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“It’s fun to see kids get so excited about reading.”

by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer

The first thing that struck me about library volunteer Jordan “Jordy” Pardo was his order of a cold brew—it’s not every day I meet a thirteen-year-old who embraces coffee! But Jordy, soon to enter Franklin High School as a freshman, is one of those delightful people who embraces everything with gusto—including his longtime position as a Summer Reading volunteer at Holgate Library

For many young readers, Multnomah County Library’s Summer Reading program is the highlight of summer break. The program encourages all youth, from birth through high school, to read. To participate, participants track the number of days they read (or are read to) and record them on a game board to win prizes. Jordy learned about the program at age four when his older sister started volunteering. “She’d take care of me and I’d go with her [to the library]. It fascinated me. I thought, ‘When I’m old enough, I want to do that.’” In the summer before fifth grade Jordy was accepted to the program—“I’ve been doing it ever since.” 

Jordy’s favorite part of volunteering is giving participants their game boards. “It’s fun to see kids get so excited about reading and then get rewarded for reading,” he says. Book-wise, Jordy enjoys mysteries, especially Scooby Doo. “It keeps me interested, and I always want to figure out who did it in the end.” He typically ends his day with a book: “Reading is my melatonin,” he says, laughing. 

In his free time, Jordy hangs out with his sister and friends all over Portland, which he navigates by bus. With his friends, he says, “We could go look at a tree. As long as you’re with people you love and people who love you, it’s fun.” He applies the same philosophy to school, where he enjoys math and language arts. “I like solving for x or y,” he says—just like solving his mystery novels. 

When I ask if he’s excited for high school he says, “I just want to get started, graduate, and be successful!” Given his passion for learning and curious nature, it’s easy to see that Jordy will be successful at anything he puts his mind to. 


Home library: Holgate

Currently reading: Schooled by Gordon Korman

Most influential book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. 

Favorite section to browse: Teen or kids books. “It’s nice to read a shorter book sometimes, it’s a change of pace.”

Favorite book from childhood: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. “My mom would read me that book at night. I couldn’t go to sleep without being read to.” 

Favorite place to read: On a couch. “I’ll sit and drink coffee while reading.”

E-reader or paper: Paper. “The point is you’re taking time away from your phone and technology!”

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

Pageturners book groups will welcome several authors during the 2019-20 season. You don’t have to sign up — just read the book, then join us to discuss with the author.

 

Stevan Allred
Cover for and link to catalog entry for The Alehouse at the End of the World

The Alehouse at the End of the World

Capitol Hill Library

Thursday, September 5, 2019, 1:30-2:30 pm

 

Katie Grindeland
Cover for and link to catalog entry for The Gifts We Keep

The Gifts We Keep

Capitol Hill Library

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 6:30-7:45 pm

St. Johns Library

Monday, October 14, 2019, 6:30-7:45 pm

Holgate Library

Saturday, October 19, 2019, 10:30 am-12 pm

Troutdale Library

Monday, March 9, 2020, 6:30-7:45 pm

Midland Library

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 6:30-7:30 pm

 

Rudy Owens
Cover for and link to catalog entry for You Don't Know How Lucky You Are

You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are

Belmont Library

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 6:30-7:30 pm

 

Omar El Akkad
Cover for and link to catalog entry for American War

American War

Kenton Library

Tuesday, September. 17, 2019, 6:30-7:30 pm

Hollywood Library

Thursday, September. 19, 2019, 6:30-7:45 pm

 

Willy Vlautin
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Don't Skip Out on Me

Don’t Skip Out on Me

St. Johns Library

Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 1-2:30 pm

Woodstock Library

Monday, March 9, 2020, 6:30-7:45 pm

 

Leni Zumas
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Red Clocks

Red Clocks

Midland Library

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 1-2:15 pm

 

Kenneth R. Coleman
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Dangerous Subjects

Dangerous Subjects

Rockwood Library

Friday, October 18, 2019, 10-11:30 am

 

Jerry Sutherland
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Calvin Tibbets: Oregon's First Pioneer

Calvin Tibbets: Oregon’s First Pioneer

North Portland Library

Saturday, October 19, 2019, 4:30-5:30 pm

 

Linda L. Graham
Cover for and link to catalog entry for Two Mice and a Dragonfly

Two Mice and a Dragonfly

Gresham Library

Thursday, December 5, 2019, 2-3 pm

 

Check at your library to see whether a book group copy of the book is available during the month before each meeting.

Pageturners is supported by a generous grant from the Friends of the Library.

Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. The event spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. You can learn more about books that have been challenged or banned from the American Library Association's Banned and Challenged Books site, hosted by ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

This year, Multnomah County Library will celebrate the freedom to read with displays at libraries and with Drag Queen Banned Books Bingo, featuring Poison Waters. In the meantime, explore some of the titles that have been the object of challenges over the years.

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, by Sigmund Freud

 

September 14, 2019, Selected Poetry, by John Donne. (This is a different edition than we will be reading.)

 

October 12, 2019The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane

 

November 9, 2019To the Finland Station,by Edmund Wilson

 

December 14,  2019, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard in Anton Chekhov's Selected Plays, by Anton Chekhov

 

January 11, 2020, Sentimental Education, by Gustave Flaubert

 

February 8, 2020, The Death of the Heart, by Elizabeth Bowen

 

March 14, 2020, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Coleridge

 

April 11, 2020, : The Misanthrope, by Jean Molière

 

May 9, 2020, Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen

 

June 13, 2020, The Rubaiyat of Omar Kayyam

Hollywood Library Classics Pageturners,

Third Sundays, 2-4 pm

 

June 16, 2019The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing

 

September 15, 2019Persuasion, by Jane Austen

 

October 20, 2019The Twelve Caesars, by Suetonius. (This is a different translation than we will be reading.)

 

November 17, 2019 Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy

 

December 15, 2019The Log From the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck

 

January 19, 2020The Oresteia, by Aeschylus

 

February 16, 2020The Moon and Sixpence, by W. Somerset Maugham

 

March 15, 2020Cry the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton

 

April 19, 2020Selected Stories of Anton Chekov

 

May 17, 2020, Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius. (This is a different translation than we will be reading.)

 

June 21, 2020Man and Superman, by George Bernard Shaw

 

Capitol Hill Library Quarterly Classics

Second Wednesdays, 1:30 pm, October 2019, January, April & July 2020

 

October 9, 2019, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson, and The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka.

 

January 8, 2020, Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley.

 

April 8, 2020, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.

 

July 8, 2020, Silas Marner, by George Eliot.

 

Libraries can make us nostalgic. They evoke memories of childhood, new discoveries and finding just the right book for that sunny spot. 

But all things change. 

Yes, our libraries are still home to about two million books and other items, but today, libraries are so much more than buildings with books inside. 

Historical image of librarian
In Multnomah County, our libraries are:

  • The largest provider of free, high speed internet access in Oregon with about 2.5 million computer and wi-fi sessions every year
  • A place for free summer lunches for young people who might not have adequate nourishment when school is not in session
  • A platform for emerging authors and musicians to gain greater exposure
  • Gathering spaces with resources that reflect the diversity of our community
  • Safe and welcoming space for teenagers to study and hang out
  • A common space for civic life and a place to explore differing ideas and points of view

While library staff and services are constantly evolving to keep up with changing times, our buildings have not. They simply don’t have enough space, enough seating, enough outlets or enough places for groups to gather, 

We’re hard at work creating a vision for modern library spaces in Multnomah County. Join us as we explore ways to bring all people in Multnomah County modern and adequate library spaces that they need and deserve. Learn more at multcolib.org/planning/

Andrew Carnegie was many things: an immigrant, an industrialist and philanthropist. Among his greatest legacies was the widespread establishment and expansion of the free public library. In 47 U.S. states, in Canada and abroad, Carnegie helped create about 3,000 libraries, many of which are still in existence today.

In Multnomah County, St. Johns and North Portland libraries, with their stately red brick exteriors — both original Carnegie libraries — are remnants of that legacy. Inside St. Johns Library, the passage of a century has a different impact. 

St. Johns Library is typical of the small libraries we find across Multnomah County. One hundred years ago, the main function of those buildings was to house books. 

Today, libraries are spaces for people, programs and hands-on learning — and yes, books. Some programs, like children’s storytime, are so popular, people are regularly turned away. Other times, the library is forced to hold programs amidst the book stacks, making them inaccessible to others. 

A crowd pictured at an event at St. Johns Library
With more than 5,400 storytimes in our libraries and more than 110,000 young people participating in summer reading each year, our community’s children feel the space pinch every day. And some of our most popular new programs, like the makerspace (a science and technology space just for teenagers) at Rockwood Library, are only offered in one location because we don’t have enough space in other library buildings.

In our region and across the country, other libraries are greeting the future with open arms, with spaces for children to read, explore and play. Imagine if children at our libraries could have not only space for storytime, but perhaps a dress-up closet, structures to climb on, learning gardens, functioning kitchens or science and technology learning.

Imagine if more of our library buildings could offer space to sit and learn together, for workshops, or private rooms for a Skype job interview. 

We’re hard at work creating a vision for modern library spaces in Multnomah County. Join us as we explore ways to bring all people in Multnomah County modern and adequate library spaces that they need and deserve. Learn more at multcolib.org/planning/

Listening to the Readers

by Donna Childs, MCL volunteer

The Read to the Dogs program is one of many ways the Multnomah County Library promotes reading. Dog-and-person teams are available at several neighborhood libraries to soothe and encourage hesitant young readers.

At Hollywood Library, dog Archi and his partner, Emily Rogers, devote one and a half hours twice a month to listening to kids read. Does Archi understand the books? Probably not, even though kids often choose books about dogs, and Emily said he has a huge vocabulary. But he does understand his connection with the kids who pet, hug, and cuddle with him.  

A certified therapy dog, Archi took six six-week classes: regular puppy and then therapy training. Archi was certified by Pet Partners, a nonprofit organization that pairs people with therapy animals to help people with differing needs in a variety of situations. Archi must be recertified every two years. While most dogs pass the tests and earn certification by age three or four, Archi passed at thirteen months! 

Children sign up for 20-minute sessions, reading to and petting the dog, which often helps to calm the child’s anxiety. Archi and Emily are one of three teams at Hollywood Library. The sessions take place in a quiet, glass-walled room for child, dog, and owner. Parents remaining in the library can easily see their children. Occasionally a sibling comes too, and once a girl came in who was a good reader, but afraid of dogs. She ended up hugging Archi! Whole families have participated over the years as each child begins to read.   

In addition to Read to the Dogs, Archi and Emily have volunteered at such places as the Tigard Public LibraryPortland Children’s Museum, Portland State University during finals week, and with adults adapting to a new computer system.  

Emily pointed out that although their 36 weeks of training was focused on Archi, she had to learn to communicate with, guide, and redirect him when necessary. Emily works full-time in philanthropy and is not an expert in teaching reading, but she is so committed she attended a four-hour training with a reading specialist. Emily and Archi clearly take their responsibilities to young readers seriously, to everyone’s benefit.

 


A few facts about Emily

Home library: Hollywood

Currently reading: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Most influential book: The Harry Potter books!

Favorite section to browse: Historical fiction  

Favorite book from childhood: The Dragons are Singing Tonight by Jack Prelutsky

Book that made you laugh or cry: Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book by Shel Silverstein

Guilty pleasure: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Favorite place to read: My balcony

E-reader or paper: Paper book!!!

 

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

Library Clerk Sandi
When Bilingual Clerk Sandi Plesha first observed groups of Latina women coming to the library and quietly observing while their children read books in English, she thought of her own experience. 

“I know how isolating it can be when you’re in a new place and can’t speak the language,“ says Sandi. “I am an immigrant and have empathy for that experience. Like many of the patrons that I serve, I’ve had to jump many hurdles.”

A native Ecuadorian, Sandi worked as a teacher before moving to the United States after meeting her husband. 

“When I first moved here, I didn’t understand English. I was afraid to ask questions. When you feel like you can’t talk to others to get the information you need, it’s hard to connect. You become isolated.” 

Wanting to help the Latina women feel at home in the library, Sandi asked if they wanted to converse in Spanish; when they smiled, she began talking about what brought them to the library. Sandi asked if they wanted to come back to the library and meet as a group while their children read and play and was encouraged by their enthusiastic reaction. 

Sandi created a program at Gresham Library called La Placita (“the little plaza”). The group is held in Spanish and is aimed at helping Latina women come together, discuss their interests, learn new skills and build community. 

“Having the program in Spanish was critical not only to removing the feeling of isolation, but was also a way to help participants feel part of the community and welcome to use community resources,” she says.

Sandi, whose love of reading was cultivated by her father from an early age, creates lesson plans and selects books in Spanish to help spark discussion. She designed the program to accommodate multiple interests. 

“The women are really driving this program! When I meet with them, and we pick the books, we study. It’s not just a book club. The readings are a point to start a discussion, a window to connecting with each other.” 

The class is structured so participants can also bring their kids and a section of the room, along with another staff member, is focused on the children’s learning and play. 

“For some, La Placita is like dipping their toes into the ocean of the library and then once they get comfortable, they keep coming back, exploring and finding more,” says Sandi.

During one program, they used a Gabriel García Márquez book to discuss what it means to be a beautiful woman; during others, they’ve exchanged recipes and brought in guest teachers to learn about online privacy. After several classes, participants are feeling more at home at the library, and many are now checking out their own books.

After receiving participant requests, Gresham Library is updating the youth and adult Spanish collections, re-organizing materials and adding new signage to improve access.

“It’s the little things we do that can make a big difference. When you give to the community, the community gives back to you.”

In addition to running La Placita and helping library patrons with various information and account needs, Sandi enjoys improving the Spanish collection and utilizing her creativity to create engaging library displays. A lifelong learner, she is also teaching herself to speak Russian! 

La Placita is on a temporary break. To see other programming at Gresham Library, please visit multcolib.org/events.

Kids enjoying the summer lunch program at Gresham Library
Thư Viện Quận Multnomah sẽ cung cấp bữa trưa miễn phí cho thanh thiếu niên từ 18 tuổi trở xuống vào mùa hè này tại các thư viện Gresham, Midland và Rockwood.  Các bạn thanh thiếu niên không bắt buộc phải có thẻ thư viện để được ăn trưa miễn phí.

Các bữa ăn trưa được cung cấp từ Thứ Hai đến Thứ Sáu trong các thời gian sau:

Gresham: Từ 12:30–1:30 chiều (17 tháng 6 đến 16 tháng 8)
Midland: Từ 12 giờ –1 giờ chiều (17 tháng 6 đến 27 tháng 8)
Rockwood: Từ 12 giờ –1 giờ chiều (24 tháng 6 đến 9 tháng 8)

Chương trình bữa trưa mùa hè miễn phí được thực hiện nhờ quan hệ đối tác với Học Khu Gresham Barlow, Học Khu Reynolds và bộ phận Bữa Ăn Cho Trẻ Em của Meals on Wheels.

Thư Viện Quận Multnomah tổ chức nhiều hoạt động miễn phí trong mùa hè dành cho trẻ em và thanh thiếu niên, trong đó có Chương trình Đọc Sách Mùa Hè. Để biết thêm thông tin, hãy truy cập lịch sự kiện hoặc gọi tới số 503.988.5123.
 

Kids enjoying the summer lunch program at Gresham Library
La Biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah ofrecerá almuerzos gratuitos para menores de 18 años este verano en las bibliotecas de Gresham, Midland y Rockwood.  No se requiere que tengan una tarjeta de la biblioteca para obtener el almuerzo gratis.

Los almuerzos están disponibles de lunes a viernes en los siguientes horarios:

Gresham: 12:30 – 1:30 p. m. (del 17 de junio al 16 de agosto)
Midland: 12 – 1 p. m. (del 17 de junio al 27 de agosto)
Rockwood: 12 – 1 p. m. (del 24 de junio al 9 de agosto)

El programa de almuerzos de verano ha sido posible gracias a asociaciones con el distrito escolar de Gresham Barlow, el distrito escolar de Reynolds y Meals 4 Kids división de Meals on Wheels.

La Biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah ofrece muchas actividades gratuitas de verano para niños y adolescentes, incluido el programa de Lectura de Verano. Para obtener más información, consulte el calendario de eventos o llame al 503.988.5123.

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