The following is a selective list of websites to help you find information about diseases and their treatment.    The sites are sponsored by well-respected associations and organizations.  You can also find information about specific diseases on the websites of organizations such as the American Diabetes Association or the American Heart Association.  The library subscribes to databases that contain articles from health and medical journals.   These are a good source of health information that is both current and authoritative.   You can find these databases on the health topics page under resources.

Comprehensive information about cancer and its treatment from the National Cancer Institute.   Information is available for both lay persons and health professionals.  You can also find statistics, clinical trials and the latest research on cancer.


If you want to find even more health information, try this very helpful list of the Top 100 Health Websites You Can Trust, selected by The Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of the Medical Library Association.   

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A fabulous resource of health information with a focus on public health.   There is  information about diseases but also advice for traveling overseas, lots of statistical reports and epidemiological studies and reports.  If you search the CDC Wonder, you can find reports like Daily Air Temperatures by geographic area and period.  A fun and educational health site.

A clinical trial is a research study in which human volunteers are assigned to interventions based on a plan and are then evaluated for effects on biomedical or health outcomes.  This site lists publicly and privately supported clinical trials on a wide range of diseases and conditions and describes the trial’s purpose, who may participate and contact information.  Used by patients, health care professionals and researchers,  it lists trials from 50 states and 182 countries.

Family Doctor

Sponsored by the Association of Family Physicians, this site is geared for the lay person. It is easy to use, and organized so that you can search by a disease or an age group or a topic. It also includes a symptom checker but remember to check with your health care provider for the most authoritative information about your symptoms.

Kid’s Health

Information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years.  Kids can find information geared just for them, about their bodies and feelings, growing and developing, in age-appropriate language.  Parents can find information about pregnancy, parenting, kids' health and much more.

Lab Tests Online

Explains clearly and concisely the purpose of many blood tests and other laboratory tests. Searchable by specific test, by age category, and by condition or disease.

Mayo Clinic

Find health information for the whole family on this well-known organization’s site.  You can also watch yoga videos, shop for products or stay abreast of the latest research on diseases and conditions. 


One of the best places to start your search for medical information.  Search by a specific disease or find information under body location, body system or by age group.   The site is a wealth of information,  including  lists of health organizations and associations, directories to help you locate a physician or hospital, information about drugs and health news, and social issues that can affect you and your family's health.  You can even watch a video about your upcoming surgery!   From the National Library of Medicine.


Mental health

APA Help Center: from the American Psychological Association

An online resource of brochures and short articles on the psychological issues that affect our physical and emotional well-being.  Geared for the lay person, the APA offers topics that are timely and relevant to our daily lives.

Cascadia Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Services

Cascadia provides mental health counseling, crisis intervention, addictions treatment, and transitional, residential, and permanent housing for people with psychiatric and substance use challenges, most of whom are very low income. Their website includes contact information as well as links to national resources for people seeking assistance.

MedlinePlus Mental Health and Behavior     

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Nami was organized to reduce the stigma of mental illness. You can find definitions and explanations of a variety of mental disorders as well as support groups, programs and research on this site. Also available in Spanish.

National Institute of Mental Health

Provides information about mental illness and mental conditions as well as the latest research on treatment. Find specific studies being conducted across the U.S. that are currently recruiting participants.

Noah (New York Online Access to Health) Mental Health

This award winning site provides high quality consumer mental health information in both English and Spanish,  suitable for the layperson.  If you want to learn more about a mental health condition or disease, start here.

National Institute of Mental Health - Publications - Easy to Read

Articles about mental illness written in easy to understand language,  for both native and non-native speakers of English.


Here are some resources to help you find information about prescription and non-prescription drugs, including supplements.  You can look up side effects, what foods and drugs to avoid while taking a medication, and even find images of a drug.

  • provides information about more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products.  You can find side-effects, dosage, use of a medication during pregnancy, drug interactions and a pill-identifier.
  • Graedon's People's Pharmacy is geared for consumers and produced by Terry and Joe Graedon, authors of the print publication of the same name.  There is detailed information about home remedies: side effects, drug alerts and a page where readers can share their own stories. 
  • MedlinePlus includes a section about drugs and supplements. Use it to find information about effectiveness, dosage and safety of herbal remedies and dietary supplements. Also find information about prescription and over the counter drugs. 
  • NeedyMeds is a non-profit organization that helps people who cannot afford medicine or healthcare.  You can find drug coupons and other services at reduced costs, or free of charge.
  • The Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health produces comprehensive fact sheets about dietary supplements that include information about historic uses, side effects, interactions with drugs and clinical studies being done.
  • The Partnership for Prescription Assistance provides information about free or low-cost health clinics in your area.  You can use an online tool to determine your eligibility for a variety of patient programs and assistance, including Medicaid, Medicare, Patient Assistance Programs and co-pay programs.
  • Pharmacy collects rates and compares credentials, prices and customer feedback regarding pharmacies that operate online and through mail-order and fax.  Includes Canadian businesses too.
  • RxIsk was founded by David Healy, author of Pharmageddon and other books.  This well-researched site by a team of international scientists and researchers, also uses MedWatch data.  You can search for drugs by various adverse effects, such as suicide or violence.  You can also use the interaction checker to see if your drug interacts with other drugs or food.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Association is responsible for testing and final approval of drugs on the market in the United States.  They are also responsible for many other regulatory activities.  Their site is continuously updated, informative and easy to use.  You can find information about buying medicines over the Internet, drug recalls and and other important information for consumers.  This is the home of MedWatch, where you can report adverse drug reactions. 

Is it going to snow? Will we beat the record for most days of rain? What was the high temperature on February 28, 2010? This page includes great resources to answer all of those questions, and more.

Forecasts and Observations

Weather Records

Weather Trends

Looking for resources on global warming?

Weather History

Extreme Weather

World Weather



Storytime is most rewarding when you find just the right song and book that can captivate a child’s attention, elicit laughter and bring out joy from having so much fun!

The following songs and book, with the theme Fingers and Toes, have proven to do all three for me in actual storytimes at Multnomah County Library.

This mini storytime also incorporate Talking, Singing, Reading and Playing - four of the five activities to prepare your child for reading.

Start out by waving and wiggling your fingers and count them one by one. Your child may already be mimicking your actions by this point, otherwise encourage him/her to do the same. Once all fingers are wiggling start singing the Finger Family song and do the actions accordingly:


Finger family’s up (wiggle fingers up in the air)

And finger family’s down (wiggle fingers down)

Finger family’s dancing all the around the town (wave and wiggle fingers all around)

Dance them on your shoulders (wiggle fingers on shoulders)

Dance them on your head (wiggle fingers on head)

Dance them on your knees (wiggle fingers on knees)

And tuck them into bed (quickly, move wiggling fingers and tuck them into underarms – left hand into right underarm and vice versa)

Barbara Allyn copyright SOCAN


Here’s a great video of the song created by the King County Library System


Now, hold out those hands and you can even play peek-a-boo (an activity that is always a hit with babies and toddlers!)

Tell your child that in addition to fingers we also have toes. If you can be bare foot bring out those toes, wiggle them and count them too. Then sing one of my favorite songs, Everybody Knows I Love My Toes and point to each body part accordingly:

Everybody knows I love my toes

Everybody knows I love my toes

I love my eyes, my ears, my mouth & my nose

And everybody knows I love my toes

You can use this song to sing about other body parts that you and your child also love, i.e. tummy, elbow, etc.

Here’s a sample of the song

A lovely and fun book that ties the Fingers and Toes theme together is Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox. Add your own style and pizzazz as you read together and the fun will naturally emerge.

Requests to repeat the songs or book is a reflection of how much your child enjoys storytime with you so feel free to "sing/read it again" as many times as you like!

From an observant, slightly snotty, artistic, dramatic hat designer comes this story of an escape from Hitler's Vienna. The human emotions are very real, though not always admirable. 

I felt like I was right there inside the story, eating in elegant cafes and attending fashion shows in Paris; and after Hitler's tanks rolled into Austria, plotting to leave Vienna; and staying awake nights, planning and scheming to bring elderly parents to the safety of London. I even envisioned the nightly German bombing raids beginning and then the trip down to the shelters.  
A story of courage, perseverance and resourcefulness,  Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler is a glimpse into one woman's extraordinary survival during World War II.
Published in 1984 as a self-published edition, Trudi Kanter's memoir of her life as a hat designer was soon out of print and nearly forgotten until Virago Press edited and republished it. Virago Press has been unable to trace the copyright holder and "would be pleased to hear from anyone with any further information." 

All you want to do is put your feet up and settle in with a good book. But with so many choices, how do you find that one good read that fits your mood? We can help, and we love to talk about books.

Drop in to any of our libraries and ask us for some suggestions, and together we'll find you something exciting to read. Do you want to ask for reading recommendations from the comfort of home? Just fill out this form to let us know what kind of books you most enjoy, and we'll send you a personalized list of books to read next. You can also call us at 503-988-5234, or chat with us online.

Ask us about novels, non-fiction, books for teens and kids, comic books, anything that interests you. We read good stuff, and we love to share, so drop us a line!

Are you a hiker, tracker, or hunter?  If so, you've probably used the United States Geological Survey (USGS) maps in your outdoor activities.

They are nice, big maps showing lots of topographical detail, physical characteristics of the land, and the names of roads and communities and bodies of water. Sometimes they're called "topo maps," "7.5 minute maps" or "7.5 minute quadrangles" (because they show 7.5 minutes of lattitude/longitude). You can visit Central Library's map room (on the third floor) and consult the library's collection of USGS maps for the western states.  If you want your own copy, you can usually buy them in outdoor-oriented sporting goods stores.

But did you know that the entire collection of USGS maps, for the whole country, are now available free online? Here's how to get to the USGS topo maps online:

Start at the Map Locator & Downloader (you can browse to this site from the main USGS website: > Map Locator & Downloader).

This tool allows you to find maps with a simple search for a place name. For example, if you are looking for maps of the area near Waldport on the Oregon Coast, just type waldport into the search box and click the "Go" button.

Now you'll see a map of the Waldport area.  The map has a grid superimposed on it, with the names of the different USGS maps in each square of the grid.  And, there is a red marker in the part of the grid marked "Waldport." Click on this marker and a little popup shows the maps that are available for that spot.

(If the red marker isn't in quite the right part of the map, click on the map in the spot you want and you'll get a new marker, which will pop up a list of maps for that area.)

To download a nice, high-definition pdf of the map you want, just click on the link that shows the file size. (In the case of the 2011 Waldport 7.5 minute map, the link says "18.1 MB.")

You'll see other maps in the popup list -- older maps and maps that cover a larger area.  And there is usually a link to related maps that focus on topics like mineral resources, elevation, hazards, etc.


  Questions? Ask the Librarian.

Have fun browsing and downloading maps from the USGS, and share your observations in the comments!


We added 29 new Pageturners To Go titles on Dec. 2. You’ll find them at the beginning of the Pageturners To Go list, ending with Delta Wedding. We’ll be adding new titles once a year from now on. You can leave a comment or tip for discussion — click on the title and then "add comment."

Pageturners To Go is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. More about Pageturners To Go.

How to search the new Library Catalog for music:
Top | Authors | Authors with Common NamesTitles | Keywords

Multnomah County Library has the largest collection for music of any public library in Oregon, and is one of the largest on the West Coast. This guide shows you how to find music books, scores, CDs and DVDs in the new Library Catalog, including:

  • scores with piano accompaniment on CD
  • DVDs to learn musical instruments or singing
  • complete works and indexes of major composers
  • 33,000+ music scores for beginners to professional musicians

Choose the catalog version you prefer: Bibliocommons(New Catalog) | Classic Catalog

In the Multnomah County Library network of libraries, Central Library has the largest collection of books, music scores, CDs, DVDs and videos. Request delivery to the Neighborhood Library that is most convenient for you.

Ask a Question:
Looking for something specific? Contact us.


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