MCL Blogs

Photo of a camera
You need a photo or an image for a project you’re working on. You need it fast. You don’t want to pay anything or get sued for copyright violation. Luckily, there are lots of sources on the Web for finding free-to-use images!

Some of these websites include images which are in the public domain (public domain = nobody owns the copyright). Others include images where the creator is giving up some of their copyright protection and allowing you to use their photos and artwork. However, the creator or website may have usage rules: for example, they might require you to tell people where the image came from and who made it. Before you copy or use any image, it’s a good idea to check for usage or licensing rules. 

ImageQuest - https://multcolib.org/resource/imagequest: ImageQuest is a library resource created by the Encyclopædia Britannica. It has millions of images that you can use for non-commercial purposes. The collection includes photos and clip art, and it allows you to sort results by shape (horizontal or vertical rectangle, or square). Information about creator and rights is provided for each image.

Creative Commons logo
Creative Commons Search - https://search.creativecommons.org: Creative Commons is an organization that helps people share content on the Web (photos, videos, writing, anything!) This webpage lets you search for images which have Creative Commons licenses. The licenses are like permission statements: they tell you what you are allowed to do with the image. 

Smithsonian Open Access - https://www.si.edu/openaccess/: The Smithsonian has created this site to provide access to millions of images from their museums, libraries, archives and the National Zoo. Every image is Creative Commons Zero (CC0), meaning that the Smithsonian has waived all of their rights under copyright. There is also a Smithsonian Learning Lab with information about the Open Access collection and ideas for how to use it.

Children reading a wireless newspaper
The Commons - https://www.flickr.com/commons: The Commons is a section of the photo-sharing website Flickr which provides access to images from public photography archives at museums and libraries around the world. It’s a great place to find historic photos, and everyone (including you!) is encouraged to add comments and tags to the images. The photos on this site have “no known copyright restrictions.”

Photo of a flower
Morgue File - https://morguefile.com/: A morgue file is a collection of past materials to use for future projects. In this particular online morgue file, you can find many high resolution stock photos.

Pixabay - https://pixabay.com/en/: Pixabay offers over 1.7 million royalty free stock photos and videos. 

Unsplashhttps://unsplash.com/: Over 1 million free, high-resolution photos shared by a huge online community of photographers. The Unsplash license gives you wide permission to use the images.

Scissors illustration

Are websites not your thing? Do you prefer books? The library has many books of illustrations and prints you can use, on all sorts of topics. To find them, just do a subject search in the library catalog for “clip art.” You’ll find books with images of Victorian women’s fashion, birds, children’s book illustrations, fairies and much more. At the end of this post is a book list showing examples of the types of clip art books that the library owns.

If you have trouble finding the images that you want, or if you have more questions about any of this, ask us for help! We’ll be happy to talk more about it.

Images included in this post:

Here are the library’s most popular computer classes for adults - you can find the complete list, including classes in other languages, at https://multcolib.org/tech-classes. Click on each class to find out more, including how to sign up.

Note to Welcome to Computers participants: Tech Help, Computer Help, Experience Virtual Reality @ the Library and E-Books and Audiobooks: Hands-on Help are not eligible for the tracking card program. 

Starting out with Computers

Career & Business Skills

Create and Explore

Library Tools and Resources

 

Black Cultural Library Advocates staff members
Join our Black Cultural Library Advocates for special events honoring Black culture and heritage.

 

The History of African Storytelling
February 1
Central Library

Black History Month Film Fest
Saturdays in February
February 1: Mavis!
February 8: Moonlight
February 15: Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
February 22: Rafiki
St. Johns Library

Songs from Vanport Musical
February 2
Wayfinding's Academy

Hadisi ya Tuamini — Swahili Storytelling
February 5
Midland Library

African American Read-In
February 8
North Portland Library

Urban Head Wrapping
February 8
Rockwood Library

South African Gumboot and Pantsula Dance Performance
February 8
Albina Library 
February 10
Kenton Library

A Place Called Home: From Vanport to Albina
February 12
Midland Library
February 24
Northwest Library

Story Hour with Nikki Brown Clown
February 14
Central Library
February 16
Rockwood Library

The HeART Gallery
February 15
Rockwood Library

Honoring Black Heritage Through Art
February 16
Kenton Library

Ken Burns' Central Park Five Movie Screening
February 16
Central Library

Power to the People: The Black Panther Party's Legacy in Albina
February 16
Rose City Book Pub
February 23
North Portland Library
February 29
St. Johns Library

I Love Being Me
February 21
North Portland Library

I Never Knew There Were So Many Books About Us!
February 22
Hollywood Library

Black History Month Tribute To Toni Morrison
February 22
North Portland Library

Keep the Beat!
February 29
North Portland Library

 

Several libraries will also feature Black History Month displays in February: Albina, Central, Gregory Heights, Hollywood, Kenton, Midland, North Portland, Rockwood and St. Johns. 

 

Voluntaria destacada Gabby Delgado
por Jane Salisbury, voluntaria de MCL

Gaby Delgado ama a los niños. Todo en su vida refleja ese amor, inclusive su servicio durante los últimos tres años como asistente del programa con la Coordinadora de la Biblioteca Delia Palomeque Morales en el programa Listos para el Kínder (“Listos”). Listos es un programa para niños de habla hispana de tres a cinco años y sus padres. Las sesiones se llevan a cabo completamente en español, y los maestros enfatizan las habilidades de aprendizaje temprano, como la alfabetización y matemáticas tempranas, la autorregulación y las habilidades interpersonales. Se anima a los padres a que observen cómo sus hijos aprenden mejor y cómo generar confianza y conexiones con sus hijos a medida que crecen. Las familias de Listos con frecuencia se convierten en usuarios de la biblioteca.

Gaby fue maestra en Perú durante veinticinco años, donde trabajó con padres y niños pequeños, y realizó intervenciones tempranas con bebés. También enseñaba cómo dar masaje a bebés para ayudar a los padres a conectarse más profundamente con sus bebés.

Con su esposo y su hija Ximena, que ahora está en el último año de la escuela secundaria, Gaby fue a la Biblioteca de Gresham una vez a la semana para usar el Internet y hacer conexiones. Cuando vio un volante en la biblioteca sobre el programa Listos, pensó: "Esto es para mí".

Sobre su trabajo, Gaby dice: “Delia es excelente, es un ángel. En el programa Listos, trabajamos directamente con niños de 3 a 5 años, primero juntos y después los niños tienen su propio tiempo. Trabajamos en temas cosas como las letras, formas, colores, números y animamos interacciones positivas entre padres e hijos. Puedo aconsejar a los padres sobre cómo conectarse con sus hijos. Muchas familias son inmigrantes nuevos, quienes sólo hablan español y enfrentan muchos desafíos. Adoro trabajar con ellos”.

Gaby se crió en una familia en donde la lectura es valorada, pero las bibliotecas no eran iguales a como son aquí en Estados Unidos. Explica Gaby, “Las bibliotecas en Perú son muy diferentes; son académicas, silenciosas y solo se puede retirar en préstamo uno o dos libros. Estar en la biblioteca aquí es como estar en casa con la familia de uno”.

Toda la familia de Gaby participa en la biblioteca. Ximena es voluntaria en el program de Lectura de Verano, y el esposo de Gaby ha tomado clases de inglés en la biblioteca y gracias a eso ahora trabaja para Hacienda CDC.

Actualmente Gaby está volviendo a leer libros sobre masaje para bebés, preparándose para hacer algunos talleres sobre masajes y apego. Cuando le pregunté cuál fue su libro favorito de la infancia, Gaby dijo El Principito de Antoine Saint-Exupery. También disfruta de la poesía y los textos de Gabriel García-Márquez. Pero lo más importante para ella es el poema que dijo de memoria mientras estábamos sentadas en la biblioteca, porque refleja su propia experiencia y su profundo amor por los niños. El poema es “Tristitia” del gran poeta peruano de principios del siglo XX, Abraham Valdolemar. Las palabras la acompañaron durante toda su infancia y la ayudaron a cambiar su propia historia.

by Jane Salisbury, MCL volunteer

Volunteer Gaby Delgado

Gaby Delgado loves children. Everything in her life reflects that love, including her service for the past three years as a program assistant with Library Coordinator Delia Palomeque Morales in the Listos para el Kinder (“Listos”) program. Listos is a youth services program for Spanish-speaking children aged three to five and their parents. Sessions are conducted entirely in Spanish, and teachers emphasize early learning skills, such as pre literacy, early math, self-regulation, and interpersonal skills. Parents are encouraged to observe how their children learn best and how to build confidence and connection with their children as they grow. Listos families frequently become library users.

Gaby was a teacher in Peru for twenty-five years, working with parents and young children, and doing early intervention with babies. She has also taught baby massage to help parents connect deeply with their babies. 

When Gaby and her family came to the United States from Peru four years ago, the first thing they did together was go to the library. With her husband and daughter Ximena, who is now a senior in high school, she came every week to the Gresham Library to use the internet and make connections. When she saw a flyer at the library about the Listos program, she thought, “That is for me.”

Of her work, Gaby said,  “Delia is excellent, an angel. In the Listos program, we work directly with children ages 3-5, first together, and then the children have their own time. I set up, we work on things like letters, shapes, colors, numbers, and promote positive interactions between parents and children. I can advise parents on how to connect with their children. Many families are new immigrants who only speak Spanish and have many challenges. I love working with them.” 

Gaby grew up in a family where reading was highly valued, but libraries were not the same as they are in the United States. Gaby explained, “Libraries in Peru are very different— they are academic, silent, and you can only borrow one or two books. Being in the library here is like being at home with your own family.”  

Gaby’s whole family is involved at the library. Ximena is a Summer Reading volunteer, and Gaby’s husband has taken English classes at the library and now works for Hacienda CDC, as a result.  

Gaby is currently re-reading books on baby massage, getting ready to do some workshops on massage and attachment. When I asked her about a favorite book from childhood, Gaby mentioned El Principito, (in English, The Little Prince, by Antoine Saint-Exupery). She is also fond of poetry and the writings of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. But most important for her is the poem she recited by heart as we sat together in the library, because it mirrors her own experience and her deep love of children. The poem is “Tristitia” by the great early 20th century Peruvian poet Abraham Valdolemar. The words stayed with her throughout her childhood and helped her change her own story.

I’m excited to share Multnomah County Library’s 2018 Equity and Inclusion Report. This report highlights the notable progress the library has made during calendar year 2018 toward its equity and inclusion goals. 

This report includes:

  • Updates from library groups focused on bringing culturally-informed library services and support to Black communities and non-English speaking communities;
  • Highlights of projects and programming that connect and support families, youth and teens;
  • Spotlights on the library’s work to bring library services outside library walls;
  • Expanded efforts to train and support library staff on equity and inclusion; 
  • And so much more! 

We know we have a long way to go, but we are committed to ensuring that this library system represents and serves everyone in our community.

If you have comments or questions about this report, please contact us

Sonja Ervin
Equity and Inclusion Manager
Multnomah County Library
 

Logo for Summer Reading 2020
Win $100 to spend at collage

If you're an artist in grades 6–12, get a chance to win one of two $100 gift certificates to collage: curated art and craft supplies. Enter cover art for the 2020 Multnomah County Library Summer Reading teen gameboards! The theme is “Imagine your story,” exploring folktales, fairy tales and mythology. 

A panel of library staff and art teachers/professionals will select a middle school and high school winner from the entries. If your artwork is selected, people across Multnomah County will see your artwork all summer long. The library will also share winners and honorable mentions on the library’s social media channels and at displays in some locations.

Art specifications

Download this flyer. The box on the flyer is proportional to the final maximum measurement, and you may use it to submit your artwork. You don’t have to use the entire box, but your artwork must fit inside of it. Final artwork will be printed at a maximum of 6” x 4” (measurements may change if art is scaled down).

  1. Black & white image only. 
  2. If hand drawn, use black ink, marker, pen or hard pencil.
  3. If computer drawn, submit as black & white EPS or high resolution (300 dpi) PNG, JPG or TIF.

Here are last year’s finalists, for inspiration. 

Submission details

Please include your name, grade, school (if applicable) and a phone number or email address so we can reach you if you win.

Winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Follow specifications above 
  • Reflect the library priorities 
  • Show creative interpretation of the theme 
  • Show graphic design/artistic merit as determined by panel

— Art can be subjective. Decision of the panel is final. —

Submit your artwork electronically to summerreading@multco.us, bring it to your local library, or send a paper version to:

Summer Reading
Multnomah County Library Isom Building
205 NE Russell Street
Portland, OR 97212

Entries must be received by Friday, March 6.

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

  

“I want to stay as fit as I can for as long as I can.”

by Sarah Binns, MCL Volunteer

June Fleming practically bounces into our meeting and gives me a batch of delicious carrots grown in her garden. The gesture says a lot about June: she is a woman with a generous heart who passionately loves movement, the outdoors, and the natural world. “I grew up in beautiful places and was always outside,” June says. “This was before kids sat in front of devices, you know,” she says with a laugh. 

At the age of 84, June may be one of Multnomah County Library’s oldest volunteers; but with her enthusiasm for activity and commitment to service, no one could ever call her “old.” For 24 years, June has read to senior citizens through Visiting Voices, an outreach program that no longer recruits volunteers. Since 1998, she reads weekly to residents of Parkview Christian Retirement Community. “I get so much from the people I read to,” June says. “This is a bright spot in my week.” June is the last remaining volunteer in the program, which will end when June stops her visits—not that she’s planning on that any time soon: “I want to stay as fit as I can for as long as I can!” she says, determined.

June’s life began on Monterey Bay, California, where her parents were business partners in an ice creamery/cafe. Avid readers, they often read aloud to June. This gave her a lifelong love of reading that she now shares with Parkview community residents. Other adventures in June’s life include being a field hand on her son’s farm, a six-week snow camping trip almost the length of Oregon, and having books published on wilderness route finding and backpacking foods. She also taught backpacking and snow camping classes for 30 years. 

In her 50s June met her beloved partner, Bob, when he took her snow camping class. Bob shared her passion for reading and encouraged June to get involved with Visiting Voices. “In 20 years together we read 146 books out loud to each other,” she says. Though Bob has passed away, June continues to read—and to hike as much as possible. “I want to die in my hiking boots,” she says, “but at the end of the trail so no one has to haul me out!” This is not a morbid thought for June, but rather an intention: “I’m not sad at all about being 84. I’m lucky to have made it this far!” May we all have as much passion and dedication at every age as June does now!


A few facts about June

Home library: Hollywood 

Currently reading: The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck.

Most influential book: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. “I bought it! I don’t usually buy books.”

Favorite section to browse: “I start with the blue DVDs, so Nova, PBS, and OPB specials.” 

Favorite book from childhood: Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. “One of the first things my husband did when he met me was give me his copy of the same book.”

Book that made you laugh or cry: Dersu Uzala by Vladimir Arsenyev, a Russian hunting and environmental memoir later made into a film. 

Guilty pleasure: “Ice cream!”

E-reader or paper: Paper. “I don’t even have a device.”

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

Find Out What's Available

Trinity college
It's never too early to start looking for scholarships. The best time of year to start looking is in the summer or early fall. This lets you find programs before their deadlines have passed, and gives you enough time to complete a well-planned application. Many scholarship programs require an essay and recommendations from teachers or other adults who know you, and these take time to prepare.  

There are many scholarships, grants, fellowships, internships and work-study jobs available. You'll likely encounter some common eligibility criteria. These include which state you live in, if you've performed military service, whether you have minority status or a particular nationality or ethnic background, a religious affiliation, or if any of your family members belong to a national or local organization or civic association. If you fit the eligibility criteria, be sure to consider applying! 

Researching

The library is a great place to get started as you research scholarships. Whether you are looking for a scholarship in the humanities, the sciences, the social sciences, or sports, we can help you discover ways to find scholarship awards for higher education. 

The Scholarship Handbook is organized by common eligibility criteria. It lists scholarships based on which state you live in, whether you have performed military service, if you have minority status or come from a particular nationality or ethnic background, if you have a religious affliation, and whether any of your family members belong to a national or local organization or civic association. Each scholarship program is described by eligibility, basis for selection, application requirements, amount awarded, application deadline, and contact information.

 

"Billions of dollars in scholarships, grants and prizes." The Ultimate Scholarship Book organizes awards into categories such as humanities, social science, science and general. You don't need a perfect GPA or financial need to win a scholarship. There are plenty of awards that have none of these requirements.

 

 

College help for teens: More resources for financial aid, admissions, guides, and Study Abroad.

Attention educators! Did you miss our summer educator workshops this year? They are a great place to learn about the latest and greatest materials to use in the classroom. Don't worry; we now have booklists and videos available to share.

 

Gotta Read This: New Books to Connect with Your Curriculum: This workshop highlights new books you might integrate into your language arts, social studies, math, science and arts curriculum.

For K-5th grade educators: Here's a list of the books we shared at this workshop.

For 6th-12th grade educators: This booklist is broken down by subject, so you can choose the topics most relevant for you.

 

Novel-Ties (for 4th -8th grade educators): Discover hot, new fiction to use in book discussion groups and literature circles. 

Watch the Novel-Ties videos (and feel free to show them to students, too).

 

Contact School Corps with any questions!

Library security officer Martin
On a typical day at Rockwood Library, you might find Library Safety Officer (LSO) Martin Clark asking patrons about their day or hanging out with teens in the Rockwood makerspace. While Martin is tasked with ensuring patrons follow library rules, his efforts center on building positive relationships with people and helping everyone use the library safely.

Driven by a desire to serve his community, Martin entered a police cadet program through the Gresham Police Department, prior to joining Multnomah County. He also worked for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). That job helped him learn to talk to many different people every day and to understand complex security procedures.

Martin first worked at library branches while working as a facility security officer (FSO) with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department. He welcomed the library’s approach to safety and security and decided to join the library officially as a safety officer at Rockwood Library. Having grown up in the Rockwood community, Martin already felt a close tie to the neighborhood.

In 2016, Multnomah County Library added safety officers at some locations. Martin and the other safety officers are library staff, not police officers or security guards. They help patrons use the library successfully and apply the library rules. They also connect people with outside services and resources. Some safety officers also assist with shelving and other tasks.

With the Rockwood makerspace only a few years old, Rockwood Library has worked hard to find new and better ways to serve youth. Martin sees his position no differently. 

Martin’s approach to safety and security includes finding ways to help patrons use the library without being punitive. 

“I enjoy building relationships with patrons so when they come in the library and see me, they have a positive experience, rather than thinking they’re going to be followed around. I want everyone to feel welcome.” 

Martin works to build relationships with the youth and adult patrons who use the library. Rockwood library is bustling after school, with many teens making use of Multnomah County’s only free makerspace. While the small library can get busy, Martin’s compassionate approach has helped decrease incidents, particularly among youth. 

“For some, the library is a place of safety from other outside pressures or difficult personal situations,” says Martin. “Whatever their reason for being here, I want to help them use and stay at the library, which sometimes means needing to communicate the library’s expectations for conduct in the library.”

Having experienced some of the same challenges as the youth patrons at Rockwood Library, Martin knows firsthand what his life would have been like without a caring adult in it. He sees his position as a way to pay it forward to the community.

“The best ability is your availability,” says Martin.

People notice Martin’s contributions to the library. As one patron commented, 

“. . .Martin is such a great and exceptional asset to "our family library" here at Rockwood. It is great to see someone that is always smiling and he just makes our trips to the library an all-around general excellent experience. Not to mention that he is very, very helpful... Thank you for hiring such an individual as him.”
 

A Resourceful Potential Librarian

by Donna Childs, MCL volunteer

After completing an undergraduate program, Jason enrolled in the Masters in Library Information Science (MLIS) program at the University of British Columbia, with the goal of pursuing a career as a librarian. Such positions are hard to come by.  As Jason searches for permanent library employment, they found a variety of “library-adjacent jobs,” sorting, cataloguing, organizing, and digitizing information, while also volunteering at the Hollywood Library.

Since May of 2016, Jason has volunteered at Hollywood Library, checking in, scanning, and shelving holds on Saturdays. Hollywood librarians comment on Jason’s “good humor and adaptability” and an “eagle eye” that allows them to notice details and fix them. With luck, Jason’s resourcefulness, computer prowess, attention to detail, diligence in pursuing opportunities, and experience corralling information will lead to a permanent library job.

Virtually all of the jobs Jason has undertaken—before and after getting an MLIS degree—center on making information more accessible:

  • An internship digitizing the 30,000+ items in the William Stafford collection at Lewis and Clark College, where they earned a Bachelor of Arts degree
  • An internship at the California State Library sorting through uncatalogued boxes of random historical information, ranging from junk to formerly top-secret memos from Boeing and McDonnell Douglas executives
  • Cataloging materials in the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Home library in Portland
  • Staffing tables at various events, including one at which they met the featured speaker, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
  • Working with records in diverse places such as the office of John Deere and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office 

Now, Jason works as a Document Management Specialist at The Standard, digitizing, sorting, and organizing the information on insurance claims.


A Few Facts About Jason

Home library: Hillsdale

Currently reading: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Favorite book from childhood: Dinotopia by James Gurney

Favorite section of the library: Fantasy/Science Fiction

E-reader or paper book?  paper

Favorite reading guilty pleasure: binging hundreds of chapters of Chinese webnovels

Favorite place to read: anywhere with blankets and tea

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

 

Searching for information on Native American tribes and Native nations? These big web sites may be able to help you.

Whose land are you on? Native Land is an interactive website and an app that allows you to search any location and see who are the original inhabitants of the land, worldwide. The website also features a blog with updates and a page for Territory Acknowledgements, with the ability to search specific locations to get tribal affiliation, language, and treaties associated with that area.

You can search tribes alphabetically to learn about them, and learn about native languages as well as native culture. Try putting the name of the tribe you are looking for in the search box to see what other information they list, or scroll down to find the names of tribes listed alphabetically.

If you would rather search by location using a map, you can find state-by-state information, covering historic and contemporary information, languages, culture and history.

If you still need more help, contact a librarian to be sure you get what you need.

Native Americans use ALL of the Buffalo

 

Multnomah County Library has created new Buckets of Books on science topics that align with the Next Generation Science Standards.

These tubs contain up to 30 books on a topic, plus a teacher's guide. To request a bucket, click on a Bucket of Books link below. Then click the Place Hold button and follow the instructions on the screen.

If the buckets are all checked out, you can click on a booklist link below and put books on hold individually. The booklists have similar titles to those in the bucket.

Living Things: Survival & Environment (kindergarten)   Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Growth and Adaptations (grade 1)   Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Light and Sound Waves (grade 1)   Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Earth’s Processes (grades 2-4)  Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Weather and Natural Disasters (grades 3-4) Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Energy (grade 4) Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Properties of Matter (grade 5)  Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Climate Change (grades 6-8)  Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Pacific Northwest Ecology and Geology (grades 6-12)  Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

To find a complete list of all the library’s Buckets of Books, visit our Bucket of Books and Booklists website.

These books are made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to enhancing our library's leadership, innovation and reach through private support.
 

In September, I shared the news that Macmillan Publishers was planning to impose a restriction that would block people from borrowing new Macmillan e-books from libraries. This new policy took effect November 1. It is designed to do one thing: make Macmillan more money by creating barriers for people to use library resources.

Man and instructor using an e-reader for digital content
Like others who lead public library systems across the United States, I am deeply worried that other publishers will follow suit, undermining the ability of libraries to provide resources in the ways people want to use them. We want Macmillan to end this policy.

Nearly 16,000 fellow Oregonians agree and showed their support by signing the American Library Association’s #eBooksForAll petition. Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury has also spoken out against the new restrictions.

Beginning today, Multnomah County Library (MCL) will no longer purchase new Macmillan e-books.

This is not a decision we take lightly. It means that the library has chosen to side against one specific company, something I would prefer to avoid. Our decision also means that some library patrons won’t be able to access popular authors in their preferred format and I regret that fact.

The alternative is to be the proverbial frog in a pot of water that keeps getting warmer. Libraries and taxpayers have shouldered the burdens of licensing instead of owning content, paying many times the retail price of e-books, and time-limited licenses that expire and require continual repurchasing of materials we’ve already bought.

When you can only buy something from one source and the terms of that purchase become this unreasonable, it’s time to say “no more.” In 2019, MCL has purchased nearly $120,000 in e-books from Macmillan.

We will continue to buy Macmillan titles in print and audiobook formats. We will retain the Macmillan e-books the library has already purchased. We will continue to offer the same top notch customer service. We will help readers discover new authors and alternate formats. We will continue our advocacy for e-books for all.

Thank you for your support and patronage of your public library.

 

Director's pen signature image

 

 

 

 

Vailey Oehlke
Director of Libraries
Multnomah County Library
Former president, Public Library Association

 

Which e-books are affected?
All e-book titles published by Macmillan or by any of the publishers that Macmillan owns. These titles will still appear in our catalog in other formats, but will not be available in e-book format.

What will happen to Macmillan e-books that Multnomah County Library already has in the catalog?
Macmillan e-books already in our collection will remain. You can continue to place hold requests and check them out as usual.
 
If you have a Macmillan e-book checked out right now, it will not be affected.
 
Does this purchase suspension include Macmillan books in all formats?
No. This decision only affects Macmillan e-books. We will continue to purchase print and audiobook versions of Macmillan titles.
 
If I submit a purchase request for a new Macmillan e-book, will it automatically be rejected?
Yes. We will not be purchasing any Macmillan e-books. Library staff will process and consider purchase suggestions for all other Macmillan formats as usual.
 
I don’t know much about Macmillan. What books do they publish?
Macmillan is one of the “Big Five” book publishers in the world, along with Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. They publish a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction, and other genres from hundreds of different authors.
 
One popular author they represent is Nora Roberts, whose popular fiction series, Chronicles of The One, consistently makes bestseller lists across the country. The upcoming third installment of the series, The Rise of Magicks, releases Tuesday, Nov 26.
 
Multnomah County Library will buy copies in all formats of The Rise of Magicks except the e-book version. We have also assembled a list of other titles that readers of the Chronicles of One fans might enjoy.
 
How long will this suspension last?
We don’t have an end date right now. Should Macmillan cancel its embargo, we will immediately lift the suspension.
 
I want Macmillan to stop their embargo, or at least offer better terms to libraries. What can I do?
You can let Macmillan know how you feel by signing the #ebooksForAll petition at www.ebooksforall.org, by emailing Macmillan directly at press.inquiries@macmillan.com or by using the #ebooksForAll hashtag to spread the word on social media and lead other readers to the petition.
 
How many of the books the library buys come from Macmillan?
There are 7,147 Macmillan e-book titles in our collection currently out of 109,984 e-books (6.5% of our collection). They account for 8.2% of e-book checkouts (vs. 37% for Penguin Random House, which is the biggest by a wide margin)
 
Why don’t you at least take the single e-book Macmillan is offering so I have some chance of getting it from the library?
We believe everyone deserves equal access to books and information. In our view, Macmillan’s policy means that only those who can and will pay for access deserve it. That’s why we believe this is the next step we must take.
 
Additionally, your chances of getting access to that single copy in the first two months are slim. We have hundreds of patrons who place holds on the most popular new e-books. Everyone can hold or check out an e-book for up to 24 days, which is nearly a month. By the time you move to the top of the queue, odds are, it will have been several months already.
 
We understand that this is frustrating. We know this decision won’t please everyone, but we firmly believe that this suspension is the best way we can support e-book readers and ensure that libraries have equal access to digital materials.

What other publishers does Macmillan own?

Adult / Young Adult

  • Farrar, Straus & Giroux
  • North Point Press
  • Hill and Wang
  • Faber and Faber Inc.
  • First Second
  • Henry Holt
  • Metropolitan Books
  • Times Books
  • Holt Paperbacks
  • Picador
  • St Martin’s Press
  • Griffin
  • Minotaur
  • All Points Books
  • Castle Point Books
  • St. Martin’s Press Paperbacks
  • Let’s Go
  • Thomas Dunne Books
  • Truman Talley Books
  • Tor/Forge
  • Flatiron Books
  • Macmillan Collector’s Library
  • Celadon Books
  • Graywolf Press

Children’s

  • Farrar, Straus & Giroux for Young Readers
  • Feiwel & Friends
  • Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
  • Imprint
  • Kingfisher
  • Odd Dot
  • Priddy Books
  • Roaring Brook Press
  • Square Fish
  • Tor Children’s

Here are some questions to consider when reading Tommy Orange's There There.

1. The prologue provides a historical overview of how Native populations were systematically stripped of their identity, rights, land, etc. by colonialist forces in America. How does the prologue set the tone for the reader? Discuss the use of the Indian head as iconography. How does this relate to the erasure of Native identity in American culture?

2.  "Getting us to cities was supposed to be the final, necessary step in our assimilation, absorption, erasure, the completion of a five-hundred-year-old genocidal campaign. But the city made us new, and we made it ours."

Discuss the development of the “Urban Indian” identity and ownership of that label. How does it relate to the push for assimilation by the United States government? How do the characters navigate this modern form of identity alongside their ancestral roots?

3. Consider the following statement from page 9: “We stayed because the city sounds like a war, and you can’t leave a war once you’ve been, you can only keep it at bay.” In what ways does the historical precedent for violent removal of Native populations filter into the modern era? How does violence—both internal and external—appear throughout the narrative? How has violent removal of Native populations contributed to contemporary white privilege?

4. On page 7, Orange states: “We’ve been defined by everyone else and continue to be slandered despite easy-to-look-up-on-the-internet facts about the realities of our histories and current state as a people.” Discuss this statement in relation to how Native populations have been defined in popular culture. How do the characters resist the simplification and flattening of their cultural identity? Relate the idea of preserving cultural identity to Dene Oxendene’s storytelling mission.

5. The occupation of Alcatraz is often romanticized in history, but for many, the reality was very stressful and traumatic. Describe the resettlement efforts at Alcatraz. What were the goals for inhabiting this land? What vision did Opal and Jacquie’s mother have for her family in moving to Alcatraz? What were the realities they experienced? For background, take a look at the video "We Hold the Rock" about the occupation of Alcatraz.

6. On page 58, Opal’s mother tells her that she needs to honor her people “by living right, by telling our stories. [That] the world was made of stories, nothing else, and stories about stories.” How does this emphasis on storytelling function throughout There There? Consider the relationship between storytelling and power. How does storytelling allow for diverse narratives to emerge? What is the relationship between storytelling and historical memory?

7. On page 77, Edwin Black asserts, “The problem with Indigenous art in general is that it’s stuck in the past.” How does the tension between modernity and tradition emerge throughout the narrative? Which characters seek to find a balance between honoring the past and looking toward the future? When is the attempt to do so successful?

8. How is the city of Oakland characterized in the novel? How does the city’s gentrification affect the novel’s characters and their attitudes toward home and stability?

9. Discuss the Interlude that occurs on pages 134–41. What is the importance of this section? How does it provide key contextual information for the Big Oakland PowWow that occurs at the end of the novel? What is the author trying to say about historical violence, mass shootings and America's relationship with firearms in general?

10. Examine the use of unchecked technology. i.e. 3D printing guns, drones, internet addiction, social media, etc. How does this tie into urban Native identity? How does this tie into larger societal issues?

Bonus Questions: What was the most surprising element of the novel to you? What was its moment of greatest impact?

Each year the Portland Book Festival, presented by the Bank of America, brings thousands of readers to the Southwest Park Blocks for a day-long celebration of all things reading. Needless to say, we're big fans.

MK Reed's Wild Weather

To call attention to any one author inevitably leaves out a stellar line-up - who doesn't want to see Malcolm Gladwell and Rainbow Rowell? But there's so many quality events to choose from, so here are top picks.

Would it be too self-centered to say that we're so looking forward to seeing our library moderators in action? Elleona Budd, Natasha Forrester CampbellLanel JacksonEbonee Bell, Eduardo Arizaga and Alicia Tate will be moderating talks on everything from science comics to dark magic in fantasy.

We're looking forward to hearing from Saeed Jones about his new memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives. David Treuer's Heartbeat of Wounded Knee has made it to the top of many of our reading lists.  Mira Jacobs's graphic memoir Good Talk, about interracial families made it to the top of many library staff lists. And we'd like to hear how cartoonist and animator Graham Annable expresses his love for slots and hockey, when he isn't writing. Romance readers among us have been eagerly awaiting more from Jasmine Guillory, “the queen of contemporary romance” (OprahMag.com). Our teen librarians have long been fans of Gabby Rivera's Juliet Takes a Breath. We're looking forward to the pop-up events, among them Theodore Van Alst reading from his linked short stories, Sacred Smokes. 

We're also excited to hear home town heroes, Renée Watson, Carson Ellis, Mitchell S. Jackson, ... drat! Why did we limit ourselves to only 10? 

And that doesn't even take into account Friday night's Lit Crawl -- the Poetry Karaoke looks especially intriguing.

Take a look at the festival event site and go hang out with book lovers all day long. It's the best time, and we hope to see you there.

by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer

Photo of Madi Beck

Madi Beck is living the dream of a true Pacific Northwesterner: reading and working with books, investing in the outdoors, and restoring a 14-foot camper to live in. 

“My goal is to live in it within a year,” she says of the 1975 trailer she’s been gutting and working on during her spare time. Madi just graduated from high school, so it would be understandable if this intensive hobby was the only way she spent her summer. Instead, she spent five weeks volunteering to build trails in the Idaho wilderness with Northwest Youth Corps, an outdoor conservation program. This was her second summer with the organization, and it seems it has given her a purpose: 

“I’m really passionate about being outside,” she says. Regarding next steps, she says, “The future is cloudy,” but she’s biding her time until an upcoming forestry job starts in summer 2020. She is also interested in AmeriCorps. 

Her path to her work at the St. John’s library is a little clearer. “I love reading,” Madi says, “I’ve been reading since I was little. My mom is a reader and she got me into it.” 

A few years ago Madi started volunteering every Friday as a paging list assistant, pulling holds for patrons at other libraries, to see if she was interested in a library science career. While that has taken a backseat to her conservation work, she still appreciates the library. “I love the people who work there,” she says. “They’re so kind and generous. I also love being around books.” She laughs. “The sad thing is I can’t check out the books I see” from the paging list, she says, since these are all sent as holds to patrons at other libraries. 

When she’s not volunteering she works at Target, reads, or returns to the “water-damaged and moldy” trailer she hopes to call home one day. “I’d love to be mobile,” she says, “I want to travel the US and visit all the national parks.” Whether in a trailer or on the trail, I’m sure we’ll see Madi in the great outdoors in the future—probably with a book! 


A few facts about Madi

Home library: St Johns

Currently reading: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman 

Most influential book: The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness

Favorite section to browse: “Definitely the fiction or sci-fi section.”

Favorite book from childhood: “Too many to choose from! My favorite childhood series were Harry Potter, Eragon, and Percy Jackson!”

Book that made you laugh or cry: “Where the Red Fern Grows can make me cry even thinking about it.”

Guilty pleasure: “Maybe reading teen fiction that’s way below my reading level, just to feel nostalgic.”

Favorite place to read: My bed.

E-reader or paper: “Paper for sure, but because I live on a boat I really appreciate an e-reader.”

 

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

Graduates from the library's adult tutoring GED program
A group of graduates shared their joy and dreams with families, staff, tutors and patrons at Midland Library during its first-ever graduation ceremony for adults who earned their GED certificate thanks to Multnomah County Library’s drop-in tutoring program. 

The graduates donned caps and gowns, posed for photos and shared cupcakes, shared stories and described their plans for the future. Tiffany, a full-time administrator’s assistant in a busy social service program, now qualifies for a promotion. Cherille, a single mom who studied all summer with a tutor, finished school to be a role model for her children. Chance has worked many jobs but now dreams of entering a veterinary technician program at Mt. Hood Community College. Diana, a bilingual mom and businesswoman, juggled family, business and her studies and proved to her daughter that she could finish school.

The GED drop-in tutoring program, coordinated by Adult Literacy Coordinator Lisa Regimbal, has served 103 older and younger adults over the past year. Many of the program’s attendees were nervous about the test and didn’t know how to study or where to begin. Thanks to a one-year Oregon GED Program Wraparound Services Grant, the library has been able to offer attendees free GED testing, tutoring by volunteers, and coaching from GED Coordinator Colleen Latimer. Multnomah County Library was the only library system in the state to receive the funding. 

A cadre of 30 volunteer tutors helped the students stay motivated while remembering the intricacies of algebra and fractions, and studying science, social studies and language arts. Library staff ensured students felt welcomed and provided books for kids while parents studied.

The ceremony was a reminder of the importance and significance of graduation for the students who had dropped out of school years earlier. Graduate Cherille was surrounded by her children, nieces, nephews, elderly mother and other family members. She pointed to the children and smiled,  “I wanted to show them I could do it.” 

Drop-in tutoring and GED assistance is currently available at six library locations: 

  • Mondays, 4 to 6 pm, St. Johns Library
  • Mondays, 5 to 7 pm, North Portland Library
  • Tuesdays, 5 to 7 pm, Midland Library
  • Wednesdays, 10 am to 12pm, Rockwood Library
  • Wednesdays, 4 to 6 pm, Gresham Library
  • Thursdays, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Central Library

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