Susie Knows the MultCoLibrary

Were you feeling a little stir-crazy last week with the record-setting Portland snow? When the city shuts down I like to curl up with books and movies from the library … but did you know how great our library system truly is?! Here are some of my favorite things about the Multnomah County Library System to keep you sane through our next PDX snow…all Free with your library card.

Multnomah County Library is the oldest public library west of the Mississippi, with a history that reaches back to 1864. Today, Central Library and 18 other neighborhood libraries make up a library system that offers more than 2.7 million books and other library materials. As Oregon’s largest public library, Multnomah County Library serves nearly one-fifth of the state’s population.

But before we begin, do you know where your home library is? Use the map to locate yours and also find a good back-up, as some of the branches are undergoing a renovation this year!

The Libby App – Download the app, sign in with your library card and enjoy access to this fabulous collection of audiobooks and e-books. They usually get titles RIGHT when they hit the market so if there’s a new release you’re looking forward to, place a hold now and reserve your spot in line. When your title is ready, you’ll get a notification. Then download right to your phone or e-reader/tablet! Over 490 magazine titles are on here too – from The New Yorker to National Geographic to US Weekly to Bon Appetit to Architectural Digest to Newsweek – the list goes on and on! Check out a sampling of the current home page:

The New & Improved Central Library branch … coming Winter 2023 (Image from

Kanopy and Hoopla – These 2 websites/apps each offer their own unique type of media content. Kanopy is primarily films, especially independent & arthouse cinema, along with a nice selection of documentaries, miniseries, foreign films. Hoopla offers film, tv, comic books, exercise videos and music along with a “Kids Mode” to make it easier to search on behalf of our younger family members.

Recent Kanopy offerings:

Recent Hoopla offerings:

DVD selection – While you may have converted to a Streaming-based existence, don’t sleep on the incredible selection of DVDs our library has should you ever want to expand your horizons (or if your Wifi is down … or if you don’t have an HBO password). Between Kanopy and the physical DVD collection (with New Release Blu-rays to boot) our library has a bounty of hard-to-find films (Criterion Collection, foreign, documentary) and TV series (HBO, Showtime, etc) that would make even Movie Madness tip its hat. And you now have about 3 weeks to binge the first 3 seasons of “Succession” before the last season airs March 26th.

The best show on TV is waiting for you!
Haven’t bawled your eyes out to “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” yet? The library has it streaming on Kanopy AND available on DVD!

And on less snowy days, remember: Printing is now FREE at the Multnomah County Library! (Black and white, 1 or 2-sided, up to 100 pages per document) which is a godsend if you need to print on a Sunday and FedEx is closed. Just upload your document here and then you have 16 hours to pick it up at your location of choice using just an email address (you don’t even need a library card to print). When you go into a library to pick up your print job, go to the printer area and type your email into the computer, then hit Print! Done. Great for printing tickets, boarding passes, calendar pages, coloring sheets, crosswords, you name it!

The Northwest branch at 2300 NW Thurman St

Did I leave any of YOUR favorites off? I’d love to hear. And if you are secretly avoiding the library because you dread seeing your late fees of years past … fear not! MultCoLib is now fee-free! Happy reading (and watching!)

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