Book Review: Central Library: Portland’s Crown Jewel

Central Library: Portland’s Crown Jewel
By Richard E. Ritz, With a Foreword by Terence O’Donnell

Multnomah County Library is currently in a very critical position in its history. They’re poised to lose two-thirds of their funding which means layoffs and less service hours. They are hoping to raise awareness so they can keep continue being the excellent community institution they are known for. Find out what’s at stake and ways to help their campaign at the Libraries Yes website.

With all that said, I love it when I’m able to find a book that is reflective of what’s going on in my life or around me. I’ve seen “Central Library: Portland’s Crown Jewel” on display at the Friends Library Store but, for some reason or other, it wasn’t something that I felt like reading- until now.

Central Library: Portland’s Crown Jewel By Richard E. Ritz, With a Foreword by Terence O’Donnell

This is a great book for any library lover out there. Central Library has a rich history that mirrors a lot of what’s happening now. Richard E. Ritz introduces us to the key players who’ve shaped MCL into how we currently know it and provides many pictures and documents to accompany this tour through time.

From recognizing the need for a library in the first place and then letting it become free to the public and having to continually reinvent and renovate itself to stay relevant in the changing times, I discovered a city of readers who supported their library through a lot. And, it was their library, as it is now yours, mine- ours. And, I hope Portland is still full of people who will unite and keep the Multnomah County Libraries open.

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