Street Books Celebration: 9.19.19

We’re exactly one week away from our event and we can’t wait to see you there. Buy tickets for yourself &/or consider buying a ticket to sponsor one of our patrons, all of whom attend free of charge.

We’ll have the usual parlor games and the stellar writer Karen Russell as our guest speaker, and also this: One of the very best parts of the Street Books celebration is when we sit down together at the same table and share a meal. There aren’t very many opportunities in the city for our library patrons to break bread with the larger housed community, and Street Books uses literature as the bridge to make this happen. Come join us next Thursday as we celebrate another year of successful library shifts and view a new film featuring the voices of our patrons from the summer. See you there!

Good News From All Directions

Street Books has been offered a matching grant on donations up to $10,000 (thank you, Olive Bridge Fund!) during the month of September. Your donations go directly to helping us make this match.

  • Join special guest author Karen Russell, at our annual fall event on September 19! Buy tickets for yourself and/or sponsor library patrons who attend for free.

  • Subscribe to our new Patreon - all September subscriptions go toward the match.

  • Street Books is collaborating with Portland Street Medicine in a dual fundraiser hosted by the XOXO festival (for independent artists who live & work online). The festival happens this weekend at the Washington High School building, stone’s throw from Street Books HQ — we are grateful that festival organizers Andy McMillan and Andy Baio are paying close attention to what’s going on in the streets around the festival and looking at ways they can support local efforts to take care of our neighbors living outside.


Writer Karen Russell Joins Line-up for Street Books' Fall Celebration

Holy Cow, friends! We just learned that writer & stellar human Karen Russell will be our special guest at this year's Street Books celebration/fundraiser, Thursday, September 19th! As always, our library patrons will attend our event free of charge, so if you'd like to sponsor a patron by purchasing an extra ticket, we thank you. Can't wait to see you there!

Link to tickets is here.

Here’s a thoughtful piece on Karen’s arrival to Portland a few years ago, & her distress at the number of people living outdoors in her neighborhood.

All the best to you!

Word on the Street..

Is that Street Books librarians have checked out more than 200 books since the summer library shifts began! Big thanks to all our patrons for their support. We welcome back our returning librarians, Olive Alsept-Ellis, Ben Hodgson, Rachel Dawson, Pépe Espinoza, Pati Moran, Laura Moulton & Diana Rempe. We are happy to introduce you to our new librarians for the 2019 season: Marissa Sainte & Sofie Jokela.

Thanks to librarian John Boelling for hosting our onsite library hours (Thursdays, 10-1 - go say hello or drop off a box of books). Check out the new summer schedule and we look forward to seeing you out there. Want to sponsor a book for a patron? Consider donating to help us fill their requests. Our fall celebration will happen Thursday, September 19th this year, so save the date and we’ll see you there. Thanks again for your support of Street Books. We couldn’t do it without you.

Celebrate the Book!

This is pretty special: this Thursday, May 23rd, Commissioner Eudaly will declare it Street Books day! Don’t miss the proclamation she’ll read (6 p.m. sharp). It will very likely be the only proclamation ever read by a city commissioner that features a taxidermied armadillo called Armando, so you really don’t want to miss this. We’ll have a nice light supper and treats. Open mic for people to read a paragraph from a favorite book. Can’t wait to see you and celebrate Street Books patrons, books & community.

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Letters in March

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!

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Thank you, January

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.

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Hello & Big News from Street Books

In September, we had the most successful fall fundraiser we’ve ever had, and were glad to see so many patrons attend.

(L-R) Pati Moran, Laura Moulton, Tracy Rimel, Patrick Crowley, Austin Allstadt, Diana Rempe

(L-R) Pati Moran, Laura Moulton, Tracy Rimel, Patrick Crowley, Austin Allstadt, Diana Rempe

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.

The Final Stretch: Celebrate with us this week!

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!


Help Street Books Meet the Match!

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