Blogs: Local interest

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. The places where the moon will completely cover the sun — creating a total solar eclipse — are on what's called the path of totality. That path includes a swath of Oregon.

The total solar eclipse will touch down between Lincoln City and Newport at 10:15 am, then cross places like Madras, John Day and Baker City before leaving the state at 10:27 am.   

Outside the path of totality, viewers will see a partial solar eclipse. In Portland, for example, 99 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon. 

We've got everything you need to make the most of the eclipse, including the official live stream, path maps, library events and all the best reads. (Below, click "Eclipse 2017" to see everything.)  

Pick up a pair of free eclipse-viewing glasses at any library beginning August 1.

 

Mayor Charlie Hales at National Night Out - City of Portland photo

In early August for the last 30 years, communities and neighborhoods have been getting together to meet, celebrate and have fun at National Night Out celebrations. These events were started to promote safe neighborhoods and crime prevention initiatives by solidifying partnerships between law enforcement and communities. National Night Out events are generally free and family-friendly. 

The official date of National Night Out is the first Tuesday in August, but there are so many parties happening in Multnomah County, they can't all take place on the same day. The City of Portland compiles a list of parties submitted to them for publicizing. In Gresham, call 503.618.2567 to find out where there's a party near you, and in Troutdale call 503.665.6129. Learn more about Fairview's party on its National Night Out page.

Thinking of planning your own party? The Office of Neighborhood Involvement in Portland has a variety of National Night Out party planning resources to help you plan anything from a small potluck picnic with chalk out for the kids to a big bash with a live band that shuts down the street. There is also a brief National Night Out page for Gresham. The message from the experts is to start early — it's not too early to plan for next year! 

A continuing feature of local celebrations is that groups can request to have police officers and firefighters show up at their party. And who knows, your neighborhood could throw a party and maybe even the mayor will show up!

To get you planning your party, meeting your neighbors and thinking about community, we've compiled a list of reading suggestions.

Below are the parties where you can connect with your neighborhood library this summer. We can't hit all the parties (we'd be so tired!), but where you see us, you can guarantee that we'll be talking about great books, services and resources. Come say hi!

 
North Portland Library
Tuesday, August 1, Peninsula Park, 700 N Roda Parks Ave., Portland
 
Hillsdale Library
Tuesday, August 1, Dewitt Park, 1805 SW Dewitt St., Portland
 
Fairview-Columbia Library
Tuesday, August 1, Fairview Community Park, 21600 NE Park Lane, Fairview
Friday, July 21, Wood Village Baptist Church, 23601 NE Arata Rd., Wood Village
 
Midland Library
Tuesday August 1, Mill Park, SE 117th St. and Stephens Ave., Portland
 
Holgate Library
Tuesday, August 1, Kern Park, SE 67th Ave. and Center St., Portland
 
Capitol Hill Library
Tuesday, August 1, Capitol Hill Library, 10723 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland
 
Kenton Library
Tuesday, August 1, McCoy Park, N Trenton St. & Newman Ave., Portland
 
Central Library
Friday, August 4, Portland State University Park Blocks, between SW Harrison St. and Montgomery St., Portland
 
Gresham Library and Rockwood Library
Friday, August 4, The Rosewood Initiative, 16126 SE Stark St., Portland 
 

 

Logo for Bike to BooksCelebrate National Bike Month!

Ride your bike to the library during May and get a free bike light!

Multnomah County Library is partnering with the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation and Metro to give free bike lights to patrons who ride their bikes to any Multnomah County library during the month of May. (One bike light per person, while supplies last.)

Other fun reasons to ride your bike during May:

#BiketoBooks


 

When it seems like the rain is never going to stop, don’t despair! Whether your tastes run more towards Portland puppets or Troutdale trains, Multnomah County has no shortage of fascinating and quirky museums that won’t cost you anything. (Check the links for updated hours and contact information.)

Whimsy. Revisit the toys of your (or your grandparents') childhood at Kidd's Toy Museum. And if your pipsqueaks are pleading to ponder a plethora of puppets, perhaps Ping Pong's Pint Size Puppet Museum is your pleasure.

Safety. Witness the evolution of fire fighting at the Historic Belmont Firehouse. You also might find the Portland Police Museum rather arresting.

History. We love that the Gresham Historical Society museum is housed in an original Carnegie library! Not to be outdone, the Troutdale Historical Society has three museums: The Barn Exhibit Hall, The Harlow House, and The Rail Depot. And don’t forget, the expansive and amazing Oregon Historical Society is free to all Multnomah County residents; just be sure to bring a proof of residency that includes photo identification.

Miscellany. Check up on medical history with the fascinating exhibits in the Main Library of Oregon Health & Science University or the Dr. Ernest E. Starr Memorial Museum of Dental Anomalies in the OHSU School of Dentistry. If you're interested in "the art and industry of the cast letterform," then the Museum of Metal Typography is definitely your type. Then float on over to the Lincoln Street Kayak and Canoe Museum to learn more about indigenous small watercraft and suck up some cleaning history at the Vacuum Museum at Stark's Vacuums.

Free Museum Day Portland and Portland on the Cheap both have information about when paid admission museums might cut you a break!

P.S. More in the mood for an art gallery ? Check out Rainy Days, Part 1: Free Art.

When it seems like the rain is never (ever) going to stop, don’t despair! Multnomah County has a lot of hidden art to see that will get you out of the house and won’t cost you anything.

The area’s colleges and universities are a treasure trove of free art galleries! Here are links to some all over town:

Government buildings are a great place to see rotating exhibits, usually by local artists. Experience interactive and experimental media installations in the Portland Building Installation Space; visit the art gallery in the Gresham City Council Chamber Foyer; and check out the current exhibition at Central Library’s Collins Gallery.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council has a searchable database of public art around the county. (Tip: Click on Advanced Options to search by Collection and Discipline.)

View work by local photographers at Blue Sky Gallery, originally founded as the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts.

Learn more about contemporary art in the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Resource Room. It is both an archive and library, housing over 3,500 artist publications, magazines, and audio and video recordings, as well as a video archive of performances and lectures presented by PICA over the span of the organization's history.

But wait, there's more! Check out Rainy Days, Part 2: Free Museums!

Finding affordable housing is hard. How do you search for rentals? What do you do if you get an eviction notice? How can you get along with your landlord while knowing your rights? Get started here:

Looking for housing

Here are a few places to start your search. While you search, be aware of scams! Be careful of ads that ask for advance payment for housing.  If a listing looks too good to be true, it probably is.

If you have limited income or other special needs for housing:

If you've received an eviction notice or a big rent increase:

  • 211info can help with renter resources including deposit fee assistance, eviction prevention, housing search assistance, neighbor and landlord mediation, renters rights, and renting classes.

  • Oregon CAT - Community Alliance of Tenants is an organization made up of low-wage workers, families with children, people living with disabilities, seniors, and people of color.  They offer advice about rent increases and no-cause evictions. You can call their Renters’ Rights Hotline (503) 288-0130. They provide information on finding emergency shelter, how to research a prospective landlord, and what to do if your landlord refuses to make repairs.

Contact us if  you'd like help getting connected to the right housing resource.

 

Close-up image of microfilm in a microfilm reader.Microfilm & microfilm readers

Microfilm is photographic film used to record miniaturized images on sheets or reels. Often these are images of pages from newspapers and magazines. The reels of film use less space than the original items (for example, 50 years of Sports Illustrated on film takes up the same space as 1 year of the paper magazine, and the boxes of microfilm can fit in one small drawer). To read the microscopic images on film, you use a microfilm reader which enlarges them for you.

Two digital microfilm readers are located at Central Library. These readers offer many new options for editing and saving images from microfilm, including the ability to crop, enhance images and add notes.

Digital microfilm machines at Central Library.So, what kinds of magazines and newspapers does the library have on microfilm?

All sorts! Here is a selection of historic gems that are available at Central Library for your micro-perusing:

  • The Black Panther, 1968 to 1980
  • Harper’s, 1963-2013
  • Macworld, 1984 to 2005
  • Reader’s Digest, 1922 to 2013
  • TV Guide, 1953 to 1994
  • and many, many more!

In addition to national publications like the ones listed above, Central Library also has a large collection of local newspapers on microfilm, including the Oregon Journal, The Oregonian, The Portland Telegram and the Willamette Week. For more information about searching in local newspapers, take a look at the blog post “Research with historical Portland newspapers, beyond the Oregonian.”

Microfilm readers are also located at the Gresham and Sellwood libraries. These locations have smaller collections of microfilm materials which are specific to their communities like The Gresham Outlook and The Sellwood Bee.

Newspaper article about the Grateful DeadA couple of notes before you begin your micro-searching:

  1. When you use microfilm, it is like browsing through a big stack of newspapers or magazines arranged by date. If you don’t know the exact date for the article that you are seeking, you might need to use an index (usually this index is a book or an online resource) to look it up.
  2. Some magazines and newspapers are only available on microfilm at the library, but many are also available through the library’s online databases. These databases can sometimes be a better choice for your searching.

Remember, you can always Ask a Librarian and we will be happy to help you find the information or articles that you need!

You face a lot of challenges when you are transitioning back into the community. The library can help you find resources to help you deal with those challenges and get back on your feet. The Change Center teacher shares a poster; link to the Change Center.

You are not alone.

MercyCorps Northwest’s Reentry Transition Center provides a variety of services, including helping with immediate needs like clothing, meals, and access to phones and Internet. The center also helps ex-offenders work towards long term goals of education, employment and driver’s license reinstatement.

The Change Center is the only adult education program in Oregon working exclusively with adults in transition from jail, prison and treatment programs. They offer GED classes, job search assistance, and apprenticeship preparation for construction trades and connections to apprentice training programs. SE Works also has several programs for community members leaving jail or prison who are looking to re-enter the workforce or improve their job skills.

The national organization Fair Shake is dedicated to supporting the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated people into society. Their website includes employment and education support, free web page and email hosting, and other resources and tools for the formerly incarcerated and their families, employers and community.

Pathfinders of Oregon program Parenting Inside Out has been specifically designed to provide support for parents who are on parole and probation.

For other social services, contact 211info.org by dialing 211 or texting your zip code to 898211 to start a live conversation.

Your library card gives you access to so much.

Take advantage of free computer classes, assistance for job seekers, personal finance information, literacy assistance and resources for parents, not to mention books, ebooks, movies, and audio on any subject you can imagine. And you can always contact a helpful librarian with any question -- even if you don't have a library card, we're glad to help you!
 

Divorce, estate planning, landlord/tenant issues, immigration, arrests and citations... Life is full of legal questions. How do you search for answers without being taken for a ride? We can suggest some excellent resources that can help you out.
 
A good place to start is Oregon Legal Research, maintained by law librarians. Learn how to research the law and represent yourself in court; find the answers to frequently asked questions (When can I leave my kids home alone? Where can I get a free power of attorney form?); and more. They also maintain a comprehensive Oregon Legal Assistance Resources guide (pdf) that can help you find local organizations that specialize in legal areas including disability rights, bankruptcy, political activism, bicycle law and crime victims' rights.
 
Link to Legal Aid Services of OregonOregon Law Help provides free and verified legal information for Oregonians. There are articles in many languages to get you up-to-speed on your rights and resources when it comes to your home, your job, government benefits and more. The site also helps you find a Legal Aid office near you.
    
The Multnomah Law Library in downtown Portland provides legal reference assistance and more six days a week. You can access various legal forms and complete NOLO legal reference books on common legal topics online, 24/7, through their website. The State of Oregon Law Library's online resources include free access to Fastcase, a legal research tool that lets you search sources of law from Oregon, the U.S. Government and many other western states. 
 
The Oregon State Bar public information page has user-friendly legal information, assistance in finding and hiring a lawyer, links to low cost legal help and more.

The Oregon Judicial Department can help you file a case, find a legal form and represent yourself in court. Check out their page devoted to family law for assistance with child custody and support, divorce, domestic violence, and parenting plans. The Multnomah County Circuit Court website can help answer your questions about Family Court.

If you have questions about your rights as a renter, you might want to contact the Community Alliance of Tenants. This statewide, grassroots, tenants-rights organization provides renters' rights information online; if you can't find the information you need, call the Renters’ Rights Hotline at 503-288-0130.

Link to Oregon Council of County Law Libraries.You can always contact us at the library and we can help you locate resources that might be helpful, or visit your local county law library for a wider range of materials.
 
Though we are always happy to help you locate resources and give you search tips, it is against state law for library staff members to engage in any conduct that might constitute the unauthorized practice of law; we may not interpret statutes, cases or regulations, perform legal research, recommend or assist in the preparation of forms, or advise patrons regarding their legal rights.

Feeling creative?  Needing inspiration?  Check out the OMSI Mini Maker Faire this weekend!  

Who are these makers, anyway? As the OMSI website says. "Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers.  They are of all ages and backgrounds.  The aim of the Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community."  

At the library we are big fans of makers!  We have programs, books and other resources to support our maker community.  We even have a Makerspace at our Rockwood Library for teens.  Because we love makers so much, we'll have a booth at the Maker Faire from 10am-5pm on Saturday (9/10) and Sunday (9/11).  And we're bringing a lot of cool stuff with us!  Stop by to sign up for a library card or to make a rubberband helicopter!

Hope to see you there!  If you can't come, make sure to check out the booklists below for some creative inspiration.

 

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