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Black Cultural Library Advocates staff members
Join our Black Cultural Library Advocates for special events honoring Black culture and heritage.

 

The History of African Storytelling
February 1
Central Library

Black History Month Film Fest
Saturdays in February
February 1: Mavis!
February 8: Moonlight
February 15: Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
February 22: Rafiki
St. Johns Library

Songs from Vanport Musical
February 2
Wayfinding's Academy

Hadisi ya Tuamini — Swahili Storytelling
February 5
Midland Library

African American Read-In
February 8
North Portland Library

Urban Head Wrapping
February 8
Rockwood Library

South African Gumboot and Pantsula Dance Performance
February 8
Albina Library 
February 10
Kenton Library

A Place Called Home: From Vanport to Albina
February 12
Midland Library
February 24
Northwest Library

Story Hour with Nikki Brown Clown
February 14
Central Library
February 16
Rockwood Library

The HeART Gallery
February 15
Rockwood Library

Honoring Black Heritage Through Art
February 16
Kenton Library

Ken Burns' Central Park Five Movie Screening
February 16
Central Library

Power to the People: The Black Panther Party's Legacy in Albina
February 16
Rose City Book Pub
February 23
North Portland Library
February 29
St. Johns Library

I Love Being Me
February 21
North Portland Library

I Never Knew There Were So Many Books About Us!
February 22
Hollywood Library

Black History Month Tribute To Toni Morrison
February 22
North Portland Library

Keep the Beat!
February 29
North Portland Library

 

Several libraries will also feature Black History Month displays in February: Albina, Central, Gregory Heights, Hollywood, Kenton, Midland, North Portland, Rockwood and St. Johns. 

 

Voluntaria destacada Gabby Delgado
por Jane Salisbury, voluntaria de MCL

Gaby Delgado ama a los niños. Todo en su vida refleja ese amor, inclusive su servicio durante los últimos tres años como asistente del programa con la Coordinadora de la Biblioteca Delia Palomeque Morales en el programa Listos para el Kínder (“Listos”). Listos es un programa para niños de habla hispana de tres a cinco años y sus padres. Las sesiones se llevan a cabo completamente en español, y los maestros enfatizan las habilidades de aprendizaje temprano, como la alfabetización y matemáticas tempranas, la autorregulación y las habilidades interpersonales. Se anima a los padres a que observen cómo sus hijos aprenden mejor y cómo generar confianza y conexiones con sus hijos a medida que crecen. Las familias de Listos con frecuencia se convierten en usuarios de la biblioteca.

Gaby fue maestra en Perú durante veinticinco años, donde trabajó con padres y niños pequeños, y realizó intervenciones tempranas con bebés. También enseñaba cómo dar masaje a bebés para ayudar a los padres a conectarse más profundamente con sus bebés.

Con su esposo y su hija Ximena, que ahora está en el último año de la escuela secundaria, Gaby fue a la Biblioteca de Gresham una vez a la semana para usar el Internet y hacer conexiones. Cuando vio un volante en la biblioteca sobre el programa Listos, pensó: "Esto es para mí".

Sobre su trabajo, Gaby dice: “Delia es excelente, es un ángel. En el programa Listos, trabajamos directamente con niños de 3 a 5 años, primero juntos y después los niños tienen su propio tiempo. Trabajamos en temas cosas como las letras, formas, colores, números y animamos interacciones positivas entre padres e hijos. Puedo aconsejar a los padres sobre cómo conectarse con sus hijos. Muchas familias son inmigrantes nuevos, quienes sólo hablan español y enfrentan muchos desafíos. Adoro trabajar con ellos”.

Gaby se crió en una familia en donde la lectura es valorada, pero las bibliotecas no eran iguales a como son aquí en Estados Unidos. Explica Gaby, “Las bibliotecas en Perú son muy diferentes; son académicas, silenciosas y solo se puede retirar en préstamo uno o dos libros. Estar en la biblioteca aquí es como estar en casa con la familia de uno”.

Toda la familia de Gaby participa en la biblioteca. Ximena es voluntaria en el program de Lectura de Verano, y el esposo de Gaby ha tomado clases de inglés en la biblioteca y gracias a eso ahora trabaja para Hacienda CDC.

Actualmente Gaby está volviendo a leer libros sobre masaje para bebés, preparándose para hacer algunos talleres sobre masajes y apego. Cuando le pregunté cuál fue su libro favorito de la infancia, Gaby dijo El Principito de Antoine Saint-Exupery. También disfruta de la poesía y los textos de Gabriel García-Márquez. Pero lo más importante para ella es el poema que dijo de memoria mientras estábamos sentadas en la biblioteca, porque refleja su propia experiencia y su profundo amor por los niños. El poema es “Tristitia” del gran poeta peruano de principios del siglo XX, Abraham Valdolemar. Las palabras la acompañaron durante toda su infancia y la ayudaron a cambiar su propia historia.

by Jane Salisbury, MCL volunteer

Volunteer Gaby Delgado

Gaby Delgado loves children. Everything in her life reflects that love, including her service for the past three years as a program assistant with Library Coordinator Delia Palomeque Morales in the Listos para el Kinder (“Listos”) program. Listos is a youth services program for Spanish-speaking children aged three to five and their parents. Sessions are conducted entirely in Spanish, and teachers emphasize early learning skills, such as pre literacy, early math, self-regulation, and interpersonal skills. Parents are encouraged to observe how their children learn best and how to build confidence and connection with their children as they grow. Listos families frequently become library users.

Gaby was a teacher in Peru for twenty-five years, working with parents and young children, and doing early intervention with babies. She has also taught baby massage to help parents connect deeply with their babies. 

When Gaby and her family came to the United States from Peru four years ago, the first thing they did together was go to the library. With her husband and daughter Ximena, who is now a senior in high school, she came every week to the Gresham Library to use the internet and make connections. When she saw a flyer at the library about the Listos program, she thought, “That is for me.”

Of her work, Gaby said,  “Delia is excellent, an angel. In the Listos program, we work directly with children ages 3-5, first together, and then the children have their own time. I set up, we work on things like letters, shapes, colors, numbers, and promote positive interactions between parents and children. I can advise parents on how to connect with their children. Many families are new immigrants who only speak Spanish and have many challenges. I love working with them.” 

Gaby grew up in a family where reading was highly valued, but libraries were not the same as they are in the United States. Gaby explained, “Libraries in Peru are very different— they are academic, silent, and you can only borrow one or two books. Being in the library here is like being at home with your own family.”  

Gaby’s whole family is involved at the library. Ximena is a Summer Reading volunteer, and Gaby’s husband has taken English classes at the library and now works for Hacienda CDC, as a result.  

Gaby is currently re-reading books on baby massage, getting ready to do some workshops on massage and attachment. When I asked her about a favorite book from childhood, Gaby mentioned El Principito, (in English, The Little Prince, by Antoine Saint-Exupery). She is also fond of poetry and the writings of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. But most important for her is the poem she recited by heart as we sat together in the library, because it mirrors her own experience and her deep love of children. The poem is “Tristitia” by the great early 20th century Peruvian poet Abraham Valdolemar. The words stayed with her throughout her childhood and helped her change her own story.

I’m excited to share Multnomah County Library’s 2018 Equity and Inclusion Report. This report highlights the notable progress the library has made during calendar year 2018 toward its equity and inclusion goals. 

This report includes:

  • Updates from library groups focused on bringing culturally-informed library services and support to Black communities and non-English speaking communities;
  • Highlights of projects and programming that connect and support families, youth and teens;
  • Spotlights on the library’s work to bring library services outside library walls;
  • Expanded efforts to train and support library staff on equity and inclusion; 
  • And so much more! 

We know we have a long way to go, but we are committed to ensuring that this library system represents and serves everyone in our community.

If you have comments or questions about this report, please contact us

Sonja Ervin
Equity and Inclusion Manager
Multnomah County Library
 

Logo for Summer Reading 2020
Win $100 to spend at collage

If you're an artist in grades 6–12, get a chance to win one of two $100 gift certificates to collage: curated art and craft supplies. Enter cover art for the 2020 Multnomah County Library Summer Reading teen gameboards! The theme is “Imagine your story,” exploring folktales, fairy tales and mythology. 

A panel of library staff and art teachers/professionals will select a middle school and high school winner from the entries. If your artwork is selected, people across Multnomah County will see your artwork all summer long. The library will also share winners and honorable mentions on the library’s social media channels and at displays in some locations.

Art specifications

Download this flyer. The box on the flyer is proportional to the final maximum measurement, and you may use it to submit your artwork. You don’t have to use the entire box, but your artwork must fit inside of it. Final artwork will be printed at a maximum of 6” x 4” (measurements may change if art is scaled down).

  1. Black & white image only. 
  2. If hand drawn, use black ink, marker, pen or hard pencil.
  3. If computer drawn, submit as black & white EPS or high resolution (300 dpi) PNG, JPG or TIF.

Here are last year’s finalists, for inspiration. 

Submission details

Please include your name, grade, school (if applicable) and a phone number or email address so we can reach you if you win.

Winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Follow specifications above 
  • Reflect the library priorities 
  • Show creative interpretation of the theme 
  • Show graphic design/artistic merit as determined by panel

— Art can be subjective. Decision of the panel is final. —

Submit your artwork electronically to summerreading@multco.us, bring it to your local library, or send a paper version to:

Summer Reading
Multnomah County Library Isom Building
205 NE Russell Street
Portland, OR 97212

Entries must be received by Friday, March 6.

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

  

“I want to stay as fit as I can for as long as I can.”

by Sarah Binns, MCL Volunteer

June Fleming practically bounces into our meeting and gives me a batch of delicious carrots grown in her garden. The gesture says a lot about June: she is a woman with a generous heart who passionately loves movement, the outdoors, and the natural world. “I grew up in beautiful places and was always outside,” June says. “This was before kids sat in front of devices, you know,” she says with a laugh. 

At the age of 84, June may be one of Multnomah County Library’s oldest volunteers; but with her enthusiasm for activity and commitment to service, no one could ever call her “old.” For 24 years, June has read to senior citizens through Visiting Voices, an outreach program that no longer recruits volunteers. Since 1998, she reads weekly to residents of Parkview Christian Retirement Community. “I get so much from the people I read to,” June says. “This is a bright spot in my week.” June is the last remaining volunteer in the program, which will end when June stops her visits—not that she’s planning on that any time soon: “I want to stay as fit as I can for as long as I can!” she says, determined.

June’s life began on Monterey Bay, California, where her parents were business partners in an ice creamery/cafe. Avid readers, they often read aloud to June. This gave her a lifelong love of reading that she now shares with Parkview community residents. Other adventures in June’s life include being a field hand on her son’s farm, a six-week snow camping trip almost the length of Oregon, and having books published on wilderness route finding and backpacking foods. She also taught backpacking and snow camping classes for 30 years. 

In her 50s June met her beloved partner, Bob, when he took her snow camping class. Bob shared her passion for reading and encouraged June to get involved with Visiting Voices. “In 20 years together we read 146 books out loud to each other,” she says. Though Bob has passed away, June continues to read—and to hike as much as possible. “I want to die in my hiking boots,” she says, “but at the end of the trail so no one has to haul me out!” This is not a morbid thought for June, but rather an intention: “I’m not sad at all about being 84. I’m lucky to have made it this far!” May we all have as much passion and dedication at every age as June does now!


A few facts about June

Home library: Hollywood 

Currently reading: The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck.

Most influential book: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. “I bought it! I don’t usually buy books.”

Favorite section to browse: “I start with the blue DVDs, so Nova, PBS, and OPB specials.” 

Favorite book from childhood: Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. “One of the first things my husband did when he met me was give me his copy of the same book.”

Book that made you laugh or cry: Dersu Uzala by Vladimir Arsenyev, a Russian hunting and environmental memoir later made into a film. 

Guilty pleasure: “Ice cream!”

E-reader or paper: Paper. “I don’t even have a device.”

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

Find Out What's Available

Trinity college
It's never too early to start looking for scholarships. The best time of year to start looking is in the summer or early fall. This lets you find programs before their deadlines have passed, and gives you enough time to complete a well-planned application. Many scholarship programs require an essay and recommendations from teachers or other adults who know you, and these take time to prepare.  

There are many scholarships, grants, fellowships, internships and work-study jobs available. You'll likely encounter some common eligibility criteria. These include which state you live in, if you've performed military service, whether you have minority status or a particular nationality or ethnic background, a religious affiliation, or if any of your family members belong to a national or local organization or civic association. If you fit the eligibility criteria, be sure to consider applying! 

Researching

The library is a great place to get started as you research scholarships. Whether you are looking for a scholarship in the humanities, the sciences, the social sciences, or sports, we can help you discover ways to find scholarship awards for higher education. 

The Scholarship Handbook is organized by common eligibility criteria. It lists scholarships based on which state you live in, whether you have performed military service, if you have minority status or come from a particular nationality or ethnic background, if you have a religious affliation, and whether any of your family members belong to a national or local organization or civic association. Each scholarship program is described by eligibility, basis for selection, application requirements, amount awarded, application deadline, and contact information.

 

"Billions of dollars in scholarships, grants and prizes." The Ultimate Scholarship Book organizes awards into categories such as humanities, social science, science and general. You don't need a perfect GPA or financial need to win a scholarship. There are plenty of awards that have none of these requirements.

 

 

College help for teens: More resources for financial aid, admissions, guides, and Study Abroad.

Attention educators! Did you miss our summer educator workshops this year? They are a great place to learn about the latest and greatest materials to use in the classroom. Don't worry; we now have booklists and videos available to share.

 

Gotta Read This: New Books to Connect with Your Curriculum: This workshop highlights new books you might integrate into your language arts, social studies, math, science and arts curriculum.

For K-5th grade educators: Here's a list of the books we shared at this workshop.

For 6th-12th grade educators: This booklist is broken down by subject, so you can choose the topics most relevant for you.

 

Novel-Ties (for 4th -8th grade educators): Discover hot, new fiction to use in book discussion groups and literature circles. 

Watch the Novel-Ties videos (and feel free to show them to students, too).

 

Contact School Corps with any questions!

Library security officer Martin
On a typical day at Rockwood Library, you might find Library Safety Officer (LSO) Martin Clark asking patrons about their day or hanging out with teens in the Rockwood makerspace. While Martin is tasked with ensuring patrons follow library rules, his efforts center on building positive relationships with people and helping everyone use the library safely.

Driven by a desire to serve his community, Martin entered a police cadet program through the Gresham Police Department, prior to joining Multnomah County. He also worked for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). That job helped him learn to talk to many different people every day and to understand complex security procedures.

Martin first worked at library branches while working as a facility security officer (FSO) with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department. He welcomed the library’s approach to safety and security and decided to join the library officially as a safety officer at Rockwood Library. Having grown up in the Rockwood community, Martin already felt a close tie to the neighborhood.

In 2016, Multnomah County Library added safety officers at some locations. Martin and the other safety officers are library staff, not police officers or security guards. They help patrons use the library successfully and apply the library rules. They also connect people with outside services and resources. Some safety officers also assist with shelving and other tasks.

With the Rockwood makerspace only a few years old, Rockwood Library has worked hard to find new and better ways to serve youth. Martin sees his position no differently. 

Martin’s approach to safety and security includes finding ways to help patrons use the library without being punitive. 

“I enjoy building relationships with patrons so when they come in the library and see me, they have a positive experience, rather than thinking they’re going to be followed around. I want everyone to feel welcome.” 

Martin works to build relationships with the youth and adult patrons who use the library. Rockwood library is bustling after school, with many teens making use of Multnomah County’s only free makerspace. While the small library can get busy, Martin’s compassionate approach has helped decrease incidents, particularly among youth. 

“For some, the library is a place of safety from other outside pressures or difficult personal situations,” says Martin. “Whatever their reason for being here, I want to help them use and stay at the library, which sometimes means needing to communicate the library’s expectations for conduct in the library.”

Having experienced some of the same challenges as the youth patrons at Rockwood Library, Martin knows firsthand what his life would have been like without a caring adult in it. He sees his position as a way to pay it forward to the community.

“The best ability is your availability,” says Martin.

People notice Martin’s contributions to the library. As one patron commented, 

“. . .Martin is such a great and exceptional asset to "our family library" here at Rockwood. It is great to see someone that is always smiling and he just makes our trips to the library an all-around general excellent experience. Not to mention that he is very, very helpful... Thank you for hiring such an individual as him.”
 

A Resourceful Potential Librarian

by Donna Childs, MCL volunteer

After completing an undergraduate program, Jason enrolled in the Masters in Library Information Science (MLIS) program at the University of British Columbia, with the goal of pursuing a career as a librarian. Such positions are hard to come by.  As Jason searches for permanent library employment, they found a variety of “library-adjacent jobs,” sorting, cataloguing, organizing, and digitizing information, while also volunteering at the Hollywood Library.

Since May of 2016, Jason has volunteered at Hollywood Library, checking in, scanning, and shelving holds on Saturdays. Hollywood librarians comment on Jason’s “good humor and adaptability” and an “eagle eye” that allows them to notice details and fix them. With luck, Jason’s resourcefulness, computer prowess, attention to detail, diligence in pursuing opportunities, and experience corralling information will lead to a permanent library job.

Virtually all of the jobs Jason has undertaken—before and after getting an MLIS degree—center on making information more accessible:

  • An internship digitizing the 30,000+ items in the William Stafford collection at Lewis and Clark College, where they earned a Bachelor of Arts degree
  • An internship at the California State Library sorting through uncatalogued boxes of random historical information, ranging from junk to formerly top-secret memos from Boeing and McDonnell Douglas executives
  • Cataloging materials in the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Home library in Portland
  • Staffing tables at various events, including one at which they met the featured speaker, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
  • Working with records in diverse places such as the office of John Deere and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office 

Now, Jason works as a Document Management Specialist at The Standard, digitizing, sorting, and organizing the information on insurance claims.


A Few Facts About Jason

Home library: Hillsdale

Currently reading: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Favorite book from childhood: Dinotopia by James Gurney

Favorite section of the library: Fantasy/Science Fiction

E-reader or paper book?  paper

Favorite reading guilty pleasure: binging hundreds of chapters of Chinese webnovels

Favorite place to read: anywhere with blankets and tea

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

 

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