Sterling Room for Writers

The Sterling Room for Writers is closed until Winter 2023 as Central Library is undergoing renovations.

2nd floor, Central Library
801 SW 10th Avenue
Portland, OR 97205

(503) 988-5123

The Sterling Room for Writers was established through the generosity of Donald Sterling, Jr. and Sis Hayes in honor of their parents Donald and Adelaide Sterling. Donald Justus Sterling was a newspaperman in Portland for 42 years, and managing editor at the Oregon Journal from 1919–1952. Adelaide Armstrong Sterling, a writer herself, was one of the founding members of the Town Club and active in many charitable organizations. The family's goal is to provide writers with space for convenient access to the holdings of Multnomah County Library.

The room's separation from the busy public areas of Central Library creates a relatively quiet place for writing and research. Four large tables provide ample workspace. Electrical outlets supply power for laptop computers, and Wi-Fi is available throughout Central Library.

Application and Admission

You may complete and submit an online application for admission to the Sterling Room for Writers.

The selection of writers for admission to the Sterling Room for Writers is the responsibility of employees of Multnomah County Library. Individual applications are accepted throughout the year and reviewed on a regular basis.

Once a writer's application is reviewed and accepted, a library representative will contact the writer with further details. Admission to the Sterling Room for Writers is on a drop-in basis, and four desks are available during each hour the library is open. Writers must visit the lobby desk on the second floor to obtain a access card, which they must return when they leave.

The terms, qualifications and processes associated with the Sterling Room for Writers are subject to change. Multnomah County Library will provide notice of any such change to accepted writers and all others as deemed appropriate. Admission is granted for 1 year.

Room Use Regulations


  • Respect the quiet atmosphere of the Sterling Room for Writers and refrain from unsolicited conversation.
  • Feel free to use drawers for your convenience while in the Sterling Room for Writers.
  • Remove your equipment and personal items when you leave. Multnomah County Library is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • Vacate the room 15 minutes before the library closes.
  • Notify the person at the 2nd floor service desk with any concerns or questions.
  • Check the 1st floor service desk for lost items.
  • Return the access card when you leave, or if you are going to be gone from the room for more than 30 minutes.

All Multnomah County Library Behavior Rules apply in the Sterling Room for Writers