Winter Bingo @ Your Library!

Winter Bingo is an easy way to have fun and stimulate literacy and learning during the winter break.

It's time again for Winter Bingo!

Get your Winter Bingo card, complete five activities in a row, and bring the card back to the library anytime between December 19, 2015 and January 16, 2016 to receive a free book. There is a card for children in grades K-5, and one for you to do with your younger children.

Children can “Listen to a story” or “Read about your favorite thing,”  “Make someone laugh,” or “Bring a friend to the library,” “Dance” or “Play outside.”  Activities for you to do with your baby or preschooler include “Use a recipe to make a snack,” and “Ask your child to turn the page.”  There is plenty to choose from, so everyone can be a winner.

Winter Bingo cards will be available at your library Dec 12th,or you can print your own if you can't wait to start!

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What Will You Submit to the 90-Second Newbery Festival?

Now accepting submissions to the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival!

90 Second Newbery LogoOnce again, we are thrilled to host a screening of James Kennedy's 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, coming to the Rockridge Branch on Saturday, February 13, at 12noon.  

James will introduce many of the amazing films, made by kids around the country, that tell the story of a Newbery book in 90-Seconds or less. 

Will he show your film? Not if you don't submit one! The rules are all at, and

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Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer: Which is your favorite book about Thanksgiving for ages 3 to 7?

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. It's harvest time all around the northern hemisphere. What books could we read to our children?

Q: What's your favorite book about Thanksgiving for ages 3 to 7?

A: Any question that begins with "What is your favorite..." is hard for me to answer, because my moods change, my tastes change, and new things are constantly coming into my consciousness. Also, it's my job to imagine what might be someone else's favorite. 

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OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide--Graphic Novels

It's been a banner couple-of-years for comics. Here are some of our favorites.

We loved so many graphic novels lately, we gave them their own list! Try Dr. Comics and Mr. Games of Oakland for these, though a couple are self published and can be purchased directly from the artists. Follow the links!

We've grouped them under the age of the youngest appropriate reader, but any of the kids' and YA titles may be loved by adults too.


For kids' books that aren't comics, click here.


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OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide--Children's Books

Gifts for the readers in your life recommended by OPL librarians.

We have a confession to make: we librarians LOVE IT when you buy books. LOVE!! And we know you want to give exactly the right book. 

So, without further ado, OPL is proud to present its first ever Holiday Gift Guide. These are books we love and want you and your loved ones to read, ones that are 99% guaranteed not to garner this reaction. And as if that weren't great enough, we're capping it off with a list of local indie bookstores where you can buy these gems. (Call ahead to confirm availability!)

Click here for our Graphic Novel Gift Guide!

Click here for suggestions for adult and YA readers!

OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Children's List 

For babies and

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Q & A Patrons Ask, Librarians Answer: What is your favorite part of your job?

Q & A: It's the kids turn to get their questions answered!

Usually I answer questions asked by adults. Today I am going to answer questions asked by children:

1. Who invented the Dewey Decimal System?

Melvil Dewey.

2. Was he a scientist?

No, he was a librarian.

3. You're kidding?


4. Tell the truth Ms. Nichole! Was Melvil Dewey a real person?

 I am not pulling your leg. Melvil Dewey was a real person. Read his online biography here or borrow this book:


5. What are the words to the "I love you" song you sing at storytime?

The song "Skinnamarink Dinky Dink" is what I sing at

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Coming soon: OPL's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

On November 12, we're releasing a list of books we recommend and independent bookstores where you can buy them! Which books do you recommend?

So, we at the library love letting you borrow books for free. It's kind of our thing. But we know that when you give a book as a gift, you don't want to have to whisper "bring it back in three weeks" while receiving your thank you hug, do you? Sometimes, you really need to buy a book.

And boy, do we have thoughts about which books you should buy, and where you should buy them. That's why on November 12, OPL will release our first Holiday Gift Guide. We'll include recommended titles for the children, teens, and adults in your lives, AND a handy-dandy list of independent bookstores in Oakland! What more could you ask for?

While we're making our list and checking it twice,* chime in with your suggestions here. What books have you loved this year? Which are you planning to give as gifts? I'll go first and say that multiple people on my list will be getting Kate Beaton's two 2015 books:

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Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer. Where do you keep your Level K books?

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. In October, many parents find out their children's reading level from tests given at school. Their children's teachers may encourage them to find books at that level at the library. So where do we keep them?

Q: Where do you keep your Level K books?cover of a reading primer called I Know a Secret

A: The short answer is that Oakland Library doesn't label books with reading levels using any of systems associated with proprietary testing...

...however, we do have areas of the library that gather a range of reading levels together. This allows readers to browse an area that encompasses their reading level and includes choices of subjects, visual presentations, genres, and writing styles. Our hope is that (without too much effort) readers will find books that appeal to them and are close enough to their reading level. 

So, when you ask us for leveled books, let us show you to the section that includes the level you need. At that point, many readers decide to get any books that look interesting

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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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