I'm Going On a Trip! Starring CultureGrams and Transparent Language Online

Want to go around the world? Grab your library card and get started on CultureGrams and Transparent Language Online, two of Oakland Public Library's handiest databases.

I'm going to France next month, for the first time ever! I'm very excited. To prepare for my trip, I'm going to pay a visit to one of Oakland Public Library's friendliest databases, CultureGrams.

Want to come too? Grab your library card and let's go!

We'll start here: Articles and Databases. Now scroll down with me. Come on, I wanna see you scrrooooooolll. All the way down to Country Information, where you'll see the link for CultureGrams.

At this point, you'll need to enter your library card number and pin. (If you have trouble during this step, call any OPL location during open hours--we'll help!)

And here we are:

Click here to read more

Q&A Patrons ask; librarians answer. The Dangers of Reading Aloud (Reluctant Readers, part 2)

Q&A: Children's Librarians answer questions all day, every day, from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. This is part two in our series sharing questions from patrons and answers from a children's librarian.

Illustration by Richard Scarry of bunny reading newspaperQ:  You say it's okay to read aloud to my daughter even though she's 9 years old and she thinks everyone in her class is ahead of her, BUT I'm still worried that it's becoming a crutch for her to avoid learning to read on her own. Are you sure I'm not sabotaging her work or impeding her progress by continuing to read aloud to her?

A:  Yes, I'm sure. From my experience – talking to kids, parents, and teachers for the past 18 years, and reading studies on literacy, the only potential down-side of reading aloud to your daughter is that she may do worse on spelling tests. The up-sides, on the other hand, are many:

  • She can relax and enjoy the story. (Enjoying reading is crucial.

Click here to read more

ALA Youth Media Awards Announced!

ALA Youth Media Awards have been announced; your Oakland Public Library staff participated in two of this year's award juries.

The new winners of the Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King and other awards were announced early Monday morning at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Philapdelphia.

The winner of the Newbery Award is Flora & Ulysses, a short, graphically illustrated chapter book by Kate DiCamillo, who is also the recently appointed National Ambassador of Young People's Literature. 

The Newbery Honor winners are

Click here to read more

Nursery Rhymes Rock

Check out nursery rhymes from around the world at the library. They are silly and their rhythm will help your child learn how to read.

Regardless of where and when you grew up, rhymes are a part of childhood.  In the United States, Mother Goose rhymes are the most common but all rhymes are great fun to read with your very young child.  Not only are they silly, but they have a definite beat. That rhythm is an important way to show your child how to hear individual sounds in words.  Hearing the sounds in rhymes will help your child hear the sounds in words when reading them.  You can increase the fun time together and the impact of the rhythm by bouncing or moving along with the rhymes. Where can you find them?  Why, the library, of course!  Oakland libraries have rhymes from all around the world; some locations even have separate nursery rhyme sections.  Come in and check them out!

Baker, Keith.                 Cabrera, Jane                    Orozco, Jose Luis
Big Fat Hen.               Old Mother Hubbard.        Diez

Click here to read more

Lunar New Year Celebrations

Get ready for New Year at Oakland Public Library.

We are celebrating Lunar New Year with space and laughter. 

Chabot's Travelling PlanetariumChabot Space & Science Museum brings their Star Lab, a portable planetarium to Oakland libraries. Come see the stars as they were seen by the Chinese and Greeks.

Rockridge Branch 
  Thursday, Jan 23 at 4 PM

Golden Gate Branch
 
Wednesday, Jan 29 at 3 PM

César Chávez Branch
 
Tuesday, Feb 4 at 5 PM

81st Avenue Branch
 
Saturday, Feb 8 at 1 PM

Click here to read more

Q&A Patrons ask; librarians answer. The Reluctant Reader

Q&A: Children's Librarians answer questions all day, every day, from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. This is part one in a series sharing a question from a patron and an answer from a children's librarian.

The Reluctant Reader. Part 1.

Q: My son is 8 years old and he hates reading. It's like torture to get him to sit still for the 20 minutes each day his teacher requires. I'm at my wit's end. I'm worried about him, and I know he's feeling stressed about it, too. What can I do?

sketch of a librarian ready to take notesA: It's not time to panic. I've met plenty of kids who say they don't like to read, and who avoid reading at all costs, and yet they grow up to be readers. Parents don’t always know that each person starts reading in their own good time. Statistically, this often happens sometime around or before 3rd grade, but it's not universally true that by 3rd grade everyone reads on their own. Plenty of bright children become readers later than anyone expected.

The single best predictor of whether or not a child will

Click here to read more

Awards Excitement!

The American Library Association Youth Media Awards are nigh! Will you be watching?

No, this isn't about who is custom-designing my dress for Oscar's night.  This is about the Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and other Youth Media Awards, soon to be unveiled, on Monday January 27th!

You met Miriam Medow, OPL librarian and member of this year's Caldecott committee, a couple of weeks ago.  Miriam, and members of many award committees, are now in their final weeks of re-reading their confidential short-lists, nominated from among hundreds of children's books published this year.   Around the middle of next week, they will pack their bags with warm clothes, books and notes, and head to Philadelphia PA for the American

Click here to read more

Book Trailers for Kids

Information about and examples of book trailers – short video clips meant to get readers excited about books.

Have you ever seen a book trailer? They’re just like previews that we see at the movies, only they’re advertising upcoming books! Publishers have been putting more energy into creating exciting and enticing trailers for their books, in the hopes that watching these videos online will encourage people to go out and read the whole story.

If you or your kiddos are ever in need of new inspiration for what to read next, book trailers are an excellent way to go! Check out these trailers to see if any capture your family’s interest.

Chapter Books

Click here to read more

Re-Create Workshops in January and February

Art and recycling merge in the 2014 Oakland Re-Create Art Contest.

OPL has lots going on for children and families in the next couple of months. For Lunar New Year we are bringing both Chabot Space & Science's portable planetarium (Star Lab) and Goof Ball, a magician who will amaze us with his Eastern Magic. We are celebrating African American Heritage month by presenting Kirk Waller, storyteller extraordinaire. And we are happy once again to host workshops for Oakland's 2014 Re-Create art contest.  We'll spend the next couple of weeks highlighting these special events. 

Image from Re-Create ExhibitionFirst up is Oakland's 2014 Re-Create Art Contest (sponsored by the City of Oakland Pubic Works Agency and produced

Click here to read more

Who chooses the Caldecott Medal?

Lakeview Branch Children's Librarian Miriam Medow is serving on this year's Caldecott Award Committee. She tells us a little about her experiences this year so far, in anticipation of the award announcement later in January.

Have you ever wondered how those shiny gold and silver embossed medals wind up on the year's most distinguished picture books?  

The Caldecott Medal has been awarded each year by ALSC, a division of the American Library Association, since 1938.  A different committee of ALSC members is elected and appointed every year to decide which picture book, by an American illustrator, will win the award.  You can watch the live webcast of the award announcments at 5 a.m. on Monday January 27th, and check in with us throughout that week for reports on the

Click here to read more