Don't know what to read? Try Book Me!

You and your child can get personalized reading recommendations using Book Me!, Oakland Public Library's new online reader's advisory service.

At some point, it happens in every reading family: You've worked your way through all the Ramonas and all the Fudge books. You've read all the Wimpy Kids and all the Dork Diaries. Harry Potter is history. Every bit of Narnia has been Chronicled. And you don't know what to read next.

You're in luck! OPL has a new service called Book Me! that will help you find your next family favorite. Fill out the form online, and a librarian will reply with a list of suggested titles. Easy peasy.

If you're looking for children's books, your Book Me! request will go to a children's specialist. We can help you find a chapter book to read at bedtime, a picture book about getting a new baby brother or sister, or an exciting fantasy read for your book-hungry tween. Give it a try! Recommending books is our favorite thing.

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Stories Behind the History

Famous, and not-so-famous, people are featured in these new fictional biographies.

During the past few years, biographical fiction featuring historical and literary figures has become increasingly popular. Novels such as Paula McLain's The Paris Wife, which captures the story of Ernest Hemingway's relationship with his first wife Hadley Richardson during their years as expatriates in 1920s Paris and Fever, a retelling of the life of Mary Mallon, also known as "Typhoid Mary," by Mary Beth Keane are just a few examples.

The popularity of biographical fiction continues in 2015. Olympic athletes, artists, architects, inventors, actors, gamblers, and writers are featured in these new novels released this year. These books not only capture the people, but also the time periods and areas in which they lived. From the Ottoman Empire to Belle Èpoque

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Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer: What book comes next in the series?

I can’t wait for the next book in the series! What is it? Do you have it? Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day, and this question comes up several times a week.

This Frequently Asked Question is VERY easy to answer! Your librarian may use the old-fashioned way if she's standing next to you in the stacks, but if she's in front of a computer, she'll use NoveList, which is seamlessly woven into our online catalog. I'll walk you through both ways, so if the librarian is busy helping someone else at the moment, you can figure it out for yourself!

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Explore Always Available Classics

Always Available Classics is a collection of over 200 Classic eBook titles open to anyone to download at any time.

                    

Attention Classics Readers: In addition to the many Classic eBooks you can browse on our Overdrive platform, we now link from our catalog to Always Available Classics, a collection of over 200 works of classic literature

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Spring 2015 Picture Book Showcase

What has eight legs and some of the best picture books of the season? OPL's Spring 2015 Picture Book Showcase at the Octopus Literary Salon, of course!

Let's face it: everyone who's into illustration, cartooning, design or just plain old fine art is into the art of the picture book. Next Thursday, May 21, the Oakland Public Library is joining the Octopus Literary Salon to show off some of our newest favorites....

It's the Spring 2015 Picture Book Showcase! Won't you come on over, buy yourself a drink, and enjoy the show? A surprise musical guest will make an appearance. Copies of the books will be for sale, too.

OPL's Spring 2015 Picture Book Showcase
Thursday, May 21, 2015, 6:30-8:30pm
The Octopus Literary Salon
2101 Webster Street in Oakland

Here's a sneak preview:

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Typical American by Gish Jen: A Lakeview Branch Book Club Review

Lakeview Book Club highly recommends Typical American or any other of Gish Jen's beautifully written, humorous and bittersweet tales of Chinese Americans jumping into the "melting cauldron."

Typical American by Gish Jen, is a first novel published in 1991. Our leader for the evening brought some biographical information about Ms. Jen. The name "Gish" was a nickname from her high school years, named for actress Lillian Gish.  Gish is Chinese American. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. in the 1940's. She grew up on in and near New York City.
 
She writes of characters in her world and the inevitable clash of cultures lived with difficulty by our new Americans. This is a comic novel, sometimes dabbling in the darkness of poor choices and misspent love. The characters were not all sympathetic. In fact, the anti-hero, Ralph, was not well liked by many of our group. He was weak, undisciplined, easily led by shady characters, autocratic and pig-headed......yet, very human. Some of our group thought he was a sad character.

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Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer: My pre-teen wants to visit the library this summer with her friends. Without me! Is it okay? Is it safe?

Your children are welcome here. REALLY! But before they come, here are some tips to consider when preparing for a successful library visit.

Q: My pre-teen wants to visit the library this summer with her friends. Without me!  Is it okay? Is it safe?  --- Nervous Parent

A: Hi Nervous Parent. Kids are some of our best customers! Whether they come with parents (or responsible caregivers) or venture into the library alone, they embrace the library as a place of fun and exploration.

According to the our Guidelines for Behavior it is acceptable for minors who are at least 8 years old to visit the library without adult supervision. But please keep in mind that we are not In Loco Parentis: a legal-Latin-term that means “in place of the parent.” In layman’s terms: Unlike school or a community center that takes responsibility for children in place of the parent, the public library is not responsible for your kid, and we

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in May 2015

Got room on your hold list? Here come some of the most tempting novels of May.

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OPL Celebrates Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Megumi!

Whether it's "The Mouse's Marriage," "The Young Man Who Slept for Three Years," or another Japanese folk tale, Megumi has her owns special way of telling it.

Picture of MegumiJoin us at Oakland Public Library as we celebrate Asian Pacific Islanders Heritage Month with Megumi. This wonderful bilingual storyteller (English/Japanese) will entertain and move us with tales of all types. She especially delights in sharing Japanese folk tales. Megumi will be at four branches in May:

 

 

Tuesday May 5 at 12:30pm at the Martin Luther King, Jr Branch

Wednesday May 6 at 10:30am at the Asian Branch

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Water-Wise

Looking for tips to conserve water? Check out these books at OPL.

Living in California, we all know about the need to conserve water. Are you wondering how to limit your water footprint? The following books give tips and suggestions to help you reduce and reuse water in your home and garden.

The Water-Wise Home     Takingon Water     

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