It starts with a murder. Read A Northern Light

It starts with a murder. If you're into the Serial podcast, then this case and this book might be for you.

A Northern Light

Mattie is 16, she's plain, smart, hardworking and a reader. Her mom died of cancer awhile back, Pa is gone for long stretches, working the land, leaving Mattie with a gaggle of siblings to care for. She wants to finish her schooling but she's poor and in 1906 upstate New York, high school and college aren't priorities for girls. She's inspired by her teacher, a poet and feminist, who helps her land an acceptance letter and full scholarship to Barnard. But Pa forbids it, she made a promise to her dying mother to never leave, and this Plain Jane is getting some unfathomable attention from the town hottie. What's a girl to do?

So, back to murder. Just like an episode of Law and Order, Mattie is going about her work day when she is presented with a body found near the lake. It's a pretty young woman, just

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Romantic DVDs for Valentine’s Day @ Oakland Public Library

An eclectic assortment of romantic films from Oakland Public Library’s DVD collection.

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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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Selma and the Voting Rights Act of 1965

If you'd like to read about Selma and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 check out these books.

You may have recently seen the the movie Selma highlighting the civil rights campaign, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to ensure equal voting rights for African Americans. If you'd like to learn more about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the people involved, the books listed below are a great place to start.

All summaries are from the publisher's description.

Bending Toward Justice    

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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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New DVDs for January 2015 - Coming Soon to Oakland Public Library

DVD Titles coming soon to Oakland Public Library in January 2015.

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Oscar Nominees For 2015 Available Now @ Oakland Public Library!

Oscar-nominated DVD titles at Oakland Public Library.

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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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Poetry at Work

"Poetry arrived in search of me."

So wrote Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. 

Do poems reach out to you?

Tuesday, January 13 is Poetry at Work Day. That's according to publisher Tweetspeak Poetry, and we're on board with it. There's no reason to wait until National Poetry Month in April. Poetry is good for you every day. 

Your Main Library has a rich collection of poetry for you. There's so much here it's hard to know where to start. 

We have the epic poems of the past -- like Homer and Gilgamesh -- in a translation to suit every reading taste. Poetry from every country and tradition. Or read Neruda: you can't beat him. We enrich the Main Library's collections with the latest publications and award winners, too. You can read the work of United States Poet Laureate Charles Wright or California's Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. Early adopters can read the work of Oakland's new

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The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa: A Lakeview Book Club Review

These are the Lakeview Book Club notes from the discussion about 1958 novel, The Leopard by Giuseppi Tomasi di Lampedusa. It is the best selling Italian novel of all time and considered one of the very best historical novels ever written. The Lakeview Book Club recommends it highly!

Hello Everyone,
The meeting was really interesting. our discussion leader had much to share with us, including a portrait of Garibaldi, the leader of the "Risorgimento," the civil war between supporters of monarchy and aristocracy and their opponents, who wanted democracy and a unified Italy. The reorganization was completed in the 1860s with a constitutional monarch at the helm of an united Italy. Garibaldi was a very colorful character. We might read a good biography about him later.
The novel, The Leopard, was published posthumously in 1958. It took three years for author, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa to write it and it was rejected several times before it was finally published. Every faction or class depicted in this novel hated Tomasi's interpretation of them and

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