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For those of us who love classic literature, Multnomah County Library is a great resource. There are ongoing Classics Pageturners book discussion groups at Hillsdale Library and Hollywood Library, plus a Quarterly Classics group at Capitol Hill Library.  Copies of the books will be available two months in advance of the discussions.  Please call the branch to confirm.  Following that are lists of Western and non-Western literature from every era.

Here are the Classics book group schedules:

Hillsdale Library Classics Pageturners,

Second Saturdays, 3-5 pm

 

June 8, 2019, Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud

Hollywood Library Classics Pageturners,

Third Sundays, 2-4 pm

 

June 16, 2019The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing

Capitol Hill Library Quarterly Classics

Second Wednesdays, 1:30 pm, October 2018, January, April & July 2019

 

July 10, 2019, My Ántonia, by Willa Cather

Elleona Budd, Library Assistant
“The library is a place where anyone can foster creative ideas,” says Elleona Budd, a Black Cultural Library Advocate and Library Assistant at Central Library.

Elleona, who identifies as non-binary, has been learning various parts of library work — everything from helping regular patrons at the St. Johns Library find titles, to leading outreach work in the Black community — for the past three years.

Elleona joined the library as an access services assistant after graduating from Lincoln High School in downtown Portland. As a student, they gravitated toward history and language courses, including learning Spanish, Korean, Mandarin and Arabic. Elleona’s rigorous academic curriculum continues, as they pursue a degree at Portland State University in International Relations and Conflict Resolution, with a minor in Chinese.

“When I first started my job at the library, I hadn’t been back in eight years! I had so many fines from my youth and had been worried I wouldn’t be able to use anything so I avoided it. I happily learned that the library had waived all youth fines and started a new policy so that no youth would accrue fines going forward.”

Today, Elleona, who says they originally loved the idea of working at a library because of a love for books and working with people, now appreciates it because they have an opportunity to help people feel welcome and to connect patrons with library services and resources

“One experience that was very meaningful for me was connecting with a patron who had recently been incarcerated,” said Elleona. “The library was one of her first stops. She wanted help finding career resources, and I was able to listen and talk with her, but also recommend materials in addition to other services the library offers. She told me the experience was so positive and had helped her feel welcome to come back.”

Now, as a Black Cultural Library Advocate, Elleona is joining other staff from around the library to identify ways to improve collections and services for the Black community. Sometimes, that means creating library displays featuring poetry by queer and trans people of color. Other times, it means organizing large-scale events to provide opportunities for discussion about topics such as the African diaspora.

“I want to help start conversations. I want everyone to walk into a library and think ‘this is a place for me.’” says Elleona.

Elleona’s recommended reading:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Clean Room by Gail Simone

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

At home at Rockwood Library
Volunteer Ethan Wood

by Donna Childs,  MCL volunteer

Smart, busy, an enthusiastic learner, Ethan is a charming young man—an independent learner with an infectious love of learning and a commitment to encouraging others. He is currently a high school junior and looking ahead to college. Although he lives in Damascus, he travels to Rockwood Library to volunteer. Despite the commute, it is clearly the place for him: Ethan loves science, technology, and making things, and Rockwood is the only area library with a makerspace. Ethan came to Rockwood as a Summer Reading volunteer six years ago, before the makerspace was created. After Summer Reading, he moved on to helping students with homework and assisting patrons with the library’s computers. He recalls that one especially gratifying experience was helping a patron find an apartment online.

When the makerspace opened, Ethan was recruited by Rockwood’s “awesome staff” to volunteer there. He learned CAD (Computer Aided Design) and how to use the equipment and has been an avid makerspace volunteer since.

The makerspace is a collaborative learning environment for students in grades 6-12 to learn real-life technology and engineering skills. Librarians and volunteers like Ethan offer workshops and guide students in the use of innovative technology tools like laser cutters and 3D printers. The goal is for students to become comfortable with technology and to learn by experimenting, while honing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Ethan loves experimenting and making things, and he strongly believes in the importance for kids of learning technology: “they will need it later.” Among his potential college majors are mechanical and electronics engineering, though he also loves astronomy and the space program.

As a high school junior, Ethan is enrolled in the Summit Learning Charter School’s Early College Program, through which he can take both high school and community college classes and earn college credit, with Summit paying his tuition. In addition to taking high school and college courses and volunteering at Rockwood, Ethan is a Boy Scout, working to become an Eagle Scout, and a member of Summit’s Robotics club; he also takes guitar lessons and serves as a communications assistant—doing newsletters and social media—for the East Metro Youth Advisory Council whose mission is to encourage STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). The Council meets at Rockwood Library.


A few facts about Ethan

Home library:  Rockwood

Currently reading:  He is not currently reading a book, but enjoys science fiction.

Most influential book:  He could not think of a specific book that has influenced him however, one of his favorite books is Psion Beta by Jacob Gowans.

Favorite book from childhood:  "I love all the Harry Potter books."

Book that made you cry:  Where the Redfern Grows by Wilson Rawls is a tear-jerker.

Favorite browsing section: Fiction and science nonfiction

E-reader or paper?  Paper book

Favorite place to read: "My room, because it is quiet and comfortable."

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

From Albina to Kenton to Troutdale, each of our 19 neighborhood libraries has a social story to help prepare for a visit. A social story uses photos and simple text to show children on the autism spectrum what to expect and how to behave in unfamiliar social settings. Knowing what to expect can help children with autism cope but the stories can be helpful for others too. Maybe you’re new to Multnomah County and unfamiliar with our libraries. Maybe you haven’t visited a library for a while and want to bring your child, but don’t know what your neighborhood library is like. Perhaps you’re a teacher helping your class prepare for their first visit to a library. Whoever you are, Multnomah County Library social stories walk you through the door, share what you can find in different areas, introduce the storytime presenters, and show where you can get a library card and check out materials.

social story page showing the Sensory Accommodation Kit available at each library
You can find your neighborhood library's story on the website by going to "Locations," clicking on the location from the list of libraries and looking for "My Library social story." The stories are pdfs on the website and ready for printing.

Also for children on the autism spectrum, our libraries each have a Sensory Accommodation Kit with tools to use during your visit to help with noise and distractions, and to help calm. Preschool Sensory Storytimes at the Fairview-Columbia, Hollywood and Woodstock libraries are especially welcoming storytimes for children on the spectrum and families who are looking for a smaller, more adaptive library experience.

Katie Grindeland is the author of The Gifts We Keep, a selection from The Library Writers Project, which highlights local self-published authors. In an innovative partnership, Ooligan Press worked with the library to publish this novel about an Oregon family struggling with past tragedy while caring for a Native Alaskan girl with sorrows of her own.

Reading with friends? Start the conversation with this book summary and discussion guide.

Why did you want to tell this particular story?

I have always been a very character-driven writer, so I was excited at the prospect of diving into first-person emotional exploration with a somewhat diverse group of people. It was really important to me to try and give voice to their internal experience since we don’t always have a platform for that in our put-together grown-up lives. Big feelings, authenticity, connection, these were pillars for me. Not just as words on a page, but as an open-handed gesture to the reader’s experience as well. If someone reads this story and feels emotionally seen or included, I would consider that my biggest success.

Who or what inspires you, writing wise? Who inspires you in your life?

I am always inspired by those really good writers who make you stop in your tracks, by virtue of how purely they can weave a phrase or present an idea. The kind where I have to put the book down to stare at nothing and just think for a few minutes. Yann Martel and Marilynne Robinson and Jonathan Safran Foer and Barbara Kingsolver. But I also really love the writer who just wants to borrow your ear for a minute to tell a cool story they know. Lynda Barry and Stephen King and Cheryl Strayed and Diane Ackerman. These and so many more. Outside of writing, hard workers inspire me. Nose-to-the-grindstoners inspire me. Bad-at-something-but-trying-it-anyway inspires me. I find a lot of bravery in authenticity. And kindness. Kind-hearted people are secret super heroes and they don’t even know it. That inspires me.

Can you recommend a book you've recently enjoyed?

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It undid me, in all the best ways. Beautiful, meaningful, incandescent. I read much of this by headlamp on a solo camping trip near The Dalles, listening to trains run by in the dark, simply because I couldn’t put it down. I also love “S”, by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams. It's a novel within a novel, filled with miscellanies that fall out of the book into your lap if you aren’t careful, postcards, notes, photos -- all of which may or may not be clues to unraveling the story. Plus, if you’re anything like me, it will have you spouting about the Ship of Theseus paradox to friends and family, whose reception may be lukewarm in comparison to your enthusiasm for the idea!

Software updates alert image

Desde las 5 pm del domingo 12 de mayo hasta las 9 am del jueves 16 de mayo, actualizaremos el software central de la biblioteca para darle un mejor servicio. Por este motivo, el acceso en línea a su cuenta no estará disponible durante ese periodo. Mediante la actualización, se mejorarán los avisos por correo electrónico y por teléfono, las estaciones de préstamo automático y la búsqueda en línea de publicaciones periódicas.

Los libros electrónicos (e-books) y otros materiales digitalizados no se verán afectados.

Nos disculpamos por los inconvenientes. Esperamos con interés mejorar nuestros servicios. Si tiene preguntas, por favor diríjase a un miembro del personal de la biblioteca o póngase en contacto con nosotros llamando al 503-988-5123.

¿Puedo reservar materiales?

No, no podrá hacer ninguna reservación de materiales mientras estemos llevando a cabo la actualización. Puede venir a buscar los materiales que ya ha reservado y tomarlos prestados.

¿Puedo devolver o renovar materiales?

Sí, puede devolver materiales en cualquier instalación de la biblioteca. Asimismo, puede renovar materiales personalmente acudiendo a una biblioteca si tiene el material con usted. No podrá renovar materiales en línea ni por teléfono.

¿Puedo tomar materiales en préstamo?

Sí.

¿Que sucede si tengo que pagar multas?

No podrá pagar multas durante el tiempo en que estemos llevando a cabo la actualización. Debido a la actualización, no se le harán recargos por devoluciones tardías. Si tiene preguntas acerca de sus multas, por favor hable con un miembro del personal de la biblioteca.

¿Preguntas? Envíenos un mensaje.  

Haciendo la diferencia un 'Día' a la vez

Ana Morillo, MCL Staff, with Día volunteers Claudia Ramirez-Cisneros and Francisca Ixtepán
Por Sarah Binns, voluntaria de MCL 

El sábado 20 de abril, la Biblioteca Midland celebrará su evento anual del Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros con libros, comida, presentaciones artísticas y manualidades para los niños y las personas jóvenes de corazón. El Día de los Niños, una celebración tradicionalmente realizada el 30 de abril en muchos países latinoamericanos, en general fue introducido a los Estados Unidos a finales de los años 90 por la autora y defensora de la alfabetización bilingüe Pat Mora. Las bibliotecas de todo el país adoptaron el programa después de ser patrocinado por la Asociación de Servicios de Bibliotecas para Niños. Este año, el evento de la Biblioteca Midland ha sido organizado casi exclusivamente por dos usuarias y voluntarias apasionadas de la biblioteca que tienen una experiencia personal con esta tradición: Claudia Ramírez-Cisneros y Francisca Ixtepán. Tanto Claudia como Francisca crecieron en México celebrando el Día de los Niños. “Era algo especial, nuestros padres nos daban regalos”, dice Francisca. Sin embargo, la vida no siempre ha estado llena de regalos para Claudia y Francisca, quienes ahora viven con sus familias en Portland.

“Mi mamá y mi hermano se vinieron aquí primero”, explica Claudia. “Yo tenía solamente 11 años de edad cuando se fueron. No teníamos teléfonos, entonces mi mamá enviaba cartas diciendo lo mucho que me extrañaba”. Claudia participaba como voluntaria enseñando a los niños en su iglesia para “ayudarme a sobrellevar la soledad” sin su familia. Esto despertó un interés permanente por ayudar a otros, lo cual Claudia se trajo con ella cuando se reunió con su familia en Portland a la edad de 15 años.

Francisca se mudó a Portland cuando ya era una persona adulta y la transición a un nuevo país y cultura fue muy desafiante para ella. “Algunas veces, cuando la gente no me entendía, me daba por vencida”, dice Francisca. “Muchas mujeres en nuestra comunidad se apartan porque tienen miedo. Es necesario que como inmigrantes aprendamos a hablar el inglés y aboguemos por nuestros hijos en la escuela o hablemos con la gente en las tiendas cuando no podamos encontrar personas que nos ayuden”. Francisca recibió ayuda del amable personal bilingüe de la biblioteca durante una clase realizada como parte de un evento de difusión comunitaria de la biblioteca. Inspirada por su jefe, a quien ella considera su amigo, y por la necesidad de ayudar a su hijo que estaba siendo acosado en la escuela, Francisca decidió regresar a la escuela para estudiar, aprender el inglés y seguir una carrera.

Francisca y Claudia se conocieron en el Colegio Comunitario Mt. Hood y desde entonces se convirtieron en voluntarias muy activas en la biblioteca y en la comunidad latina de Portland.  Ana Ruiz Morillo, coordinadora de difusión en español de la biblioteca, compartió: “En los últimos cinco años, Francisca ha sido voluntaria en las celebraciones del Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros de MLC. El año pasado, ella invitó a Claudia para trabajar juntas y más tarde ambas aceptaron el desafío de planificar y realizar el evento de “Autor Latino de 2018” con el autor de libros para niños René Colato Laínez en la Biblioteca Midland. Estas dedicadas voluntarias trabajaron muchas horas para planificar, promover y realizar este evento porque, a final de cuentas, todo lo que querían era expresar su apreciación por toda la orientación que recibieron del personal de la biblioteca”.

Nuevamente este año, Claudia y Francisca han dedicado meses para planificar el Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros de la Biblioteca Midland, la cual será una celebración bilingüe multifacética de la cultura latina. Vamos a tener decoraciones inspiradas en Coco, la película galardonada por la Academia con el tema del Día de los Muertos, y también presentaciones de danza como la “Danza de los Viejitos”, un baile tradicional del estado mexicano de Michoacán. Y, gracias al apoyo de The Library Foundation, cada niño asistiendo al evento recibirá un libro gratuito.

La planificación de Claudia y Francisca asombra al personal de la biblioteca por su habilidad para movilizar a la comunidad y crear un intercambio cultural tan vibrante. “Nosotros estamos aprendiendo del liderazgo de Claudia y Francisca”, dice Morillo. “Estamos mejorando en las cosas que hacemos debido a sus contribuciones”. 

Esperamos verlos a ustedes el 20 de abril en la Biblioteca Midland. Ya sea que traigan a sus niños o a su propio niño interior, tengan la seguridad de que pasarán un tiempo maravilloso gracias a Claudia y Francisca. 

ChIldren sitting on floor

Will your child be 5 years old by September 1? If so, sign up for kindergarten now so they can start school this fall. Sign up at your neighborhood school by June 1 to give your child a good start, connect to summer activities, and get access to free resources. School offices close for the summer, so don’t wait! 

To identify your school, call 2-1-1 or email health@211info.org. Help is available in many languages.

Ana Morillo, MCL Staff, with Día volunteers Claudia Ramirez-Cisneros and Francisca Ixtepán
Making a difference one Día at a time

by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer

On Saturday, April 20, Midland Library will host its annual Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros (Children’s Day and Book Day) with books, food, performances, and crafts for the young and young at heart. Día de los Niños, traditionally held on April 30 in many Latin American countries, was introduced broadly to the US in the late 90s by author and bilingual literacy advocate Pat Mora. Libraries across the country adopted the program after it was sponsored by the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC). This year, Midland Library’s event has been organized almost solely by two passionate volunteer patrons with personal experience of the tradition: Claudia Ramirez-Cisneros and Francisca Ixtepán. Both Claudia and Francisca grew up in Mexico celebrating Día: “It was something special, our parents gave us presents,” says Francisca. But life has not always been full of gifts for either woman, both of whom now live with their families in Portland.

“My mom and brother came here first,” Claudia explains. “I was only eleven when they left. We didn’t have phones, so my mom sent letters saying how much she missed me.” Claudia volunteered teaching youth at her church “to help me get through the loneliness” without her family. This ignited a lifelong interest in helping others, which Claudia carried with her when she joined her family in Portland at age fifteen.

Francisca moved to Portland as an adult and found the transition to a new country and culture challenging. “Sometimes, when people didn’t understand me, I’d give up,” she says. “Many women in our community step back because they are afraid. It is necessary as immigrants to learn to speak English in this country and to advocate for our kids at school or speak to people at the store, when we aren’t able to find people who could help us.” Francisca found help from the welcoming bilingual library staff during a class conducted as part of the library’s community outreach. Inspired by her boss, who she considers a great friend, and by the need to help her child who was being bullied at school, Francisca decided to go back to school, learn English and pursue a career.

Francisca and Claudia met in classes at Mt. Hood Community College and have since become very active volunteers at the library and in the Latinx community in Portland. Ana Ruiz Morillo, MCL’s Spanish Outreach Coordinator, shared, “For the past five years, Francisca has been volunteering at the MCL Día celebrations. Last year she invited Claudia to join her and later on both took on the challenge to plan and conduct the 2018 Latino Author event with children’s author René Colato Laínez at the Midland Library. These dedicated volunteers put so many hours to plan, promote, and conduct this event, that at the end, all they wanted to do was express their appreciation for all the mentorship they received from library staff.”

Again this year Claudia and Francisca have devoted months of planning to Midland Library’s 2019 Día, which will be a multifaceted, bilingual celebration of Latinx culture: There will be decorations inspired by the Academy Award-winning, Day of the Dead-themed film Coco and dance performances, including “la danza de los viejitos,” or “dance of the old gentlemen,” traditionally from the Mexican state of Michoacán. And, thanks to the support from The Library Foundation, every child in attendance will receive a free book.

Claudia and Francisca’s planning awes the library staff, with their ability to rally the community and create such a vibrant cultural exchange. “We are learning from the leadership of Claudia and Francisca,” says Ruiz Morillo. “We are becoming better at what we do because of their contributions." We hope to see you on April 20 at Midland Library. Whether you bring your children or your inner child, it’s sure to be a wonderful time, thanks to Claudia and Francisca.

Rod Madison in a truck
With a few online clicks, a library patron can go from deciding what they want to read to placing that book on hold at their neighborhood library; thanks to a team of library staff led by Logistics Supervisor Rod Madison, that book, along with thousands of other books and other library materials, are moved around the county each day— taken off library shelves, sorted, routed to new locations, and put back on the shelves and ready for checkout.

Along with his team, Rod helps facilitate the movement of nearly 175,000 library materials around Multnomah County each week — more than the entire collection held at Midland Library!

"I always want to help our patrons get the materials they want, where they want them and in the fastest way possible," said Rod. 

Brought to the library by a love of books and a background in academics — he holds a Master’s Degree in History and taught classes at Oregon State University for more than a decade — Rod initially began working at the library’s “sort center,” the operation he now manages. This is where all materials moving from one library location get manually sorted for drivers to take to their destination. 

After transitioning into a position as a library assistant and spending time at two of the library’s largest locations — Central and Midland libraries — Rod pursued positions in library management, finding his experience in operations, public service, and as a library delivery driver, a perfect match for the logistics role. 

Outside of the library, Rod has a fascination with aviation history and enjoys striking up conversations about classic aircraft and visiting local aviation museums, interests that stem from his father who was a naval aviator during WWII.

"My deep interest in aviation is just part of a broader fascination with transportation in general. I guess it's only fitting that I'm working in a job that involves trucks!"

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