer tutoring program. Grace met with the same students virtually every week during this six-week program. She primarily focused on general literacy for elementary students. 

    “I’d brainstorm with the kids to find topics or series they were interested in, find relevant e-books and share my screen. Then I’d either have them read to me or we would alternate pages. We'd also discuss new vocab words or play spelling games and try to make that experience engaging,” says Grace.

    Grace has a public relations and writing background and wanted to find a way to use her skills to serve the community. “My favorite part is finding common ground with students. Through active listening and compassion, you can form a connection in two short months just by showing interest in their lives and learning goals. Seeing glimpses of empowerment, when a student feels capable — even if just for a sentence, or while learning a new game together — it’s just such an exciting feeling.”

    Alan Platt, another volunteer with the summer tutoring program, was previously a home teacher in California. He says, “I feel volunteering is a basic civic duty. Help in whatever way you can. If tutoring appeals to you, great. But duty aside, and regardless of how you volunteer, you get satisfaction from helping others, and often come away ‘enriched’ yourself in some fashion. In my case, teaching always leads to my own deeper understanding of the material we are studying. This is probably why I love teaching Social Studies and History so much!”

    Stay connected with the library and find volunteer opportunities that work for you!

    English | Español

    This Latinx Heritage Month, come to the library! Attend multilingual events, explore the cultural diversity within the Latino community, and find new and exciting books. 

    The United States first observed Latinx Heritage Month in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, the date was extended to a month-long period from September 15 - October 15. It was enacted as Public Law 100-402.

    At Multnomah County Library, the month-long cultural festivities are referred to as Latinx Heritage Month, to include the diversity in race, gender, language and countries that make up the Latino community. 

    “I personally identify more with Latinx,” says Maria Tobón López, library assistant at St. Johns Library. “I understand all of our experiences are different. It’s important to recognize that some of us don't fall under the perfect sphere of Hispanic and we have a lot of Indigenous communities that aren’t represented with it. What I like more about Latinx, is being representative and being able to observe all of our identities.”  

    Librarian in front of book shelves with books in Spanish smiling at camera

    St. Johns Library will change its displays to reflect the events it’s hosting- including comedy for kids, Loteria night, and a churro cooking class. 

    On the Noche de Loteria (Loteria night) Maria says, “It is very near and dear to my heart. I see it as an event where the community can come together, all different ages and walks of life to play a simple game. I’ve witnessed it before where people may not know how to play the game, but you see these little relationships come out, and I can’t wait to share this with St. Johns. I know there is a large Latino and Spanish-speaking community that will be excited to do this.”

    Library events will center on music and food! With events like Venezuelan arepa making and Paraguayan music, the Latino community can come together to share in culture and joy.

    Juan Garcia, teen librarian at Rockwood Library, says, “I moved to the United States from Mexico when I was 7, and for a long time it was hard for me to find my place in this country. Assimilation played a big part in my upbringing, I wanted to fit in and didn’t realize I was pushing my culture away. This is a struggle many other immigrants have. It makes me so happy to work at a place like the public library that not only acknowledges our culture but creates spaces to celebrate it. This Latinx Heritage month, I am excited about all of the events my library and neighboring libraries are hosting.”

    If you’re unable to attend an event but want to stay connected:


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