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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!"

Logo for Bike to Books

Enter for a chance to have your bike art placed on a Portland street! 

Pick up an entry form at your library or download the form and create your design. 

Bring your completed entry to a Multnomah County Library by May 31.

Contest is open to children and teens in grades PreK-12.

Contest dates: May 1-31, 2019

Need inspiration? See the 2018 Bike to Books winners.

Other fun ways to celebrate National Bike Month during May:

#BikeToBooks | biketobooks.com.

2018 Bike to Books winner with his drawing in a bike lane

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.” ~ James Baldwin

With the release of the movie If Beale Street Could Talk, interest in the works of James Baldwin is high. If you'd like to take a deeper dive into Baldwin's work, the time is right. The National Book Foundation has declared 2019 the year of James Baldwin through their Author in Focus program. 

Delve into the library's holdings on and about Baldwin. If you'd like to explore his writing futher, Broadway Books will hosting events as part of the year-long celebration. On April 7, the store will host a discussion of incarceration in America and its impact on marriage as seen through the novels An American Marriage by Tayari Jones and Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk. They will also host an open-mic night during which people can read aloud their favorite Baldwin passages. Find more information on Broadway Books' event page.

According to the scholar Therman B. O'Daniel, "Baldwin is a bold and courageous writer who is not afraid to search into the dark corners of our social consciences, and to force out into public view many of the hidden, sordid skeletons of our society." Find out for yourself why Baldwin's work still resonates so strongly long after his death.

Denise Auld
For Denise Auld, pursuing a career as a librarian has always been about more than finding books and information, it’s about forging connections and being there for people in the community.

As a teen, Denise spent her days after school at the St. Johns Library. She would see other teens from around the neighborhood, and they all became library regulars— huddling over new laptops on "teen lounge" nights and sharing stories with Janie, the youth librarian.

"Often nobody was at home, and the library became a calm and safe place for me to just be a teenager," said Denise. Visiting the library as a teen was more than a second home, it reinforced her desire to make working in libraries a career.

Today, Denise is currently serving dual roles for the library. For the past six years, she’s been an access services assistant at Holgate Library, assisting patrons with their accounts, helping coordinate the vast amount of library materials that are checked in and out each day, and training new library staff. The position also provided an opportunity for her to work with teens at the library, managing teen programming, running an active Teen Council group of 20 members, and mentoring more than 50 teen volunteers during the library’s annual Summer Reading program.

"I want to be the person that Janie was for me when I was a teen," she says.

Possessing both the experience of helping patrons in the library and a desire to help others, Denise was selected to help create a comprehensive training program for more than 400 staff and 200 volunteers on a new library software system that staff will begin using in May.

"I enjoy teaching and finding different ways to help people learn. Whether it’s working with the teen council or organizing classroom training for library staff, I want people to feel confident in what they do."

Currently in college working toward her Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Denise plans to pursue a master’s program so she can become a teen librarian.

Runner, Reader, and Reliable Volunteer 
photo of volunteer Darcy Pound

by Donna Childs, MCL volunteer

Darcy Pound began volunteering at Troutdale Library for the Summer Reading program after her freshman year of high school. She soon added membership in the teen council, which helps librarians plan events that interest teens; she was part of a group who put together a summit on bullying and effecting positive change. Now she is a full-fledged “search assistant,” coming every Saturday morning to search shelves for books requested by other branches. She is most enthused about this role because of all the interesting books that pass through her hands. There’s that love of learning again! According to Troutdale Library staff, Darcy is “friendly, efficient, reliable, and a good role model.”

A high school senior, Darcy is planning to go to college in the fall, possibly to Oregon State University, where she has been accepted into the Honors College. A potential biology major, her eyes light up when she talks about intriguing new biological discoveries. Thanks to her, I now know that dogs have developed a left gaze bias, looking at the side of our faces that shows more emotion. She’s a solid “A” student, who is at the top of her class, even while taking challenging Advanced Placement courses.

Darcy is also a runner. She is on her high school’s cross-country and track teams, and she was able to combine her love of running and volunteer work for her high school Key Club by helping at the annual Shamrock Run. When asked about summer activities, she mentioned an exciting job working at the 30 summer concerts at McMenamins Edgefield Hotel—some attracting more than 5,000 people—and then she added with a smile, “and of course, running. I love to run.” She also talked about family trips with her parents and younger brother to places such as Mount Rushmore and Dinosaur Park in South Dakota with its 30-foot-high dinosaur replica.

Darcy is a top student who is eager to learn, a talented and enthusiastic runner, and an active and committed volunteer—whether at church, school, or at Troutdale Library. She is also mature, intellectually curious, and original (see her “favorite place to read” comment below).


A few facts about Darcy

Home library: Troutdale

Currently reading: Radium Girls by Kate Moore and 1984 by George Orwell

Favorite book from childhood: A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

Favorite section of the library: Nonfiction and graphic novels

E-reader or paper: Paper!

Favorite reading guilty pleasure: I love to read nonfiction that’s written so well it seems like fiction."

Favorite place to read: The stairs. It’s oddly relaxing to sit on a set of stairs and read a good book.




 

Congratulations to Kaiyee, the middle school division winner! Kaiyee is a patron of Holgate Library.

Illustration by Kaiyee, the middle school division winner

And to Trina, the high school division winner, who frequents North Portland Library.

Illustration by Trina, the high school division winner

Each winner receives $100 from collage: curated art and craft supplies and have their art featured on thousands of gameboards this summer. Here are the 22 finalists in the contest, each showing their interpretation of this year’s theme, Space: A Universe of Stories.

Winners were selected by library staff who work with youth and the Summer Reading program. They considered creative interpretation of the theme, popular appeal, and how well the art would print. Trina’s work was felt to show the human connection reading creates; Kaiyee’s, the universe available in books. The results of the voting were very close this year. We were blown away by the quality and creativity shown by the entrants. 

Summer Reading is made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation.

Logo for Summer Reading 2019
Whose art will be on the cover of the middle and high school gameboards for Summer Reading 2019? Here are the 22 finalists in the contest, each showing their interpretation of this year’s theme, Space: A Universe of Stories.  

Winners will be announced on or around March 15. 

We had almost 100 amazing entries--a record number of talented teens, vying for $100 gift cards at collage: curated art and craft supplies.
 
Summer Reading is made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation.

Mother and child reading together
It can be hard to find the right book for a beginning reader. But the library makes it easy. We divide all beginning reader books into four categories, and they are color-coded.

Starting Out (Yellow Reader)

Building Skills (Blue Reader)

Reading More (Red Reader)

On My Own (Green Reader)

To make it even easier, we put together Welcome to Reading bags. Each bag has five books in one of these categories. Getting books that are at the right reading level will help your child love reading and want to read more! Check out a bag from your local library.

Made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation.

Ana Ruiz Morillo

For Spanish Outreach Coordinator Ana Ruiz Morillo, growing up in the Dominican Republic amidst pronounced wealth disparity led her to pursue a career in education and community outreach — she wanted to help others find opportunity and paths to success. 

Growing up between her parents’ two different Dominican neighborhoods, Ana experienced both the lessons of responsibility and hard work, and the privilege of having opportunity and established social circles. 

"These contrasting experiences made me think about equity before I even knew how to describe it. All communities deserve access to quality healthcare, a good education, and opportunities to succeed. I knew I wanted to do something about it," said Ana.

Ana started in her own community in Santo Domingo, meeting with leaders, organizing events and coaching youth on important leadership skills like public speaking.

Eventually, Ana earned her degree and became a teacher in the Dominican Republic before moving to the United States in 1995. In Oregon, she found a job with the Multnomah County Health Department — a place where she felt fulfilled using her bilingual skills while working with community members at neighborhood health clinics. She had planned to work while earning her Master’s Degree in Education so she could return to teaching. But then a job opened up with the library that seemed a perfect match. 

"When I came to work at the library, my supervisor told me, ‘you will always make a difference to students in the classroom, but through the library, you will broaden your impact. It’s a door to the whole community.'" 

"That was 12 years ago, and I haven’t looked back," says Ana. 

Now, Ana coordinates Spanish outreach services for the library. Working with bilingual library staff from across the county, volunteers and interns, Ana helps foster connections and build programs, services and networks between the library and Multnomah County’s Latinx communities. 

One of the most successful library programs Ana leads is El Día de los Niños y El Día de los Libros (Day of the children and Day of the books). The annual celebration of childhood and bilingual literacy is one of the library’s largest programs. Every April, several library locations offer fun and free literacy programming for kids, along with information for parents about how to support their children’s educational development. In 2018, Día events and programs drew nearly 10,000 attendees. 

Ana now utilizes her networking and leadership skills to mentor other library staff, volunteers and interns on conducting bilingual outreach in the community. 

"I continue to fall in love with my job. The library isn’t just flyers and books; the library is meeting people where they are. We are facilitating connections, broadening cultural understanding, and helping other people find their purpose and make an investment in their communities."

Beginning May 12 at 5 pm, the library is upgrading the software that helps run the library. This update will make using the library even better for you and more reliable for us. The library is making this update to continue to provide the best possible service to our patrons.

We look forward to bringing you updates like modernized software that enhances library services and improved self-checkout stations.

During this transition, there will be an impact on some library services. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Classic Catalog

We are replacing the system that currently provides the Classic Catalog. If you use the Classic Catalog, you will need to sign up for My MCL by May 13. This will let you continue to access your account and the library catalog. Here’s how:

  • Create a My MCL account. Here’s a helpful guide.
  • If you were using Classic Catalog, your borrowing history will also be visible in My MCL once you create an account.
  • You can also import your reading lists from Classic Catalog.
  • Patrons who have been using My MCL should not be affected.

Other limited impacts

  • Beginning March 1, patrons will not be able to suggest new purchases for the library. This service will return after the work is complete.
  • Phone renewal will not be available May 13 -15.
  • Temporary reduction in some library programming and availability of meeting rooms.
  • Online renewals will not be available May 13-15. Fines will not accrue during that time.

Need help? Contact us.

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