Emma turns 200

"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich."

December marked the 200 anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's EmmaThe title page of the John Murray first edition reads "1816" but the book was actually released on December 23, 1815, making this brief tribute both timely and belated. 

Emma Woodhouse, the heroine that Austen declared, "no one but myself will much like," is the headstrong and indulged younger daughter of a Henry Woodhouse, a country gentleman. Unlike Austen's other heroines Elizabeth Bennet and Elinor Dashwood, Emma is rich and therefore not in need of a husband to provide her with financial security. Her entitled position in the little town of Highbury has set Emma up at the age of twenty as an unchecked meddler in the lives of her neighbors, especially in their love lives. Complications ensue, some painful. All is resolved happily in the end.

Click here to read more

Preschool Adventure : Exploratorium

Discover & Go with the preschool and under set. Indoor, FREE fun during the winter.

If you have encountered me at all, chances are I have talked your ear off about OPL's Discover and Go service. It is one of my favorite services!

Museum passes for FREE! How can you not like that?!?!

If you have been raising a preschooler in California, they have spent their whole lives in drought weather, and this rainy, wetter than usual winter is driving your household crazy. 

What do you do when you can't run them ragged at the park? How are you going to expend their energy?

My answer: Discover & Go Adventure Days

This month, I'll share our Exploratorium adventure with you.

Reserving an Exploratorium pass through Discover

Click here to read more

New Year, Old Me.

This year, instead of changing into someone new, resolve to embrace the old you, and celebrate your uniqueness.

Last year my New Year’s Resolution was to give up dieting. Surprisingly, keeping this was harder than it sounds. Nonetheless it was the first New Year’s resolution I kept until bathing suit season. So with this whole “new year new you” mantra upon us again, I am asking myself, what is the point? Seriously, why should I try to change anything? What if I believe the old me is pretty cool and I don’t need to change anything? Would embracing the old me change how I raise my kids? Would accepting the old me help  my child embrace his uniqueness and understand he is special in his own way?  Maybe instead of a new year’s resolution that rejects the old me for the new, this year I’ll resolve to embrace the old me.

I invite you to join me. Instead of trying to change your future, why not try looking in your past and maybe you will realize just how awesome you are. Share with your children who are our future just why the past makes them so special. Here is what I’ll be sharing with mine: 

 

Click here to read more

10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in January 2016

Start the year out right with one of these fantastic books. Your hold list will thank you!

Click here to read more

How well do you know the Oakland Public Library?

Take a short quiz about the library and win a chance for a prize. All answers can be found in the new Oakland Public Library Annual Report 2014-15.

To celebrate the publication of the Oakland Public Library's 2014-15 Annual Report, we're having a contest!  Answer seven questions correctly and be entered into our weekly drawings for a $20 gift certificate to the Friends of the Oakland Public Library's Bookmark Bookstore in Old Oakland (721 Washington Street). 

Drawings will take place at noon on January 8, 15, and 22, 2016.  All eligible entries with 100% correct responses will be entered into each of the drawings -- there is no need to resubmit each week. 

Do you need a hint or two?  Check out our 2014-15 Annual Report.

Have fun!

Click here to read more

Oakland Public Library Staff’s Favorite Books of 2015

OPL staff look back on their favorite books of 2015.

It's that time of year when everyone publishes their best of the year lists. I look forward to seeing what the New York Times has to say on this matter, but I think my colleagues at Oakland Public Library always come up with the best reading suggestions! Here are some of our favorites from 2015. 

We'd love to hear from you, too--please share your favorites of 2015 in the comments. 

Click here to read more

Has this happened to you?

No one wants to talk about accidentally damaging a library book, but it happens to everyone, even librarians.

Yesterday one of our children's librarians told me this story:

"Today a young child came to me with her mother carrying a book. Eyes downcast she explained that her three-year-old sister learned how to use scissors and handed me this":

Cut Book

"I laughed and told her the story of my library book when my three-year-old sister discovered crayons. I asked her if she kept her temper,  she admitted she lost her temper "a little, but she deserved it!"  The girl promised to keep her library books in her backpack next time. Luckily I had a back-up copy in storage anyway. The child is relieved, the mother is happy, and they checked out several more chapter books."

Baby Eating Book

Click here to read more

Moving Toward a Sustainable Future

What can you do about global warming? Check out some of OPL's books on the topic.

During the past few weeks you've probably heard and read about the United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in Paris earlier this month. At the close of the conference, the Paris Agreement was adopted. If you're interested in reading more about climate change, OPL has many new titles on the topic. The books listed below cover the current issues while also offering solutions for a more sustainable future.

This Changes Everything     

Click here to read more

Most Popular Books of 2015

Think you know OPL's most popular books of 2015? Some of these may surprise you.

Click here to read more

Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer. What books do you have for and about Muslim children?

Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer. What books do you have that will help our Muslim classmates feel welcome, and give the rest of the class some idea of what it means to be Muslim? I teach reading in elementary school, so a range of reading levels would be best.

Q: I’m looking for books to help our Muslim students feel welcome, and give the rest of the class some ideas of what it means for their classmates to be Muslim. Where do you keep books about Muslims for kids? I need books for kindergarten through third grade.

Click here to read more