African American Literature Read In Hits Oakland Next Week!

Volunteer to read in a school, come to a library storytime, or just check out some of our favorite books to read at home

Book Cover of My PeopleNext week, the Oakland Public Education Fund is sponsoring an African American Literature Read In in the schools and is looking for volunteers. If you can volunteer to read in a school next week, it is not too late to sign up.

Their site includes a great recommended reading list, which we contributed to, and includes many of

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Tuesday is Multicultural Children's Book Day!

Celebrate Multicultural Children's Book Day with author profiles and book recommendations.

The push for diversity is one of my favorite things happening in children's books these days, and grassroots organizations like We Need Diverse Books are jumping to support the cause. Add to that list of organizations Multicultural Children's Book Day, which had its first day in celebration of diverse children's books in 2014.


This year, Multicultural Children's Book Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 27. Have a celebration yourself by visiting their blog for Author and Illustrator Spotlights, book suggestions,

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Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Do you have some books to prepare our child for the new baby we’re expecting?

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. Nearly 5,000 babies are born in Oakland every year! Books can help older siblings cope with the transition from rock-star/minor-deity to has-been.

Erica's daughters - age 3 and newborn!

Q: Do you have some books to prepare my child for the new baby we’re expecting?

A: Yes, we do! Different issues come up for kids who are about to have a new sibling. I’d like to share books that include some different angles on the question. I think of them in these 5 rough categories:

Books that simply explain what welcoming a new baby might include. If you don’t know yet what your child is thinking or feeling about the whole thing, simple books without drama may be a good starting place.

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An Extremely Boring Book You Should Probably Never Read

The picture book everyone's talking about is... not a picture book? Celebrity author B. J. Novak's crowdpleasing hit!

These days I always seem to have a friend on the Caldecott committee, which gives the annual award for best illustration in a children's book, which means every time I go to a bookstore I'm texting pictures of book covers to that friend with a message: "you GOTTA see this one!!" 

It's unusual for a book with NO pictures to send me scrambling for my phone. But... have you SEEN this book?

Okay- wrong question. Have you READ this book? It's pretty much the funniest crowd-pleaser of a picture book I've read in years.

Okay okay- still the wrong question. Have you had this book read to you by

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Celebrate Hat Day!

January 15th is Hat Day! Come to the Library and display your favorite hat or drop in and make a hat to wear.

Start the New Year off in style by celerating Hat Day at the Library.

Come to the Main Library or the Elhmurst Branch on January 15 at 3:30pm and celebrate Hat Day. We will provide everything needed to create memorable headgear. Once your hat is finished you and the other milliners can parade your headgear through the Library and see what the staff are wearing on their heads. Looking for inspiration? Take a peek at Origination's 

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Introducing Karen Lum-Nackley - BWH Volunteer

The Books for Wider Horizons birthday party year continues with an interview with one of our long-term volunteers.

Picture of Karen Lum-Nackley

Books for Wider Horizons (BWH) employs a corps of dedicated volunteers who take weekly storytimes to about forty preschools (Head Starts, CDCs, and private preschools) around Oakland. A couple of months ago, we introduced Gay Ducey, librarian, storyteller extraordinaire, and member of the team that originally thought of and implemented the Books for Wider Horizons (BWH) volunteer program over twenty years ago. 

Today we meet Dr. Karen Lum-Nackley, one of those intrepid volunteers. Karen has been with BWH since 2001. She made time for us the week before Christmas to answer our questions regarding her experience with the program.

What attracted you to Books for Wider Horizons fourteen years ago? 

My own love for books as a child. I grew up in Oakland and visited the Glenview Library on Park Blvd. when I was a child. My parents

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6 kids' books from 2014 that hit uncomfortably close to home

From jealousy to farting, these 2014 kids' books capture the little uncomfortable moments of adult life.

1. My New Friend Is So Fun! by Mo Willems

Gerald (the elephant) sees Piggie playing with her new bat friend, and he is JEALOUS. Gerald, I know the sting you feel all too well: maybe Piggie will have so much fun with Bat, she won't need you anymore. I'm sure we'll outgrow these insecurities someday.

Read it to: the BFF who keeps breaking brunch plans.

2. Sam and Dave

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90-Second Newbery Film Festival, Not Too Late to Enter!

Entries are still welcome for the 4th Annual 90-Second Newbery Festival, which will screen at the Rockridge Library on February 7th, 2015.

90 second newbery logoThe 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is once again coming to Oakland on Saturday February 7, 2015, 12 noon-1pm at the Rockridge Branch Library

It is not too late to submit your entry!  The deadline for submissions has been extended to January 16, 2015, which means that you can spend your winter break working on your video, of 90 seconds or less, that tells the entire story of a Newbery-winning book.

We'd love to see your

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Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: What’s your opinion on this movie?

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. Sometimes our help is needed to make serious ethical decisions...What movie should we watch tonight?

Q: What do you think about this movie for my kids?

A: Here’s what goes through my mind when I hear this question, which happens a few times a week:

  1. I really appreciate your effort to figure out what’s best for your children!  

  2. Image that made Isabel cry in Schoolhouse Rock.

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Travel Books for Kids

A list of recommended travel books for children available at the Oakland Public Library.

If you’re looking for a little adventure this season, check out the library’s selection of travel books for kids! They describe lands both near and far, highlighting aspects of each destination that young readers are especially interested in exploring. Take an armchair tour through California, Mexico, and beyond with some of these exciting informational books:

For younger readers

All Aboard! book cover

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