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The pandemic caused the Multnomah County Library to become more resourceful; now users reap permanent benefits

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - In addition to all the new online Multnomah County Library services, Holly Freewynn - new Woodstock Library Administrator - says she is planning to restore services that were diminished or on hold during the pandemic. There's a new administrator at the Woodstock Branch Library: Holly Freewynn, who was previously based at the Midland Branch Library on S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses for seven years. She tells THE BEE that her plans for the Woodstock branch include overseeing services that will continue to evolve as the library returns to its pre-pandemic status.

She points out that clicking on "events" on the main Multnomah County Library website (www.multcolib.org) will bring up information about many events, including this year's "Everybody Reads" program. The entire library system is making available free copies of "Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversation" by Mira Jacob. About the Summer Reading Program, Freewynn adds, "Our librarians work with the schools to get their students signed up for Summer Reading, and Woodstock Branch will be promoting Summer Reading, too."

The opportunity to meet Freewynn led THE BEE to the discovery that Multnomah County libraries – partly as a result of the pandemic – now offer a multitude of new online conveniences and accessible materials.

For starters, even if you don't have a library card, you can still get started using online services, and placing "holds", right away. To register online for immediate, temporary (six month) access to e-content, which includes e-books, audiobooks, magazines, music, and movies, just go online – www.multcolib.org/e-books – and if you do register for a new library card, it is possible to pick it up with photo identification up to six months after time of registration, under that temporary access provision.

The library system has a digital collection of nearly a million titles in many languages. It has over 48,000 e-content titles in Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese. To access these materials, you'll need free apps downloaded to a phone or other portable device that is connected to your library account.

The most popular digital service is the "Libby" app from OverDrive, which is a free distributor for digital content for over 200,000 streaming e-books and audiobooks and 3,000 digital magazines, including magazines from all over the world in different languages.

Digital magazines are available to check out immediately with no holds or waiting. A card holder can sign up to be notified when new issues are available in Libby.

Streaming media services include videos through Kanopy, which focuses on independent cinema, including titles from the Criterion Collection. Streaming music and digital comics, such as Marvel, DC Image, and Dark Horse are accessed through Hoopla.

Brianne Williams, Woodstock Youth Librarian, can help patrons pick out books that meet a child's or youth's interests and needs. If a patron is unable to come into the library, Williams can do this on a phone call, and the books can be stored for pickup in the outside book lockers on the south side of the Woodstock Branch Library, or picked up inside the building, which is on the corner of S.E. Woodstock Boulevard and 49th Avenue.

If all of this seems a little overwhelming, the library staff is happy to provide assistance to patrons who need help learning to use these different resources. Call 503/988-5123 for help with any kind of resource or question. Staff are available seven days a week.


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