Do you have a zine you want to share with the world? The library is a great place to do that! We have a zine collection available for checkout at five of our locations: Albina, Belmont, Central, Hollywood and North Portland. The focus of the collection is to provide a showcase for local authors that produce zines on popular topics of interest to our community.
You can submit a sample of your zine by dropping it off or mailing it to the following locations (please include your name and contact info.)
Multnomah County Library Belmont Branch
Attn: Lori Moore
1038 SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
Multnomah County Library Central
Attn: Karen Eichler
801 SW 10th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
Contact us for more information.
WPC 56 is one of those shows. It’s set in the 1950s, in the West Midlands police force. Gina Dawson is the first female police officer to serve in her home town police station. At her first meeting with the chief inspector, he sternly says to her, “Never forget that your sole responsibility is to support the men so that they can get on with the job of real policing.” Unbelievable. But then again, so believable. In just a few episodes, we see how such tough issues as rape, mental illness, and race relations played out in a small town in 1950s England. Even though I wish I had a few of their party dresses, I’m glad I’m living in 2018.
Here's a list of some of my other favorite British series that bring to life other times and places.
Multnomah County Library’s new mobile sewing lab is on the move! Funded through the library’s staff innovation program Curiosity Kick!, the program is piloting a series of Somali sewing classes at Capitol Hill and Gregory Heights libraries.
The Library Sewing Project began as an idea proposed by Capitol Hill Library Assistant Suad M., Central Library Assistant Lisa T., and Capitol Hill Library Administrator Patti V., after the team heard from the Somali community a desire to find free neighborhood sewing classes. The proposal was selected by staff to receive a $10,000 Curiosity Kick grant in 2017.
The team purchased ten sewing machines, a bin of sewing supplies, and a cart to transport the equipment and supplies throughout the library system. They also identified Somali speaking sewing instructors who could teach the four new beginning sewing programs.
When the new series of classes launched in March at Capitol Hill, all classes were filled to capacity with eight students each. The demand and interest for the sewing classes remains high.
“This program not only responded to community requests, it created a space for women who usually don't feel safe or comfortable using public institutions due to language barriers. By providing an instructor that shares the same language and culture, we reduced that barrier, and got over 100% attendance, 100% of the time,” said Suad.
"Growing up on the Mexican border, the one public library in town was the size of an average living room. Then we moved to Texas and my mom took us down to our new library. I couldn’t believe everything it had. It was a big space! They had blocks to play with, Disney movies to check out, and best of all, everything was free."
Today, as a bilingual (Spanish) youth librarian for Troutdale Library, Violeta helps connect East County youth to the library world she fell in love with from an early age. She especially enjoys the connection she’s made with teen patrons.
"Working with teens is underrated. I can show them my goofiest self, and they really open up. We want to make the library a desirable and inclusive space for everyone. It can be a place of acceptance for them as they go from seeing the world as black and white to seeing the ‘grays’ in life."
With Violeta’s leadership, Troutdale is reviving its Teen Council, an opportunity for teens from the neighborhood to develop leadership skills and get involved. The Teen Council meets bimonthly and develops programs for other youth to get involved in the library.
This May, Troutdale will host a special three-part event for teens and youth, Live in a Better World and Give Back, which will be an opportunity for attendees to craft and make tote bags that will be donated to women and children at the Rose Haven day shelter.
In addition to her role as youth librarian, Violeta worked for the past nine months as a regional librarian in East County, supporting Gresham, Troutdale, Rockwood and Fairview libraries. In her role, she spent time reaching out to organizations and listening to what East County neighborhoods want from their library; coordinating resource lists for patrons, such as where in East County houseless patrons can get basic services; and leading training opportunities for other youth librarians.
As Violeta reached out to neighborhood organizations, she recognized an increasing need for the library to be out telling the community all it can offers — for free — that goes beyond books.
"Some people think of us as another government organization, but we are so dedicated to helping people get the information they need, connecting them to resources and most importantly, protecting their privacy," said Violeta.
As a librarian dedicated to serving East County, Violeta’s commitment and passion for helping people in her community, and connecting them to the library, remains at the center of her work.
"I’ve always felt at home in the library. I want to help ensure others feel that way too."
I have lived in Portland for 56 years now, raising kids, writing books, and reading books. I never would have got through those 56 years without the Multnomah County Library.
“Favorites” -- A favorite book? Impossible! Seven favorite books? Impossible! I have too many favorite books. A lot of them are a lot of other people’s favorites too, so they don’t need to be mentioned. But I’ve just been rereading one that has pretty much slipped outof sight, and I want to remind people of it, because it’s a terrific novel: Thomas Berger’s Little Big Man. It came out in 1964, won the Western Heritage Award, and got a nice movie based on it. But it’s way, way better than the movie. Little Big Man is a highly improbable story told so well that you believe it.
For one thing, you want to believe it. And also you can trust it, because the true parts of it are true. The history (and ethnology) is real. There’s no whitewashing the racism and greed that have always threatened the American dream of freedom. You get the story of what really happened at the battle of the Little Big Horn, not all that Custer hype. You get an entirely new view of Wyatt Earp, Calamity Jane, and several other celebrities, too.
Like Mark Twain, Berger has a pitch-perfect ear for how Americans talk – and think. And like Mark Twain he can ruthlessly indict human stupidity and bigotry while never losing his temper, and being really, really funny. Old Lodge Skins is my hero. I love this book. I wish every high-school kid in America could read it. And then (like me) read it again twenty or forty or sixty years later...
As for nonfiction, I have to mention Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which brings together scientific and medical research (and hypocrisy), the biography of an almost invisibly elusive black woman, the exposure of an act of exploitation, racism and social injustice, and the writer’s own deeply respectful involvement with the people from whom she won this absorbing, troubling, wonderfully told story.
How about a favorite piece of music? Can I have two, please? OK! One is the short opera Galileo Galilei by Philip Glass, performed here in Portland two years ago (a recording of that performance is available now from Orange Mountain). The stage set was all magical circles and spirals and pendulums, lights moving through shadows, illuminating the story that spirals back in time from the dark end of Galileo’s life to a radiant, joyful beginning. Set, words, and music, it was and is completely beautiful.
And for a change of pace. . . how about Hoyt Axton singing “Five Hundred Miles.” (Find it on the CD Greenback Dollar: Live at the Troubadour). There are several versions of it on YouTube. I like the one where the visual is just a b/w video of a train that comes and goes by and is gone.
For more great recommendations, customized just for you, try My Librarian.
Privacy and cyber security are just two facets of digital literacy. Technology is drastically changing the way we find and apply for jobs, manage our finances, and make sense of the daily news. It’s changing the way we understand and implement things like copyright, diplomacy, and activism. As more industries are disrupted by digital innovations, the opportunities we seek may distort and disappear without warning.
Check out these local resources for more information about efforts in our community to bridge the digital divide and create a future where the promise of better living through technology is offered to everyone:
Take a look at these other resources designed to help people navigate the information jungle:
As always, your library is here for you. Peruse these reads that explore the various elements of web literacy.
- What authority is responsible for this site? Who developed the site, and is there a clear link to contact information? What are the author’s credentials, and is the site supported by an organization or commercial body?
- What is the purpose of the site? Is the purpose to inform, persuade, convey an opinion, entertain, or parody something/someone? Is the site geared to a specific audience (students, scholars, public at large), and does the content support the site’s purpose?
- What is the extent of this site’s coverage? Does the site claim to be selective or comprehensive? Are the topics explored in depth? Compare the value of the site’s information compared to other similar sites. Does the site provide information with no relevant external links?
- Is the information posted on the site current? Does the site list the date the information was first written, published online, and last revised? Are there any dead links or references to sites that have moved? Is the information provided so time-specific that its usefulness is limited to a certain time period?
- Is the site clearly objective, or is it trying to sway its audience? Is the information presented with a particular bias? Is site advertising at odds with the content? Is the site trying to explain, inform, or persuade, or is it selling something?
- Is the information accurate? Does the site provide references, and does it use correct spelling and grammar?
There are also specific criteria in evaluating government websites, which are especially important when trying to access vital services:
- Does the website address end in ".gov."?
- Does the site charge a fee for blank government enrollment/application forms? Government forms and instructions are free.
Contact Consumer Action’s hotline at 415.777.9635 or online if you have a question about a suspicious site that claims to be government related.
Finally, here are some more ways to protect yourself online.
6 Criteria for Websites (Dalhousie University)
Be aware of government imposters (Consumer Action)
Ask yourself whether the information could be used against you. For example, if you share vacation photos while you're away, someone could break into your empty house knowing you're gone. If you share photos when partying hard, those photos may be seen by a future potential employer. If you make a new phone number available, your ex may find it.
Here are some tips to maintain the privacy that you want on your social media accounts:
- Use strong passwords.
- Update your accounts regularly.
- Don’t accept people you don’t know as friends.
- Keep personal things personal and limit sharing to the people you want to see them rather than making everything “public.”
- Be wary of strange messages or links from friends. People can pretend to be a friend, or maybe your friends’ account has been hacked.
Here are some useful links:
More ways to protect yourself online.
When in doubt, start here: 211info
211info is a comprehensive support hub for referrals to food, shelter, housing, foreclosure assistance, health care, and much more. Calls are confidential, anonymous and free. Certified Information and Referral Specialists assess the situation and refer callers using a locally managed database of over 4,200 programs in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Telephone interpreters are available for help in more than 150 languages. Dial 211 from any phone; text your zip code to 898211; send an email to email@example.com; or search resources online.
Cascadia provides mental health counseling for people with psychiatric and substance use challenges. They provide crisis intervention, addictions treatment, and housing services for people who are very low-income. Their website includes addresses and phone numbers for services as well as links to additional behavioral health resources.
Provides mental health services to adults, children and families. They serve Oregon Health Plan members enrolled in Health Share of Oregon/Multnomah Mental Health as well as people who have no insurance or resources. Their Mental Health Call Center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week; call 503-988-4888, 800-716-9769 (toll free) or 503-988-5866 (TTY).
Provides housing and other supportive services for seniors ages 55 and older who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Help finding housing, transportation help, advocacy and referrals to other resources and services. NW Pilot Project recommends calling 503-227-5605 before coming in.
Outside In is a community resource for homeless youth. They provide health services, counseling and shelter, as well as programs and education.
Offers 24 hour telephone crisis counseling for victims of domestic and sexual violence; call 503-235-5333 or 888-235-5333. The organization also offers support groups and direct service counseling for victims of domestic violence and childhood sexual abuse.
Street Roots publishes this very comprehensive directory of services for people experiencing homelessness and poverty in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. It is updated twice a year.
This organization can help with a variety of services including shelter, showers, food box vouchers, clothing, laundry services, Trimet tickets, information and referral, and housing search assistance.
Leading the Readers
by Donna Childs
To say high school sophomore Nasra Ali participates in the Follow the Reader program at Gregory Heights Library is a significant understatement. Nasra was introduced to Follow the Reader by a friend and she quickly became not just a participant, but an enthusiastic leader and advocate. She distributes flyers, recruits and tutors budding readers, and recommends ways to expand and improve the program, like including foreign language reading.
Follow the Reader matches younger readers in grades K-5 with older students who have been trained to help with reading. Tutors generally meet one-on-one with three children each Saturday for a half hour each, between 4:00 and 5:30. Invested in her young readers, Nasra takes pains to encourage them, choosing books based on their interests, and missing them when they move on. When asked what she likes most, she promptly replied, “watching a child improve and become excited by reading!”
Nasra is an impressive student herself. A sophomore at Franklin High School, she earns As in Advanced Placement classes, which entails college-level work that is usually reserved for juniors and seniors. “No Bs for me; to me, Bs are like Fs,” she insisted. Not surprisingly, she has been accepted into a summer program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., which will allow her to live on campus and take more college-level courses. Meanwhile, she participates in a college preparatory program for high school students in Portland on Saturdays. Afterward, she volunteers with her readers at the library. This year, Nasra’s science fair project won first place, not only for Franklin but also for all Portland Public School students. She moves on to the state competition later this month.
“Nasra brings heart and enthusiasm” to Follow the Reader, according to the librarian who oversees the program. Describing herself as “a middle child between two older brothers and two younger brothers” (though happily there is now a baby sister as well), Nasra credits her love of reading to seeking a quiet escape. While she might treasure the occasional sojourn into the world of a good book, escape is not the word many who know her would associate with the energetic and involved Nasra Ali.
A few facts about Nasra
Home library: Gregory Heights and Hollywood
Currently reading: Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.
Book that made you laugh or cry: The Night She Disappeared by April Henry.
E-reader or paper? Paper; it’s just more traditional
Walking memoirs abound, with a resurrgence tied to Cheryl Strayed's Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. But don't miss the earlier A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot details the author's effort to become more intimately acquainted with his country by starting at his home in Cambridge, England and following the old roads and ancient tracks that crisscross his country. For a take on women and walking, try Lauren Elkin’s Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London.
If you're hankering for a long walk but have no time, walk vicariously with this list. Happy reading, and happy trails.
Geoff, who is fluent in Mandarin, has a degree in Asian Languages and first went to Taiwan to study for what he thought would be one year — it actually turned out to be ten. There, he started working at the National Central Library in international exchange, contacting libraries from around the world and exchanging books with them. His passion for libraries continued as he made his way to Oregon and began working for Multnomah County Library.
Today Geoff continues his work with diverse communities. As part of the library’s Outreach Services team, he helps people across Multnomah County access library materials through several programs: Words on Wheels, a volunteer-supported library program that matches specially-trained volunteers with homebound patrons; a lobby service program that provides library materials to senior living communities each month; and through outreach to 50 organizations that assist people without permanent housing.
Each of these programs is meaningful for Geoff because of the opportunity to connect with patrons who may not make it into a library branch:
"I love hearing from community partners how Multnomah County Library’s shelter program improves their guests’ and clients’ lives. It’s fun visiting the senior communities, seeing residents from different cultures poring over books and movies in their native languages, then catching up with our staff and one another at these library-focused gatherings. And I enjoy playing matchmaker, going along with Words on Wheels volunteers on their first visits to their patrons’ homes. It amazes me how often the pair have things in common."
As part of the library’s effort to connect the houseless community to library services, Geoff manages library donations to local shelters and organizations. Last year, with delivery help from volunteers, the library donated 15,000 materials in English and Spanish, from books for leisure reading to titles on GED test preparation, substance abuse and recovery, parenting, and mental health.
During his outreach, Geoff meets a variety of patrons, young and old, English-speaking and non-native speakers. In recalling a special moment, he remembers a Mandarin-speaking patron, a woman in her 80s, who called asking for United States citizenship information.
"After checking with our resident expert on naturalization, Lisa Regimbal, MCL’s adult literacy coordinator, I sent this patron exactly what she needed. A few months later, when we visited her apartment building, she came over to thank me. She’d just gotten her citizenship and was excited and grateful for the information the library provided. It was wonderful to have helped a person become a proud new US citizen."
The report, From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018 (FATF), an update to a report from 2008, was produced by OCLC Research, in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) and its Public Library Association (PLA) division. The report’s findings are both affirming and cause for concern. They call for urgent action.
Think about our world 10 short years ago. The iPhone and the App Store, Kindle, and Netflix all launched around then–right around the time the original From Awareness to Funding report was released.
About 10 years ago:
- Google did about 365 billion searches; in 2016 Google did over 2 trillion searches
- 24% of the US population was using social media; in 2017 81% was using it
- 11% of Americans were using smartphones; in 2017 81% were using them
According to the recently released 2018 Tech Trends report by Amy Webb and The Future Today Institute, the next decade will bring continuing and unprecedented change, including a “new era of computing and connected devices which we will wear and will command using our voices, gestures and touch….[which] will forever change how we experience the physical world.” (p.8). It’s hard to believe that within the span of 20 years the smartphone as we know it will have come and gone. To state the obvious, the world and the communities in which our libraries exist are dramatically different than they were the year FATF was first released. And these changes are impacting the perception people have of public libraries--their value and relevance.
Given all this, it is no wonder that, according to the updated report, the perception that “the public library has done a good job of keeping up with changing technology” dropped from 60% in 2008 to 48% in 2018. And in spite of, or perhaps because of, this it is imperative that libraries continue to prioritize their role in digital equity. Where else can those among us with the fewest resources and opportunities find free, quality access to and assistance in effectively using the technology increasingly imperative for thriving in our world?
Technology’s relentless evolution isn’t the only trend to which we must constantly adapt. The demographic shifts we see demand investment to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity and access. A widening opportunity gap presents critical challenges for people who are new to this country and others who might be left in the margins. According to Pew, “by 2055, the U.S. will not have a single racial or ethnic majority. Much of this change has been (and will be) driven by immigration.” It is heartening, then, to learn that in the 2018 report there was a 10% increase in the number of participants who acknowledge that the library “provides classes, programs, and materials for immigrants and non-English speakers.”
Of concern, there was a 20 point drop in the number of respondents who are likely to see the library as a resource for children (71% in 2008; 51% in 2018). Support for early literacy and school success have long been a cornerstone of the library’s value. No doubt, technology is a factor in this shift. Not only do most folks now turn to Google and the internet for their basic information needs (including homework), but more and more people, especially youth, seem to prefer digital entertainment (YouTube, Spotify, Snapchat) over reading. According to Flurry Analytics, the average U.S. consumer spends over five hours a day on a smartphone and, from 2016 to 2017, media consumption on mobile devices jumped 43%. According to a 2015 Common Sense Media report, US teens “use an average of nine hours of entertainment media per day” and tweens “use an average of six hours a day, not including time spent using media for school or homework.”
Other findings that were hard to read, but vitally important, include a decline in respondents’ enthusiasm about library staff. There were notable drops from the 2008 findings in “having the right staff to meet the needs of the community” as well as the perceptions that staff are friendly and approachable, true advocates for lifelong learning, knowledgeable about my community, understand the community’s needs and how to address them through the public library, and have excellent computer skills. All of this likely contributed to a decline in the library’s perceived value and relevance to the community. In 2008 73% of respondents agreed that “having an excellent public library is a source of pride.” In 2018 that percentage dropped to 53%. Additionally, in 2008 71% agreed that “if the library were to shut down, something essential would be lost.” In 2018, only 55% of respondents felt this way.
It would be natural for librarians to respond to all of this with defensiveness and/or despondence. And while that’s certainly understandable, neither response is constructive. I would encourage us to assign a sense of urgency to these results. We’ve known for years that the ways in which the world is changing will impact how we do what we do. These sorts of findings provide us direction in charting our future. I think we can all agree that libraries are in an increasingly unique position to improve the lives of those we serve and build stronger, more resilient communities. How we do that may be different than it was decades ago, but it is no less important. In fact, our communities need us now more than ever. Fortunately, the percentage of respondents that agreed their local library is “a place for people in the community to gather and socialize” increased from 35% in 2008 to 44% in 2018 and more people believed that to be an important role for the library–a fact that sets us up nicely for serving as conveners and facilitators of the important conversations and connections our communities need.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “libraries are essential to a functioning democracy.” In his new book, The People vs. Democracy, Yasha Mounk writes that “over two-thirds of older Americans believe that it is extremely important to live in a democracy; among millenials, less than one-third do.” If all of that is true, then we have an obligation to ensure that America’s public libraries are strong, relevant and responsive. And we need to do the work to ensure that our communities believe they are. It’s up to us.
So how about a new equation? If libraries = democracy; and democracy = important; then libraries = important. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!
Anyone who is up to no good can monitor your activity on public wi-fi. Hackers easily get software that makes this possible. Your personal information, private documents, contacts, photos, even your login credentials can be seen. This information can be used to access your accounts, impersonate you or steal your identity.
Public wi-fi includes open networks (which don’t require a password) and semi-open networks (which do, but anyone can log on).
- If possible, wait until you can use a network you know is secure to check email or do online banking or shopping. They all involve sending passwords and personal information.
- When you do use public wi-fi, check that you are connecting to the correct network. A coffee shop’s wi-fi may be named espresso1, but someone could have set up a false wi-fi and named it freecoffee. If you login to freecoffee, all your information will flow through the hacker’s computer.
- Look for https in the address bar. This means that the site is encrypted. A hacker can still intercept your information, but it will now be harder to read and use. Every page of a website should be encrypted. If you find yourself on an unencrypted page, log out right away.
- Change your computer’s wi-fi settings to public and turn off file sharing.
- Limit your time. Stay logged into wi-fi only while you need it.
- Sign out of accounts. Log out when you are done.
- Keep your computer and security software up to date. Pay attention to warnings that a site is unsafe.
- Do not use the same passwords for different websites. If someone gains access to one of your accounts, they won’t have access to your other accounts.
- Consider changing settings so your mobile device does not automatically connect to wi-fi.
- Your phone’s cellular data is much more secure than public wi-fi. If in doubt use cellular.
If you regularly access online accounts through wi-fi hotspots, using a virtual private network (VPN) may be a good idea. VPNs encrypt traffic between your computer and the internet, even on unsecured networks. You can get a personal VPN account from a VPN service provider. Some organizations create VPNs to provide secure, remote access for their employees. VPN options are also available for mobile devices; they can encrypt information you send through mobile apps.
Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi Networks (Federal Trade Commission)
VPN Beginner's Guide (The Best VPN)
More ways to protect yourself online.
Due to the iregular fiscal quarter, we will need to upload our monthly reports early and to a different server. Click on this link spreadsheet or the attatchment below to upload your financial reports. Keep up the good work!
Todd Goodatmanagement Esq.
CEO- Your Org
Consider the above email. Anything seem odd? Out of place? Abnormal? Too good to be true? Go with your gut!
Criminals running phishing scams are crafty chameleons who excel at impersonating agencies and authorities in order to trick you into releasing valuable data. Email is a very common medium for these con artists. Be suspicious of any email out of the ordinary. Look closely at the following items to protect yourself.
1. From: Is the sender’s email address from a suspicious domain? Is this not someone you usually communicate with?
2. To: Were you cc’d on this email but don’t recognize the other names who received it? Is there an unusually large amount of people in the To field? Do all the names start with the same letter?
3. Date: Did you receive the email during regular business hours? Did you receive it suspiciously late at night?
4. Subject: Does the subject line seem unrelated to the content of the email? Are there misspellings? Is the message a reply to something you never sent or requested?
5. Content: Is the sender asking you to click on a link or attachment to avoid a negative consequence or gain something of value? Is the email asking you to look at a compromising picture of you or someone you know? Are there misspellings and bad grammar? Do you get a gut feeling that something is not right?
6. Hyperlinks: Remember, "hover to discover." Hover your cursor over the link without clicking to display the full web address. Is it what the email claims? Is it slightly different than an address you know? Is the email just a hyperlink?
7. Attachments: Is this attachment unexpected or seems to not relate to the message? Is it an odd file type? The only file type that is always safe to click on is a txt file.
Want some more info? Check out these articles:
And of course, your library has hundreds of books to arm yourself with.
More ways to protect yourself online.