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Graduates from the library's adult tutoring GED program
A group of graduates shared their joy and dreams with families, staff, tutors and patrons at Midland Library during its first-ever graduation ceremony for adults who earned their GED certificate thanks to Multnomah County Library’s drop-in tutoring program. 

The graduates donned caps and gowns, posed for photos and shared cupcakes, shared stories and described their plans for the future. Tiffany, a full-time administrator’s assistant in a busy social service program, now qualifies for a promotion. Cherille, a single mom who studied all summer with a tutor, finished school to be a role model for her children. Chance has worked many jobs but now dreams of entering a veterinary technician program at Mt. Hood Community College. Diana, a bilingual mom and businesswoman, juggled family, business and her studies and proved to her daughter that she could finish school.

The GED drop-in tutoring program, coordinated by Adult Literacy Coordinator Lisa Regimbal, has served 103 older and younger adults over the past year. Many of the program’s attendees were nervous about the test and didn’t know how to study or where to begin. Thanks to a one-year Oregon GED Program Wraparound Services Grant, the library has been able to offer attendees free GED testing, tutoring by volunteers, and coaching from GED Coordinator Colleen Latimer. Multnomah County Library was the only library system in the state to receive the funding. 

A cadre of 30 volunteer tutors helped the students stay motivated while remembering the intricacies of algebra and fractions, and studying science, social studies and language arts. Library staff ensured students felt welcomed and provided books for kids while parents studied.

The ceremony was a reminder of the importance and significance of graduation for the students who had dropped out of school years earlier. Graduate Cherille was surrounded by her children, nieces, nephews, elderly mother and other family members. She pointed to the children and smiled,  “I wanted to show them I could do it.” 

Drop-in tutoring and GED assistance is currently available at six library locations: 

  • Mondays, 4 to 6 pm, St. Johns Library
  • Mondays, 5 to 7 pm, North Portland Library
  • Tuesdays, 5 to 7 pm, Midland Library
  • Wednesdays, 10 am to 12pm, Rockwood Library
  • Wednesdays, 4 to 6 pm, Gresham Library
  • Thursdays, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Central Library

Rockwood makerspace
Nestled in a back room of Rockwood Library is a space for teens to create, make and try out cutting-edge technologies. Separate from the library, the Rockwood makerspace offers local youth access to high and low-tech activities— for free—without expectations. 

Echoing trends by public libraries across the world to give people free and open access to new technologies, Multnomah County Library opened the 1,000 square foot collaborative space in 2016 with the support of The Library Foundation and the Mount Hood Cable Regulatory Commission. The Rockwood makerspace is the only space in Multnomah County that provides youth with free and open access to these cutting-edge technologies. 

On any given day, teens are huddled together on Macbooks, coding new video games or designing items in CAD software to produce on the space’s 3D printer; building robots; sewing costumes; or just hanging out and being teens. The space is comfortable and inclusive, offering numerous open labs throughout the week for teens to drop in and use the space however they choose. The makerspace has been so popular with the community that it recently opened limited times for adults to use it, including offering some bilingual adult programs.  

In addition to needing dedicated, and specially trained, staff and volunteers, the makerspace requires thoughtfully designed infrastructure to operate successfully, including open and powered spaces and separate ventilation for heat-producing equipment such as laser cutting machines. Due to space constraints across the library system, the library is only able to offer one makerspace for the more than 800,000 people it serves.   

The Rockwood makerspace has become a community, providing young people opportunities to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and math, while having fun. While the access to new technologies and creative space helps teens develop skills that may contribute to their future career path, it most importantly offers them the freedom to try new ideas, to fail without judgment or consequence, to build their confidence, and to be who they are

“It has changed my life, actually. It’s taught me to not be scared, to just try new things,” said Mariah, a Rockwood makerspace participant. 

Currently, the Rockwood makerspace is the only space of its kind at a Multnomah County Library location. Multnomah County Library is working hard on a plan to bring these kinds of creative and modern spaces to other libraries and communities. Learn more at multcolib.org/planning.

Vailey Oehlke image

Dear library patrons and community members,

Multnomah County Library (MCL) works hard to serve you. We are committed to meeting the changing needs of our community by providing free and open access to the resources, programs, technology and spaces that people want and need. But we are facing a daunting new challenge: large publishers are imposing new restrictions that limit libraries’ ability to offer users new digital content.

Beginning November 1, 2019, Macmillan publishers, one of the country’s “big five” publishers, is imposing an eight-week embargo on new e-books. This embargo means that for the first eight weeks after a book is released, libraries will only be able to purchase a single copy of new Macmillan e-books. This restriction applies whether a library serves a community of a thousand people or a million people.

The impact of this embargo and the other severe restrictions being placed by publishers on public libraries across the country will hurt readers near and far. Multnomah County Library is the sixth top-circulating library in the country for digital content. Under these new restrictions, the wait for many Macmillan e-book titles will skyrocket to four months or more.

What’s more, libraries are forced to license this content and cannot own it. A licensing model increases costs and limits how many times patrons can check out a book before the library must re-license. Many people also aren’t aware that e-book costs to libraries are often FOUR TIMES the price of a retail copy. With these limitations in place, we estimate that MCL will soon spend at least 25 percent of its e-book budget ($307,000) on re-licensing items already in the collection. These excessive costs will prevent the library from buying a broader range of titles or buying more copies of popular titles in order to reduce wait times.

On top of this, Amazon—which owns audio and e-platforms Audible and Kindle—is an unapologetic charging bull within the publishing industry, as it exclusively signs digital and audio rights for authors like Dean Koontz and Mindy Kaling and refuses to license those titles to libraries.

Macmillan has said that libraries undercut publishers’ profits by allowing readers free access to materials that they would otherwise purchase. Macmillan is presenting this as a zero-sum game—that every circulation of a library book is a lost sale for the publisher and author. That reductivist argument is disingenuous and capricious, and it shuts out those with the fewest resources. Not everyone can afford to use Amazon as an alternative to their public library.

The result of these unfair practices by publishers puts not only libraries and readers in a challenging position, but also authors, who should not be forced to choose between making a living and supporting the mission of a library to make information free and open to all. Public libraries provide free marketing and massive exposure to authors and publishers at more than 16,500 locations in communities across the United States and online. In fact, there are more public libraries in the United States than there are McDonald’s or Starbucks locations.

Multnomah County Library has a long history of supporting authors. Every day, patrons come into our libraries or browse the online catalog to find new titles to enjoy. We offer readers advisory services like My Librarian where library staff help readers find new books and authors. At 19 libraries, MCL hosts storytimes, author readings and other programs that expose people to books, resources and authors that they may not have discovered otherwise. Our Library Writers Project offers an opportunity for local authors to have their work added to the library’s e-book collection. As an integral part of the literacy ecosystem, public libraries encourage reading from the earliest ages, and support it over a lifetime by introducing people to content as their interests, needs and technologies change.

These harsh and unfair restrictions on public libraries are a troubling trend that we must stop. Please join me, readers and libraries across the country in opposing Macmillan’s new e-book embargo.

Sign the petition at ebooksforall.org to tell Macmillan that access to e-books should not be delayed or denied.

Thank you for supporting your public library.

Director's pen signature image

 

 

 

 

 

Vailey Oehlke
Director of Libraries
Multnomah County Library
Former president, Public Library Association

 

 

 

Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15 - October 15. It is a recognition and celebration of the culture, histories and contributions of Hispanic and Latin Americans to the United States.

Initially celebrated as Hispanic Heritage week in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson, it was expanded to a month by President Ronald Reagan. The start date of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. With Mexico, Belize and Chile celebrating their independence September 16, 18 and 21.

Here is a small sample of events that are happening at the library during Hispanic Heritage month to celebrate the rich heritage and cultural impact that Latin Americans have had on the nation and society.

Contact the library, visit the events page or check in with your local library to learn about additional programs and events during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Looking for a personalized reading list? Contact Laura B for a recommended reading list. 

 
 

El Mes de la Herencia Hispana se celebra cada año del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre. Es un homenaje y una celebración de la cultura, historias y contribuciones de los hispanos y latinoamericanos en los Estados Unidos.

Inicialmente proclamada la Semana Nacional de la Herencia Hispana por el presidente Lyndon B. Johnson en 1968, el reconocimiento fue extendido a un mes por el presidente Ronald Reagan en 1988. Se inicia el 15 de septiembre por ser el aniversario de la independencia de cinco países latinoamericanos: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua. México, Chile y Belice celebran su independencia el 16, 18 y 21 de septiembre, respectivamente.

Los invitamos a disfrutar en las bibliotecas la música, historias, libros, actividades y manualidades que celebran la herencia hispana y el impacto cultural a la sociedad.

Para más información sobre programas y eventos adicionales durante el Mes de la Herencia Hispana comuníquese con la biblioteca.

Laura B. está disponible para ofrecerles recomendaciones de lectura personalizada de acuerdo a su interés.

Talk Time Host

by Donna Childs, MCL volunteer

Talk Time is a library program for people from around the world to practice English conversation.  For 11 years, Daniel Friedman has hosted such Monday afternoon conversations at Central Library. What keeps him coming back all these years?  According to Daniel, it’s the people he has met, and their patience, warmth, and generosity with each other, and their inspiring optimism and courage.  Talk Time has helped Daniel shed his own stereotypes and taught him more about the world. Most importantly, he believes this is a way to effect small changes and to feel more hopeful; though, he admits to understandable fury at the cruel treatment many immigrants currently receive in the United States.  

According to Daniel, Talk Time attracts people with a wide range of conversational abilities, from those not literate in their native languages to PhDs with good English skills:  “a day laborer from Guatemala to a post-doc from Iraq.” Some participants have attended language schools and want to supplement their grammar and vocabulary lessons with conversation, such as one attendee, a bus driver from Budapest, Hungary, who attends Talk Time when he visits Portland every couple years.  

Daniel sees his chief objective as encouraging everyone to speak. Sometimes the program begins with a theme or a conversation-starting question; other times, attendees talk about themselves. He uses a computer and an overhead projector to search a new word or place that arises in conversation and share it with everyone.  Daniel also projects vocabulary words and then emails the list to participants. The number of attendees at the 90-minute sessions has ranged from about seven to more than 20. There are two hosts each program, so the group divides in half when needed, to allow everyone to talk.

Although Daniel began volunteering with digital literacy classes for older adults and tutoring at the library, Talk Time is a natural fit for him. A retired professor of psychology, he is comfortable leading conversations, and he has long been interested in the immigrant experience. In fact, he made an award-winning film about four teens from India in Atlanta, which has been used in many college classrooms.  In these times of such difficulty for many immigrants, it is encouraging to know that those who attend Talk Time sessions find support in Daniel and his fellow hosts. For more information about the library's Talk Time program, please visit multcolib.org/events/talk-time.


A few facts about Daniel

Home library: Central

Currently reading:  Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity by Lilliana Mason

Most influential book:  Practical Ethics by Peter Singer

Favorite book from childhood:  Mad Magazine

A book that made you laugh or cry:  Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. 

Favorite section of the library:  Social Science

E-reader or paper book?  My Huawei Mediapad X2 tablet: a nine-ounce branch library in my backpack!

Favorite reading guilty pleasure: American Splendor by Harvey Pekar

Favorite place to read:  On a bench in Jamison Square park

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

Multnomah County Library operates on a set of pillars and priorities based on input from the community it serves. This library system is accountable to its taxpayers and patrons, offering programs, services and resources that reflect this community’s values.

The public library is based on the ideal that our collective resources and knowledge should be freely accessible and open to everyone. This library strives to live up to that ideal by lifting up people and communities that have been historically excluded, marginalized and discriminated against.

In representing the diversity of our community, this library will offer materials and viewpoints some people may find offensive. When outside voices seek to shame or pressure Multnomah County Library into conforming to standards other than those in our own community, we will not be cowed.

Multnomah County Library will continue to offer materials, services and programs that acknowledge and celebrate the value of the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants and refugees, people who speak a language other than English, Black and African American people, Native and indigenous people, and all others who have been systematically oppressed. We will evolve and expand that work over time as our community’s values dictate.

Planning to attend the 25th annual Oregon Small Business Fair on September 14th? Be sure to stop by the MCL booth to learn all about our resources for small businesses. Check out the lists below for even more resources to get your business up and running.

La siguiente información es un recurso para inmigrantes y refugiados sobre sus derechos como individuos y la aplicación de leyes migratorias. Esta lista es solamente un comienzo; si necesitas más información, por favor contacta a la biblioteca.   

La biblioteca cuenta con listas de libros que podrían ayudarte y en los que se discute la experiencia de inmigrantes para personas de todas las edades y niveles de lectura.   

La siguiente lista será actualizada con frecuencia; por favor revisa constantemente para obtener la información más reciente.
ACTUALIZADA 11/19

Recursos disponibles para conocer tus derechos

Las personas no ciudadanas que viven en los Estados Unidos — sin importar su situación migratoria — por lo general tienen los mismos derechos constitucionales que los ciudadanos cuando las autoridades policiales las paran, cuestionan, arrestan o buscan en sus hogares. - ACLU

Folletos informativos de ACLU:
Inglés, ruso, español         

Tarjeta informativa sobre Conociendo tus Derechos:
Inglés, somalí, vietnamita, chino, español, ruso, árabe

Conoce tus derechos – Información sobre discriminación anti-islámica:
Inglés, árabe, urdupersaespañol

Aplicaciones móviles:
Mobile Justice: aplicación de ACLU que contiene la tarjeta informativa sobre Conociendo tus Derechos y tiene la capacidad para reportar incidentes a ACLU en tiempo real por medio de un video.
MiConsular MEX: aplicación creada por la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) del gobierno mexicano que permite a las personas de nacionalidad mexicana encontrar el consulado más cercano a ellas y que llamen o envíen un texto en caso de emergencia.   
Cell 411: aplicación que permite a los usuarios publicar y responder a emergencias provenientes de familiares, amigos y vecinos en tiempo real.  
Notifica: La aplicación que te ayuda a estar preparado contra la deportación. Usa Notifica para prepararte, informarte y actuar si estás en riesgo de ser detenido por agentes migratorios.

Aplicación de leyes migratorias:
Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de los Estados Unidos (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés): encuentra a una persona detenida o un centro de detención, además de información de contacto.

Los testigos de actividades de ICE pueden reportarlas a la línea telefónica sobre inmigración de ACLU de Oregón por medio de un texto o llamada al 971-412-ACLU (971-412-2258).

Para acciones alrededor de Portland, puedes contactar a la línea telefónica de la Coalición para los Derechos de Inmigrantes de Portland (PIRC, por sus siglas en inglés) al 1-888-622-1510.
Inglés y español

Plan para Preparación de la Familia:
Inglés español

Recursos legales de bajo costo para inmigrantes provee una lista de organizaciones sin fines de lucro que pueden asistir a las personas con problemas migratorios.

Directorio de Servicios Culturales del Condado Multnomah provee una lista de organizaciones sin fines de lucro, grupos religiosos y programas del gobierno que sirven a los inmigrantes y refugiados en el área metropolitana de Portland.

Datos sobre la carga publica

Español, inglés

Seminario web (grabación)

Español, inglés

**Ultimas noticias del 15 de Octubre, 2019: Jueces federales han parado que entre en efecto la nueva Regla de Carga Publica a través del país. Esto significa que la nueva regla no comenzara el 15 de Octubre, 2019 y que las leyes de carga publica no han cambiado en los Estados Unidos.**

Información sobre DACA/Soñadores  

Herramientas y Guía de Recursos de DACA:
Inglés

Organizaciones locales

Lutheran Community Resources Northwest
605 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
503-231-4780

Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR)
7931 NE Halsey St. #314
Portland, OR 97213
503-284-3002

Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice
1704 NE 43rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97213
503-550-3510

Catholic Charities 
2740 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
503-231-4866

Causa
700 Marion St NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-409-2473

El Programa Hispano
138 NE 3rd St #140
Gresham, OR 97030

Latino Network
410 NE 18th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
503-283-6881

Coalition of Communities of Color
221 NW 2nd Ave #303
Portland, OR 97209
503-200-5722

APANO
2788 SE 82nd Ave #203
Portland, OR 97266
971-340-4861

IRCO
10301 NE Glisan St.
Portland, OR 97220
503-234-1541

Russian Oregon Social Services
4033 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
503-777-3437

Northwest China Council
221 NW 2nd Ave. Suite 210-J
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 973-5451

AILA Oregon
888 SW 5th Ave #1600
Portland, OR 97204
503-802-2122

ACLU Oregon
506 SW 6th Ave #700
Portland, OR 97204
503-227-3186

Oficinas consulares

Consulado Mexicano de Portland
1305 SW 12th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
503-227-1442

Consulado de El Salvador en Seattle
615 2nd Ave. #50
Seattle, WA 98104
206-971-7950

Consulado Honorario Guatemalteco  
7304 N Campbell Ave.
Portland OR, 97217
503-530-0046

Oficina Consular de Japón en Portland
Wells Fargo Center, Suite 2700
1300 S.W. 5th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
503-221-1811

Across the globe, many individuals and organizations are contending with complex questions of how to preserve and protect our natural world.  The Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts is one such organization. 

A land trust is a nonprofit that works with individuals and communities to conserve land. Explore this list, made in collaboration with COLT, that includes nonfiction, poetry, novels and children's books that address questions of conservation and that celebrate Oregon's natural environment.

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