Blogs: Local interest

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 ways to celebrate National Bike Month:

#BiketoBooks


 

March 14 Roosevelt HS walkout. Courtesy of the Gresham Outlook.“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”

-- attributed to Margaret Mead, used with permission

The students at Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School -- who channeled their fear and outrage over the horrific event at their school into an organized, non-violent campaign advocating for an end to gun violence and mass shootings -- embody Mead’s thoughtful, committed citizens. In one short month, they organized the National School Walkout on March 14 and the upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24, as well as a third protest commemorating the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School on April 20. For more books about student activists and activism, take a look at this list.

Hundreds of Multnomah County students participated in the walkout on March 14. Reynolds High School students, who experienced a school shooting in 2014, heard from one of their classmates, as reported in the Gresham Outlook (photo left).

March for Our Lives in downtown Portland"Divine Robertson, a 17 year-old junior and an organizer of the Reynolds event said it was meant 'to give a statement to everyone out in the world...that we're not accepting that there are school shootings and that schools aren't keeping kids safe like they should.'"

An estimated 12,000 people participated in Portland’s March for Our Lives on March 24. Students at a number of Multnomah County schools have registered their intention to walk out in peaceful protest on April 20.

Irie Page is about to turn 14. Instead of, say, a birthday sleepover, she has planned a gift for her community, a free event featuring Mike Domitrz, the founder of the Date Safe Project and a consent educator for kids, teens and adults.  The funny, interactive presentation that he gives to teens and adults is called "Can I Kiss You?", which is also the title of his book. It focuses on how to have healthy, safe relationships and how to both avoid sexual assault and avoid sexually assaulting someone else. Her family raised money online to pay Domitrz's speaking fee, and after the story was covered on the local news, they got all the funding they needed. The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 9th in the Lincoln Recital Hall at Portland State University. PSU has waived the rental fees in support of Irie’s event.


I first met this remarkable young woman at the reference desk at my library when she was just a little kid signing up for our Read to the Dogs program. We book lovers who work at the library always notice the passionate readers, the ones who leave with huge stacks of books they’re obviously eager to dive into, and that was Irie. When she was old enough, I suggested that she volunteer for our Summer Reading program, giving out prizes to kids for reading, and she brought huge enthusiasm to this as well. When she told me last summer about the event she was planning, we decided to put together a book display. Irie chose all the books herself. If you can’t get in to see the display, here’s the list.

“After I saw Malala speak, I was inspired to do something for my community,” Irie told me. She originally wanted actress and feminist Emma Watson. "That's not going to happen," her mom told her, and then suggested Domitrz. When Irie happened upon a book here at the library about philanthropy parties, her idea took off.

“I’ve always seen things in the world and thought, ‘That’s messed up. I want to change that,” said Irie. Like Malala, the Pakistani advocate for girls’ rights to education, she decided she could make a difference. She chose to start here, in her own city. 


***EDITED to update Irie's story. This event was a huge success. There was so much community interest that Portland State University gave them a bigger theater in which to hold it, and it was still standing room only, with more than 500 in attendance. I took my middle school-age son and we both found it interesting and inspiring. I was delighted last week when I ran into Irie in the library and she told me she's one of two state honorees for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. This is a very big deal! She's won $1000, a silver medallion, and a trip to Washington, D.C. At a ceremony in D.C., five national honorees will be chosen from among the state award winners. The staff at my library, who has known Irie for so long, is rooting for her to win the national award, which comes with even more honors and with cash awards for her and for the charity of her choice. We're so proud of her.

 

IRS 1040 form with penMultnomah County Library is here to help with tax season. All library locations can access state and federal tax forms and instruction booklets online as they become available. Library staff members are happy to help print what you need. Printing costs 10 cents per page; two-sided printing is available.

Thanks to the AARP, the library will offer filing assistance programs at the Central, Midland, Gresham, Woodstock, and North Portland locations. We can also help refer you to tax professionals.

Federal Hard Copy Forms

This year, libraries will have the Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ and some acompanying instruction booklets. All locations will have reference copies of the 1040 Instructions and Publication 17: Your Federal Income Tax. We can't promise when forms and booklets will be available, or that we won’t run out, but you can always download and print federal tax items from the IRS Forms & Publications page. You can also direct questions to the IRS offices in Oregon. Of special note, neither the 1099 and 1096 forms nor any of the W series (W-2, W-4, etc.) are available for download. Many office supply stores have the 1099 forms or you can contact the IRS directly to have those mailed to you.

State Hard Copy Forms

Public libraries are no longer a distribution center for state tax forms and booklets. If you need Oregon forms or booklets, you can come into the library to print them or do it yourself from the Oregon Department of Revenue page. If you want forms mailed to you, then you can contact the Oregon Department of Revenue via:

Other States

You can stop by the library for assistance printing out tax forms for other states, or you can go to the Federation of Tax Administrators State Tax Forms & Filing Options, which provides links to tax forms for each state.

Dusty adding machine keysOnline Filing

Once the tax season officially opens, both the IRS and Oregon Department of Revenue will have listings for online filing services. Remember, state and federal taxes are due by April 17th this year.

You can find tax preparation assistance through the AARP's Tax-Aide Locator, CASH Oregon and the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

 

Readers, writers and book lovers! Mark your calendars for several of Portland's biggest book events:

Literary Arts' Wordstock: Portland's Book Festival Presented by Bank of America happens on November 11, when a literary who's who of authors will descend on us. Browse books by the authors, and visit Multnomah County Library's booth, where we can give you one-on-one advice about spending your $5.00 book coupon (included in the price of admission) on a title you'll love.

Portland Arts & Lectures author series features such luminaries as George Saunders, Jesmyn Ward and Viet Thanh Nguyen. You can also look forward to Everybody Reads in the new year, when we'll be discussing Mohsin Hamid's Exit West in preparation for the author's visit on April 5th, made possible by Literary Arts. Copies of the book will be made available in February, thanks to the support of The Library Foundation.

But let's face it - Portland's literary landscape is a field of dreams. Search the events calendar for the library’s author talks, book discussions and conversations featuring local writers. If you're a self-published writer yourself and would like library patrons to be able to read your work, check out the Library Writers Project

Happy reading!

 

Literary Arts author list image

Oregon has an extensive geologic history, which is viewable from roadside videos as well as videos of various landforms in the state, created by geologic actions. Oregon, like other Pacific Northwestern states, has many volcanoes. Mount Hood, in Oregon, and Mount St. Helens, in Washington, are two volcanic peaks close to Portland. The geologic history of the whole Pacific Northwest was influenced by the great Missoula Floods which has left its mark on the geology of the Columbia River gorge.  The geology of Eastern Oregon also features the mammal fossil beds at John Day, which include the Painted Hills. The Pacific Northwest also faces the potential of a massive earthquake, due to the Cascadia subduction zone.

 

 

As summer starts coming to a close, let the library take some of the work out of your Labor Day weekend.

 

Taking a road trip?

 

Spending a few quiet nights in?

 

Staycation?

  • Explore the city with one of these local guide books, maybe by bike?

  • Come on down to the library. We’re closed on Labor Day, but have events going on other days.

  • Check out the beginnings of the annual visit from Vaux’s Swifts.

 

No matter how or where you spend Labor Day, you can always contact us.

Logo for the Intellectual Freedom Issues in Oregon database

Curious about censorship or banned books in Oregon?  Need to know what's been published in the local news?  The Intellectual Freedom Issues in Oregon: A News Database, may have what you need.  The database is the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse's news clipping files, and is updated twice a year. The database includes news articles and editorials about intellectual freedom issues printed in Oregon newspapers over the past 65 years. The database can be searched by article title, newspaper name, date, city/location, name of challenged book or material, and organizations or individuals involved. After you have found what you want to read, contact the coordinator of the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse, Katie Anderson, 503-378-2528 to request a complete text of the articles or editorials.  And if you have any trouble, don't forget to Ask a Librarian!

Please note: the library is out of free eclipse glasses. 

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.)  

 

 

 

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 
 

 

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