Blogs

This is a challenging time, whether it is being physically distanced from our friends and peers, lack of routine, not getting to do our regular activities, or being home with others that don’t understand us. This can be a challenge to our mental health and well being. We have gathered some resources aimed at teens for coping and that help foster mental health.

If you need to talk to someone, the Oregon Youth Line is in service, and is staffed by teens. You can call (877-968-8491), text “teen2teen” to 839863, or use their chat option. This is a great service if you just need to talk to someone outside your home, and/or if you are in crisis.

Available through the library, Teen Health and Wellness is inviting teens to share their stories to help connect with other teens about similar fears and concerns. Also on the site are resources for mind, mood and emotions and more.

Be sure to be taking breaks for self-care. Here are some suggestions:

If you have 2 minutes:

  • Take a few deep breaths or stretch
  • Doodle, daydream, or look at a photo of a loved one
  • Let someone know that you may need some time to talk later
  • Enjoy a peppermint stick of gum
  • Think of three things that you are grateful for
  • Acknowledge an accomplishment
  • Massage your forehead or hands

If  you have 5 minutes:

  • Listen to music and sing out loud
  • Jot down your dreams or goals
  • Run in place, do some jumping jacks, or walk up and down the stairs
  • Have a cleansing cry
  • Note a strength or quality you value in someone else and tell them
  • Send an email or text that had been nagging you
  • Play with your pet
  • Clean a portion of your bedroom
  • Enjoy a snack and/or cozy beverage

If you have 10 minutes:

  • Write in your journal
  • Call a friend you haven’t had a chance to talk to or see in a while
  • Take some quiet time to reflect on what you need from others in your life and how you can ask for help
  • Surf the web for inspiring quotes
  • Take a brisk walk or dance to music you enjoy
  • Find some things to add to your room or desk that will make you smile - photos, inspiring or funny quotes, or a souvenir from a meaningful event
  • Find a quiet place to meditate

If you have 30 minutes:

  • Find a writing prompt online, or pick a book at random, write the first line, and write your own story from there
  • Play a game with someone online or in your house
  • Cook, bake, or craft
  • Exercise or do yoga
  • Take a hot bath
  • Finish a project you started, but never got back to

How can you hold a family book discussion that will work for grandparents, parents and kids alike? Take a look at this list of suggested titles in ebook or downloadable audio. Some, like Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's An Indigenous People's History of the United States come in both adult, and young reader editions. Others, like Kafka's Metamorphosis and Angie Sage's Maximillian Fly share similar themes, so you can talk about the book you've read and pose general questions for everyone to discuss. Are you going to give it a try? Send us a note to tell us how it worked, or make suggestions for titles that have worked for your family.

Unprecedented. Troubled. Or just plain scary. That's how these times are being described. It’s important to keep up with the news, but sometimes you need a break. You need fiction so absorbing that the world will drop away completely. The e-books on this list I made for you are not all entirely happy and feel-good, but what they have in common is they will make the world go away so that you can forget for a while and live in these characters’ reality. Many of these novels will make you laugh, and they all have well-developed characters. There are older titles on this list that might be available immediately, but there are also some new ones you'll have to place a hold on, because who knows how long this might last? Be well, dear readers. Know that the people who work at your local library miss you as much as you miss your library. What with sanitizing things, homeschooling your children, and trying to find stores that stock toilet paper and hand sanitizer, I know you’re busy. Carry on, but find time to read. Your soul needs a lot of things, but one of those things might be a good book.

computer with person in background
Looking to learn new skills while at home? Or wanting to watch a music or dance performance? Local chefs, fitness teachers, musicians and performers are offering online classes and performances. Check out some of these cool offerings:

Gabriel Rucker from restaurants Le Pigeon and Carnard is offering live cooking classes via Instagram. He posts the recipes on his Instagram stories ahead of time. 

While it isn’t live, the New York Times has some 6, 7, and 9 minute full body workouts to get you moving without needing any equipment at home. 

Artslandia, Portland’s performing arts magazine, is hosting a live happy hour, Standing By, with music on Facebook at 5pm each night. 

Not live, but you can watch Lewis and Clark College’s orchestra play music on their Vimeo channel and various music from the University of Oregon on their YouTube as well. 

Live Music Project Seattle is offering a calendar of live music events you can join via your computer. 

New York Times bestselling Illustrator Wendy MacNaughton of Salt Acid Fat Heat is offering drawing classes via her Instagram stories Monday through Friday at 10am. 

Join one of our amazing performers, Micah and Me, for a live ukelele party on Facebook Live Saturdays at 11am and Mondays at 4:30pm. 

Fun for all-ages, join the Oregon Zoo as they Facebook Live with some of their animals everyday at 9:30am. 

OMSI is hosting a virtual science pub about the dynamic Geological History of the Columbia Gorge: Tale of Two Floods with Scott Burns, PhD, Professor of Geology at Portland State University on March 31st from 6:30 to 8:30pm on Facebook Live. 

Is there anything better for hard times than singing? Choir Choir Choir is holding online singalongs on Facebook.

IRS 1040 form with pen

Update: COVID-19 Tax Relief Options

As of March 18, 2020, the Federal Government is allowing all individual and other non-corporate filers to defer up to $1 million in federal income tax payments until July 15, 2020. As of March 25, 2020, under Governor Brown's direction, the state of Oregon will be following the federal government's extension for state taxes, as well. You can check for more information on the "COVID-19 Tax Relief Options" page of the state government website.

Since library locations are currently closed, we recommend you print state and federal tax forms and instruction booklets online as they become available. We can still help refer you to tax professionals. Some tax preparers are able to work with you online or in another way that doesn't require an in-person visit.

Federal Hard Copy Forms

While libraries are closed, you can download and print federal tax items from the IRS Forms & Publications page. You can also direct questions to the IRS offices in Oregon. Of special note, neither the 1099 and 1096 forms nor any of the W series (W-2, W-4, etc.) are available for download. You can contact the IRS directly to have those mailed to you.

State Hard Copy Forms

Public libraries are no longer a distribution center for state tax forms and booklets. If you need Oregon forms or booklets, you can print them from the Oregon Department of Revenue page. If you want forms mailed to you, then you can contact the Oregon Department of Revenue via:

Other States

You can go to the Federation of Tax Administrators State Tax Forms & Filing Options, which provides links to tax forms for each state.

Dusty adding machine keys
Online Filing

Once the tax season officially opens, both the IRS and Oregon Department of Revenue will have listings for online filing services. Remember, with the COVID-19 Tax Relief, most state and federal taxes can be submitted by July 15th without penalty. Take a look at the state of Oregon's page on COVID-19 tax relief for up-to-date details.

You can find tax preparation assistance through the AARP's Tax-Aide Locator, CASH Oregon and the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Some of these programs may be offering virtual help or have rescheduled their appointment availability while others may not have specific information at this time. 

 

Bored? Tired of being home? Try a scavenger hunt to explore the library website and catalog. Discover some new resouces and learn a bit about the library. How many languages does TumbleBooks offer books in? What app can you use to learn a language? When did your neighborhood library open? Try all or some of the questions. Click here for the questions and, when you're ready, here are answers and how to find them.

"Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know." - Alberto Manguel

Talking with people about books is a shortcut to knowing them -- what they think, value and love. Many people are going online with their bookgroups to keep that sense of community alive. If you're participating in a virtual bookclub, the library can help. 

Here's a list of ebooks that have proven popular with book clubs and are available now, as of 3/24/20.

You can find an "Always Available" e-book collection from OverDrive, made up of some 3000 classic titles.

Here are the most popular available e-books - this link updates automatically to available titles. 

And if food is a thing for your bookgroup, check out this list of cookbooks in ebook format -- maybe you can show off your cooking skills via skype. Now if we only had smell-o-vision! 

To your health, everyone! 

 

You can access Multnomah County Library’s electronic resources from home with a new library card today!

Library cards are free to residents of Multnomah County and many nearby areas.

To register for a new Multnomah County Library card online, go to Sign up for a library card on our website and fill out the form with your current information. Read the responsibilities, then click send. 

You will receive an email shortly after with your temporary library card number. This number can be used to instantly access e-books, streaming media, and more.

The library is currently closed due to the COVID-19 virus. When the library reopens, please come into the library to finish your registration and get your permanent library card. Your temporary library card will expire in 6 months.

If you have any questions or issues, please contact us by email or chat. 

Schools are closed, the library’s closed, and playdates are cancelled. How will you keep your children active, engaged and learning? How can you find a way among all the websites and social media ideas? Fortunately, Multnomah County Library has you covered with books, databases, and streaming audio and video available beyond our walls. Youth services staff also found and selected other resources  to help parents and students.

Learning resources

Connect to our learning resources list for links to access e-books, tutoring help, language learning, digital magazines, and educational videos available through Multnomah County Library. 

Activity ideas

Need activity ideas? Overdrive Kids has e-books for kitchen science, learning to knit, folding paper airplanes, Lego creations, and a few joke books to help you from hearing the same joke again and again.

Unlimited movies and shows

Visit Kanopy and click on Kanopy Kids on the right of the top bar for a curated collection of movies and shows for preschoolers to middle schoolers. Kanopy Kids provides unlimited plays so your kids are free to explore educational and entertaining content.

Comics and  graphic novels

For your comics and graphic novel reader, Hoopla has a kids mode with Garfield, Nate the Great, Phoebe and Her Unicorn, and graphic novel adaptions of titles such as Anne of Green Gables and The Graveyard Book. Hoopla also has music and movies for the whole family.

Home learning

For links to homeschooling information, virtual field trips, reading, art and science, check out our Home Learning & Engagement website suggestions. If you’re curious what Multnomah County educators are sharing, we put together a list with school district links

 

The library buildings may be closed, but your library is much more than a building and we are here to help.

The library may be closed and people are staying home, but it doesn't mean parents are alone in trying to keep their children feeling safe and keeping anxiety at bay. There are several resources to help parents navigate talking with their children about the coronavirus, school closures, and no playdates. The Child Mind Institute, a national nonprofit whose focus includes children and families struggling with mental health, has suggestions to help.

  • Don’t avoid talking about the coronavirus since most children will already have heard something about it.
  • Share developmentally appropriate information and take your cue from your child. What does your child know, what questions do they have, how are they feeling.
  • If you're anxious, it's not the right time to talk with your child. What can you do to alleviate your own worries?
  • Be reassuring.
  • Routine is important. 
  • Keep talking.

Visit Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus for more in depth suggestions as well as their Supporting Families during COVID-19 page with other tips such as how to make home feel safe and how to avoid passing anxiety on to your kids. Information is also available in Spanish.

Here are other resources to help you talk with your child.

Coronavirus: A book for children by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson and Nia Roberts, illustrated by Axel Scheffler and with Professor Graham Medley, Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling, serving as consultant. The book is aimed at elementary school children.

Talking to Children about the Coronavirus: A Parent Resource. From the National Association of School Psychologists; available in multiple languages

Coronavirus video from BrainPOP. An entertaining, basic explanation of COVID-19 and needed precautions for elementary age children and young teens.

Comic from NPR. Basic information for youth in a graphic format that can be read in the Blog or downloaded and folded into a zine.

COVID-19 Time Capsule. Created by artist Natalie Long to help families with children during this time. Children can record how they're spending this time as well as how they are feeling. 

Oregon YouthLine. Teens helping teens. Resources on their website as well as open daily from 4p-10p via text, chat, or call. 

Coronavirus: What Kids Can Do. Kids Health has information on COVID-19 for children in English and Spanish and available in audio.  Other sections of their website have information for parents.

Coronavirus Social Story. Little Puddins Blog has a nice, English language "Coronavirus Social Story."

Multnomah County Library has digital resources for you and your child. Below are stories about worrying and resources about practicing mindfulness that may help during this time. For more, check out our E-books and more page.

While the doors are closed to our physical buildings, the library is still here for you. We are communicating with publishers and digital platforms to increase your access to online resources and content however we can. 

On March 17, Macmillan Publishers announced it is ending its library e-book embargo. Multnomah County Library (MCL) joins the American Library Association and other libraries in welcoming this decision. Equitable service to our community is critical, especially during these times.

Effective immediately, MCL will resume purchasing Macmillan e-book titles. The library is also purchasing additional copies of other titles to help reduce your wait time for e-books and audiobooks. 

Thank you to everyone who expressed their support of MCL’s previous decision to boycott Macmillan. It is because of your support, and collective action from libraries around the country, that we can continue to provide #ebooksforall. 

Login with your library card and get free access to thousands of digital titles. If you don’t have a library card, you can sign up for OverDrive access with your mobile phone number. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

All Multnomah County libraries are closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Do not return library materials. Book returns are closed.
  • You will not be charged for late returns. 
  • Your holds will stay on the shelf.
  • No new holds can be placed on physical items while the library is closed.
  • We encourage patrons to use digital library resources during the closure.
  • We are adding more services as we are able. We are not able to mail books right now.

The library is acting under direction and guidance from the Multnomah County Health Department, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the real threat to the health and safety of our families, friends and neighbors requires swift and dramatic action. Sadly, the action we must take to help stop the spread means that people will lose access to library spaces until public health officials advise that it’s safe for the public and library staff to resume our work." — Vailey Oehlke, director of libraries

Multnomah County Library will continue to monitor the guidance of public health authorities and provide support to those efforts in every way possible. The library will post any updates to this site.

Please check Multnomah County's COVID-19 page for updated information and resources.

by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer

By the time Title Wave volunteer Diane Hogan and I finish our meeting we’ve talked about everything: From politics to cats, from the #metoo movement to how societal gender roles have changed over the past fifty years. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of the very interesting life of another one of Multnomah County Library’s fantastic volunteers.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Diane and her family moved to Corvallis when she was a pre-teen. She later attended Oregon State University, graduating “with a degree that no longer exists: secretarial studies.” She also got a bachelor’s degree in graphic design at PSU, but long before computer programs were the design method. “I’m not sure I could do it now,” she laughs.

Diane worked for a time as a civil service secretary with organizations like civil defense and the Worker’s Compensation Board. After marrying, she and her husband moved to Portland’s Alberta Street area in the early 1980s. Adventure arrived when her husband got a six month contract to teach in the Czech Republic. Diane laughed remembering their communal living arrangements there, especially being woken late at night by drunken people wandering the halls. She ended up teaching English to students, too: “Their teenagers are a lot more mature than ours!” she recalls.   

Diane started working at Title Wave in 1998, first organizing books in the back room and then becoming a cashier. She says she most appreciates “the great atmosphere and good coworkers. And you know,” she adds, “most volunteers, when they leave for the day, they take a book home.” Besides her time at Title Wave, Diane also volunteers at the cattery at the Oregon Humane Society three days a week and enjoys going out to eat with friends in her Alberta neighborhood. As we parted ways we exchanged cat photos (naturally) and I realized the next time I need a book I might bypass my library—and head to Title Wave to talk to Diane instead!


A few facts about Diane

Home library: Thanks to the wealth of books at Title Wave, “I haven’t been to the library in years!”

Currently reading: Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane. “It’s all about caves!”  

Most influential book: A twenty-volume encyclopedia set called The Book of Knowledge that originally belonged to her grandfather. “It had everything from French lessons to handwriting lessons…”

Favorite book from childhood: Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat by Morrell Gipson. “A few years ago I bought a brand new edition.” 

Favorite place to read: On the couch or on her exercise bike. 

E-reader or paper: “I don’t read e-books!”

 

When you respond to the 2020 census, our community benefits. 

Respond to the 2020 census here.

Look for mail from the United States Census Bureau delivered to your street address in early to mid-March. This is your invitation to answer the 2020 census. You can respond using a computer, tablet, smartphone, telephone, or via the paper form.

Will you need help answering the census? 

The Census Bureau has prepared Information about the census and how to respond in 60 languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Somali

This 10-minute video (available in English and Spanish) describes the census and will walk you through the process of responding to the census online.

English: Video Guide to Completing the 2020 Census Online

Why answer the census?

An accurate count of Oregon’s residents will ensure:

  • We will have representation in Congress that reflects our population. 
  • Oregon will receive its fair share of federal funds. These funds support programs that affect nearly all of us (education, health care, housing, infrastructure, small business).

Is it safe to answer?

It is illegal for any government organization to use the answers you provide on the census against you. Census employees take a lifetime oath to protect any personal information you share with them. Your responses are only used to provide statistics. There is more information on privacy and security at the census 2020 website.

If you want to learn more about the census, take a look at the resource list below.

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
 

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