All Multnomah County Libraries offer free wi-fi access to all visitors, but if you're out and about and not near a library, here are some other ways to track down free wi-fi:
At your Multnomah County Libraries, you can find a wide array of free computer classes - from computer labs where you can get extra assistance to e-book and e-reader classes to office productivity skills, like spreadsheets and word processing. Here are some other great options:
- Portland Community College (PCC) - offers a wide variety of computer and IT courses, tailored to fit your situation - find out more about their computer education programs
- Mt Hood Community College (MHCC) - for East County residents, MHCC offers many in-person and online computer classes through their Community Education program
- Portland Parks & Recreation - offers basic computer and Internet classes for senior
Portland is home to a vibrant community of gardeners, some of whom wanted to make it easier to barter or swap home-grown goods with a broader range of neighbors. Try these services if you like to share.
Portland Food Exchange: Anyone can go to this site and offer up foods for bartering. Your free listing includes up to four photos, and PFE has plans to partner with local food banks so that unclaimed trades can help feed hungry folks in our community.
PDX Food Swap: A sister chapter to other swapper communities around the country, PDX Swappers meet seasonally to share, exchange, and celebrate handcrafted foods in Portland, Or. You can find other cities' swaps by searching at Food Swap Network.com.
Chowswap: A site for people who make, grow, or raise their own food. Ever can 40 quarts of tomatoes and wonder what you're going to do with them? What if you could trade a couple jars for some fresh backyard eggs? Or some homemade pasta, or some apricot jam?
Food Buying Clubs: If you're trying to save money and cut down on packaging by buying in bulk, you may benefit from joining a food buying club like Know Thy Food which can connect you directly to local food producers and wholesale distributors. They can help you obtain high quality, fresh foods at fair prices, and they also accept SNAP payments.
Simply stuffing face at the 600+ food carts in P-town is enough for me, but not so for many of you. No, some of you actually want to run one of these things!
If you’re ready to become one of the peas in a cart pod, first you’ll need to do some research about permits, licenses, business plans, outfitting a cart and the like.
Here is a handy list of links and books to get you started....
Permits and Permissions:
Mobile Food Unit Operation Guide (Oregon DHS)
Mobile Food Unit Licensing and Inspection (MultCo Health Dept.)
Vending Carts on Private Property (Portland Bureau of Development)
Vending Cart Types and Permits (Portland Bureau of Development)
Buying the Cart:
Sometimes there is a newsworthy event in your neighborhood that doesn't make it on the local TV news or to the pages of the Oregonian. Fortunately, there is a wide array of neighborhood and community newspapers that focus specifically on hyperlocal news!
You might see these newspapers on free newsstands around town. Some are available to pick up for free in your neighborhood library and local businesses. And many community newspapers have websites where fresh news is regularly posted. Here are a few examples:
- Asian Reporter
- Catholic Sentinel
- El Hispanic News
- Jewish Review
- Portland Observer
- Sellwood Bee
- The Skanner
- Street Roots
- St. Johns Review
If you ever want to read back issues (great when you're researching local history!), you can find archives of each of these at Central Library, in the Periodicals Room on the second floor.
Are there other community or neighborhood newspaper websites you like to use? Share them in the comments!
Questions? Ask the Librarian! We welcome questions on any topic under the sun.
Whether you are excited about having fresh eggs and milk and honey, or looking for a new pet that will also mow your lawn, backyard animals can be a wonderful addition to your home.
It can be tricky to figure out what is allowed in your neighborhood: How many ducks are too many? Can I have a pygmy goat and a peacock? Do my neighbors need to know about my hive? Is that a llama peering over my fence?
If you live in the city of Portland, the rules and regulations for keeping animals are enforced by Multnomah County Vector Control. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability maintains a site that lets you know which animals you can keep, when you need to apply for a permit, and what the requirements are to keep various animals. If you have questions, you can contact Vector Control at 503-988-3464 or email@example.com.
If you live in Gresham, the rules for keeping chickens and other livestock are a little different. Questions should be directed to the Code Compliance Division at 503-618-2463 or CodeCompliance@GreshamOregon.gov.
If you live in Troutdale, the rules vary depending on your zoning district (PDF, 344KB). Your best bet is to contact the Community Development Department at 503-674-7228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Maywood Park, call 503-255-9805 or email city government from this page.
Once you know the rules and you’re ready to start planning, the library has a lot of resources available for you! Below is a list of ten books and DVDs that can help you prepare for your new additions. You can also search the catalog for “domestic animals,” “urban agriculture,” “bee culture,” or the particular animal you are considering. And you can always contact us for help; librarians are standing by!
P.S. If your chickens seem destined for more than just pecking and laying, perhaps it’s time they learn more advanced skills.
Library computers are available for writing resumes, filling out job applications, networking and brushing up your computer skills. Library computers have Internet access and Microsoft Office and they are available at each of our locations, along with staff to help you get started. To sign up for a computer, you just need a library card or you can request a guest pass with you valid picture ID.
Have your own laptop or mobile device? Multnomah County libraries offer free wi-fi.
Already have your resume typed up and you just need to print? Access your documents from the Internet or your flash drive and print for 10 cents a page, either single or double-sided. Only black and white printing is available.
There are many online resources out there to help you research Oregon law, here are a few we use at the library to help patrons with their legal questions.
Provides information to the public about legal research and getting help with legal questions. It contains information on getting started with legal research, a blog with posts related to current legal questions and issues, ways to get legal help at low or no cost, and contact info for law libraries around the state.
Readers, writers and book lovers! Mark your October calendars for two of Portland's biggest book events: Wordstock book fair extravaganza and Portland Arts & Lectures author series, kicked off by legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
October’s just a warm-up –- there are literary events galore throughout the year. Attend one of the library’s author talks, book discussions and conversations featuring local writers on a wide range of topics. Search the Events calendar listings for the who, where and when details.
There’s no one place that tracks Portland’s sprawling literary scene -- there’s SO much going on -- so here’s a rundown of where to find author readings, writers workshops and more book-centered events.
Portland is home to the largest independent bookstore in the world. The legendary Powell’s City of Books draws headline authors for its popular readings. If you’re a mystery lover, keep your eye on the Friends of Mystery calendar of author appearances at Murder by the Book. Use the Mercury’s list of Portland’s Other Bookstores to see what’s happening in the indie bookstore universe.
City of Readers: The Book Lover's Guide to Portland by Gabriel H. Boehmer, a third-generation Oregonian, is a bible for Stumptown bibliophiles, bringing together bookstores, libraries, landmarks, authors, events and titles in one volume. Published quarterly, the free Portland Book Review newspaper is available at bookstores, libraries, coffee shops, restaurants and retail locations around metro Portland.
If you’re an aspiring author and want to meet fellow writers, Willamette Writers meetings showcase Oregon authors from mix of professions. The Attic Institute offers readings, workshops and a Poets Studio. Write Around Portland runs free writing workshops for adults and youth; participants share their writing with the public at free community readings. DIY folks should check out the extraordinary IPRC -– Independent Publishing Resource Center -– where you can create and publish your own artwork and writing.
For a true DIY experience, print out the map of West Portland Writers and find the homes and workplaces of noteworthy authors such as Hazel Hall, John Reed and Stewart Holbrook.
With the availability of the Oregonian in searchable pdf format from 1861-1987, Multnomah County Library cardholders can piece together the unpublished history of music events and musicians in our city. Search for reviews of concerts, names of musicians, bands, composers, or whatever is of interest to you, and save articles by sending them to your email address, print articles, or download.
As an entirely random example, here is what Portlanders thought of Aaron Copland's performance of his 1926 Piano Concerto (referred to as the Jazz Concerto) in the Sunday Oregonian review in August, 1930: "There was applause enough to cover up the hissing which came from the stands."
Articles from the Oregonian cover the entire span of years from 1860 through articles published yesterday, available from home, school, or office with your Multnomah County Library card and pin number:
1860-1987 Oregon Historical Archive
Please call us if you would like any assistance in using the Oregonian:
Central Library Information Services