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Discover details of all the Corps members from this PBS site and this Discovering Lewis & Clark site.

THOMAS JEFFERSON

The Lewis and Clark "Corps of Discovery", as it eventually came to be called, was conceived by Thomas Jefferson. He was dedicated to exploration of the vast territory west of the Mississippi River and learning about the Native Americans who resided there. He wanted to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean and map the topography. Also, he expected the Corps to catalog the flora and fauna they encountered. On the Monticello web site read about Thomas Jefferson's part in funding and planning the Corp's work.

MERIWETHER LEWIS AND WILLIAM CLARK

President Jefferson chose his secretary Meriwether Lewis as the ideal candidate to captain the Corps. Lewis then chose his Co-Captain, William Clark. They had served in the military together and were an ideal team.  Between them, they possessed the skills needed to face the challenges of their incredible journey.

TOUSSAINT CHARBONNEAU

Monsieur Charbonneau is not noted for his popularity with the rest of the Corps or his abilities as a member of the team...it appears that the only contribution of real value he provided was the interpreting services of his wife, Sacajawea. This description of Charbonneau makes it clear he was considered a sort of "necessary evil".

SACAJAWEA

There are many questions surrounding Sacajawea's story that have been controversial. One is the correct spelling/pronunciation of her name and another question is at what age and where did she die? My search for accurate information about these questions and others about Sacajawea led me to the descendants of her tribe of origin, the Lemhi Shoshoni. I found a site from the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural, & Educational Center. Tim Woodward interviewed members of Sacajawea's birth tribe. The story of the kidnapping and slavery of Sacajawea and her marriage to Charbonneau make difficult reading. Her life as a member of the Corps of Discovery is but a small piece of her complex history. From the time she was kidnapped, Sacajawea's life was determined by people who were not interested in her happiness but in taking advantage of her talents. Sacajawea probably died due to an illness that may have resulted from the birth of her second child, a daughter named Lissette.

JEAN-BAPTISTE CHARBONNEAU (POMPEY) 

Sacajawea gave birth to Jean-Baptiste during the first winter of the expedition when they were camped at Fort Mandan in North Dakota. William Clark was very fond of the toddler nicknamed "Pomp" or "Pompey". The landmark Pompey's Pillar was named after Pompey. After the expedition he was provided for by Clark, but never adopted by him. Jean-Baptiste spent time as an adult in Europe but eventually returned to the United States to take up a mountain man lifestyle similar to his father's. The man, who had traveled as a child on one of the greatest explorations of all time, died and is buried in Oregon.

Jean Baptiste-Charbonneau grave site in Oregon.

YORK

York was William Clark's slave and belonged to him from the time both were children. His contributions to the success of the Corps were as valuable as any of the other members. In recent years, letters William Clark wrote to his brother reveal that he did not feel York's "services" with the Corps had any value. He didn't care that York wished to live close to his wife and refused to grant him his freedom. Clark told his brother that if York didn't improve his attitude he was going to loan him to a harsh master. The final years of York's life are detailed by the National Park Service. You can learn how York's position in the 1800's is typical of the complexities of the slave/owner relationship.

SERGEANT CHARLES FLOYD

Sgt. Floyd holds the dubious honor of being the only member of the Corps of Discovery to perish on the journey. This unhappy event took place soon after the Corps embarked on their Missouri River voyage. Flying at Sgt. Floyd's monument is a replica of the 15 star and 15 stripe flag he would have defended for the military. Visit his Sioux City memorial to learn what ended Sgt. Floyd's trek.

SEAMAN

Seaman was a Newfoundland dog and a valued member of the Corps of Discovery. He was purchased by Meriwether Lewis for $20 (about $400 in 1806), perhaps because he had webbed feet and much of the trip was intended to take place by pirogue. Seaman caught small game, entertained the expedition members and provided excellent service at guard duty. There are many theories about what became of Seaman. This version of Seaman's fate is intriguing...and it appears to be based on some historical evidence.  Here is a great photo of a sculpture including Seaman which is located in Fort Clatsop National Park--he is paying very close attention to the flounder rather than his guard duty.

Stanley Wanlass Sculpture with Seaman

WHO WERE THE OTHER GUYS

The rest of the Corps included volunteer members of the U.S. Army and a handful of civilians. They were chosen for the skills they could contribute in carrying out the goals of the expedition and for keeping all members alive and safe. 

 

National Library Workers Day is a day of recognition for all that library staff, administrators and volunteers do for our libraries. Library workers play a critical role in our communities. At Multnomah County Library, employees across the organization keep the library running. 

At each library location, staff will help you find the resources you are looking for and keep the collection organized and up to date. They will help you find the answers to research questions, assist with technology, offer book recommendations for all ages, provide culturally specific service, and more. 

Two library staff holding a giant library card

Motoya Nakamura/Multnomah County

Behind the scenes, staff help develop innovative programs, events and partnerships for and with our community. The library has many more staff who you don’t get to see at your locations, but that contribute to the library ecosystem, including delivery drivers (pictured) - who make sure you get the books you are looking for at the library of your choice! 

National Library Workers Day is observed on the Tuesday of National Library Week; this year it is on April 5, 2022. So next time you are in the library, share your gratitude with your dedicated library workers!

Some of the crew that moves materials around to all libraries

Visit your local library for yours

Don’t miss out on a chance to receive your makerspace minikit! The Circuits and Bots minikits are available now at your neighborhood library. These kits are intended for teens, tweens, and youth under 13 years old with recommended supervision. 

Makerspace minikits are STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) based activities in a bag. Each series shows kids how to be creative in interpreting the materials and making the final product. The minikits come with instructions in several languages: Russian, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Nicole Newsom, Judith Guzman-Montes, Desiree Wolcott-Cushman, and Melody Hamaker (pictured) along with other staff have been working behind the scenes to assemble thousands of kits.

“For this series, bristlebots are what I’ve worked on the most,” says Melody. “We receive materials in bulk, and then someone takes one of each item and makes sure we have all the components needed in a bag. To make these kits we have volunteers and staff working on them. It’s a mini assembly line each time.”

Staff assembling craft mini kits

The minikits currently available explore circuitry and the flow of energy. Youth can move electricity from a light to an LED using conductive materials; make a complete circuit; learn about parallel circuits; and experiment with making an on/off switch. Young patrons can learn, build and play by making a paper circuit card, light-up bugs, and bristlebots.” 

Mom and child holding minikit bag

Pictured are library patrons Marcos and his mom, Angeles, receiving their first minikit.

Each minikit series builds on the skills from the last, although patrons do not need to have done the previous series to participate in upcoming ones. 

“This was amazing and such a joy for the kids to do on a rainy day,” said one patron about the bridges minikits series.  

Other patrons have provided feedback saying that the minikits inspire them to do more at home projects. For the catapult minikit, one patron mentioned that the “rocket was the best part.”

The makerspace minikits are made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation. The minikits started as a way to offer at-home programming for youth while libraries were closed due to the pandemic. Previous to this, the Rockwood Library makerspace regularly hosted STEAM-based programs for teens. The space was designed for teens to hang out, learn new skills like movie making, video game design, computer coding and other advanced technology skills. Teens often visited after school and on weekends, creating robots, using the  3D printer and even completing projects with a laser cutter. The Rockwood makerspace first opened in 2016, which was made possible by the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission and The Library Foundation. 

There are two more scheduled minikits coming out in the next few months. 

  • Fiber arts minikit will be available beginning May 28, 2022. This minikit explores the art and science of fabric, through measuring, problem solving and sequencing patterns.
  • The soft circuits minikits will be available on June 11, 2022. In this series, experiment with circuit building and move electricity to a light. 

Library patrons can receive one minikit series per person, while supplies last.The minikits are free and include all materials.

Thank you to The Library Foundation.

Mary Frances Isom

Multnomah County Library would not be what it is today without the leadership and influence of Mary Frances Isom, a champion for local public libraries in the Portland community, Multnomah County, and for school libraries.

Mary Frances was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1865, to prominent parents. Her father was a surgeon for the Union Army, and Mary Francis' mother focused on raising her. After the Civil War, Mary Frances' family returned to their home in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1883, Mary Frances attended Wellesley College. After only a year, she went back home, and her mother died. When her father passed away in 1899, Mary Frances became the heir to her family’s wealth. 

Motivated to continue her education and a career path Mary Frances started at Pratt Institute’s Library School in New York in the fall of 1899. She received a certificate for completing the standard one-year course and then completed a second course in 1901. Her programs focused on cataloging, training on administration, library organization, and hands-on experience.

Mary Frances’ first job as a librarian was as a cataloguer for the Library Association of Portland. Her move came at an opportune time since there was a collection of thousands of books that needed her expertise. Portland pioneer merchant John Wilson gifted his collection of books to the Library Association of Portland, with the condition that the whole collection be free to all. As a result, the library transitioned from a subscription model in which it would cost money to access resources from the library, to a free public library. 

When Mary Frances arrived in Portland in 1901, she got to work to catalog the 8,891 books gifted by Wilson. As referenced in the biographical article, “Making the library be alive,” the 1901 library annual report refers to Mary Frances as having, “ worked with zeal and enthusiasm and the members of the staff transferred to her department have received the most efficient training and instruction.”

A year later in 1902, the library director left abruptly, and Mary Frances was offered the role of head librarian of the Library Association of Portland. As head librarian, she focused on three of the core needs identified at the time: books, space, and funding. Mary Frances also realized that the need for resources went further than just the Portland area. There was a need for books in the more rural parts of Oregon as well. 

Isom hadn't been at the library for more than two years when she began drafting a law enabling Multnomah County to levy taxes for library purposes. The library levy passed in 1903, paving the way for Multnomah County Library to become the first county library system on the West Coast.

She then focused her efforts on building a community around the library and attracting patrons into this new system. Realizing that people outside of the Portland area faced transportation challenges and barriers in getting to a branch, she developed book stations (also known as deposit stations) throughout rural areas of the county as a form of outreach. Each station carried about 50-100 books. This program snowballed into the idea of developing more opportunities for children to access books. 

As a collaborative leader, Mary Frances and her team developed child-focused programming at the library and distributed books to schools throughout the county. In addition, they also placed librarians at the community high schools.  

Portland was growing, and there was an interest in branch libraries. In 1907, some of the deposit stations became library branches. The first few new branches were Sellwood, Albina and East Portland libraries. 

At this same time, Andrew Carnegie began funding public libraries across the country. In 1911 and 1912, the library received Carnegie grants to build seven branch libraries. Of these St. Johns, Albina, and North Portland libraries are still in use today. Simultaneously, Mary Frances worked closely with Chief Architect Albert E. Doyle who led the design of the Central Library building, opening in 1913.

Mary Frances described the library as “the great social center of the community,” which she helped to create in her time in Portland. She lived a life that was rich and meaningful both professionally and personally.

Mary Frances Isom died in 1920. She was 55 years old. Upon her passing, Multnomah County Library had 16 public libraries. On the day of her death, the library closed for several hours to honor her works and life. The Multnomah County Library system our community knows and loves would not have been possible without the determination and vision of Mary Frances Isom more than a century ago. 

For more information about Mary Frances Isom and her life, please visit “Making the library be alive”: Portland’s librarian, Mary Frances Isom.
 

Interviewing for a job is stressful, especially if you haven’t done it before and you’re not sure what to expect. But just like anything else, the more you prepare, the more likely it is that you’ll feel confident.

The career site Indeed.com has useful information about preparing for an interview, including a video explaining how to answer the question “Tell me about yourself.” Here are some other questions you might be asked in an interview, and some questions you might want to ask the person or people interviewing you.

General Questions

  • Why are you looking for a job?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What makes you the best candidate for this job?
  • What are some of your biggest accomplishments?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What are you learning in school that will help you with this position?
  • Tell me about a problem you had recently and how you solved it.
  • Do you have any questions about the job?

Questions you might want to ask the people interviewing you:

  • Are schedules for people in this job likely to change often from week to week, or mostly stay the same?
  • What’s the best advice you have for someone starting out at this job?

The library can help you prepare for job interviews. We have community professionals who will do practice interviews with you and give you feedback. To schedule an appointment, contact us at workplace@multcolib.org.

You may have heard that “networking” is important when you’re looking for a job, and you might be wondering what it means to “network” when you’re a teenager. The basic idea is to make connections with people who can help you with your job search. Think about everyone you already know: friends, family, teachers, counselors, coaches, people at a place of worship or other activity you do in the community. One of the simplest ways to network is to tell people in your life that you’re looking for work. A counselor might know about an upcoming job fair. A friend might work at a grocery that has other job openings. A teacher might be able to provide a reference for you. Here’s a networking worksheet to help you brainstorm. Download the PDF document and open it in Google Docs or another word processor to edit it.

Think of the library as being part of your network, too! The library has resources to help you find what jobs are available to teens, to make a resume and prepare for an interview. To schedule an appointment, contact us at workplace@multcolib.org.

Teens need resumes too! It can be challenging to create your first resume but the library can help. First, start thinking about all of your experiences. Even if you’ve never had a job you probably have a lot of great skills and work experience. Check out this blog post to help you think about your experience.

The library can help you create your resume. We have librarians who can sit down with you and help you create your resume from scratch. We also have community professionals who will review your resume when it’s ready and help you make it even better. 

To schedule an appointment, contact us at workplace@multcolib.org

Here is a handy template to help you get started. Download the PDF document and open it in Google Docs or another word processor to edit it. 

Are you a teen thinking about getting a job but you don’t have any work experience? You probably have more experience than you think. 

Think about your hobbies, interests, and volunteer work. These can be things you do at home, school, community center, or place of worship. 

Think about all the things you know how to do. Can you type? Use a computer and different kinds of software? Do you help do certain things around the house? Speak or understand a language besides English? These are all great things to add to a resume. 

LinkedIn Learning for Libraries is a free online resource you can use with your library card. It has tons of video courses to help you learn new skills. You can even earn badges to add to your resume or online profiles. 

To help you brainstorm more about all the things you could add to a resume, we’ve created this handy worksheet to help get you started! Download the PDF document and open it in Google Docs or another word processor to edit it.

For more information on job searching for teens, check out this video from indeed.com.

If you’ve checked out a copy of George by Alex Gino recently, you might have noticed some changes to the cover. Many of the covers have been altered to change the title from George to Melissa’s Story. This was done in response to a blog post from the author encouraging readers to engage in #SharpieActivism. That is, to alter the covers of their book to the title Melissa’s Story to reflect the gender identity of the main character. In the post, Gino (who uses they/them pronouns) talks about the importance of using a person’s preferred name and that they regret using Melissa’s birth name as the title. They go on to share their experience of growing up nonbinary and the message that something as small as a book title can send.

Over the past several months, the Online Teen Council set to work on the library collection. Equipped with washi tape and colored Sharpies, the teens altered approximately 60 copies of the book in English, Spanish, and Books on CD. The results were rich and varied. Some were as simple as crossing out the old title and adding the new. Others were ornate. Some of the titles had been altered even before the project began. The teens brought their individuality to the project, as I’m sure Gino intended.

Covers of book Melissa's Story

On October 22nd, 2021, Scholastic announced that they have changed the title of the book to Melissa. The book will be printed with the new name starting in April 2022. In the meantime, you can visit Alex Gino’s blog for printable covers and to order stickers. Or else you can engage in your own #SharpieActivism.

Resources:
The Trevor Project
It Gets Better Project
Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC)
Oregon Youth Line (call, text, chat, or email)

For Families and Allies:
PFLAG
GLAAD
TransFamilies

¡La biblioteca te ayuda a prepararte para el fin de cursos!

Recibe ayuda para completar tus trabajos escolares con Live Homework Help from Tutor.com. Los tutores pueden revisar y editar tus escritos y ayudarte a resolver problemas matemáticos. Tutor.com también ofrece prácticas para exámenes como PSAT, SAT, ACT y Clases Avanzadas (AP). Los tutores están disponibles todos los días de 2 a 10 pm; y pueden ayudarte en español, inglés y vietnamita. 

Tenemos varios libros electrónicos y guías de estudio para ayudarte con las matemáticas, ciencias y escritura de ensayos; así como prepararte para los exámenes de Clases Avanzadas. Otro sitio para practicar los exámenes del SAT y ACT es LearningExpres Library. ¿Indeciso si tomar el SAT o el ACT?

Para usar los recursos en línea, solo necesitas una tarjeta de la biblioteca o tu número de Library Connect, que es como una tarjeta de biblioteca. Para usar Library Connect, revisa estos pasos. Si necesitas una contraseña, llámanos por teléfono, correo electrónico o chat entre las 9 am y 5 pm.

 

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