Who you gonna call?
We may not have proton packs, containment units or sweet jumpsuits, but your friendly library staff have a few tricks up our cardigan sleeves to assist with your ghostly inquiries.
Before breaking out your electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recorder, here are a few things to think about:
Sometimes you find things. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you find things you don’t want to find.
Research takes time. Did you know you can book an appointment with a librarian to get you started?
Get organized. Create a system that works for you, and be prepared to take notes.
Start with the facts:
Was your neighborhood considered part of the city when your house or apartment was built? Check out the City of Portland’s annexation map for more information.
How old is your home? Property information records can be found at the City of Portland’s Portlandmaps.com.
Was it built before 1933? Your address or street might have changed!
Who lived in your home? Our city directories and phone books can get you started. Ask us how.
Into the upside down (and other Stranger Things):
While we may not be able to confirm nor deny the existence of paranormal phenomenon in your home, library staff are here and ready to help with your ghostly research. Armed with facts and your not-so-unbelievable electromagnetic field (EMF) detector, it’s time to dig into the paranormal.
Here’s some more resources that may help. Also don’t forget to contact us with any questions you may have.
Use the Historical Oregonian (1861-1987) to search for your address and information about former residents..
Search the local newspaper index at Central Library. In it you can find articles covering multiple local papers between 1930-1987. You may even find a murder.
The Historic Oregon Newspapers database offers a statewide collection of newspapers mostly from 1922 and earlier.
Central Library has archives of many local newspapers beyond the Oregonian. Check with a librarian to get started.
Maybe the Portland Oregon Paranormal Society can help!
Library Volunteer Building a New Community
by Donna Childs
Imagine coming to a country where you don’t know the language, sensibilities, geography, or customs, and deciding to volunteer at the local library. Pretty brave, eh?
Elizabeth Cobos came to the U.S. from Oaxaca, Mexico, eight years ago. She overcame her understandable fear of the unknown, and walked into the St. Johns Library, because she wanted to be a strong role model for her young daughter, Allison, and because of her own desire to learn, to help others, and to be useful.
Elizabeth is a Search Assistant at St. Johns, coming in weekly to look for items on paging lists. Even if she doesn’t know the meaning of all the words in a title, she can match the list with a book on a shelf, and it helps familiarize her with new words. Although everything was strange at first, she has found the work rewarding, and is delighted on the occasions when she has been able to help Spanish-speaking patrons connect with resources at the library. According to one of the librarians, Elizabeth has made helpful suggestions for improving Spanish language services and programs at St. Johns. They value her input, and she is very grateful to the library for giving her this opportunity to feel professional and to help fellow community members.
Anxious to learn English and to be involved in her daughter’s life and the larger community, Elizabeth took a class for mothers and children at her daughter’s nursery school, as well as an ESL class at Portland Community College; she volunteered as an assistant to the teacher at an English-Spanish Head Start program for two years; and she plans to volunteer in her daughter’s kindergarten classroom. And soon, she hopes to begin the Transitions/Transiciones program at Mount Hood Community College, which encourages and prepares students to begin or continue college. (She had three semesters of college in Mexico.) Elizabeth’s ultimate goal is to find a job working with children and/or in a library. This seems like a great fit, given her family and community focus, courage, and determination.
A few facts about Elizabeth
Home library: St. Johns
Currently reading: Elizabeth likes to read picture books with her daughter because the pictures help Elizabeth learn English while helping her daughter learn to read.
Most influential book: El Alquimista (The Alchemist) by Paulo Coelho
Favorite book from childhood: Their family’s favorite childrens’ book is Un Beso en Mi Mano (The Kissing Hand).
Favorite section of the library: Non-fiction self help, or self-esteem, books such as Un Corazon sin Fronteras (A Heart without Borders) by Nick Vujicic
Which do you prefer, E-reader or paper book? Paper. Also, videos of books such as Le Petit Prince help her learn unfamiliar words.
Favorite place to read: In bed with her daughter and her husband, or by herself on the sofa with a candle
Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.
12-year-old Sunny is taunted by classmates for looking different (her pale skin, yellow hair, and hazel eyes mixed with West African features cause her to stand out) and for being from a different place (New York-born to Nigerian parents, her family has moved back to West Africa… but neither country feels completely like home). In Akata Witch, Sunny discovered that she was one of the Leopard People -- those with magical abilities -- who live among regular folk. She and three friends used their powers to catch a ruthless serial killer who planned to awaken a monster from the spirit world.
Now she is back, in a sequel filled with African magic that I have long been waiting for: Akata Warrior. Sunny is stronger, a year older, and many years more fierce. She has been hard at work studying with her demanding mentor, Sugar Cream, and working to unlock the secrets that lie within her powerful Nsibidi, or spell book. But time waits for no one, and Sunny must travel through worlds both visible and invisible to find the mysterious town of Osisi -- where she will meet her destiny and fight a looming and apocalyptic battle to save humanity. Maybe it is the way Nnedi Okofore weaves Nigerian folktales into her magic, or how that magic is so seamlessly drawn into modern-day Nigeria -- but you’ll believe this original fantasy world really could exist.
I fell in love with Katherine Roy’s first book, Neighborhood Sharks, because it was as informative as it was beautiful -- exploring the lives of great whites that live in the waters of California’s Farallon Islands, its cover blooming with the (watercolor) blood of a sea lion that met an unfortunate fate.
In her latest book, How to Be An Elephant, the author looks across the globe -- to the extraordinary lives of African Elephants and the unique skills a baby elephant learns as he grows into a majestic adult. Illustrated in lush grays, blues and blush tones, we follow a baby elephant from his birth beneath a star-filled savanna sky and into the welcoming trunks of his mother and aunts. Readers will find out just how a baby elephant takes his first steps, “sees” his world by following his nose, playfully explores, and stays in touch with family members miles away by feeling vibrations through the delicate, padded soles of his feet. This richly-illustrated, scientifically accurate book is a sweet exploration of family, community, and love as one elephant herd marches its way across the savanna.
Drawing on the latest scientific research and her own trip to Kenya, Katherine Roy has done another extraordinary job of bringing a unique animal -- and its pivotal place in our ecosystem -- to life for young readers.
Now that we're leaning into fall, we at the library are anticipating Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival presented by Bank of America on November 11. What are we looking forward to the most in this confection of literary culture?
- Librarians love book people — not sure if that’s out there? The idea of being surrounded by thousands of people who revere reading — well, that’s just our happy place. Then plop the whole festival down in the middle of the Portland Art Museum, a place we don’t get to nearly enough, and there just aren't enough superlatives to describe this bookish perfection.
- Nancy Pearl, our guru of all things readers’ advisory (a fancy way of saying "talking to people about books") will be in attendance, plugging her first novel. She’s so famous in library world, there’s even an action figure of her. We hesitate to guess how many Nancy Pearl action figures live on library desks around the country — we suggest the numbers are brobdingnagian. (Oh, we like words, too.)
- A lot of us bike to work and have been following Elly Blue since her early days at bikeportland.org. We love what she has to say about feminism and riding, and the positive economics of biking.
- A few of us are moderating panels, and youth librarian Tasha says, “I am super stoked about attempting to wrestle my inner fangirl to the ground while moderating a panel of some of my favorite illustrators and authors in an attempt to not have my interaction with the panelists devolve into a repeated refrain of "I love your work, I just love your work, like, I love your work so much. So much."
- Everybody has 5 bucks to spend on books; but what books should you buy? With so many inspiring authors, and a bounty of small press booths, it's a difficult decision. Meet up with one of our My Librarian team and get some one-on-one advice about where to spend your Wordstock dollars — we love the effervescent exchange of good reads with book lovers (not sure if we made that clear before?).
October 11 is National Coming Out Day.
Every coming out experience is unique. For some it’s a hesitant whisper; for others, it’s a scream when you are in that “right now” moment. Regardless of volume or location, coming out is about sharing personal identity, being proud and, most importantly, being visible. As the Human Rights Campaign says, Coming Out Day is “a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out."
In the face of tragedy and violence, it can be hard to know what to say to kids. How do you answer your child’s questions while reassuring them that you will keep them safe? The American Psychological Association says, "It is important to remember that children look to their parents to make them feel safe. This is true no matter what age your children are, be they toddlers, adolescents or even young adults."
Here are three resources that can help parents and caregivers:
Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting. From the American Psychological Association.
A Survival Guide for Parents of Teenagers: What if the next shooting is at my school? (pdf).A tip sheet for talking to your teen about school violence. From the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development.
Beginning November 1, 2017, Multnomah County Library is updating its library rules.
The library is proud to be an open and inclusive institution for our community. With 19 locations across the county, we are always striving to balance a wide range of uses, needs and individual circumstances. Library rules are important to ensuring that our staff can continue to provide exceptional service and that our library remains a welcoming place for everyone.
It’s been nearly 20 years since we’ve made significant changes to our library rules, and in that time, we’ve offered countless new services and programs, grown our collection and even opened new library branches. After an extensive and thoughtful review process, we’ve included changes to library policies on food and beverages, threatening behavior, amount of personal belongings, and weapons. All of our rules ensure the protection of individual rights and necessary accommodations.
Thank you for helping make the library a wonderful and vibrant place. I hope you will visit us soon.
Director of Libraries
Readers, writers and book lovers! Mark your calendars for several of Portland's biggest book events:
Literary Arts' Wordstock: Portland's Book Festival Presented by Bank of America happens on November 11, when a literary who's who of authors will descend on us. Browse books by the authors, and visit Multnomah County Library's booth, where we can give you one-on-one advice about spending your $5.00 book coupon (included in the price of admission) on a title you'll love.
Portland Arts & Lectures author series features such luminaries as George Saunders, Jesmyn Ward and Viet Thanh Nguyen. You can also look forward to Everybody Reads in the new year, when we'll be discussing Mohsin Hamid's Exit West in preparation for the author's visit on April 5th, made possible by Literary Arts. Copies of the book will be made available in February, thanks to the support of The Library Foundation.
But let's face it - Portland's literary landscape is a field of dreams. Search the events calendar for the library’s author talks, book discussions and conversations featuring local writers. If you're a self-published writer yourself and would like library patrons to be able to read your work, check out the Library Writers Project
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.
Celebren la música latinoamericana con el grupo Mariachi Viva Mexico.
Vengan a viajar a través de la cultura latinoamericana, su historia y tradiciones en una forma interactiva con el famoso músico José Luis Orozco.
Escuchen la historia de los pilotos mexicanos del Escuadrón 201 que lucharon al lado de los Aliados durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial.
Laura B. está disponible para ofrecerles recomendaciones de lectura personalizada de acuerdo a su interés.
The Golden Age of Islam spanned from the mid 8th to the mid 13th century A. D., although recent scholars have extended it into the 15th and 16th centuries. It encompasses the life of the prophet Mohammad and the beginnings of the Islamic religion. Islamic culture in Europe also influenced Western civilization. The Golden Age of Islamic Culture included many innovations in science, medicine, mathematics, astronomy ,Hindu-Arabic numerals, and words. It was a time of inventions and exploration by land and sea. The Golden Age ended with the siege of Baghdad in 1258 A.D. and with the rise of religious dogma, discussed here by Steven Weinberg and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Listening to anti-war protest songs first sparked my curiosity about the Vietnam War. As a 12 year old eighth grader, I thought I could learn the world’s wisdom from the words of a song. Songs like The Unknown Soldier by the Doors with its realistic gunshot sounds and tragic imagry; Saigon Bride by Joan Baez, Pete Seeger’s Bring Em Home,and I ain’ Marching Anymore by Phil Ochs. Songs about the injustice, insanity and cruelty of the Vietnam War.
I heard adults talking about protecting Democracy by fighting Communism. More and more the strange place word 'Vietnam' was spoken. Then my Uncle Paul was drafted. He went to fight at that place I could hardly find on the map.
When my Uncle came back he was silent and enclosed as if he’d been to visit the moon. Once he told me he’d seen some pretty bad things there but didn’t tell me what they were. I didn’t have to use my imagination much- it was all on the CBS news now- real soldiers, real Vietnamese people, real pain, real death.
When the war ended on April 30, 1975, I was working at the Central Library downtown. Church bells rang and we jumped up and down and cheered. Later though, we were quiet , remembering... still wondering- was Vietnam a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ war?
Like myself, Ken Burns grew up wondering about the Vietnam war. He labored ten long years to make a documentary that might help to make sense of the Vietnam War by bringing us “something extrordinarily powerful..” -the stories, music and experiences of the soldiers and civilians- on both sides of the war.
THE VIETNAM WAR is a ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Part one airs Sunday September 17 at 9:00 on PBS.
After watching, Ken Burn’s The Vietnam War, come to the Multnomah County Library to learn more about it through special programs, written material, music and more.
Must love books. And dogs.
by Sarah Binns
Over the years writing for the Volunteer Spotlight I’ve met people who volunteer with the library because they are passionate about reading. I’ve met just as many people who volunteer because they are passionate about giving back to their community. This month, Katie Patterson became my first interviewee who is pursuing a degree in librarianship, in part because of her time volunteering at Hillsdale Library.
Katie grew up reading, but she only recently realized librarianship is in her future. After completing her undergraduate degree at Seattle University, Katie and her partner returned to Portland. Her partner then started an online Master of Library Science (MLS) program through Emporia State University. Intrigued, but wanting to explore her options, Katie decided to volunteer in both a first-grade classroom and at Hillsdale Library as their storytime assistant, facilitating their preschool storytime and book babies. “I got hooked on the library right away,” she says.
Every Monday morning Katie picks books to be read at Hillsdale’s storytime and helps the librarian oversee the event. “I love it,” she says. “It’s the highlight of my week.” She enjoys developing a relationship with the little ones and “watching them be excited about reading, it makes me hopeful.” Katie’s eyes light up when talking about Hillsdale and says she hopes to volunteer there as long as she can.
Another thing that makes her eyes light up? Talking about dogs. When not at the library Katie is a manager at Hair of the Dog, a dog grooming shop on Alberta. “I’ve worked with dogs for 12 years,” she says, “It’s my favorite thing.” She currently has too much on her plate for her own dog but hopes that will change.
As for librarianship, Katie started her MLS degree with Emporia a year ago. She’ll graduate with a youth services certificate with an eye to becoming a youth services librarian in Multnomah County. “That’s the dream,” she says with a smile. Here’s to a future full of books, babies, and dogs!
A few facts about Katie
Home library: Albina
Currently reading: She reads two YA novels a week for her YA literature class. “I’m starting Red Planet today.”
Most influential book: “Heart of Darkness changed the way I think about literature. It’s so complex. The more I read, the more interesting it became.”
Favorite book from childhood: Bridge to Terabithia and Harriet the Spy.
Favorite browsing section: Picture books, when she can pick a book for storytime.
Guilty pleasure: Hunger Games.
Book that made her cry: Any book where a dog dies.
Favorite place to read: “On my balcony. The weather doesn’t always cooperate.”
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.
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 Latino Americans have had on the nation and society.
- Enjoy the sounds of Latin America through music by Mariachi Viva Mexico.
- Take an interactive trip through Latin American history and its oral tradition in Journey through Latin America.
- Learn about Mexico’s Aztec Eagles, who fought alongside the United States against the axis powers during WWII.
Looking for a personalized reading list? Contact Laura B for a recommended reading list.
Libby is a new way to read and listen to books from Overdrive, and it's available now.
- Go to the app store on your Android or iOS device and search for "Libby, by Overdrive Labs". Or, visit the Libby site and be directed from there;
- Once you've installed the app, sign in with your library card;
- Search, borrow, read and listen, all from within the app.
- Here's a handy how-to guide for Libby.
You can click on "Library" or "Shelf" to move back and forth between the collection and your check outs. Click on a title in the Libby catalog, and you'll be able to read a sample so you can decide if you want to borrow the book.
Libby lets you to connect to OverDrive with one easy login. You can also add a library card from another library or from a family member so you can have your loans and holds all in one place.
Prefer reading on a Kindle?
You can set Libby up to default to Kindle for e-books and you can download with few clicks.
To download books to your device, tap on the cloud icon after you've checked out, and your e-book or downloadable audiobook will be downloaded. When the download is finished, you will see a check. You don't have to figure out which format you should get—the app knows.
Libby has some great features: you can download titles for offline reading or stream them to save space. Libby will bookmark your place, even if you pick up another device to resume reading. You can choose settings for reading at night, and customize your font -- there's even a font to help readers with dyslexia. If you're happy with the OverDrive App, don't worry. You can continue to use it, or you can install both apps on your device and see which works better.
Oregon has an extensive geologic history, which is viewable from roadside videos as well as videos of various landforms in the state, created by geologic actions. Oregon, like other Pacific Northwestern states, has many volcanoes. Mount Hood, in Oregon, and Mount St. Helens, in Washington, are two volcanic peaks close to Portland. The geologic history of the whole Pacific Northwest was influenced by the great Missoula Floods which has left its mark on the geology of the Columbia River gorge. The geology of Eastern Oregon also features the mammal fossil beds at John Day, which include the Painted Hills. The Pacific Northwest also faces the potential of a massive earthquake, due to the Cascadia subduction zone.
Headed to the Oregon Small Business Fair on Saturday, September 16? Don’t forget to stop by the library table and learn about our wonderful resources for small businesses. There is still time to register for this free event. In addition to the resource fair, where we’ll be, there are also classes on topics from tax tips to social media promotion. You won't want to miss it!
Need some more help with your small business? Check out the lists below or ask a librarian.
Did an e-book save you from boredom at the DMV? Were you snowed in last winter and e-books allowed you to curl up with a good read anyway? Forgot your vacation book on the plane, but were able to get an e-book right away on your phone?
Share your love for e-books on Read an eBook Day, a celebration of the wonders of reading anytime, anywhere. Celebrate by checking out an e-book from our OverDrive collection. Might we suggest an old favorite or maybe a great book you may have missed from the past few years?
And then share what you love about e-books on social media on September 18 using the hashtag #ebooklove.