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“This is how libraries ought to look!”

Multnomah County Central Library
Ranked #31 of 452 things to do in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 15 April 2014

I grew up here in PDX and got my first library card in this very building in the mid-50's. Moved back to Portland in the late 90's to find a great library system - one of the most popular in the nation! But our central library itself was wisely restored some years ago, rather than being replaced with some supremely ugly structure as they did in Seattle. It boasts many features including a childrens' reading room dedicated to Beverly Cleary, whose books got me through my childhood. In the heart of town, shaded by heritage trees, stands this regal old building. Even if you are a tourist and not a member, it is worth a visit!

Thank Gravyboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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158 - 162 of 272 reviews

Reviewed 11 March 2014

Portland's library system is one of the most heavily used in the nation, and the citizens recently created a permanent special tax district for fund it properly. End of budget wars. The flagship library downtown is beautifully restored and, while not physically huge (and cold) like Seattle's, sits atop a metaphorical iceberg of decentralized resources, most of which are available through any of the branch libraries. I've found music scores, missing issues of obscure newsletters, and more by searching the online catalog. A major resource (free) is access to the entire run of The Oregonian in a searchable database for anyone holding a library card or visiting a library. The Portland area also benefits from reciprocal agreements. I live in Washington County, which has enormous library resources, too--better that Multnomah's in some areas. Residents of either county can acquire library cards for the neighboring county at no cost. The proliferation of branches makes it easy to do business at both. A tip of the hat to our library systems.

Thank GeorgePortland_OR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2014

This was THE place that I did a lot of growing up in. Every week, my pops would take my siblings to the library, and I would use the internet with my library card to play games online and just explore the internet. (PAJAMA SAM GAMES). During my time living in Tennessee, I was so underwhelmed by the small library that existed in the small town I was living in. I know there are bigger libraries out there, but this was the place I'd compare subsequent libraries too. Maybe it was the magic of childhood that made me hold this place to such a high regard. Maybe it was reading DBZ manga religiously and spending hours upon hours in here. However, upon coming back to this place, I was greeted with the same air of curiosity and social warmth that embraced me as a child. Please take your kids and encourage your teens to visit this library!

Thank donaldnguyen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2014

I LOVE Multnomah County Central Library. A beautiful old building in the heart of downtown. Great selection of books and the ability to put things on hold that are not in stock. They keep up with new movies and you can check out DVD's. and for those without WiFi at home there is free WiFi or a lot of computers available to use, I think you can get a hour or two per day. But there seems to always be people waiting so plan for that. I also enjoy stopping in the Friends of the Library Shop near the front entrance, too. And even if you dont want to check out a book or use a computer the building is AWESOME and worth a walk around.

Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2014

Historic and beautiful old building. Worth a visit just for the architecture. Incredibly helpful and kind staff.

Thank misschriss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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