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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 
 

 

The comedian Steven Wright said, "everywhere is walking distance if you have the time." The line makes me smile, but it makes me wistful too. If only I had the time.

Walking folds the walker into the pace of the world, while providing respite from the cares attached to our home or workplace. Baudelaire used the word "flaneur" to describe the walking explorer: "For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world." 

If you're hankering for a long walk but have no time, here are some titles to try, and a longer list, to boot.  :-)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is the story of a man plagued by the sense that he has made nothing of his life. One day he receives a letter from an old friend who is dying, thanking him for a past kindness. Harold writes a letter of condolence, but when he goes to mail it, he's struck with the sense that he must deliver the letter by hand. And so he sets off on a journey of several hundred miles, with only the clothes on his back. As he walks he reflects on the events that shaped his life.

Walking memoirs abound, with a resurrgence tied to Cheryl Strayed's Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. But don't miss the earlier A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. Relax into the rhytm of Robert Macfarlane's The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, by Robert Macfarlane details the author's effort to become more intimately acquainted with his country by starting at his home in Cambridge, England and following the old roads and ancient tracks that crisscross his country. I'm looking forward in particular to Lauren Elkin’s Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London for a female perspective on Baudelaire's phenomenon.

Happy reading, and happy trails.

If you've admired the satisfyingly compact and elegantly designed Field Notes, then you're an Aaron Draplin fan. The author, graphic designer and founder of the Draplin Design Co. has createdAaron Draplin; photo: Michael Poehlman projects for the likes of Timberline Lodge, Woolrich, Patagonia, Nike, and Sasquatch Festival. You can see the range of his work in the eye-candy book, Draplin Design Co.: Pretty much everything.  He is passionate about design and has talked about it on Marc Maron's WTF Podcast. Here's what he has to say about his favorite music for summer:
 
I hide in the summers. I stay out of the sun and avoid the heat as much as I can. Oddly enough, my workload always swells. Each year I say I’m going to take a break in June and July here in Portland. That never happens. And this summer’s been nuts. Like it always is. Up early and down to the shop, watching the sun come up over Mt. Hood. Working late to beat the traffic back up Sandy Blvd to the house. My summer cycle. And there’s always a handful of records that rise to the top of what’s on rotation in the shop. A special category for me: My “Summer Records.” I can look back at each summer and remember the couple records that really got me. And in a lot of ways, helped me get through the warm months. 
 
In my list, I start with “morning records” and work towards "mid-day records” — as things pick up in the shop, the jams get more upbeat. As the day winds down, you get into the darker stuff. Those are the “late night records.”
 
August is still coming up, and I’ll be back home with Mom in Michigan. I’m always adding a couple records a week to my revolving list and am always excited to see what’s coming next to get into the mix. Maybe it’s a gnarly Bob Seger kick, being up in all that Michigan? We’d be down with that!
 
01. Jonathan Wilson, Gentle Spirit
When you look him up, everything talks about some “Laurel Canyon” resurgence. Los Angeles freaks me out, so I’m not tapping too much into any of that. This sounds like something I would’ve heard on the radio in 1979, sitting in the backseat with my little sister, on the way to the beach or something.
 
02. Mark Kozelek, Night Talks EP
As a long-time Red House Painters fan going back to 1993, I have a weird allegiance for Mark Kozelek. Although, he’s a trying artist to keep up with. I just don’t read articles about him, and stick to digging the records.
 
03. Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Way Out West
Just country enough to not make you squirm. Dreamy stuff.
 
04. John Moreland, Big Bad Luv
We love John Moreland. Our buddy. He’s come to the shop a for a couple visits and I’ve seen him play 5-6 times. Such a nice guy, with a big, big voice. I love his records so much. Thank you, John. 
 
More songs about drug deals gone bad, leaving cities and coming back to cities. And I love it. I’d like to meet this guy. 
 
06. Thundercat, Drunk
This stuff is weird! In the best ways. And funny. And really fun. Lots of little things to listen for. And laugh with. This is my favorite record cover of the year!
 
07. Son Volt, Notes of Blue
The first song on this one … that classic Son Volt. That one was enough for me. Over and over again. Rolling, warm and soothing.
 
08. Chavez, Cockfighters
Arithmetic! Math! Long division! Calculus! ‘90s math-y, rock-y heavy hitters, still hit as hard as they did in 1995. Turn it up!
 
09. The Afghan Whigs, In Spades
Dark, brooding, sinister and dark again. I used to associate them with Cincinnati. Now it’s New Orleans. I met the band a couple years back at Greg Dulli’s bar in the French Quarter. This record fits the mystery of that place perfectly, in a new way.
 
10. Mount Eerie, A Crow Looked at Me
Tread lightly here. This is a challenging record to listen to. As beautiful as it is, it’s like going to a funeral. Brave, dark, sad … oddly uplifting stuff.

 

He Volunteers Anywhere He Can FindVolunteer Ruben Arciniega

by Sarah Binns

The first thing that struck me about Ruben Arciniega was a sense of maturity that far exceeds his years. A long-time member of the Troutdale Library Teen Council, the 16-year-old is already enrolled at Mt. Hood Community College through his high school, achieving high school and college credit for his classes. Pair his challenging coursework with an active volunteering schedule and you have a smart, confident, compassionate young man who is destined to go far--both in the Portland community and beyond.

Ruben initially got involved in the Summer Reading program and the teen council to gain volunteer hours for school. But then, he says, “I started doing more volunteering and realized I really liked it. On Troutdale’s teen council one of Ruben’s roles is to “make everyone feel comfortable,” which led him to create a fun icebreaker to put his peers at ease. He helps the council plan monthly youth-centric events that include everything from an annual Batman party to a visiting game truck, which gives kids who don’t have the resources for video games a chance to play to their heart’s content. “We also do a cyber-bullying event to provide awareness and help for people,” he says. “It’s very fun and rewarding to see how many people are positively affected by what we do.”

Ruben also frequently volunteers at Cherry Park Plaza, an elder care facility, and “anywhere else that I can find,” he says. His community is as impressed with Ruben’s service as I am, and in late June he was honored with a 2017 Volunteer Award from Multnomah County for his involvement in the library.

When I ask what Ruben is interested in pursuing as a career he says he’s undecided, but he finds criminal justice “very intriguing.” For the time-being he has his hands full: “It’s a tough schedule,” he says. “School, volunteering, and trying to find a job. When I do find time to myself I just relax. In the summer I have a lot more time to actually be a kid.” As a fantastic “kid” or an adult, I am confident we will see more of Ruben on the Portland community stage in the future.


A few facts about Ruben:

Home library:  Troutdale

Currently reading:  The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. “I was told it would be a good book for me because it’s kind of weird. It’s definitely interesting.”

Most influential book:  “I’ve read a couple of books for my literature class that were interesting and changed my perspective. The Prince by Machiavelli is one. It definitely changed my perspective on leadership.”  

Favorite book from childhood:  The Hungry Little Caterpillar. “It successfully enhanced my creativity as a kid.”

Favorite browsing section:  “Usually if I’m thinking about a certain subject, I’ll just look for that book in the database. I’ll just go in the library and ask where are the books on cooking.”

E-reader or paper:  “Paper, definitely. It feels right.”

Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.

Manoush Zamorodi explores "essential quandaries for anyone trying to preserve their humanity in the digital age."  Highlights include an examination of the hidden data embedded in that selfie you posted, and how to cope with information overload by spring-cleaning your brain.
 
This podcast gives a fascinating look into the culture and power dynamics around food and restaurants - lots of 'food for thought' (sorry!). They provide a unique local perspective, being based in an air-stream recording trailer here in Portland, and in fact, they've even blogged for us at the library. I learn something new every time I listen.
 
Politically Reactive  with Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu
This podcast takes the listener deep into political and philosophical conversations happening outside the mainstream media, with the understanding that we're not all as 'woke' as the next person -- in fact, they have a segment called "wait a minute" where they break from the conversation to explain allusions and concepts, so you can re-enter the discussion with some context. Oh, and humor, of course.
 
Portland comedy export Ian Karmel and friends 'fantasy draft' anything and everything, including condiments, Taco Bell menu Items, or presidential administrations.  
 
Who better than to settle your disagreements about whether to stay the night on a possibly haunted ship than the hilariously wry John Hodgman and Baliff Jesse Thorn?
 
 
 
Let's Know Things with Colin Wright 
Colin Wright has a smooth voice, a curious mind, and he explores a range of topics. He gives a balanced argument, is a careful connoisseur of sources, and generally just seems like a nice guy. And did I mention I'm a little bit in love with him? I'm a little bit in love with him. 
 
Vanessa Zoltan and Caspar ter Kuile host this podcast with the premise: What if we read the books we love as if they were sacred texts? And so they're on a quest to go through each Harry Potter book chapter by chapter to see what more it has offer us and how we can take this practice into our other reading.
 
 
 
Slate puts out a ton of podcasts, ranging from Dear Prudence's advice column to Lexicon Valley where all things language-related are discussed, but the podcasts that I most try to keep up with are the political ones. Trumpcast, with Jacob Weisberg was created during the election to report on Trump's run for president and it should have ended on election night. Unfortunately, we now have an even greater need to explore and explain all things Trumpian and Trumpcast is still there for us.
 
When I need a break from politics, I listen to 2 Dope Queens. It's a comedy-filled show with Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson telling honest, personal, and completely hilarious stories; interviewing other funny folks; and hosting a wide range of comedians. It's like eavesdropping on two good friends who pretty much have no boundaries on what they'll say to each other. 
 
I am loving Pod Save America, in which former Obama staffers and good friends talk about the politics of the day. They're funny, irreverent and appropriately outraged, and they also bring a lot of knowledge and experience about the way things normally work in Washington. 
 
Things are very, very busy at the New York Times these days. I have a friend who works there, and he says that the news reporters are in "a constant state of barely controlled chaos". The new podcast, The Daily, offers a window into that world, with host Michael Barbaro discussing the news of the day, usually with reporters.
 
I am a longtime fan of Dan Savage's Savage Lovecast, a sex advice show. Callers describe their concerns about love and sex, and Dan addresses these, sometimes with the aid very interesting guests. 
 
 
 
If you like 2 Dope Queens you should also check out Sooo Many White Guys. Comedian and author Phoebe Robinson (of 2 Dope Queen fame) will make you laugh until your sides hurt as she chats with authors, musicians, actors and performers who are for the most part not white guys. In her hilarious and insightful interviews, Phoebe celebrates the work of people of color, women and folks from the LGBTQ+ community. 
 
If you are or were ever a fan of Reading Rainbow, you will love LeVar Burton’s brand new podcast series LeVar Burton Reads. It’s basically Reading Rainbow for adults! With each episode fans have the pleasure of listening to LeVar read one of his favorite short stories for adults. 
 
 

 

A 1975 chart of Yaquina Head to Columbia RiverWhat 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.

Chapman Nautical Chart No. 1 by the U.S. Coast GuardDid you know that nautical charts may have more than one compass rose printed on them?

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. 

Little girl smiling next to her lunch

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.

Weekdays through the end of the summer, kids 18 and under can get these free meals at GreshamMidland, and Rockwood libraries during the following times:

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.

Find more free lunch sites in our community.

 

photo of Hill Top FarmThis 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 tbook jacket for Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of A Borrowed Guinea Pig o 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.

 

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