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Every year during tax filing season, the library is ready to help— whether that be books, workshops, referrals to tax help, or printing out the forms you need, we're here for you!

Look for Upcoming Events, Programs and Blog Posts on our site 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.

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.

If Consumer Reports didn't review your item recently, try a MasterFILE Premier search for the item and the phrase "product evalutation". For example, "backhoe and product evaluation" yields reviews from publications like Underground ConstructionENR: Engineering News-Record, and Landscape Management.

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.

Happy shopping!

 

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