Oregon Carnegie Libraries Challenge

With all the library hopping I’ve been doing over the years, I realized I’ve visited quite a number of Carnegie libraries in Oregon. Originally, there were thirty-two but only eleven are still being used as libraries. While others have been demolished, some have been repurposed. I like it when it becomes that town or city’s historical museum.

I decided recently it might be a fun goal to try and visit the eleven Carnegie libraries in Oregon. It’s definitely a challenge since I don’t drive and most of them are far away. Hopefully, I’ll get to them all by the end of the year.

Here are the ones I’ve visited so far.

North Portland (Portland, Multnomah County Library)


St. Johns (Portland, Multnomah County Library)


Oregon City










(Updated April 27, 2019)

Hood River


(Updated June 6, 2019)

The rest I have yet to visit are the ones in Ashland, Enterprise, and Union.

Watch this blog to see if I end up completing this challenge!


First Bookstore and Library Visits of 2019!

Spring has sprung and what better way to celebrate than to visit bookstores and libraries!

All winter long I’d been itching to go on more library hops and bookstore crawls to no avail since the weather was bleak and I’d pretty much hit up all the places I could relying on cheap public transportation. And I admit I was spoiled by how many I did last year. I shouldn’t expect that to be the norm.

But I was thrilled to hear a new bookstore- and a children’s bookstore at that!- had just opened up in Vancouver, Washington. So, naturally, I had to visit! And, after doing some research, there were some libraries near it that I could go as well.

First up, I ended up at Clark College’s Lewis D. Cannell Library. I had decided not to want to visit university libraries anymore unless they were convenient to go to which this was. I immediately found their picture books selection which is part of their oddly named Renaissance Kids collection.

While Googling libraries in the area, I stumbled upon an interesting one- The Brautigan Library– consisting of unpublished manuscripts in categories like Adventure, Family, Future, Meaning of Life, Street Life, and All the Rest using the Mayonnaise System. It sounded so quirky that I needed to visit it.

Because I’m horrible with directions, on my way there, I ran across the Clark County Historical Museum and noticed it used to be a Carnegie library. I really didn’t want to have to pay the admission fee but I realized the Brautigan Library was inside the museum so I bit the bullet.

I was expecting something more after everything I read but it was just a few shelves of books. It was in the same room as the museum Research Library but at least I was able to add two more libraries to my list! It was cool that I got to visit another Carnegie library building even though I wasn’t seeking it out. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any pics.

Finally, I went to the main reason of my visit- Dicken’s Children’s Books and Publishing Lab. What a delightful place. I loved the mural of beloved kidlit characters. They had a stage with a puppet theater and a reading tent. The publishing lab had typewriters and writing utensils for when the creative juices start flowing. I really enjoyed it. I like to tell people we’re in a golden age for children’s books so I’m always happy when a dedicated kids bookstore opens up.

After returning to Portland and after my library volunteer shift, I decided to hit up a new bookstore I’d been meaning to visit ever since I met the own in a bookseller’s conference. Two Rivers Bookstore is located in the St. Johns neighborhood sharing its space with a coffee shop. I love when independent bookstores reflect their communities’ needs.

I’m so happy that I got to enjoy a bookish day!

Recent Bookstore Visits

For a book lover like me, I’ve been spoiled by how many bookstores (and a couple libraries, as well!) I’ve gotten to visit the past few weeks.

Don’t miss the ones I already wrote about during my recent library hops:
9th Ever Library Hop: Tacoma Edition
10th Ever Library Hop: Salem Edition
11th Ever Library Hop: Yet Another Long Bus Ride Edition

Being as obsessed as I am about going to bookstores, it’s always surprising to me when I realized there’s one I haven’t gone to having lived in Portland (Oregon) for over a decade. One such bookstore was Chaparral Books which I happened to randomly come across walking around and taking different routes. Their focus is on used and rare books.


A short drive away in Troutdale was Book Warehouse. It was actually while looking for bookstores in other Oregon cities that I found out I was near one.


With a name like that, I was expecting something huge and cold and devoid of personality. But I was pleasantly surprised by its layout and its selection. The owner was nice and friendly and seemed to genuinely want to help customers find a good book for them.

Randomly popping up on my Facebook feed was a post from De-Canon.

“De-Canon: A Visibility Project is a “pop-up library” and web resource project that will showcase literary art by writers/artists of color. Our goal is to put forth an alternative literary “canon” — or multiple canons — that are inclusive, diverse, and multi-storied in their approach to representation. De-Canon wishes to challenge existing ideas of what constitutes the North American literary canon, especially in our current culture.”

I loved the mission behind this reading (as opposed to lending) library. I’m excited to see this space getting used.

There’s been a whole slew of new bookstores popping up in Portland so naturally I had to visit all of them.

First up was Belmont Books which opened up just a few weeks ago.

This tiny space was super crammed with books but fortunately they were titles the owner was either passionate or knowledgeable about. The couple times I was there, there was a customer or two browsing and shopping.

Opening up even more recently was The Stacks Coffeehouse, a cool new coffee shop and library.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I loved the look and feel of the place. The library card catalog was a nice touch. And I enjoyed seeing people bookmarking the books they’ve been reading. I can just imagine coming here regularly. (Apparently, one can get a library card which I should have signed up for since I also love adding to my library card collection.)

Another new-to-me bookstore that’s actually been around a long time was Bearly Read Books, specializing in used paperbacks.


Over in Gresham, Books Around the Corner just celebrated its grand opening.


And, here in Portland, Rose City Book Pub opened just today.


I love visiting independent bookstores because, for me, they are symbols of hope. That in this day and age of constant distraction and technological advancement, people are still picking up books and loving them and getting enriched by them makes me happy. Book people are the best people and let’s continue to be the kind to support one another.