Blogs:

Finding affordable housing is hard. How do you search for rentals? What do you do if you get an eviction notice? How can you get along with your landlord while knowing your rights? Get started here:

Looking for housing

Here are a few places to start your search. While you search, be aware of scams! Be careful of ads that ask for advance payment for housing.  If a listing looks too good to be true, it probably is.

If you have limited income or other special needs for housing:

If you've received an eviction notice or a big rent increase:

  • 211info can help with renter resources including deposit fee assistance, eviction prevention, housing search assistance, neighbor and landlord mediation, renters rights, and renting classes.

  • Oregon CAT - Community Alliance of Tenants is an organization made up of low-wage workers, families with children, people living with disabilities, seniors, and people of color.  They offer advice about rent increases and no-cause evictions. You can call their Renters’ Rights Hotline (503) 288-0130. They provide information on finding emergency shelter, how to research a prospective landlord, and what to do if your landlord refuses to make repairs.

Contact us if  you'd like help getting connected to the right housing resource.

 

Are you a fan of travelogues? The Bible? In the Steps of St. Paul by H.V. Morton is a gem. Not only is it a good introduction to the travels of St. Paul, but also a modern (1936) travel journey complete with humor and wonderful scenes of interaction between the author and the people that he meets.

The author is visiting the Turkish city of Konya and has found a modest-looking hotel owned by Russians:

At dinner that night a smiling, collarless waiter placed before me a roughly-hewn scrap of meat and potatoes which had been painfully cut into thin slices and then subjected, before a slight heating, to a bath in one of the more revolting oils. From the expression of eager expectancy on the faces of waiter, proprietor and proprietor's wife, I gathered that this was either a speciality or a death verdict. Sawing off a portion, I took an apprehensive mouthful, whereupon the waiter bowed, grinning all over his face, and the proprietor came forward and, also bowing, pointed to my plate, and said with some difficulty:

'Beef-roast!'

Then I realized that in this far-off place the pathetic sweetness of the human heart, that transcends all barriers of race, had devised a little compliment to England. I rose and told them in sign language that the meat was superb. They laughed and bowed with delight. And when the room was empty for a moment, a little hungry dog that had slipped beneath the table was a friend in need and -- indeed!

Bruce Feiler's Walking the Bible is an interesting contrast to the very British attitudes of H. V. Morton. Pair that with David Suchet's film account of tracing St. Paul's steps to get another perspective.

 

David Naimon is a writer and host of the radio broadcast and podcast, Between the Covers, honored by The Guardian as one of the best book podcasts today. He has interviewed such authors as Anthony Doerr, Colson Whitehead, Ursula K. Le Guin, George Saunders, Claudia Rankine, and Maggie Nelson. His own writing can be found in AGNI, Tin House and Boulevard among others and has been cited in The Best American Essays, The Best American Travel Writing, The Best Small Fictions and the Pushcart Prize anthology.

There’s a lot of talk these days about building walls, but little discussion about one already built, a long-standing high-security literary wall. As the host of a book podcast, I’m often thinking about how to curate a roster of writers who reflect the multiplicity that is the literary world, guests writing from a wide array of backgrounds as well as writers writing in different or harder to classify literary forms. As a nation that historically has regarded itself as a welcoming place to immigrants, we love narratives — from Saul Bellow to Viet Thanh Nguyen, from Maxine Hong Kingston to Junot Diaz — written by or about immigrants becoming American. But, oddly, at the same time, we seem incurious when it comes to literature not originally written in English.

There is an oft-cited statistic that translated works make up a paltry 3-5 percent of the books published in the U.S. in any given year. But Eliot Weinberger, translator of Octavio Paz, Jorge Luis Borges and Bei Dao among others, says this statistic is entirely false. Only 300 to 400 literary translations are published each year — an incredible .3 to .5 percent of the annual books published, Weinberger argues. Fortunately, one of the unexpected silver linings of the collapse of the big six publishing houses is not only the rise of small presses, presses that take more risks (and which have been coming away with some of the biggest literary awards as a result), but also the rise of small presses devoted to translation. We seem to be in the beginnings of a translation renaissance. The origin of the phrase “to translate” comes from the Latin translatus, which means “to carry across.” My list of recommended titles is written in the spirit of this new interest in carrying works of literature across the literary wall, this new desire to be inspired and renewed by the writing of other cultures. And if you find yourself taken by one or more of these books, you can follow up your reading of it with a listen to my conversation with the author.
 
Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli
 
Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli has an unusual relationship with her translator. Before Christina McSweeney translates one of Luiselli’s books, McSweeney asks to know the songs Luiselli was listening to, the images she was looking at, and how the room looked where she wrote the book. Luiselli herself explicitly plays with the role of translation in her work and with the role of the translator in a book’s creation, even going so far as to include a chapter in one of her novels written by her translator. It is hard to pick which of Valeria Luiselli’s three utterly enchanting books to recommend here but the one closest to my heart is Faces in the Crowd. It follows a a Mexican translator in New York charged with finding “the next Bolaño.” She discovers the work of an obscure poet, falls in love with it, finds herself possibly haunted by his ghost, their identities becoming more and more porous as the novel (and her translation of him) progresses.
 
Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey
 
Ways to Disappear is the first novel by poet and translator Idra Novey. Perhaps best known for her translation of Clarice Lispector’s classic The Passion According to G.H., Novey plays with the ways translators really aren’t “best known” for anything, the ways in which they are delegated to the shadows and their work never considered a truly creative act in its own right. Novey flips the narrative in this novel, making the translator, Emma, super visible as the hero-protagonist at the center of an international thriller/mystery. When Emma’s author, Beatriz Yagoda, the one she has been translating for years, goes missing, Emma abandons her boyfriend and her life in Pittsburgh to go to Brazil to find her. ‘Who could know an author better, her mind and intentions more thoroughly, than the author’s own translator?’ Emma thinks. But Beatriz’s Brazilian family, the ones that see her daily unwritten moments, beg to differ. Ways to Disappear is a page-turning philosophical book, one that functions both as a witty suspense novel and a meditation on the mysteries of language.
 
 
Paris Review editor Lorin Stein calls Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei “the best primer on translation I’ve ever read, also the funniest and most impatient,” and that is the marvel of this little book. If you are already interested in poetry and come to this book with a curiosity about the mysteries of translation, you will surely love Weinberger’s classic. But if you are intimidated by poetry and don’t think you have any particular interest in translation, this book may yet provide an unexpected entryway into both. The project is deceptively simple, with Weinberger examining 19 different translations of a classic four-line poem by the eighth-century poet Wang Wei, but the result is a newfound wonder about language and cross-cultural communication. You will finish this book marveling at the creative feat of any act of translation, running to your favorite dog-eared copy of Anna Karenina or Remembrances of Things Past to see which translator gifted you access to these works written now once again in your own tongue.
 
Seeing Red by Lina Meruane
 
It’s rare that a writer tours for their book in its translated form, and even rarer that such a writer comes through Portland. So I felt fortunate to get the chance to interview Chilean writer Lina Meruane, an author already well-known in the Spanish-speaking world. She has just now had one of her books translated into English for the first time, thanks to Deep Vellum, one of the newer presses dedicated solely to works in translation. Deep Vellum joins the likes of publishers old and new (for example, And Other Stories, Coffeehouse Press, New Directions, Tilted Axis, Wakefield Press) that are making this a particularly exciting time for American readers (and book podcast hosts). Seeing Red opens with the narrator losing her vision and somehow creates a text that is more visual, not less, as a result. Intertwining fiction and autobiography, the novel explores and interrogates the tropes of illness narratives in relation to gender and gender stereotypes. As a result, Seeing Red defies your expectations at every turn.
 
Part of the reason it felt like literary luminaries W.G. Sebald and Roberto Bolaño exploded on the American literary scene in one big boom is because it took us so long to take notice and begin translating their work. Once one book caught on, the rest came in one big rush. Hopefully, with this renewed interest in translation, we won’t have to wait quite as long for an onrush of translation of Lina Meruane’s work. I’ll be first in line to read the next one.
 
Listen to audio of my conversations with Luiselli, Novey, Weinberger and Meruane.

--By the Hollywood Teen Book Council

There have always been conflicts in the world that leave innocent populations vulnerable. Currently, there has been a lot of recent news around refugees from various parts of the world. We are always curious to learn more either through fiction or from true accounts. Here are some of the resources that we have found particularly meaningful in understanding our world better, and what others are facing.

Podcasts

99% Invisible Icon99% Invisible

Church (Sanctuary Part 1):

While exploring conflicts in Central America in the 1980, this podcast explores the “social movement based on the ancient religious concept of ‘sanctuary,’ the idea that churches have a duty to shelter people fleeing persecution.”

State (Sanctuary Part 2):

This podcast looks at the government response to churches’ response as being sanctuaries by launching a full-scale investigation into the sanctuary movement.

This American Life iconThis American Life

Are We There Yet? Episode 592:

Staff members of This American Life explore a refugee camp in Greece. They discuss how the Greek government is handling the refugee crisis; explore an abandoned baseball stadium in Athens where about a thousand Afghans are living; talk to a mother about what it is like to be a parent in a refugee camp; and what it is like for a refuge to call the asylum office via Skype.

Don’t Have to Live Like a Refugee. Episode 593:

The second part of the staff's visit to Greece explores what it is like to build a life living in a refugee camp.

Short Films

Many of this year's Oscar nominated documentary shorts were about current refugee experiences. Look for these:

 

Short documentary about the first responders who rescue victims from the daily airstrikes in Syria.
 
Short documentary that was filmed over three years, telling the story of one family's escape from war-torn Syria, and their attempt to make a new life in Germany.
 

4.1 Miles:

Short documentary that follows a coast guard captain on a small Greek island who  is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea.

 

Film

Hotel Rwanda:

Tells the story of hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, who kept more than 1000 people safe during the 1994 Rwandan massacre.

 

Comics

By New York Times Comic by Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan
 
Follows the true story of a Syrian family's journey to America.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Video Clips

Ted Talk Playlist: Refugees Welcome

Ten different TedTalks about that explore the refugee crisis and refugees' experiences. 

Ted Ed: What Does It Mean to be a Refugee?

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Migrants and Refugees Sept. 28, 2015

Article

The Atlantic log

Refugees and the Limits of Economic Logic

By Derek Thompson in The Atlantic

Explores how taking in people who have no safe home isn't about GDP growth; it's about basic decency.

Close-up image of microfilm in a microfilm reader.Microfilm & microfilm readers

Microfilm is photographic film used to record miniaturized images on sheets or reels. Often these are images of pages from newspapers and magazines. The reels of film use less space than the original items (for example, 50 years of Sports Illustrated on film takes up the same space as 1 year of the paper magazine, and the boxes of microfilm can fit in one small drawer). To read the microscopic images on film, you use a microfilm reader which enlarges them for you.

Two digital microfilm readers are located at Central Library. These readers offer many new options for editing and saving images from microfilm, including the ability to crop, enhance images and add notes.

Digital microfilm machines at Central Library.So, what kinds of magazines and newspapers does the library have on microfilm?

All sorts! Here is a selection of historic gems that are available at Central Library for your micro-perusing:

  • The Black Panther, 1968 to 1980
  • Harper’s, 1963-2013
  • Macworld, 1984 to 2005
  • Reader’s Digest, 1922 to 2013
  • TV Guide, 1953 to 1994
  • and many, many more!

In addition to national publications like the ones listed above, Central Library also has a large collection of local newspapers on microfilm, including the Oregon Journal, The Oregonian, The Portland Telegram and the Willamette Week. For more information about searching in local newspapers, take a look at the blog post “Research with historical Portland newspapers, beyond the Oregonian.”

Microfilm readers are also located at the Gresham and Sellwood libraries. These locations have smaller collections of microfilm materials which are specific to their communities like The Gresham Outlook and The Sellwood Bee.

Newspaper article about the Grateful DeadA couple of notes before you begin your micro-searching:

  1. When you use microfilm, it is like browsing through a big stack of newspapers or magazines arranged by date. If you don’t know the exact date for the article that you are seeking, you might need to use an index (usually this index is a book or an online resource) to look it up.
  2. Some magazines and newspapers are only available on microfilm at the library, but many are also available through the library’s online databases. These databases can sometimes be a better choice for your searching.

Remember, you can always Ask a Librarian and we will be happy to help you find the information or articles that you need!

It's said that history is written by the winners but many stories go untold, especially when they concern women. For instance, have you ever heard of Nellie Bly?

I had a vague notion about her buried somewhere in my brain - 'a reporter, wasn't she?' - but I knew nothing more. As it turns out, she entered journalism at a time when the only role for female reporters was to contribute to the society pages. In a bold move to show her editor that women could do hard-hitting journalism, she volunteered to go undercover, and committed herself to the notorious women's asylum on Blackwell's Island. Bly reported that if one wasn't insane when committed, one would most certainly lose one's sanity in the horrendous conditions on the island. Her work resulted in improvements to the facility and better care for inmates.

A good reporter can never rest on her laurels though, and so in 1889, Bly set out to race around the world in 80 days or fewer to see if the journey that Jules Verne imagined in Around the World in 80 Days could be accomplished. What she didn't realize was that a rival paper decided to make it a race by sending the young Elizabeth Bisland around the world in the opposite direction.

You can follow this riveting story by reading Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-making Race around the World, by Matthew Goodman, which describes a great chase by ship and train across many countries. The excitement of the race is nicely balanced by the historical detail, and satisfies the curiosity while reading like a novel. You can also join fans of Nellie at an upcoming event that will give you an inside perspective on this remarkable woman.

For more inside stories about surprising women in history take a look at the accompanying reading list.

На этом занятии присутствовало 2 человека, условно назовем их Т и В. Занятие как обычно проводилось в режиме индивидуальной компьютерной помощи, т.е. участники задавали те вопросы, которые у них дома не получались и мы смотрели как можно выполнять те или иные операции с компьютером и программами.

Что интересовало участников занятия

Т интересовалась вопросами пользования интернет-переводчиком Google. Проблема была в том, что на домашнем компьютере он почему-то не работал.

Для того, чтобы воспроизвести проблему попросили Т сделать на учебном компьютере все также как и на домашнем. Т самостоятельно включила компьютер, открыла браузер (программа для работы в интернете), нашли сайт интернет-переводчика.

Оказалось, что программа перевода не работает потому, что необходимо включить второй язык, на которой осуществляется перевод. Т.е. первый язык, с которого переводится, программа определяет автоматически, сама, а вот второй язык, на который надо переводить, нужно включать вручную.

Это небольшая иллюстрация насколько умны современные программы, которые сами определяют на каком языке пишет пользователь компьютера. И насколько быстро мы привыкаем к таким удобствам, что уже даже и не задумываемся об этом.

Дополнительно рассмотрели и другие возможности программы для перевода, а именно - возможность звукового прослушивания слова, возможность быстрой смены языков (например, вводить слова на русском и получать перевод на английском, и одним кликом менять языки местами, т.е. вводить слова на английском и получать перевод на русском), возможность вводить слова не с клавиатуры, а голосом, возможность смотреть синонимы, сохранять слова в свой личный словарь, возможность копировать результат перевода, а также возможность предложить свой вариант перевода. Ведь не секрет, что машинный способ перевода, который используют современные программы, еще далек от совершенства и нередко выдает не очень правильный перевод. Поэтому в данной программе предусмотрена возможность предложить свой, более правильный вариант перевода. За счет этого осуществляется совершенствование программы, т.е. пользователи сами повышают качество ее работы.

Кроме того, в этой же программе можно включить русскую виртуальную клавиатуру (не отдельную физическую клавиатару на столе, а клавиатуру, которая показывается на экране компьютера), а также использовать фонетическую клавиатуру, когда русские слова пишутся английскими буквами.

Второй вопрос, который обсуждался - как отправить письмо дочери в Cкайпе. Вроде бы все делает правильно, открывает компьютер, запускает Skype, пишет письмо и дальше не знает, как его отправить. Оказалось, что нужно нажать "волшебную кнопку" Enter.

Также поговорили о том, что если в работе программы возникают какие-то сбои, то очень желательно запомнить и даже записать, что в этот момент сообщается на экране компьютера. Это поможет потом в случае, если кого-то придется звать на помощь.

 

Один из вопросов у В был практически такой, как и у Т. Он также хотел отправить сообщение в Cкайпе своим знакомым, но не знал как это сделать. И здесь снова пришла на помощь "волшебная" кнопка Enter.

Второй вопрос тоже касался Skype - как удалить сообщения, которые уже не нужны. Оказалось, что отдельные сообщения не удаляются, так, увы, сделана программа. Можно лишь удалить все сообщения от определенного человека. Сам человек остается в списке контактов, а вот вся переписка с ним может быть удалена.

Для этого нужно кликнуть на переписке правой кнопкой мышки и вызвать контекстное меню, где одной из опций и является удаление переписки с данным адресатом.

Следующие вопросы В касались использования социальных сетей. Основной аккаунт зарегистрирован в "Одноклассниках", есть также аккаунт в Facebook, где, кстати, можно прослушивать местное русское радио.

Также встал вопрос удалить лишние записи в Facebook от одного из адресатов. Здесь это оказалось сложнее, поскольку вначале нужно было определиться, где именно находятся эти сообщения - в личной ленте новостей, в переписке с данным адресатом. Оказалось, что эти сообщения публикуются в личной ленте адресата, и поскольку В с ним друзья на Фейсбуке, то и в ленте новостей В эти сообщения также появляются.

Удалить можно только в своей ленте новостей, для этого специальная стрелка справа вверху.

Кроме того, был запрос на удаление из ряда групп, на которые подписана одна из знакомых. Нашли список групп, но решили сразу не удалять, а В дома посмотрит дополнительно.

Обсудили систему лайков, чем отличаются подписки от друзей и т.д.

Затем также обсуждали программу перевода. Вопрос был в том, что "пропала" расширенная версия программы. Оказалось, что на самом деле она не пропала, нужно было только нажать не очень заметную ссылку. Просто краткая версия сохранилась в закладках и она теперь все время открывается первой вместо расширенной.

Посмотрели также способы переключения языков, варианты переводы, озвучивание и голосовой ввод, предложение своих вариантов.

Часть учебного времени посвятили работе с сайтом местного русском радио - Наше радио. Удалили из закладок старую ссылку с помощью команды в контекстном меню, вместо нее поставили новую. Нашли ссылку на радио в социальной сети Facebook, там же подписались на новости радио.

В итоге, "героями" данного занятия стали клавиша Enter и контекстное меню, которое обычно открывается по правой кнопке мыши.

Genesis had lived in Portland most her life until she moved to the East Coast to be closer to family. “New York City was okay until one day it was not,” she recalls. That’s when she decided to come back to the familiarity of Portland; however, the city she once knew had changed, making it almost impossible for a single mother with three children to find a place to call home.

From the beginning she knew things would be challenging. “Settling-in is never easy, especially if you have a restricted budget, but who knew finding a modest apartment would become an ordeal that would make me homeless,” she says. “The first month went fast,” she notes. Having to double up with a friend, she managed to make it through the first four weeks, but after her friend’s complex manager found out there were more than the allowed number of renters in the two bedroom apartment, Genesis found she had no place to go. Despite the uncertainty that not finding affordable housing implied, Genesis managed to find work at IRCO as an on-call Spanish interpreter. How did she do it? That’s where her survival skills came in. She knew Multnomah County Library was a safe place for her and her three children. In fact, it became, as she calls it “a personal office,” where she could use the computer, the printer, photocopier, and scanner, tools she depends on to do her job. At first her children were loudly overly-stimulated by the iPads in the children's area. “It was hard,” she confesses.

Although employed, Genesis was still homeless, and had to spend many nights at the Human Solutions shelter on SE Stark and 160th. Each day, she tried very hard to come up with a routine for herself and her children. She would take one of her children to school and the other two to their sitter, just so she could come to the library and wait for the emails that would tell her where to go interpret. Then before going back to spend the night at the shelter, she would return to the library with her children to check email again, grab some books, and let her younger children play on the iPads. After getting in touch with the Department of Human Services, and having a somewhat steady job at IRCO, she applied for an apartment. The wait turned out to be an agony.

In one of her many days at the library, she picked out a copy of Evicted in the Lucky Day section. “As I was reading the book, I felt like it was my history being written,” she now says. I remember one time I saw her looking very distressed. It had been three weeks since she moved from the shelter to a motel, and Genesis did not know if she was going to be able to spend the night at the motel that evening. Her stipend money had run out. “I think I am going to sell my car and go back to New York. I am tired. I don't think I can keep trying.” This was a few days before Christmas.

When I saw her again after the holidays she looked rested and happy. The first thing she told me was how excited she was that she could finally cook, wash dishes, and take real showers. Genesis got her apartment on December 30th, which happens to be her birthday. She says she could not wait to start working and pay her bills. “I can’t believe the school bus is coming to an actual home address to pick up my daughter!” she exclaimed. As we were talking, she found herself staring at the Everybody Reads copies of Evicted. “One thing I would like is for the author to sign my copy of Evicted.” I encouraged her to join the Pageturners book group and participate in whichever other events she can attend that are part of this year’s Everybody Reads Program.

 

The dial on a rotary telephone.In these days of cell-phones and unlisted phone numbers, it's not as easy as looking in a phone book to find someone! (Although that does still work sometimes...) The first thing to realize about these searches is that they take time: you may have to check multiple sources and try contacting multiple phone numbers or addresses. Here is a list of directories and websites that you can use to search for people; you should search in as many of them as possible and try different spellings of names.

(Note: some websites will try to give you a little bit of free information and then ask you to pay before they show you more. Keep in mind that the additional information might or might not be what you need.)

  • ReferenceUSA: A Multnomah County Library-provided resource. Use the "U.S. Consumers / Lifestyles" section to search a database of U.S. residents.
  • Dex Knows: A phone and address directory for people and businesses. Can look up by name, phone number, or address.
  • Pipl: A website that searches various directories and websites to try to find people. Many of the results will only give a little bit of information for free, but it can still be useful.
  • FamilyTreeNow.com: Although this website advertises itself as a place to "discover your family tree," it can also be useful for finding contact information for people. It does not always provide phone numbers, but it does include possible addresses that you could use to try sending a letter.
  • Facebook: A social networking website where users create profiles. Users can choose whether they want their profiles to be findable via a "People Search" page.
  • LinkedIn: A professional networking website that is great for finding information about people who work in business or office jobs.

People who have lost contact with a family member can request assistance from the Salvation Army Missing Persons program. If your request is accepted, they will do a detailed search to try to put you back in touch.

If you are concerned about your personal information appearing on any of the websites listed in this post, you should check to see whether they contain information about how to opt-out or hide your personal information.

Good luck! And if you get stuck, please contact a librarian and we'll be happy to help!

"Rotarydial" image by Dhscommtech at English Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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