Oakland Family History Day is October 17

Oakland Public Library celebrates Oakland Family History Day October 17.

October is Family History Month. With that in mind, the Oakland History Room has planned a series of interesting events that will encourage you to discover and preserve your family's story. First up is Oakland Family History Day on Saturday, October 17, noon to 5 p.m. at the Main Library. Preserving family stories and mementos is very important and contributes to our understanding of ourselves and our communities. Oaklanders are invited to bring up to six photographs or documents to this event where they will be scanned by Oakland History Room staff and volunteers. If you'd like to participate, here are the program guidelines:

  1. How can I participate in Oakland Family History Day? Space for this event is very limited. Pre-registration is required. Pre-register by October 14 by calling the Oakland History Room at 510.238-3222. Come to the event on Saturday, October 17, noon to 5 p.m. at the Oakland Main Library’s

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Kids' magazines for your smartphone or tablet!

If you've got little magazine readers, you'll want to download popular children's magazines like American Girl and Highlights--free with your library card!

Zinio is the Oakland Public Library's digital magazine provider, and your library card gives you access to hundreds of titles on your iPad, Kindle Fire, smartphone or other digital device. The New Yorker, Vogue, National Geographic, Forbes and many others are available... and now, so are over a dozen popular children's magazines

Do your kids love Highlights, Cricket, or American Girl Magazine? Zinio lets you download them for free, and you can keep them on your device forever.

To use Zinio, you'll need to add the app on your

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Make Zines with Author Cathy Camper

Join us for zine fun!

Book Cover Lowriders in SpaceCathy Camper, the author of Low Riders in Space, comes to Oakland to present a series of zine-making workshops at five braches. Join us as she shares her process in writing Lowriders in Space and shows how to create zines. These workshops are designed for ages 10 to 14, but all are welcome. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 1:00pm 81st Avenue

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in October 2015

The days grow shorter, the nights grow longer... time for something terrific to read! Here are 10 great October releases.

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Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer: Will you really let my kid read whatever they want?

Librarians fight for your freedom to read. Read this to learn why.

Summary of a conversation I had this week: 

Parent: My kid said you will let him read whatever he wants! Is that true? 

Me: The short answer?  Yeah.  Anything available to the public he is allowed to borrow. 

Parent reply: He's only 9 years old! The library is full of subjects he is not mature enough for yet! You are going to let him borrow anything!?!?!

Me: As long as he checks it out with his library card... yeah, pretty much. 

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The Supermoon and other Astronomical Phenomena

Learn more about Sunday's supermoon.lunar eclipse.

If you're under 33 years-old, you've never seen a supermoon lunar eclipse. And if you're older than 33, it's been a while. Now's your chance to view this phenomenon!  This Sunday night a blood-red moon will appear in the sky, announcing the lunar eclipse. While the earth is lined up between the full moon and the sun during the eclipse a bit of sunlight still reaches the moon, bathing it in a reddish color. 

Sunday's lunar eclipse is unique because the moon will be closer to the earth than usual, making it appear bigger -- a supermoon. This is the first supermoon lunar eclipse since 1982 and will be the last until 2033.   

The NASA website has in-depth information about Sunday's supermoon eclipse. If you're intersted in learning more about viewing eclipses or other astronomical phenomena, take a look at the following titles from OPL's collection. Happy

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Literacy Week: Are You Connected?

Learn how we are bridging the digital divide while investing in the professional capacity of local youth.

By Andrea Guzman, Coordinator, Ready Set Connect Program

Computer help photo

What can you do with the Internet?

As witnessed in business trends, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and the Bay for the past couple of decades: A LOT. From gaming to job searching, online dating, apps, virtual classrooms and so much more, the use of the Internet through computers and personal devices has become a prevalent and necessary component of daily life in the Bay Area.

In Oakland, however, there are numerous families without access to a computer, the Internet, and other essential tools many of us take for granted. Just like the ability to read, using and understanding how to use digital tools can greatly impact the accessibility of crucial services and opportunities!

Luckily, the Oakland Public Library continues to serve as a valuable resource to community

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Literacy Week: Help Us Help Adults Become Literate

Second Start Adult Literacy is recruiting volunteers from the communities most impacted by low-literacy. Learn more.

By Resonja Willoughby, Student Advocate, Second Start Adult Literacy

Image with a quote from a learnerWe are celebrating National Adult Chart showing literacy crisisEducation and Family Literacy Week to raise awareness of about the effects of not having the basic literacy skills to survive in a world that is forever changing.

I work for Oakland’s adult literacy program, Second Start. We have been in existence for 30 years and we have watched the demographics change. We are serving more immigrants from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The region of South and West Asia is home to more than one-half of the global low-literate

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Literacy Week: Spongebob, Olaf, and Letting Them Pick

Why do we have so many Spongebob and Dora books? So kids can choose.

When I was in library school, I had a WONDERFUL children's literature professor who one day went on a rant about not buying what I will refer to as "junk" for our libraries (she used a more colorful four-letter word). "I don't want to see any [junk] on your shelves!" she told us. "There are too many good books out there for you to be buying [junk]."

By [junk] she meant books like these:


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Literacy Week: Kids in the Hall Find ‘This Beautiful Thing Called Writing’

For incarcerated youth and adults literacy is about more than spelling words “correctly.” It's about believing you have something to say and learning that people will listen.

By Peggy Simmons, Library Assistant, Elmhurst Branch 

“When I’m locked up, I see a pencil and paper as my best friends …. I’ve been locked up over 18 times, and writing is one of my strongest traits.”

– Pengo in The Beat Within. Read his entire article, “Why I Write,” here.

Cover of The Beat Within magazine

When Pengo was 11-years-old, The Beat Within, an arts program that publishes writing by incarcerated young people, came to the juvenile hall where he was locked up and “turned him on to this beautiful thing called writing.” Pengo writes so clearly about how writing helps him deal with the situations he is in.

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