Your Local Library: Did You Know?


Our local libraries hold the key to the world with all the books they lend, but did you know that they also hold the key to the community? From story times to writers’ workshop, and tax preparation assistance to free admission at cultural destinations, libraries around Portland offer unique and often missed enrichment and support opportunities. Below are some highlights of our local libraries you may not know about. 

local libraries

Washington County Cooperative Libraries

WCCLS offers an amazing Cultural Pass to Adventure program. Available to both residents and non-residents of Washington County, these free family passes grant permission to seven destinations around Oregon. A driver’s license is all one needs to get a library card at WCCLS, and then use the online system to reserve the passes. This year, our family has visited Lan Su Chinese Garden, Gilbert House Museum, the Oregon Garden, and Pittock Mansion so far, with more on the list. 

Multnomah County Libraries

When you look at the extensive offerings of events and classes at the Multnomah County Libraries you are left with a packed calendar of free music and dance performances, story times, language services, computer classes, exhibitions, and more. Most of these activities do not even require a library card. Belmont Builders, where kids and adults can explore their building prowess with Legos, and Read to the Dogs, where children can improve their reading skills and make a new friend by reading aloud to a therapy dog are among our favorite programs. 

Clackamas County Libraries

Did you know that residents of Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington, and Hood River County Library Districts, Camas, or the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District are eligible for a free library card for use at any LINCC library? Not only that, but the Oak Lodge Library has a meeting room that groups can reserve, at no charge, and up to 90 days in advance.

McMinnville Public Library

The McMinnville Public Library has an array of meetups on its events calendar  where you can find listings for grief support groups, mindfulness meditation, and adult game nights. They also have children’s story times, along a poetry night, and even classes on writing resumes and providing tax assistance during tax season. In addition, library card holders have access to and can check out board games, among everything else available to them. 

Our family loves the library and makes the most of their offerings and services, from free WiFi, to printing services, to downloading ebooks and audio books. My parents use the tax assistance yearly, and my husband spends time catching up on email in a quiet environment over the weekend. There is something for everyone at our neighborhood library. 

What do you love most about your local libraries?

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Lebanese in origin, Ranya became a US citizen in 2007. Shortly after meeting Jeff through a job ad in Beirut in 2003, she moved to Portland to pursue a doctorate at PSU. From there, the two of them moved to the East Coast to begin their adventures. The last fourteen years have seen them in Portland, OR twice; in Arlington, VA twice, in Columbia, MD as well as Lebanon and Morocco. In her current life, Ranya is a teacher’s aide who loves to embark on special projects with her daughter. Their signature Mama-and-Me activity is hosting their friends for formal tea parties. She is trilingual, and is passing on the torch of language to her children who are fluent in English and Arabic. Ranya is passionate about hot yoga, and enjoys long walks. She absolutely hates driving, and reserves it for cases of dire need. She believes in the wonders of snuggles, and advocates their daily use. She lives a walking distance from her all-time favorite restaurant, Saburo, with Jeff, Jannah-Rae and Yousef. They share their one-bathroom house with her parents and Leo, the Arabic-speaking cat. Ranya writes thoughts, tots and essential oils on her blog Ranya, the Memory Keeper.