Letter-Writing Club today at Street Books headquarters, with coffee & doughnuts and plenty of cards (donated by Egg Press - thank you, Egg Press!) So grateful for the library patrons who showed up to keep the art of the letter (and the postal system) alive. Thanks to board member Lori Woolf-Pollock who launched this project and for our Thursday volunteer, John Boelling, who built us the beautiful sandwich board. Thank you to pens. And to paper. Long live letters and the people who write them!
We've had lovely days at the library this month - so far our faithful patrons from St. Francis Park Apartments are coming in for good books & conversation and people are stopping by to donate books. The stellar Margaret Pinard, (herself a writer and bookseller at Another Read Through on Mississippi Ave) brought boxes of books. We've also been connecting with our patrons around the corner near the parish, where they continue to live outdoors, in tents, under bridges, occasionally in a vehicle. Last week I ran into J who said he'd enjoyed Mountains Beyond Mountains (by the writer Tracy Kidder) when we checked it out to him in the summertime. This week's goal: find J and give him the copy of Strength in What Remains, another nonfiction book by Kidder. This one tells the story of an immigrant named Deo who flees civil war and genocide in Burundi and arrives in New York with $200 to his name. If stories can help us inhabit the experiences of others, it occurs to us that these times call for us to read more of the lives of those who have left their home countries and set out in search of safer places to live and raise their families. We want to say thank you to our patrons, both indoors and outside, to supporters who give books and $ and to Catholic Charities for the ongoing partnership at St. Francis. We are so grateful for our community.
In September, we had the most successful fall fundraiser we’ve ever had, and were glad to see so many patrons attend.
The first annual Street Books summit in Austin was a great success. Five people from the Street Books crew (consisting of Pati Moran, Laura Moulton, Tracy Rimel, Austin Allstadt & Diana Rempe) combined forces with Patrick Crowley at the end of October to convene the summit. Patrick has established our first sister street library, where he runs shifts twice a week in downtown Austin, serving people without a fixed address. We discussed ethics & considerations around operating a street library, including how to best support our library patrons and build a community of support through literature on the streets. Our goal is to generate a short How-to guide that will assist other people and programs around the world who would like to establish their own street libraries.
We also want to let you know that on Tuesday, November 13th, Commissioner Eudaly's office will present Street Books with a Spirit of Portland award. If you're in Portland and can make it, please come raise a glass to celebrate with us. The Evergreen, [618 SE Alder], 6-8 p.m. 11/13/18.
Thanks as always for your support. Our street library is now 8 years old, and we could not have built this community without you. Big love from the whole team.
Friends, don't miss our celebration this Thursday. The incredible Paul Susi will emcee again, and has this to say about Street Books:
Street Books is an amazingly powerful organization precisely because they're not attacking the vast, exponentially expanding problems of poverty, violence, oppression and addiction directly, with one-size-fits-all solutions or condescending, patriarchy-based policies. They are simply compassionate humans and neighbors, sharing their love of books, with other humans and neighbors, who seek those books. The opportunities for community, healing, and mutual support, all happen incidentally to this very simple and hugely critical mission. Streetbooks makes this city livable, for me.
There’s still time to buy your ticket or buy one for a patron, who will attend our event free of charge.
Thanks for your support and see you Thursday!
Street Books has been offered a generous matching grant by the Olive Bridge Fund, (who has donated money for the past 4 years now). They will match donations given to Street Books during the month of September up to $7,500! Please lend your support if you are able to, and spread the word about this great opportunity.
If you haven’t gotten tickets for our fall event, please do join us. All proceeds from tickets go toward the matching grant, so every bit helps.
Thanks for all your support.
The Street Books crew
It's the annual Street Books Party. Join us as we celebrate the eighth year of operation and honor the patrons who have checked out books all summer long.
When: Thursday, September 20, 6-8 p.m.
Where: 237 NE Broadway, at the Lagunitas Community Room
What will be there?
- Emceed by the fabulous Paul Susi
- Taco bar by Los Gorditos *
- Wine & Beer *
- Onsite photo booth by artist Julie Keefe
- The Book Divinator Machine (Back by popular demand! - Put a token into the slot to have a book magically divined for you.)
- Music by Colectivo de Son Jarocho
There will be a short program featuring librarians and patrons from the season, and time to enjoy wine and beer with friends. We'll see you there!
* Ticket price includes tacos, beer, and wine.
(Can’t make the event, but want to support us? Consider purchasing a ticket on behalf of one of our patrons, who will attend free of charge.)
Thanks to everyone who came out for the Ice Cream Social at St. Francis Park Apartments. We were so excited to see how many patrons were able to be there. Next big event for Street Books will be our annual fall celebration & fundraiser, Thursday, September 20, 6-8. Save the date, and we'll get you more details soon. Last big news: Street Books is going to Austin, Texas! Thanks to a grant from RACC , six librarians/staff will attend the Texas Book Festival in October, and attend a first annual street library summit with Patrick Crowley, who operates Street Books: ATX. Check out this recent feature on his project. Summer shifts continue to be bustling, even on Portland's sweltering days. Thanks for your continued support.
Pépe & Diana worked the shift this week at Sisters, and our patron Cornell was very glad to get his hands on Eileen Myles' book, Cool For You. Feels pretty perfect that Myles has written: "Living in literature and love is the best thing there is. You’re always home." Thanks for your support this summer, Portland.
Happy June, everybody! Street Books had the official ribbon-cutting ceremony today on Burnside, to launch our 8th season on the streets, (thanks to Pépe & Pati for the enormous homemade scissors). Ben & Olive are working their Monday shift in Old Town, and they pushed off shortly after our ceremony to start checking out books to people. Want to help get books to people living outside or at the margins in Portland? Consider donating books, or email us to arrange a visit to a library shift (email@example.com).
It's been a great week of book-slinging for Street Books. So many books & reading glasses went to patrons at our Sunday giveaway under the bridges, and then more yesterday at Street Books headquarters in southeast Portland. We finished the week with this very sweet mention from writer Omar El Akkad - (read his book, American War: A Novel). We're grateful to be included in such a stellar line-up of Portland bookstores, and it probably goes without saying that we feel exactly the same way Omar does about Portland's literary treasures.