Blogs

At Multnomah County Library, our mission is “empowering our community to learn and create.” This can take many forms. For teenagers like Maria, Blanca, Mariah and Alex, it means taking ideas from imagination to reality, while gaining knowledge and confidence at the Rockwood Library makerspace. This video shows that happening.

Rockwood Library Makerspace

 

A year ago, the library opened its first makerspace at Rockwood Library, which was made possible by funds from the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission and The Library Foundation. The makerspace is a special place, designed just for teenagers. Young people there can learn to create video games, build robots, design jewelry or make a movie. More importantly, they learn to take risks and adapt when things don’t go as planned. They build confidence.

To me, this represents the essence of a public library. A place to seek new ideas and skills with support and resources provided by people who care. We’re all learners with infinite paths for growth. Find yours today at the library.

Vailey Oehlke
Director of libraries

Solve One Problem, Solve Them All
Volunteer Willow Kelleigh

 

by Sarah Binns

 

Willow Kelleigh is one of those people who gives you hope about the state of the world. Although she is a freshman at Franklin High School, she's been volunteering at the Belmont Library for four years. It all started with a middle school service learning requirement. After Willow's class learned about volunteering from Jane Corry at the Belmont Library, Willow recognized a great opportunity. “I've always been a bookish person, so after the class visit I begged my dad to take me back to the library after school that same day.” Thus, a volunteer all-star was born!

Willow's weekly tasks at Belmont vary, but she does everything from clean the toddler toys to emptying the book bin, from withdrawing old or weather-beaten books to tidying staff desks. When I express surprise at her workload, Willow laughs. “I don't do all of those things in one day!” 

The staff at the Belmont Library have clearly made an impression on Willow. “They're all very kind people. Anyone can come to the library, so we see people who need a lot of help, but the staff are so nice and are still kind to the next person in line. They have a lot of patience and I really admire that.”

In her spare time, Willow does homework and participates in Key Club, an international service organization. While it's too early to think about college, don't worry, she's definitely considering librarianship in the future. “For a school assignment I had to pick two careers I was interested in,” she says. “I chose a librarian and an actuary,” a mathematician who works in statistical analysis, often for insurance companies. As much as she loves her library work, Willow also excels at and enjoys math: “I like the simplicity of math and the formulas. Once you know how to solve one problem, you know how to solve all of them,” she says. Here's to Willow's intrepid problem-solving, at the Belmont Library and beyond!

 


A Few Facts About Willow

 
Home library: Belmont Library
 
Currently reading: A book for class I just finished is called Bronx Masquerade, and the book that I want to start next is called An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, which I've heard really, really good things about.
 
Most influential book: Esperanza Rising is one that really opened my eyes to the hardships of immigrants, and I still think about it today even though I read it four years ago.
 
A book that made you laugh or cry: Hyperbole and a Half is one of the best books that has ever been written (in my opinion). I can't go a page into it without laughing so hard I can't speak.
 
Favorite guilty pleasure book: I'm not sure there are any that are really guilty for me, but my mom did get a little surprised when I told her what Looking for Alaska was about.
 
Favorite book from childhood: My favorite was Mouse Soup because that mouse was just so sneaky!

Favorite browsing selection: Fiction, realistic fiction, historical fiction, and young adult genres are all great!

E-reader or paper books: I'm not sure, I like reading in books better, but I also feel kinda guilty about the trees.
 
Favorite place to read: Curled up on the couch with my black lab, Lucy. 

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

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

Looking for housing

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

David Naimon is a writer and host of the radio broadcast and podcast, Between the Covers, honored by The Guardian as one of the best book podcasts today. He has interviewed such authors as Anthony Doerr, Colson

 Whitehead, Ursula K. Le Guin, George Saunders, Claudia Rankine, and Maggie Nelson. His own writing can be found in AGNI, Tin House and Boulevard among others and has been cited in The Best American Essays, The Best American Travel Writing, The Best Small Fictions and the Pushcart Prize anthology.

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

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

--By the Hollywood Teen Book Council

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

Podcasts

99% Invisible Icon
99% Invisible

Church (Sanctuary Part 1):

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

State (Sanctuary Part 2):

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

This American Life icon
This American Life

Are We There Yet? Episode 592:

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

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

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

Short Films

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

 

Short documentary about the first responders who rescue victims from the daily airstrikes in Syria.

White Helmets | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

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

Watani - My Homeland (Trailer)

 

4.1 Miles:

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

4.1 Miles Trailer

 

Film

Hotel Rwanda:

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

HOTEL RWANDA (2004) - Official Movie Trailer

 

Comics

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

Video Clips

Ted Talk Playlist: Refugees Welcome

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

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

What does it mean to be a refugee? - Benedetta Berti and Evelien Borgman

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

Migrants and Refugees: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Article

The Atlantic log

Refugees and the Limits of Economic Logic

By Derek Thompson in The Atlantic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.

This morning the app developer made some changes that appear to have largely fixed the problem.

If you are still having difficulties with staying logged in, please let me know. Tap the Suggestion box item in the main menu of the mobile app and send me a note.

Thanks to our app users for all your help troubleshooting and for your patience as we worked on a fix.


Last updated: Monday, February 6, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

Over the last ten days, the library mobile app has had trouble remaining logged in, mostly on iPhones and iPads. For example, if you were trying to place a hold on a book you found in the catalog, you would have to login into your account. But then you would be bounced back to the log in at each step in the hold placing process --  selecting the branch to pick up the book, etc. Sometimes you landed in an endless loop. I experienced this myself on my own phone.

We are not certain what is causing this problem, but the developer is investigating.

Many app users contacted us and I thank you for the good information you provided. It was very helpful.

We apologize for the frustration this has caused.

If you are experiencing this issue, while we work on a fix, please try our two catalog and account sites, both of which are optimized for mobile screens. You access these sites through the browser on your phone or tablet. Go to the recently improved mobile version of My MCL at https://multcolib.bibliocommons.com. Or, try the Classic Catalog at http://m.multcolib.org.

Thank you again for your help on this issue and your patience as we work to fix things.

Do you read Facebook or Twitter for news? Subscribe to a newspaper? Peruse websites? In an era of so many choices for information, how do you make a judgement about what's fact, what's slanted and what's just completely untrue? 

Here are some tips for evaluating what you are reading, listening to or viewing.  

  1. Consider the source. You can learn more about a website by clicking on the "About Us" link  that most provide, but don't stop there. Research the organization or author's credentials. If statistics are cited, see if you can find the source, and double-check that they are represented correctly.  
  2. Read beyond attention-getting headlines to check the whole article. If a statement is made, is a source given? Click through to check the sources, and do your own searching on those citations.
  3. Check the date. Sometimes old news stories resurface, and they might be out of date or inaccurate. If currency is important, limit your search to recent results
  4. Watch for bias, including your own. Check different sources to see how each treats a news item. Consider your own beliefs and perspectives and think about how that might change how you perceive what you are seeing. 
  5. Too weird to be true? If something seems implausible, see what fact-checking sites like Snopes, PolitiFact, and FactCheck have to say. 

For more about being a smart information consumer, check out the infographic, "How to Spot Fake News", provided by The International Federation of Library Associations. If you're more of a visual learner, take a look at the CRAAP test video from librarians at California State University. 

And remember, if you're looking for reliable information, get in touch with us. We're always happy to help.

 

Thư viện công cộng phản ảnh được điều tốt nhất trong mẫu mực của quốc gia Mỹ: một nơi tất cả mọi người đều được chào đón và an toàn để học hỏi, sáng tạo, thể hiện và tìm hiểu những phương cách làm cho cuộc sống của họ tươi đẹp hơn.

Hiện tại, một số lượng khá đông người dân và các cộng đồng đang gặp phải những bất ổn, bị phân biệt đối xử và không được xem trọng . Cùng một quốc gia, chúng ta cần phải giải quyết các câu hỏi, các thử thách lớn lao chúng ta đang gặp phải, trong việc xây dựng một liên hợp hoàn hảo hơn.

Thay mặt cho mỗi một nhân viên làm việc tại Thư viện Hạt Multnomah, tôi xin gửi những lời chân thành tâm đắc tới quý vị, những người chúng tôi phục vụ:

Thư viện Hạt Multnomah là một nơi an toàn. Quý vị được chào đón. Quý vị được trân trọng. Dù quý vị vẻ ngoài như thế nào, quý vị đang tin tưởng ở điều gì, quý vị sinh ra nơi nào, quý vị sử dụng ngôn ngữ gì; Dù cho quý vị yêu thương ai, khả năng như thế nào, tình trạng nhà ở ra sao hay bất cứ định dạng nào khác mà quý vị nhận, thư viện chúng tôi ở đây là để phục vụ quý vị.

Thư viện đã luôn luôn và sẽ mãi mãi là nơi mà mọi người được sống tự do, được là chính mình, được suy nghĩ và nói lên lên ý kiến của riêng mình. Hãy cùng chúng tôi đón nhận điều này với lòng nhân ái, sự hòa hợp, sự tôn trọng và lòng dũng cảm, ngay cả khi đối diện với các khác biệt giữa chúng ta.

Vailey Oehlke

Tổng Giám Đốc Thư viện

Ngày 18 tháng 11 năm 2016

Vailey Oehlke

 

公共图书馆体现了美国最美好的理念:一个所有人都受欢迎的场所,

在这里可用各种方法安全地学习,创造,表达和探索去改善人们的生活.

今天,许多群众和社区都正在经历不稳定,歧视和边缘化.

作为一个国家,我们必须解决所面临的巨大问题和挑战以便追求更完美的联盟.

 

我谨代表每位在穆鲁玛郡图书馆工作的人员,向我们服务的群众表达这些衷心的感言:

穆鲁玛郡图书馆是一个安全的场所.您是受欢迎和尊贵的.我们在这里为您服务,

不论您的样貌,信仰,出生地点,所讲的语言,您爱的对象,您的技能,您的居住状况或您其他的特征.

 

图书馆一直都是并永远维持着作为一个供人们可以自由地生活,体验,思考和说出自己真实经历的场所.

即使我们之间存在着差异,但请加入我们一起以仁慈,包容,尊重和勇气来完成这项工作.

 

Vailey Oehlke

图书馆总监

2016年11月18日

Vailey Oehlke

 

"How do you teach people to love each other's differences?"
Volunteer Kim Donovan

by Sarah Binns

When Kim Donovan and her husband moved to Portland from the Sacramento area last year, she left the third-grade classroom where she’d been teaching since 2008. Unable to find a teaching job here, Kim didn’t let that deter her passion for education: “I said, ‘I’m going to the library, someone’s going to need my help!’” Kim was right and she is now a committed ambassador for Multnomah County Library’s Let Every Adult Read Now (LEARN) program

LEARN is a one-on-one tutoring program for adults who want to learn to read. Volunteers have partners, learners, with whom they meet weekly. Kim delights in sessions with her partner. “I’ve gained a friend that never would have happened otherwise,” she says with a smile. In the span of their few months together, Kim’s partner has progressed from a 2nd to a 3rd-grade reading level. “It’s fun to watch her grow and see her get excited that she can read and have more confidence in daily life,” Kim says. Many of us take this confidence to participate in day-to-day activities, such as identifying ingredients on food labels, navigating the computer, and reading the mail, for granted. Building this confidence is the mission of the LEARN program. Launched in 2010, LEARN is led by Lisa Regimbal, the adult literacy coordinator, and always needs more tutors. You can apply by signing up through the Multnomah County Library website

The thing about Kim, though, is that LEARN is just the tip of the iceberg. “I volunteer everywhere,” she laughs. “I’m a teacher, I give back.” Kim volunteers with the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, the Cub Scouts, and at Philip Foster Farm, a pioneer historical site where twice a week she dresses in period costume and teaches Oregon history. “Sometimes I don’t have time to change so I go to the grocery store in my costume!” she says. It’s easy to be in awe of everything she does. 

Kim also participates in Multnomah County Library’s Talk Time program, in which people meet to practice their English conversation skills. Both LEARN and Talk Time feed into Kim’s ultimate passion to teach and encourage the love of books. “How do you teach love?” she asks. “I learn so much from people’s different stories. How do you teach people to love each other’s differences?” Kim seems to be doing just that through all the work she does for the Multnomah County Library community. 

A Few Facts About Kim

Home library: Gresham Library

Currently reading: Children’s books to read to her grandkids over FaceTime

Most influential book: Scripture such as The Bible and The Book of Mormon
Favorite book from childhood: Roald Dahl: as a teacher, she loved to read The BFG and The Witches to her students.
A book that has made you laugh or cry: The BFG because “The kids laugh, then I laugh, then the kids laugh some more.”
Favorite section of the library: Magazines and children’s section
E-reader or paper books: “I almost prefer e-books because I don’t have to keep them on a shelf. But some books you just have to touch!”
Favorite place to read: A chair at home by the fire, looking out at Mt. Hood.

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

 

The public library reflects the best of the American ideal: a place where all people are welcome and safe to learn, create, express and explore in ways that better their lives.

Today, a great many people and communities are experiencing instability, discrimination and marginalization. As a nation we must address the enormous questions and challenges we face in pursuit of a more perfect union.

On behalf of every person who works at Multnomah County Library, I offer these heartfelt sentiments to the people we serve: Multnomah County Library is a safe place. You are welcome. You are valuable. We are here to serve you, regardless of how you look, what you believe, where you were born, what language you speak, who you love, your ability, your housing status or any other way that you identify.

The library has always been and will forever remain a place where people are free to live, be, think and speak their own truths. Please join us as we embrace this work with kindness, inclusion, respect and courage, even in the face of our differences.

Vailey Oehlke

Director of Libraries

Vailey Oehlke

 

La biblioteca pública refleja lo mejor del ideal estadounidense: un lugar donde todas las personas son bienvenidas y se encuentran seguras para aprender, crear, expresarse y explorar en maneras que mejoren sus vidas.  

Hoy en día, muchas personas y comunidades están sufriendo inestabilidad, discriminación y marginalización. Como nación, debemos abordar las enormes interrogantes y los retos que enfrentamos con el propósito de lograr una unidad más perfecta.  

En nombre de cada persona que trabaja en la Biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah, les ofrezco estos sinceros sentimientos a las personas que servimos: la Biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah es un lugar seguro. Ustedes son bienvenidos. Ustedes son personas valiosas. Estamos aquí para servirles, independientemente de su apariencia, sus creencias, el lugar donde nacieron, el idioma que hablen, a quien amen, sus habilidades, su situación de vivienda o cualquier otra forma en que ustedes se identifiquen.  

La biblioteca siempre ha sido y será para siempre un lugar donde las personas tienen la libertad de vivir, ser, pensar y decir sus propias verdades. Por favor, únanse a nosotros mientras nos dedicamos a este trabajo con bondad, inclusión, respeto y valor, aun frente a nuestras diferencias.

Vailey Oehlke

Directora de Bibliotecas

Vailey Oehlke, Directora de Bibliotecas

 

Wendy Red Star uses a variety of media to create her art, which draws from her tribal background (Crow) to explore the intersections of Native culture and colonialist structures. Her work has been shown at the Portland Art Museum, and as far afield as

Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria.

Greetings, from Wendy Red Star and Beatrice Red Star Fletcher (my nine-year old daughter). Together we make up a mother/daughter artist collaborative duo. You can see some of our artwork at the Seattle Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum this month through December. Beatrice is an avid reader with a book in her hand at all times including at art functions, birthday parties, and the dinner table. I also love reading but my focus is on specialty books including, Native crafts, sewing, historical photography books on Native Americans, individual artist monographs, and anthropological books on the Crow Nation. I use these books for inspiration, knowledge, and references for art projects.

Here are my picks:

Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi

This book gives me endless inspiration about the possibilities of pattern making. Whenever I need a break from conventional patterns I take a look at this book. In the past I have tried to make a few of the patterns out of paper. This book is challenging and engaging and a fun way to spend the afternoon.

The Art Of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff

A seamstress's dream book! With over 350 diagrams and beautifully illustrated images demonstrating techniques to resurface, reshape, restructure and reconstruct using a simple square of fabric, thread and needle. This book truly brings out my inner nerd. I love spending hours analyzing each technique and dreaming up new ideas.

The Stars We Know: Crow Indian Astronomy and Lifeways by Timothy P. McCleary

My copy of this book is marked with underscores and notes in the margins. I have reread this book countless times and still find myself learning new information with each read. I am friends with the author, who I have worked with on projects including my solo exhibition Medicine Crow & the 1880 Crow Peace Delegation at the Portland Art Museum’s Apex Gallery in 2014. The observations of Crow star knowledge are fascinating. The old Crow stories are entertaining and eerily gruesome.

Crow Indian Beadwork (A Descriptive and Historical Study) by William Wildschut and John C. Ewers

This book is a great guide and resource to the art of Crow Indian beadwork from 1805 to contemporary times. The book includes several illustrations and photographic images of classic Crow designs. I use this book as a reference and a guide for my own beadwork.

Identity By Design: Tradition, Change, and Celebration in Native women’s dresses edited by Emil Her Many Horses

This is a gorgeous book filled with rich photographs of some of the best dresses and accessories of traditional Native women’s clothing. This book includes examples of historic clothing and contemporary trends across Native America. Filled with interesting essays and information that make it a valuable read.

Beatrice's picks:

When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad

It has lots of adventures and lots of mischief, like falling asleep in a crate between a goat and a bunch of geese and getting half your hair chewed off.  It is full of marvelous literature!

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

Nikki, the main character, has lots of awkward situations in her school life. Nikki has a lot of personality, and all of the Dork Diaries books have interesting plots filled with tons of funny moments. Also amazing illustrations.

Thea Stilton and the Cherry Blossom Adventure by A Geronimo Stilton

The Thea sisters travel to different places and learn about other cultures. The books are filled with interesting mysteries that the Thea sisters have to solve. There are amazing illustrations and amazing graphs.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic by Betty MacDonald

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle uses magic to engage young children to behave. The books are filled with interesting things like her house being upside down. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is an interesting character because she owns a well-mannered pig and she loves kids.

Baby Mouse Cupcake Tycoon by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm

Great book for young girls because it is about a girl mouse. Baby Mouse is very sassy, loves cupcakes, and has a wild imagination and a homework-eating locker. It’s awesome because every page is pink.

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Blu-ray cover
Multnomah County Library offers Blu-ray Discs for check-out. You can find a complete list by searching bluray as a keyword in My MCL. You can check out a combined total of 30 DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.

About Blu-rays

  • You will need a Blu-ray player or a computer with a Blu-ray drive to watch a Blu-ray Disc. Some game consoles (e.g. Xbox One, PS3 and PS4) support Blu-ray discs as well. Blu-ray Discs will not play in a DVD player.
  • Blu-rays are a high-definition (HD) format, but you must be using HDTV or a HD monitor to watch in HD. Blu-rays can be viewed on a conventional monitor, but quality will not be high-definition.

Are you looking for a specific title, but you can't find it? Ask the Librarian.

The Night Circus arrives without warning. What was an empty field by day becomes transformed by night. A city of tents appears as if by magic, drawing people through the dusk to the soft-twinkling lights and the smell of warm caramel in the air. When the guests arrive, they hardly know where to go first. One tent contains a frozen world of ice and snow all in shades of white and silver, making the visitor feel as though he has been transported into his own personal snow globe. In another a mysterious woman reads the future in her cards. In another, guests climb to the top of the tent by way of  a maze of soft clouds and, reaching the top, gently float back down to the ground.

Le Cirque des Reves showcases the purely fantastical next to the usual entertainments one might expect - the contortionists, the jugglers and of course, the magicians. What the guests don't realize is that the night circus exists only incidentally as a place to while away an evening: the circus is really a giant game-board. At its center are two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who are destined to compete in a battle to out-magic one another, a battle that will lead to the death of one.

Though Erin Morgenstern's book is already in high demand, it is well worth the wait. The Night Circus is a delectable treat of a novel, a fantastical, almost architectural dessert that is almost too beautiful to eat, but you won't be able to resist.

Hey, everyone, I'm David F. Walker. I write graphic novels (or if you prefer, comic books — it's all the same to me). I grew up reading comics (mostly Marvel), and to this day, I still love the medium. At any given time, I have stacks of comics and graphic novels all over my home, waiting to be read and reread. I'm a sucker for a good Young Adult novel, as I also dabble in YA. I love history, so I often spend what little free time I have watching documentaries. When I am not reading or writing comic books, I'm a filmmaker, journalist, and educator. My work includes Power Man and Iron Fist, Nighthawk (Marvel), Shaft: A Complicated Man, Shaft’s Revenge (Dynamite), Cyborg (DC), Number 13 (Dark Horse Comics), and the YA novel, Super Justice Force: The Adventures of Darius Logan, Book One.

Here are my picks:

The Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Perhaps the greatest book I have ever read. There isn’t much more than that to say. It makes me laugh out loud. It makes me cry. It makes me want to be a better writer.

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Two incredible examples of the storytelling possibilities found in the graphic novel medium, which serve as companion pieces to a larger story. I recommend reading Boxers first, but that’s not as important as reading both.

Eyes on the Prize – DVD

Produced back in the 1980s, this multi-part PBS documentary is the greatest jumping-off point for learning about the Civil Rights in America. In a perfect world, families of all stripes would sit and watch this together.

Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness

I love a good YA book (perhaps because I suffer from a case of arrested development). Whatever the case. The Chaos Walking series (The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men) is probably my favorite YA series. Ness is an incredible writer, and this series is riveting.

Will Eisner’s New York – Life in the Big City by Will Eisner

My absolute favorite comic book creator of all time, Eisner is best known for creating The Spirit, and some historians credit him with creating what we now know as the graphic novel. This collection of stories is the Eisner I love the most – a brilliant example of how image and text can become literature.

Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick

One of my favorite comic series currently being produced, it is a hard-hitting, hilarious, radical bit of speculative fiction that finds non-complying women sentenced to a prison on another planet. DeConnick and her creative team are dangerous in the best way possible.

The Central Park Five – DVD

Living in New York City in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it is difficult to describe the climate of what it was like to be young and black in a city that feared you. The infamous Central Park Park Rape case explains it with unflinching humanity, examining the gross miscarriage of justice that occurred when five black teenagers were sent to prison for a heinous crime none of them committed.

Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor

Combining two forms of expression that I absolutely love – comic books and hip hop, Piskor’s exhaustive historical narrative is a revelation. Four volumes in, this is the graphic novel done brilliantly.

The Enemy by Charlie Higson

I saw an ad for this YA book in, of all places, a comic book. Having read Higson’s Young Bond series, I decided to give this a shot. I can only describe this as The Walking Dead meets The Lord of the Flies – and there are five more books in the series.

Concrete Park by Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander

One of the most over-looked graphic novels of the last several years, both volumes of Concrete Park are works on incredible art. Set on a planet billions of miles from Earth, where people of color and other minorities have been exiled, the series is as brutal as it is beautiful.

The Legend of the Mantamaji by Eric Dean Seaton

Eric Dean Seaton’s three-volume graphic novel series delivers to the superhero the diversity that is sadly lacking from so many other comics. The struggle to find true diversity in works of pop culture continues to be an uphill battle, but this series is a refreshing example of how to do it properly.

Slavery By Another Name – DVD

This PBS documentary is equally engrossing and heartbreaking, as it traces how slavery never really ended in the Untied States, it just became something else. This is one of those “missing” pieces of history that helps to explain the horrific inequities we see in this country, based on race and class.

A Band Called Death – DVD

On the surface, this a documentary about a forgotten proto-punk band being rediscovered after years of languishing only in the fading memories of a few people. But it is so much more. It is about family, and love, and commitment to your art, and how the key to immortality is art.

Moshow the Cat Rapper is passionate about many things: cats, cat ladies, music and creativity. He dropped by the library to share some of his favorite songs with us.

4 favorite songs from Moshow the Cat Rapper

  1. "Handy Man" on JT by James Taylor. 
  2. "By Your Side" on Lovers Rock by Sade.
  3. "Blue Light" on Silent Alarm and streaming by Bloc Party.
  4. Tha Carter III by Lil Wayne
 
Oh, and Sushi's favorite book? The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle.

 

KIDS REACT TO TYPEWRITERS

Kids aren't born knowing how to use a keyboard.  But in today’s keyboard-centric world, kids need to learn to type. Luckily, there are some good free online typing programs aimed at students.

The article  Ed Tech Ideas: Keyboarding Sites for Kids lists many links to other free typing games.

Need more help? Contact a librarian

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