Blogs:

cover of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
If I mention Peter and Fudge, I’m guessing there are 10-year-olds, 16-year-olds, 30- and 50-year-olds who will know these brothers. They probably also know that you can’t get freckles by drinking a nasty tasting potion. Many may remember the cruelty of classmates in Blubber. And they’ll probably know exactly who wrote Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Freckle Juice, and Blubber--Judy Blume of course!
cover of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

She happens to be celebrating her 80th birthday on February 12 and I've been reminded of how much I loved her books growing up. I commiserated with older sibling Peter living with his irrepressible little brother Fudge. I went along with Margaret as she dealt with friendships and puberty in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. We were checked for scoliosis at school and I thought of Deenie, the brace she wore and how much she wanted to be a regular teenager.

Judy Blume’s habit of writing real life and real characters continues in her adult novels. She wrote Summer Sisters for adults, but there are no doubt also teen readers for this book about friendship and choices. She later used an event from her own teenage years to explore loss, love and secrets as friends, families and strangers find their lives changed In the Unlikely Event.

Judy Blume is one of the most consistently challenged authors with books like Forever and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t. She hasn’t shied away from divorce, puberty, bullying, sex. It’s likely her honest and realistic writing is the reason for her fans across generations.

cover of Summer Sisters
I’m glad she’s been part of my reading life. Thank you for your books and happy birthday, Judy Blume!

 

 

 

 

 

Maya Lin:  Thinking with Her Hands book jacket
Every year I make a bunch of New Year's resolutions and this year is no different.  I've decided to ditch the annual "floss daily" one and add something more captivating (and hopefully more achievable). The most fun resolutions I make are all about reading and in 2018, I plan to read more non-fiction for kids and teens.  My nerdy librarian side has decided that I will take one "Dewey century" per month (which leaves me two months to read something else!) and explore books that provide inspiration for careers and vocations within each range.  I'm not talking about books like the super useful, but not super stimulating, Occupational Outlook Handbook, but books about interesting people doing interesting things.  I randomly came across a book about Maya Lin recently, so decided to start with architects and artists,
The Shape of the World book jacket
thus books from the 700-799 Dewey range were on my nightstand in January.  I loved  Maya Lin: Thinking Wtih Her Hands, a small, perfectly packaged book about Lin and some of her most famous projects like the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Washington, D.C.  I knew exactly nothing about another architect, I.M. Pei, until I read I.M. Pei: Architect of Time, Place and Purpose.  What a fascinating guy!  Beyond these two books, I read a number of picture book biographies for younger budding architects and artists.  You can find the list here.  So if you know some kids who love their L-squares, mechanical pencils and paint brushes, hand them a few of these books and see where they go! 

P.S.  I'd love to hear about YOUR reading resolutions for 2018!

Percy Julian
Welcome to Black History Month. Every day this month features people and events making significant contributions to American history and how we live Now! Don't miss programming, classes and events throughout February and beyond at a library near you.

 

Slavery to Civil Rights

Innovation

Fashion

Now!

 

2018狗年年宵会!
一年一度的年宵会, 將于二月十日星期六 (上午十时至下午六时), 在俄勒岗会展中心举行。(详情可参阅波特兰新闻)

穆鲁玛郡图书馆将于年宵会摆设摊位,提供有关文化, 饮食, 健康等等的资源,並有华语职员为大家介绍及解答有关图书馆各类活动的资料。欢迎各位到图书馆的摊位与我们見面!

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!

Chúc quý vị Năm Mới An Khang Thịnh Vượng. Năm nay, thư viện sẽ có quầy hàng ở Hội chợ Tết tại Holiday Inn. Chúng tôi sẽ có sách và phim cho mượn, các tài liệu về những chương trình phục vụ của thư viện, và quà tặng miễn phí. Mời quý vị đến tham dự và vui Tết với chúng tôi.

Chi tiết:

Chủ Nhật, Ngày 18 Tháng 2 Năm 2018

Giờ: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Địa điểm: 8439 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland OR 97220

 

Ursual Le Guin photo
When I learned of Ursula Le Guin’s passing, my world stopped spinning for a time. I reflected on her influence with a mixture of gratitude, admiration and awe. Ursula’s contributions to libraries, reading, literacy and to our community are immeasurable. She was tenacious, principled and gracious beyond words.

I first read The Left Hand of Darkness as a graduate student in library school, enthusiastically exploring my early feminist righteousness. Ursula Le Guin was a beacon to me then. I would have never imagined that, decades later, I would pass a lovely Portland winter’s afternoon in her home sipping tea, chatting about her life, career, ebooks, politics and her love of Multnomah County Library.

And, oh how Ursula put her library love into action! She was a deep and genuine friend to Multnomah County Library. She offered a list of her favorite works. She was a singular voice in support of issues that matter. She served on the Multnomah County Library Advisory Board in the 1990s, and she shaped how our library addressed issues that are important today. She leaves an impressive body of work, and she remains one of our library’s most popular authors.

For decades, Ursula Le Guin offered Multnomah County Library her unwavering support. She spoke, wrote and acted in support of library funding at every turn. She celebrated our milestones (even writing a poem celebrating Central Library’s reopening in 1997). She took on pivotal issues and daunting opponents: advocating for the rights of authors and artists; affordable library access to ebooks; and the importance of a person’s fundamental and constitutionally protected right to read, think, and pursue knowledge without scrutiny or constraint.

In her 1997 remarks about Central Library, she said, “A library is a focal point, a sacred place to a community; and its sacredness is its accessibility, its publicness. It’s everybody’s place.”

Of the many wonderful memories I have as director of Multnomah County Library, that gray afternoon with Ursula Le Guin is one of my most treasured. I will be forever grateful to have encountered her. May we honor her legacy by embodying who she was and what she stood for, in our own lives and communities.

- Vailey

IRS 1040 form with pen
Multnomah 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 keys
Online 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.

 

The Woman in the Window

In the beginning of Gold Diggers of 1933 Ginger Rogers' face fills the screen, singing We're in the Money in pig latin. Thanks to the Northwest Film Center I finally had the pleasure of seeing this spectacle on the big screen it was meant for.
 
On its original run Gold Diggers of 1933 was shown in Portland as part of the grand opening of the Music Box Theater downtown on Broadway and Taylor. The Oregonian reported that the line went around the block. Imagine all of those depression-era Portlanders marvelling at the kaleidoscoping dance numbers and giggling at the risque humor.
 
Interested in other frothy early musicals? Check out my list, Musicals of the 1930s,

“I’ve always been a computer person.” 

by Sarah Binns

Dennis Pham is one of those people who does it all: “I go to school full time, work part time, then volunteer,” he says. For the past three years that volunteer time has been spent at Midland Library, where he started to earn volunteer hours for school: “Then I met the staff and it just felt right. I’ve kept at it ever since,” he says. Dennis was first a technohost and is now a Computer Lab Assistant. “That’s more my style,” he says of his new position, “overseeing all of it!”

A Woodstock native, Dennis now lives near Pleasant Valley with his family. Having “always been a computer person,” he’s studying for his bachelor’s degree in mechanical or chemical engineering at PSU. He’s also a production operator at Siltronics, a semiconductor manufacturer. Seeing how the machines work and knowing colleagues who’ve been with the company forty or fifty years inspires him: “One day that’s gonna be me!” he laughs.

While he sometimes works as many as 70 hours a week, Dennis says that’s just fine and the job helps him pay for school. It’s a wonder he still finds time to volunteer, but he doesn’t want to give it up, especially since he likes working with computers. “Computers are better than shelving! As a branch assistant there’s lots of the same thing over and over again—with computers it’s a different question every day.”

Midland’s computer lab operates simultaneously and in the same room as the library’s drop in tutoring for adults. Lisa Regimbal, Adult Literacy Coordinator, notes that there is significant crossover between basic computer literacy and literacy. Though Dennis doesn’t volunteer with the adult literacy program, Lisa thinks he is an outstanding partner and is always willing to help with room set-up and computer issues.

Dennis also sings the praises of the library staff.  “I like working with Lisa,” he says. “I think Lisa is amazing for getting that program started there, I look up to her.” He adds he wants to give a “shoutout to Darrel, Jessie, Maureen, Alán,” and the rest of the staff “for making my days awesome. They’re a really good crew, especially the branch assistants,” he says with a beaming smile. Given his commitment and enthusiasm for Midland, it’s easy to see how Dennis keeps coming back—and why the staff call him “an outstanding volunteer” right back!


A few facts about Dennis

Home library: Midland

Currently reading: “Not reading anything right now, just studying.” He does read lots of articles for school and work.

Favorite book from childhood: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. “He was my favorite author at the time.”

Most influential book: War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. “It stuck with me. It made me think anything can happen!”

Favorite browsing section: Sci-fi and then WWII historical. “I also like to brush up on nonfiction.”  

Book that made him laugh or cry: Overlord, a Japanese series, made him laugh. But, he says, “I’ve laughed at a lot of books.”

Favorite place to read: “Mostly I just read on my bed after 8pm. I’m a night reader.”

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

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