Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Can picture books fix my kid’s behavior problems?

Q&A: Children's librarians answer questions from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers, all day, every day. Today; Can you find me a story to make my kid stop biting her preschool friends?

Q: Is there a Berenstain Bears book about not biting people? My daughter has been biting other kids at preschool. Her teachers say it’s getting worse! Is there a book I could read to her showing how wrong this is?

A: Yes! Your question is a profound one. Children’s authors, publishers, teachers, parents, therapists, and children themselves have been seeing books as bibliotherapy for generations. As a result, there are a variety of books both silly and profound that could help in this si

Click here to read more

Bike to the Library!

OPL's Bike to Action Month activities include plenty for the whole family

On Saturday I bicycled with a bunch of Oaklanders from the Chavez Library to the 81st Avenue Library to hear Elly Blue talk about Everyday Bicycling.  It was great to have kids join us for the ride, and meet us along the way.  During Bike Month, OPL supports and promotes family bicycling. If you haven't checked out our full listing of events for the month, don't wait.  Some family-friendly events on the horizon include:

Click here to read more

Play with your Words

A list of recommended word play books available at the Oakland Public Library.

Kids love to play, and librarians love to see kids playing with words! Visit your local library to find these books full of palindromes, puns, spoonerisms, homophones, and much more. And let us know in the comments if we missed any of your favorites!

CDB book cover

Click here to read more

Sean's Shadows

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrations at Oakland Public Library

Sean's Shadows brings shadow puppet stories from all over the world. This month we celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month with two stories from China: Fool me Once and Bloom Tree. After each performance he shows and demonstrates musical instruments he used during the show.

Join us.  

Martin Luther King, Jr. Tuesday, May 20 at 4:00 PM

Dimond  Tuesday, May 20 at 7:00 PM

West Oakland Wednesday May 21 at 10:30 AM

Click here to read more

DÍA: Great Kids' Books about Asian-Americans

Celebrate DIA, Diversity in Action, with these children's books featuring characters who are Asian or Asian-American.

Holy beans, what a DIA week it's been! The whole world is talking about how #WeNeedDiverseBooks. We hope you've enjoyed the pictures and comments from OPL. We take great pride in our beautiful city, one of the most diverse in the nation.

Now that we've seen how many people want diverse books.... the next step is to buy them. I know that may sound strange coming from a librarian--of COURSE I want you to check out books from our libraries. My dream is that one day I will walk into a library and there will be NOTHING LEFT on the shelves because everything is out there in your living rooms and on your nightstands. But for those times when you want to buy books for yourself or give them as gifts, take a look at the Diversify Your

Click here to read more

DÍA: Great Kids' Books about Differently Abled People

Celebrate DIA, Diversity in Action, with these children's books featuring characters who are differently abled.

Extra extra, bonus list! This afternoon, some great recent children's books about young people who live with disabilities. More on Pinterest!

Click here to read more

DÍA: Great Kids' Books about LGBTQ People

Celebrate DIA, Diversity in Action, with these children's books featuring characters who are LGBTQ.

 Whoa people, have you checked us out on twitter lately? Like yesterday or today? Tons of pictures and personal testimony in support of #WeNeedDiverseBooks --keep it coming for the rest of the week, will you? Take a picture of yourself holding a sign with your reasons why we need diverse books, then email it to sharon@mckellar.org (she's our community relations librarian!). We'll tweet it and you'll be a part of history.

Today, our series of awesome diverse children's books continues with books featuring characters who are lesbian \ gay \ bisexual \ transgender \ queer. As with this week's other post, you'll find lots more titles of note on

Click here to read more

DÍA: Great Kids' Books about Latinos

Celebrate DIA, Diversity in Action, with these children's books featuring Latino characters.

When I first started at OPL, I worked at the César Chávez Branch in the Fruitvale (non-Facebook link here) I could not have a bigger soft spot in my heart for this place. It's sunny, the floors are shiny, the colors inside the branch are radiant. The staff is friendly, and you can get the best veggie burrito in Oakland right across the street.

But for me? It was all about lunch breaks in the staff room with gorgeous old cartoons from Mexico. I dug way into the Spanish-language cartoon section, where there are books you won't find at any other library in Oakland. Also, since Chávez gets the best selection of Latin American DVDs, I brought home

Click here to read more

DÍA: Great Kids' Books about African Americans

Celebrate DIA, Diversity in Action, with these children's books featuring characters who are African-American.

There's lots of buzz right now (as there should be) about the numbers reported by the Cooperative Children's Book Center: of 3,200 children's books they received in 2013, just 93 featured African-American characters. Noted children's author Walter Dean Myers responded in a moving essay in the New York Times, in which he described his own childhood and coming to find himself in books. His son Christopher Myers, a noted children's author and illustrator himself, wrote a companion piece in which he lamented the fact that when African-American children appear in books, too often they "are limited to the townships of occasional historical books that concern themselves with the legacies of civil rights and slavery." 

Today, we

Click here to read more

DIA: Great Kids' Books with Multiracial Characters

This week is DÍA: Diversity in Action! Celebrate with children's books about multiracial characters.

This week is the library holiday with the longest name: Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros; Children's Day / Book Day. It's come to be called just DÍA!--Diversity In Action. Want to come party at the library? Click here!

A lot of people are talking about diversity in children's books right now, which makes me very happy. Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the nation, and every family

Click here to read more