MCL Blogs

High schoolers, you can just read for an hour to mark off each spot on your Summer Reading challenge cards or on the mobile site. But there are a lot of cool other things you can do, too! Remember, you can play online or on a paper gameboard (available free from any library), but not both. 

Beyond reading

Do any of these to fill in a space on your challenge card or mark a day’s reading on the mobile site.

  • Stream or download music or a movie from the library with the hoopla app (library card and password required)
  • Check out a magazine from the library on your phone, tablet or computer (library card and password required)
  • Attend a free summer concert and listen to live music
  • Read to a young child and talk about the story, helping get them ready for reading (and it can count on their gameboard for Summer Reading, too!)
  • Teach tech to an adult--show an aunt how to Snapchat, Grandpa how to use Facebook, Mom or Dad how to stream music or listen a podcast
  • Learn or practice a language through Mango Connect languages on the library’s site (library card and password required)
  • Download an audiobook or an ebook from Libby

Movie making at Rockwood Makerspace
Do, make, share—win!

Share your creation for a chance to win $100 collage certificate. Examples:

How do I submit a creation?

  • Email it (or a link to it) to SummerReading@multcolib.org or
  • Post on social media with the hashtag #MultCoLibTeen
  • Bring it to your neighborhood library and ask staff to send it in to the Summer Reading office (make sure you include your name and contact info)
  • Postal mail to Multnomah County Library, Attn: Summer Reading, 216 NE Knott St, Portland, OR 97212 (make sure you include your name and contact info)
  • You’ll be entered into the drawings for prizes. If you need help, ask at your local library.

Need challenge cards? Stop by any library between now and August 31 to get yours! Just keep track of the days you read about an hour and challenges you complete, then transfer them to the gameboard.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of this program.”

by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer

Volunteer Kasha Tindall Webster

“There’s a theme I’ve seen with people,” Kasha Tindall Webster explains. “There are a lot of experienced people who need to get on their [career] path—doesn’t matter if you’re starting or starting over. There’s a difference between working and working toward something,” she says. Kasha knows this difference well, as a volunteer for MCL’s resume community outreach program at Belmont Library.

“I just show up and help people with resumes,” Kasha laughs. But it’s clear that Kasha masters the art of reading a person’s career aspirations. “I want to help maximize someone’s hourly wage,” she says. “Sometimes what a person is doing and what they want to be doing are totally different things.” Kasha refers to a woman who came to tidy her resume to submit to local grocery stores: “I noticed she had lots of biochemistry coursework experience, so I asked, ‘What about working in a lab instead?’” It’s highlighting the parts of people they can’t see themselves that makes Kasha so effective; she sometimes receives grateful emails from patrons once they get a job. She demurs at the suggestion that she has an obvious gift: “I can’t stress enough the importance of this program. I’m just figuring out how to get the program to make more significant impact.” 

Kasha was born in Hawaii but grew up in Syracuse, New York. Originally a biology major (“I thought you had to struggle,” she laughs) at SUNY Oswego, she switched to an English major, shaping a career dominated by communications and learning how to read people. She currently works as an HR consultant. In even the briefest conversations, “People tell you everything about themselves,” she says with a knowing smile. 

Six years ago, Kasha and her husband moved to Portland, a place she calls “ripe with opportunity to find yourself.” Her praise for the library is boundless: “Could they be nicer, these people who work around books and people? They give of themselves every day, and sometimes these are introverted people, but when they’re asked a question they open like a flower. I’m grateful that this system is in place and that I have the opportunity to work for it.”

Kasha offers two great resume tips: “First, explain or dictate to your phone your skills, what you like to do, and so on. Now play it back and write it down. Next, list out what you actually do as you do it, and keep that list active.” Whether you’re starting, starting over, or want a resume tune up, Kasha’s advice will be a step in the right path!


A few facts about Kasha

Home library: Belmont

Currently reading: SHRM BoCK System Preparatory Exam materials (it’s an HR certification). 

Most influential book: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. “It’s amazing how Mars was the vehicle for these very human stories.”

Favorite section to browse: Nonfiction.  

Favorite book from childhood: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Momotarō, or Peach Boy, a Japanese fairytale: “It was my first baby book.” 

Book that made you laugh or cry: Erma Bombeck, If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?

Guilty pleasure: “I love to reread. I have a whole library of rereads for when I’m super stressed or having a hard time. Or the Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child books.”

Favorite place to read: “In bed!”

E-reader or paper: Paper.

 

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

On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Multnomah County Library is proud to once again participate in Portland’s own Pride Festival! This is one of the largest Pride celebrations on the West Coast, and we are so excited to connect with you. Stop by our

Library staff and friends at Pride
table in Section R next to the Morrison Bridge to sign up for our Summer Reading Program (we have a game for adults, too!), check out a book and win a fabulous library prize!  We hope to see you there.

If you can’t make it (or even if you can), celebrate with a great LGBTQ read from one of the wonderful booklists below.

Kids enjoying the summer lunch program at Gresham Library
Multnomah County Library will offer free lunches for youth 18 and under this summer at Gresham, Midland, and Rockwood libraries.  Youth are not required to have a library card to receive the free lunch.

The lunches are available Monday through Friday during the following times:

Gresham: 12:30–1:30 pm (June 17 through August 16)
Midland: 12–1 pm (June 17 through August 27)
Rockwood: 12–1 pm (June 24 through August 9)

NOTE: There will be no lunch at Rockwood Library on Friday, July 5.

The summer lunch program is made possible through partnerships with Gresham Barlow School District, Reynolds School District, and the Meals 4 Kids division of Meals on Wheels.

Multnomah County Library offers many free summer activities for children and teens, including the Summer Reading program. For more information, visit the event calendar or call 503.988.5123.

For those of us who love classic literature, Multnomah County Library is a great resource. There are ongoing Classics Pageturners book discussion groups at Hillsdale Library and Hollywood Library, plus a Quarterly Classics group at Capitol Hill Library.  Copies of the books will be available two months in advance of the discussions.  Please call the branch to confirm.  Following that are lists of Western and non-Western literature from every era.

Here are the Classics book group schedules:

Hillsdale Library Classics Pageturners,

Second Saturdays, 3-5 pm

 

June 8, 2019, Civilization and Its Discontents, by Sigmund Freud

 

September 14, 2019, Selected Poetry, by John Donne. (This is a different edition than we will be reading.)

 

October 12, 2019The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane

 

November 9, 2019To the Finland Station,by Edmund Wilson

 

December 14,  2019, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard in Anton Chekhov's Selected Plays, by Anton Chekhov

 

January 11, 2020, Sentimental Education, by Gustave Flaubert

 

February 8, 2020, The Death of the Heart, by Elizabeth Bowen

 

March 14, 2020, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Coleridge

 

April 11, 2020, : The Misanthrope, by Jean Molière

 

May 9, 2020, Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen

 

June 13, 2020, The Rubaiyat of Omar Kayyam

Hollywood Library Classics Pageturners,

Third Sundays, 2-4 pm

 

June 16, 2019The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing

 

September 15, 2019Persuasion, by Jane Austen

 

October 20, 2019The Twelve Caesars, by Suetonius. (This is a different translation than we will be reading.)

 

November 17, 2019 Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy

 

December 15, 2019The Log From the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck

 

January 19, 2020The Oresteia, by Aeschylus

 

February 16, 2020The Moon and Sixpence, by W. Somerset Maugham

 

March 15, 2020Cry the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton

 

April 19, 2020Selected Stories of Anton Chekov

 

May 17, 2020, Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius. (This is a different translation than we will be reading.)

 

June 21, 2020Man and Superman, by George Bernard Shaw

 

Capitol Hill Library Quarterly Classics

Second Wednesdays, 1:30 pm, October 2018, January, April & July 2019

 

July 10, 2019, My Ántonia, by Willa Cather

Drawing of Lady Justice in front of an American flag.
Life is full of law questions. Whether you are researching laws or looking for legal help, we can suggest some excellent resources to help you out.

First, a caveat: It is against state law for library staff members to engage in any conduct that might constitute the unauthorized practice of law; we may not interpret statutes, cases or regulations, perform legal research, recommend or assist in the preparation of forms, or advise patrons regarding their legal rights.

The following is not a comprehensive list, but it will help you get started. If you have questions or need research suggestions, contact us anytime!


Free & reduced-cost legal help:

 
The OSB Lawyer Referral Service can refer you to a lawyer who may be able to assist you with your legal matter.
 
A statewide non-profit organization that provides access to legal help for people to protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families.
 
An OSB program to help moderate-income Oregonians find affordable legal assistance.
 
A nonprofit law firm that offers sliding-scale legal services.

Legal advocacy and assistance for:

Artists
Consumers
Crime victims
Families
Immigrants and refugees
Inmates
Latinx community
LGBT+ community
Military service members and their dependents
Native American community
People with disabilities
Renters
Russian community
Seniors
Teens
Veterans
Workers

Legal research and forms:

 
General legal information on a variety of topics, provided as a public service by Oregon's lawyers. 
 
Free legal information for low-income Oregonians.
 
Links to resources for users who want to learn more about the law and courts or want to represent themselves in a legal matter.
 
Provides legal reference assistance and more six days a week; you can access various legal forms and complete NOLO legal reference books on common legal topics online, 24/7, through their website. The Washington County Law Library is also open to the public and has many great resources online and in person.
 
Promoting justice by providing all Oregonians with access to legal information and legal research assistance.
 
Forms, court records, and information about going to court.
 
Free online access to court calendars and basic case information for the Oregon circuit courts and the Oregon Tax Court.
 
A legal research tool that lets you search sources of law from Oregon, the U.S. Government and many other western states. 
 
Provides online access to briefs and opinions of the Oregon Supreme and Appellate Courts, legal research guides, and in-person and virtual legal reference services.
 
Contains legal forms and documents specific to Oregon. Access with your library card number.
 
Information and forms from the federal Judiciary.
 
Includes legislative information and a Guide to Law Online.
 
Learn about your rights as a person living in the United States of America.
 
Find out how to file a complaint or appeal a decision related to health information privacy, civil rights, Medicare, and more.

Elleona Budd, Library Assistant
“The library is a place where anyone can foster creative ideas,” says Elleona Budd, a Black Cultural Library Advocate and Library Assistant at Central Library.

Elleona, who identifies as non-binary, has been learning various parts of library work — everything from helping regular patrons at the St. Johns Library find titles, to leading outreach work in the Black community — for the past three years.

Elleona joined the library as an access services assistant after graduating from Lincoln High School in downtown Portland. As a student, they gravitated toward history and language courses, including learning Spanish, Korean, Mandarin and Arabic. Elleona’s rigorous academic curriculum continues, as they pursue a degree at Portland State University in International Relations and Conflict Resolution, with a minor in Chinese.

“When I first started my job at the library, I hadn’t been back in eight years! I had so many fines from my youth and had been worried I wouldn’t be able to use anything so I avoided it. I happily learned that the library had waived all youth fines and started a new policy so that no youth would accrue fines going forward.”

Today, Elleona, who says they originally loved the idea of working at a library because of a love for books and working with people, now appreciates it because they have an opportunity to help people feel welcome and to connect patrons with library services and resources

“One experience that was very meaningful for me was connecting with a patron who had recently been incarcerated,” said Elleona. “The library was one of her first stops. She wanted help finding career resources, and I was able to listen and talk with her, but also recommend materials in addition to other services the library offers. She told me the experience was so positive and had helped her feel welcome to come back.”

Now, as a Black Cultural Library Advocate, Elleona is joining other staff from around the library to identify ways to improve collections and services for the Black community. Sometimes, that means creating library displays featuring poetry by queer and trans people of color. Other times, it means organizing large-scale events to provide opportunities for discussion about topics such as the African diaspora.

“I want to help start conversations. I want everyone to walk into a library and think ‘this is a place for me.’” says Elleona.

Elleona’s recommended reading:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Clean Room by Gail Simone

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

At home at Rockwood Library
Volunteer Ethan Wood

by Donna Childs,  MCL volunteer

Smart, busy, an enthusiastic learner, Ethan is a charming young man—an independent learner with an infectious love of learning and a commitment to encouraging others. He is currently a high school junior and looking ahead to college. Although he lives in Damascus, he travels to Rockwood Library to volunteer. Despite the commute, it is clearly the place for him: Ethan loves science, technology, and making things, and Rockwood is the only area library with a makerspace. Ethan came to Rockwood as a Summer Reading volunteer six years ago, before the makerspace was created. After Summer Reading, he moved on to helping students with homework and assisting patrons with the library’s computers. He recalls that one especially gratifying experience was helping a patron find an apartment online.

When the makerspace opened, Ethan was recruited by Rockwood’s “awesome staff” to volunteer there. He learned CAD (Computer Aided Design) and how to use the equipment and has been an avid makerspace volunteer since.

The makerspace is a collaborative learning environment for students in grades 6-12 to learn real-life technology and engineering skills. Librarians and volunteers like Ethan offer workshops and guide students in the use of innovative technology tools like laser cutters and 3D printers. The goal is for students to become comfortable with technology and to learn by experimenting, while honing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Ethan loves experimenting and making things, and he strongly believes in the importance for kids of learning technology: “they will need it later.” Among his potential college majors are mechanical and electronics engineering, though he also loves astronomy and the space program.

As a high school junior, Ethan is enrolled in the Summit Learning Charter School’s Early College Program, through which he can take both high school and community college classes and earn college credit, with Summit paying his tuition. In addition to taking high school and college courses and volunteering at Rockwood, Ethan is a Boy Scout, working to become an Eagle Scout, and a member of Summit’s Robotics club; he also takes guitar lessons and serves as a communications assistant—doing newsletters and social media—for the East Metro Youth Advisory Council whose mission is to encourage STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). The Council meets at Rockwood Library.


A few facts about Ethan

Home library:  Rockwood

Currently reading:  He is not currently reading a book, but enjoys science fiction.

Most influential book:  He could not think of a specific book that has influenced him however, one of his favorite books is Psion Beta by Jacob Gowans.

Favorite book from childhood:  "I love all the Harry Potter books."

Book that made you cry:  Where the Redfern Grows by Wilson Rawls is a tear-jerker.

Favorite browsing section: Fiction and science nonfiction

E-reader or paper?  Paper book

Favorite place to read: "My room, because it is quiet and comfortable."

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

From Albina to Kenton to Troutdale, each of our 19 neighborhood libraries has a social story to help prepare for a visit. A social story uses photos and simple text to show children on the autism spectrum what to expect and how to behave in unfamiliar social settings. Knowing what to expect can help children with autism cope but the stories can be helpful for others too. Maybe you’re new to Multnomah County and unfamiliar with our libraries. Maybe you haven’t visited a library for a while and want to bring your child, but don’t know what your neighborhood library is like. Perhaps you’re a teacher helping your class prepare for their first visit to a library. Whoever you are, Multnomah County Library social stories walk you through the door, share what you can find in different areas, introduce the storytime presenters, and show where you can get a library card and check out materials.

social story page showing the Sensory Accommodation Kit available at each library
You can find your neighborhood library's story on the website by going to "Locations," clicking on the location from the list of libraries and looking for "My Library social story." The stories are pdfs on the website and ready for printing.

Also for children on the autism spectrum, our libraries each have a Sensory Accommodation Kit with tools to use during your visit to help with noise and distractions, and to help calm. Preschool Sensory Storytimes at the Fairview-Columbia, Hollywood and Woodstock libraries are especially welcoming storytimes for children on the spectrum and families who are looking for a smaller, more adaptive library experience.

Katie Grindeland is the author of The Gifts We Keep, a selection from The Library Writers Project, which highlights local self-published authors. In an innovative partnership, Ooligan Press worked with the library to publish this novel about an Oregon family struggling with past tragedy while caring for a Native Alaskan girl with sorrows of her own.

Reading with friends? Start the conversation with this book summary and discussion guide.

Why did you want to tell this particular story?

I have always been a very character-driven writer, so I was excited at the prospect of diving into first-person emotional exploration with a somewhat diverse group of people. It was really important to me to try and give voice to their internal experience since we don’t always have a platform for that in our put-together grown-up lives. Big feelings, authenticity, connection, these were pillars for me. Not just as words on a page, but as an open-handed gesture to the reader’s experience as well. If someone reads this story and feels emotionally seen or included, I would consider that my biggest success.

Who or what inspires you, writing wise? Who inspires you in your life?

I am always inspired by those really good writers who make you stop in your tracks, by virtue of how purely they can weave a phrase or present an idea. The kind where I have to put the book down to stare at nothing and just think for a few minutes. Yann Martel and Marilynne Robinson and Jonathan Safran Foer and Barbara Kingsolver. But I also really love the writer who just wants to borrow your ear for a minute to tell a cool story they know. Lynda Barry and Stephen King and Cheryl Strayed and Diane Ackerman. These and so many more. Outside of writing, hard workers inspire me. Nose-to-the-grindstoners inspire me. Bad-at-something-but-trying-it-anyway inspires me. I find a lot of bravery in authenticity. And kindness. Kind-hearted people are secret super heroes and they don’t even know it. That inspires me.

Can you recommend a book you've recently enjoyed?

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It undid me, in all the best ways. Beautiful, meaningful, incandescent. I read much of this by headlamp on a solo camping trip near The Dalles, listening to trains run by in the dark, simply because I couldn’t put it down. I also love “S”, by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams. It's a novel within a novel, filled with miscellanies that fall out of the book into your lap if you aren’t careful, postcards, notes, photos -- all of which may or may not be clues to unraveling the story. Plus, if you’re anything like me, it will have you spouting about the Ship of Theseus paradox to friends and family, whose reception may be lukewarm in comparison to your enthusiasm for the idea!

Haciendo la diferencia un 'Día' a la vez

Ana Morillo, MCL Staff, with Día volunteers Claudia Ramirez-Cisneros and Francisca Ixtepán
Por Sarah Binns, voluntaria de MCL 

El sábado 20 de abril, la Biblioteca Midland celebrará su evento anual del Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros con libros, comida, presentaciones artísticas y manualidades para los niños y las personas jóvenes de corazón. El Día de los Niños, una celebración tradicionalmente realizada el 30 de abril en muchos países latinoamericanos, en general fue introducido a los Estados Unidos a finales de los años 90 por la autora y defensora de la alfabetización bilingüe Pat Mora. Las bibliotecas de todo el país adoptaron el programa después de ser patrocinado por la Asociación de Servicios de Bibliotecas para Niños. Este año, el evento de la Biblioteca Midland ha sido organizado casi exclusivamente por dos usuarias y voluntarias apasionadas de la biblioteca que tienen una experiencia personal con esta tradición: Claudia Ramírez-Cisneros y Francisca Ixtepán. Tanto Claudia como Francisca crecieron en México celebrando el Día de los Niños. “Era algo especial, nuestros padres nos daban regalos”, dice Francisca. Sin embargo, la vida no siempre ha estado llena de regalos para Claudia y Francisca, quienes ahora viven con sus familias en Portland.

“Mi mamá y mi hermano se vinieron aquí primero”, explica Claudia. “Yo tenía solamente 11 años de edad cuando se fueron. No teníamos teléfonos, entonces mi mamá enviaba cartas diciendo lo mucho que me extrañaba”. Claudia participaba como voluntaria enseñando a los niños en su iglesia para “ayudarme a sobrellevar la soledad” sin su familia. Esto despertó un interés permanente por ayudar a otros, lo cual Claudia se trajo con ella cuando se reunió con su familia en Portland a la edad de 15 años.

Francisca se mudó a Portland cuando ya era una persona adulta y la transición a un nuevo país y cultura fue muy desafiante para ella. “Algunas veces, cuando la gente no me entendía, me daba por vencida”, dice Francisca. “Muchas mujeres en nuestra comunidad se apartan porque tienen miedo. Es necesario que como inmigrantes aprendamos a hablar el inglés y aboguemos por nuestros hijos en la escuela o hablemos con la gente en las tiendas cuando no podamos encontrar personas que nos ayuden”. Francisca recibió ayuda del amable personal bilingüe de la biblioteca durante una clase realizada como parte de un evento de difusión comunitaria de la biblioteca. Inspirada por su jefe, a quien ella considera su amigo, y por la necesidad de ayudar a su hijo que estaba siendo acosado en la escuela, Francisca decidió regresar a la escuela para estudiar, aprender el inglés y seguir una carrera.

Francisca y Claudia se conocieron en el Colegio Comunitario Mt. Hood y desde entonces se convirtieron en voluntarias muy activas en la biblioteca y en la comunidad latina de Portland.  Ana Ruiz Morillo, coordinadora de difusión en español de la biblioteca, compartió: “En los últimos cinco años, Francisca ha sido voluntaria en las celebraciones del Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros de MLC. El año pasado, ella invitó a Claudia para trabajar juntas y más tarde ambas aceptaron el desafío de planificar y realizar el evento de “Autor Latino de 2018” con el autor de libros para niños René Colato Laínez en la Biblioteca Midland. Estas dedicadas voluntarias trabajaron muchas horas para planificar, promover y realizar este evento porque, a final de cuentas, todo lo que querían era expresar su apreciación por toda la orientación que recibieron del personal de la biblioteca”.

Nuevamente este año, Claudia y Francisca han dedicado meses para planificar el Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros de la Biblioteca Midland, la cual será una celebración bilingüe multifacética de la cultura latina. Vamos a tener decoraciones inspiradas en Coco, la película galardonada por la Academia con el tema del Día de los Muertos, y también presentaciones de danza como la “Danza de los Viejitos”, un baile tradicional del estado mexicano de Michoacán. Y, gracias al apoyo de The Library Foundation, cada niño asistiendo al evento recibirá un libro gratuito.

La planificación de Claudia y Francisca asombra al personal de la biblioteca por su habilidad para movilizar a la comunidad y crear un intercambio cultural tan vibrante. “Nosotros estamos aprendiendo del liderazgo de Claudia y Francisca”, dice Morillo. “Estamos mejorando en las cosas que hacemos debido a sus contribuciones”. 

Esperamos verlos a ustedes el 20 de abril en la Biblioteca Midland. Ya sea que traigan a sus niños o a su propio niño interior, tengan la seguridad de que pasarán un tiempo maravilloso gracias a Claudia y Francisca. 

ChIldren sitting on floor

Will your child be 5 years old by September 1? If so, sign up for kindergarten now so they can start school this fall. Sign up at your neighborhood school by June 1 to give your child a good start, connect to summer activities, and get access to free resources. School offices close for the summer, so don’t wait! 

To identify your school, call 2-1-1 or email health@211info.org. Help is available in many languages.

Ana Morillo, MCL Staff, with Día volunteers Claudia Ramirez-Cisneros and Francisca Ixtepán
Making a difference one Día at a time

by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer

On Saturday, April 20, Midland Library will host its annual Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros (Children’s Day and Book Day) with books, food, performances, and crafts for the young and young at heart. Día de los Niños, traditionally held on April 30 in many Latin American countries, was introduced broadly to the US in the late 90s by author and bilingual literacy advocate Pat Mora. Libraries across the country adopted the program after it was sponsored by the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC). This year, Midland Library’s event has been organized almost solely by two passionate volunteer patrons with personal experience of the tradition: Claudia Ramirez-Cisneros and Francisca Ixtepán. Both Claudia and Francisca grew up in Mexico celebrating Día: “It was something special, our parents gave us presents,” says Francisca. But life has not always been full of gifts for either woman, both of whom now live with their families in Portland.

“My mom and brother came here first,” Claudia explains. “I was only eleven when they left. We didn’t have phones, so my mom sent letters saying how much she missed me.” Claudia volunteered teaching youth at her church “to help me get through the loneliness” without her family. This ignited a lifelong interest in helping others, which Claudia carried with her when she joined her family in Portland at age fifteen.

Francisca moved to Portland as an adult and found the transition to a new country and culture challenging. “Sometimes, when people didn’t understand me, I’d give up,” she says. “Many women in our community step back because they are afraid. It is necessary as immigrants to learn to speak English in this country and to advocate for our kids at school or speak to people at the store, when we aren’t able to find people who could help us.” Francisca found help from the welcoming bilingual library staff during a class conducted as part of the library’s community outreach. Inspired by her boss, who she considers a great friend, and by the need to help her child who was being bullied at school, Francisca decided to go back to school, learn English and pursue a career.

Francisca and Claudia met in classes at Mt. Hood Community College and have since become very active volunteers at the library and in the Latinx community in Portland. Ana Ruiz Morillo, MCL’s Spanish Outreach Coordinator, shared, “For the past five years, Francisca has been volunteering at the MCL Día celebrations. Last year she invited Claudia to join her and later on both took on the challenge to plan and conduct the 2018 Latino Author event with children’s author René Colato Laínez at the Midland Library. These dedicated volunteers put so many hours to plan, promote, and conduct this event, that at the end, all they wanted to do was express their appreciation for all the mentorship they received from library staff.”

Again this year Claudia and Francisca have devoted months of planning to Midland Library’s 2019 Día, which will be a multifaceted, bilingual celebration of Latinx culture: There will be decorations inspired by the Academy Award-winning, Day of the Dead-themed film Coco and dance performances, including “la danza de los viejitos,” or “dance of the old gentlemen,” traditionally from the Mexican state of Michoacán. And, thanks to the support from The Library Foundation, every child in attendance will receive a free book.

Claudia and Francisca’s planning awes the library staff, with their ability to rally the community and create such a vibrant cultural exchange. “We are learning from the leadership of Claudia and Francisca,” says Ruiz Morillo. “We are becoming better at what we do because of their contributions." We hope to see you on April 20 at Midland Library. Whether you bring your children or your inner child, it’s sure to be a wonderful time, thanks to Claudia and Francisca.

Rod Madison in a truck
With a few online clicks, a library patron can go from deciding what they want to read to placing that book on hold at their neighborhood library; thanks to a team of library staff led by Logistics Supervisor Rod Madison, that book, along with thousands of other books and other library materials, are moved around the county each day— taken off library shelves, sorted, routed to new locations, and put back on the shelves and ready for checkout.

Along with his team, Rod helps facilitate the movement of nearly 175,000 library materials around Multnomah County each week — more than the entire collection held at Midland Library!

"I always want to help our patrons get the materials they want, where they want them and in the fastest way possible," said Rod. 

Brought to the library by a love of books and a background in academics — he holds a Master’s Degree in History and taught classes at Oregon State University for more than a decade — Rod initially began working at the library’s “sort center,” the operation he now manages. This is where all materials moving from one library location get manually sorted for drivers to take to their destination. 

After transitioning into a position as a library assistant and spending time at two of the library’s largest locations — Central and Midland libraries — Rod pursued positions in library management, finding his experience in operations, public service, and as a library delivery driver, a perfect match for the logistics role. 

Outside of the library, Rod has a fascination with aviation history and enjoys striking up conversations about classic aircraft and visiting local aviation museums, interests that stem from his father who was a naval aviator during WWII.

"My deep interest in aviation is just part of a broader fascination with transportation in general. I guess it's only fitting that I'm working in a job that involves trucks!"

Logo for Bike to Books

Enter for a chance to have your bike art placed on a Portland street! 

Pick up an entry form at your library or download the form and create your design. 

Bring your completed entry to a Multnomah County Library by May 31.

Contest is open to children and teens in grades PreK-12.

Contest dates: May 1-31, 2019

Need inspiration? See the 2018 Bike to Books winners.

Other fun ways to celebrate National Bike Month during May:

#BikeToBooks | biketobooks.com.

2018 Bike to Books winner with his drawing in a bike lane

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.” ~ James Baldwin

With the release of the movie If Beale Street Could Talk, interest in the works of James Baldwin is high. If you'd like to take a deeper dive into Baldwin's work, the time is right. The National Book Foundation has declared 2019 the year of James Baldwin through their Author in Focus program. 

Delve into the library's holdings on and about Baldwin. If you'd like to explore his writing futher, Broadway Books will hosting events as part of the year-long celebration. On April 7, the store will host a discussion of incarceration in America and its impact on marriage as seen through the novels An American Marriage by Tayari Jones and Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk. They will also host an open-mic night during which people can read aloud their favorite Baldwin passages. Find more information on Broadway Books' event page.

According to the scholar Therman B. O'Daniel, "Baldwin is a bold and courageous writer who is not afraid to search into the dark corners of our social consciences, and to force out into public view many of the hidden, sordid skeletons of our society." Find out for yourself why Baldwin's work still resonates so strongly long after his death.

Denise Auld
For Denise Auld, pursuing a career as a librarian has always been about more than finding books and information, it’s about forging connections and being there for people in the community.

As a teen, Denise spent her days after school at the St. Johns Library. She would see other teens from around the neighborhood, and they all became library regulars— huddling over new laptops on "teen lounge" nights and sharing stories with Janie, the youth librarian.

"Often nobody was at home, and the library became a calm and safe place for me to just be a teenager," said Denise. Visiting the library as a teen was more than a second home, it reinforced her desire to make working in libraries a career.

Today, Denise is currently serving dual roles for the library. For the past six years, she’s been an access services assistant at Holgate Library, assisting patrons with their accounts, helping coordinate the vast amount of library materials that are checked in and out each day, and training new library staff. The position also provided an opportunity for her to work with teens at the library, managing teen programming, running an active Teen Council group of 20 members, and mentoring more than 50 teen volunteers during the library’s annual Summer Reading program.

"I want to be the person that Janie was for me when I was a teen," she says.

Possessing both the experience of helping patrons in the library and a desire to help others, Denise was selected to help create a comprehensive training program for more than 400 staff and 200 volunteers on a new library software system that staff will begin using in May.

"I enjoy teaching and finding different ways to help people learn. Whether it’s working with the teen council or organizing classroom training for library staff, I want people to feel confident in what they do."

Currently in college working toward her Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Denise plans to pursue a master’s program so she can become a teen librarian.

Runner, Reader, and Reliable Volunteer 
photo of volunteer Darcy Pound

by Donna Childs, MCL volunteer

Darcy Pound began volunteering at Troutdale Library for the Summer Reading program after her freshman year of high school. She soon added membership in the teen council, which helps librarians plan events that interest teens; she was part of a group who put together a summit on bullying and effecting positive change. Now she is a full-fledged “search assistant,” coming every Saturday morning to search shelves for books requested by other branches. She is most enthused about this role because of all the interesting books that pass through her hands. There’s that love of learning again! According to Troutdale Library staff, Darcy is “friendly, efficient, reliable, and a good role model.”

A high school senior, Darcy is planning to go to college in the fall, possibly to Oregon State University, where she has been accepted into the Honors College. A potential biology major, her eyes light up when she talks about intriguing new biological discoveries. Thanks to her, I now know that dogs have developed a left gaze bias, looking at the side of our faces that shows more emotion. She’s a solid “A” student, who is at the top of her class, even while taking challenging Advanced Placement courses.

Darcy is also a runner. She is on her high school’s cross-country and track teams, and she was able to combine her love of running and volunteer work for her high school Key Club by helping at the annual Shamrock Run. When asked about summer activities, she mentioned an exciting job working at the 30 summer concerts at McMenamins Edgefield Hotel—some attracting more than 5,000 people—and then she added with a smile, “and of course, running. I love to run.” She also talked about family trips with her parents and younger brother to places such as Mount Rushmore and Dinosaur Park in South Dakota with its 30-foot-high dinosaur replica.

Darcy is a top student who is eager to learn, a talented and enthusiastic runner, and an active and committed volunteer—whether at church, school, or at Troutdale Library. She is also mature, intellectually curious, and original (see her “favorite place to read” comment below).


A few facts about Darcy

Home library: Troutdale

Currently reading: Radium Girls by Kate Moore and 1984 by George Orwell

Favorite book from childhood: A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

Favorite section of the library: Nonfiction and graphic novels

E-reader or paper: Paper!

Favorite reading guilty pleasure: I love to read nonfiction that’s written so well it seems like fiction."

Favorite place to read: The stairs. It’s oddly relaxing to sit on a set of stairs and read a good book.




 

Congratulations to Kaiyee, the middle school division winner! Kaiyee is a patron of Holgate Library.

Illustration by Kaiyee, the middle school division winner

And to Trina, the high school division winner, who frequents North Portland Library.

Illustration by Trina, the high school division winner

Each winner receives $100 from collage: curated art and craft supplies and have their art featured on thousands of gameboards this summer. Here are the 22 finalists in the contest, each showing their interpretation of this year’s theme, Space: A Universe of Stories.

Winners were selected by library staff who work with youth and the Summer Reading program. They considered creative interpretation of the theme, popular appeal, and how well the art would print. Trina’s work was felt to show the human connection reading creates; Kaiyee’s, the universe available in books. The results of the voting were very close this year. We were blown away by the quality and creativity shown by the entrants. 

Summer Reading is made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation.

Logo for Summer Reading 2019
Whose art will be on the cover of the middle and high school gameboards for Summer Reading 2019? Here are the 22 finalists in the contest, each showing their interpretation of this year’s theme, Space: A Universe of Stories.  

Winners will be announced on or around March 15. 

We had almost 100 amazing entries--a record number of talented teens, vying for $100 gift cards at collage: curated art and craft supplies.
 
Summer Reading is made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation.

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