What is a nautical chart?
To someone who has not been at the helm of a vessel, a nautical chart might look like nothing more than an oddly detailed water map. To a boater, a nautical chart is much more than a “road map” of the water. Instead of roads it details water areas, ports, and coast lines; it also includes information about depth of the sea floor, obstructions, restricted areas, recommended routes, and aids to navigation such as lights and buoys. The main purpose of a nautical chart is to give boaters up-to-date information to avoid grounding or traveling in restricted waters, and to navigate safely for themselves and the vessels around them.
Where can I find current navigational charts?
The United States Office of Coast Survey (USCS) has been producing nautical charts for more than 200 years, ever since President Thomas Jefferson asked for a survey of the coast in 1807. The USCS has made and maintains over 1,000 charts at varying levels of detail that cover all of the U.S. and U.S. territory coastal waters and the Great Lakes. These charts are conveniently available online for viewing and downloading. They are free of charge and regularly updated.
To find a particular nautical chart, start at the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Charts for U.S. Waters Online Chart Viewer. From the Online Chart Viewer you can select a region to view or navigate using the Graphical Catalog. Also available are BookletCharts for printing to help recreational boaters locate themselves on the water.
The Graphical Catalog shows the outlines of charts that are available on a basic geographical map. As you click on a chart, information to the right of the map show you the coordinates for the selected point as well as the Chart number, panel number, and scale of the chart selected. When you zoom in on an area, more detailed charts with larger scales become available to select. The name of each nautical chart is listed below the map as a Panel Title, as well as the date of the most current edition. Each nautical chart is available to be viewed online, downloaded as an RNC (Raster Navigational Chart), or ordered as a paper chart. In addition to finding nautical charts by browsing the map, you can also find nautical charts by entering the coordinates of the location you are seeking.
In addition to these current nautical charts you can also find nautical charts to view at the library by searching for cruising atlas in the online catalog.
A compass rose shows both the true North in the outer circle and the magnetic North in the inner circle, and the difference between the two is called the magnetic variation. It is important to always use the compass rose nearest the area for which you are plotting directions. For detailed guidance on how to read a nautical chart, check out How to Read a Nautical Chart by Nigel Calder or Chapman Nautical Chart No. 1 from the U.S. Coast Guard.
What did nautical charts and maritime maps look like in the past?
In addition to modern nautical charts, the USCS also has beautiful and detailed historical maps and charts available on their website. Other recommended historical resources are The Charting of the Oceans by Peter Whitfield (an overview of Europe’s charting history) and Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor by Hali Felt (in the 1950s, Marie Tharp turned her husband’s records of sonar pings measuring the ocean’s depth into illuminating maps of the ocean floor that proved for the first time the theory of continental drift).
Finding these charts can be complicated! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to Ask a Librarian.
The NOAA website includes this note: Use the official, full scale NOAA nautical chart for real navigation whenever possible. These are available from authorized NOAA nautical chart sales agents. Screen captures of the on-line viewable charts available here [on NOAA's online chart viewer] do NOT fulfill chart carriage requirements for regulated commercial vessels under Titles 33 and 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Many local kids have limited access to healthy meals when school is out. So in addition to offering a summer reading game and fun events all summer, the library also offers healthy lunches.
Midland: 12 pm–1 pm (ends August 25th)
Rockwood: 12 pm–1 pm (ends September 1st)
Gresham: 12:30–1:30 pm (ends August 18th)
A library card is not required.
This federally funded program is run in partnership with Volunteers of America, the Gresham-Barlow School District and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.
This spring I checked off one of my bucket list travel destinations: Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's farm in the English Lake District. Before I left, I reread many of Potter's tales and was (pleasantly) surprised by their edginess! They weren't all sweetness and light and the stories were full of drama. Of course I had remembered that Peter Rabbit's father had ended up in a pie, but along with parental death, there is also kidnapping, or rather, bunnynapping (Mr. Tod & The Flopsy Bunnies), sassing (Squirrel Nutkin), punishment (Tom Kitten), thievery (Benjamin Bunny), wanton destruction (Two Bad Mice) and general youthful mayhem (take your pick). What's a kid not to like?
I also wanted to better understand Potter's life and artistry before I visited the Beatrix Potter Gallery, and so I checked out several biographies including Over the Hills and Far Away and Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman. I also came across The Art of Beatrix Potter which contains many full color and sometimes full-page plates of her gorgeous paintings.
Because 2016 was the 150th anniversary of her birth, a number of books about her were published that year including Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig, a fun and mostly true story for children of an incident in Potter's life. If you haven't checked out Beatrix Potter since your youth, consider revisiting her in some of these books for youth and adults.
The Story of One Summer Reading Volunteer
by Donna Childs
Atticus Wilson is an intelligent, thoughtful, and sincere young man who knows himself and is willing to make the most of his opportunities. A freshman at Jefferson High School, he volunteers with the Albina Library’s Summer Reading program and has since he was old enough to qualify, the summer before he started sixth grade. When asked how he knew about the Summer Reading program, he said a librarian from the Albina Library had visited his classroom to encourage young readers - his kindergarten classroom! She had so inspired Atticus that he signed up to volunteer five years later.
He took her words about reading to heart as well, often reading several books at one time: he is currently in the midst of five books! In addition to Summer Reading, Atticus attends a Dungeons and Dragons camp every summer, and that is only the tip of his D&D iceberg. Despite being a new freshman, he founded a D&D club at Jefferson, and he is creating his own D&D campaign (adventure). When finished, he plans to test it and then send it to the company that makes the game.
Atticus chose to attend Jefferson, despite its being three miles away, because the closest school to him, Grant High School, is slated to be remodeled, sending its students even farther away. Furthermore, Jefferson has several appealing programs. For example, he is one of fifty students chosen, in a rigorous process, for a biotech program, through which he will be eligible for internships, other learning experiences, and jobs at OHSU after his sophomore year. And, thanks to Jefferson, he will also be able to take classes at nearby Portland Community College, for free. This year at Jefferson, Atticus also took a television production class, with both field and studio components. He conducted and produced a three-minute interview with one of his teachers, and the class as a whole produced a student-run Jeopardy-type program. (Some previous student productions are available on YouTube at Jefferson Demos.JTV.) Although his favorite subject is math, and he is interested in technology, Atticus also likes studying history and literature. He is a well-rounded young man, thanks to all that reading, perhaps?
A few facts about Atticus:
Home library: Albina
Currently reading: Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfus; Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli; Reality Boy by A.S. King; Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare; Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King
Most influential book: Unknown; they all influence me in different ways.
Favorite book from childhood: Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
A book that made you laugh or cry: Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Favorite section of the library: teen fiction
E-reader or paper: Paper books are better.
Favorite place to read: locked in my room, holding my dog
Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.
Are you heading to the NW Pride Festival this weekend? If so, make sure to stop by the Library table at the Multnomah County Booth. We'll be signing people up for library cards, checking out some of our favorite LGBT+ books and giving out prizes! Can't make it to the festival? Celebrate Pride from anywhere by reading a great LGBT+ book! Check out the lists below for inspiration or ask a librarian for a personalized pick.
The My Librarian team loves to spend time searching for the perfect book for you, dear readers; but when summer comes, we like to indulge ourselves with books that hit our sweet spot. Here are the titles we're excited about.
I love a good 'long walk' book, so when Cheryl Strayed recommended Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London, I immediately put it on my 'to be read' list.
My eight-year-old and I are having a blast with Andy Griffiths's outrageously silly series starting with The 13-story Treehouse. It's inspired us to build our own treehouse this summer. We plan to skip the shark tank, but are still hatching plans to simulate Andy and Terry's ice-cream serving robot- Edward Scooperhands
If you love Jane Austen, are intrigued by the idea of time travel, and find yourself looking for something on the lighter side, let yourself get swept away to Regency England by Kathleen A. Flynn's The Jane Austen Project. Be warned, dear reader: it's a very difficult book to set down.
As someone who is deeply interested in Communism, and a massive fan of China Miéville's fiction, I'm stoked to read October: The Story of the Russian Revolution, his take on the early months of the Russian Revolution.
I was taken by this unusual debut by Paula Cocozza, How to be Human. Set during the summertime in London, this is a whole new look at obsessive love.
Summer is the perfect time to be entertained by David Sedaris. I can't wait to read his innermost thoughts in Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002).
In Martha's Vineyard, Island of Dreams, Susan Branch uses her uniquely decorated diaries to illustrate one year spent in a one-room cabin on Martha's Vineyard. A perfect book to read during the long warm days of summer- especially if you need some inspiration.
Attention educators! Are you tired of using the same old books with your students every year? Attend one of our summer educator workshops to learn about the latest and greatest materials to use in the classroom.
Gotta Read This: New Books to Connect with Your Curriculum
Come to this workshop to learn about new books you might integrate into your language arts, social studies, math, science and arts curriculum.
For K-5th grade educators:
- Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2-4:30 pm, Central Library U.S. Bank Room, 801 SW 10th Ave. Register by August 4.
For 6th-12th grade educators: Gotta Read This! online booklists
- Select the subjects of greatest interest to you. Register by August 4, and we’ll notify you when the online booklists are available.
Novel-Ties (for 4th -8th grade educators)
- Discover hot, new fiction to use in book discussion groups and literature circles. Register by August 4, and we’ll notify you when this online workshop is available.
Contact School Corps with any questions!
“I feel like I'm a better person when I'm at the library.”
by Sarah Binns
Like most of our Spotlight volunteers, Heather Reed is many things: full time worker, full time student, and full time dog mom to her dachshund, Artemis. But unlike other featured volunteers who fit the library around their careers, Heather hopes the library will be her career. She is currently working toward a computer science degree at PCC, but afterward she'll apply to graduate school programs for a Master's in Library and Information Science (MLIS). “I'm hoping to go into archival work,” she says.
Heather has always been a reader. Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, she was taken to the library by her parents read for hours. . “That was the place I felt most at home,” she says. Heather translated her love for reading into a job, working for two years as a page clerk in Arizona before moving to Portland last year. “A hundred and ten degrees was just too hot for me!” she says about the move from the Southwest.
Heather “does a little bit of everything” as a branch assistant at Midland Library. She processes holds, shelves books, and works on the paging list. Best of all is the occasional interaction with patrons: “I like when I'm able to help people find things. I'm not able to help them a lot, but when I do it's really rewarding.” She can only fit in one shift a week between school and work, but wants to do more. “When you enjoy something that much, it doesn't feel like work. I feel like I'm a better person when I'm there.”
When I ask about her hobbies, she laughs like it's a foreign concept, given her busy schedule. She does collect antique teacups, though, and has about thirty, ranging in origin from Imperial Japan to England. “I like hand-painted ones,” she says with a smile, “those are the most unique.”
Getting her MLIS is Heather's goal, all inspired by her childhood at the library. “I feel like the library is the best place on earth. You should go in there and get the resources you need. If I can bring that to other people—what else can I ask for?”
Home Library: Midland
Most influential book: The Vampire Hound by Jim Hunt. “It's the book that got me into reading and it sparked my love for fantasy books.”
Favorite book from childhood: See above!
Currently reading: The Wheel of Time series' second book, The Great Hunt. “I hear everyone talk about Game of Thrones and I'm sure it's good, but I say 'Have you read this?! It came first!'”
Guilty pleasure: Manga.
Book that made her laugh or cry: “Probably the Harry Potter series is one of the most emotional” for her.
Favorite library browsing section: True crime. With her other favorite, fantasy, “Everything is pretty and interesting, but with true crime you find out about something you never knew happened.”
E-reader or paper: Both.
Favorite place to read: Outside. “Sometimes the wind will blow and it will match up to something in a book and it's hard to get that experience inside.”
Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.