Book Characters Make Great Halloween Costumes

Dress up as your favorite book characters for Halloween. Here are some ideas.

Halloween is fast approaching.  Still need a costume for your child and/or for yourself?  What about a favorite children’s book character?  Last year, Children's Room Librarian Laura Gravander and I dressed up as Elephant and Piggie of Mo Willems fame. See the resemblance?

   

Uncanny, isn't it?

One Halloween, all of the Children's Room staff dressed as different Rainbow Fairies.

Rainbow Fairies

And, of course there was the infamous training where six Children's Librarians

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Throwback Thursday: An Old Fashioned Hallowe'en Party Circa 1905

A 1905 issue of the San Francisco Call offers some tips for a "Old Fashioned Hallowe'en Party"

Thinking of having an old fashioned Halloween Party, but find you "must sigh vainly for farmstead kitchen and big new barn"?  Marion Harland published a few suggestions on how to "retain the spirit of the time-honored festival" in the San Francisco Call in 1905. When planning your costume remember that "a fine chance is offered here for the display of jaunty aprons and short-sleeved blouses." And for diversions, you can simply bob for apples or have your fortune told through a cabbage stalk, a goblet of vinegar, or a flaming raisin!

Read all of her suggestions in the newspaper images below.

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Books We Love: The Known World

A book to check out: The Known World, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historical novel about slavery by Edward P. Jones.

Book coverThe 2003 novel The Known World by Edward P. Jones tells a haunting, heartbreaking and complex story of slavery in America. An enslaved African American man saves the money he makes as a carpenter to purchase and free himself, his wife, and later, their son. To the amazed disappointment of his parents, the son maintains a connection with his former master, and then becomes a slave owner himself. And a white sheriff, despite his anti-slavery views, has a job that requires him to apprehend runaway slaves. The sheriff reluctantly accepts a slave girl as a wedding gift, but prefers to treat her as a daughter. These are just two strands of the interwoven stories

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New DVDs for November 2014 @ Oakland Public Library

New DVDs arriving in November 2014 at Oakland Public Library.

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Screen Time and Story Time

E-reading vs.reading with young children is a hot topic; your library is developing its services around this content, and how we deliver it to you.

Did you catch the article in the October 11th New York Times: Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?  There were several responses in today's Letters to the Editor section, but we are curious about your thoughts. 

This is something librarians have been talking about for quite a while*.  The Amercian Academy of Pediatrics "strongly recommends no screen time for children under 2, and less than two hours a day for older children," according to the Times article.   But we know that apps and ebooks can play an important role, along with picture books, in the

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Quake!

It's been 25 years since the last "big one."

Where were you 25 years ago at 5:04? At work? At school? Candlestick Park?

Today, October 17, marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. 

Loma Prieta wasn't the first big earthquake to rock the East Bay and it won't be the last. Whether you want to prepare yourself for earthquakes to come or to learn more about Loma Prieta, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, or the October, 1868 earthquake -- the last "big one" on the Hayward Fault, the Main Library can answer your questions. 

With the media reminding us that we're overdue for another big earthquake, what can you learn at the library to help you prepare yourself, your family, and your home? We have lots to read on the science of earthquakes if you're looking for general information. Want to know how to retrofit your house? We've got that, too. Don't want a book? There are DVDs in our collection on

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The African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO) wants your home movies!

Donate your home movies, and have them digitized for free!

AAMLO has something exciting going on, so I asked the librarian there to share with me, so I can share with you all!  Here's what she has to say:

Donate your home movies - in any format - and we will digitize them, add them to our collection, and give you a free DVD copy of your own. Do you have any older films you haven’t watched for years, gathering dust and waiting to be transferred to a newer format? This is the perfect opportunity! Share your unique history and help us expand our Home Movie Collection.

AAMLO collects film images from local families and individuals, to preserve and to make them accessible for future generations. Your cherished memories could become a part of our exclusive collection!

Don’t miss

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Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Do you have true information about dragons?

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. Kids who ask for information don’t always differentiate between fantasy and reality. Why not believe in dragons, if you're going to believe in dinosaurs - Right?

In the following scenario, Q is a boy, age 4½, accompanied by his mother, known here as Q(mom), and A is the children’s librarian. (btw: When Q says, “Guys!” he’s looking straight at the librarian. This is a bit unusual, but only because it’s plural. “Hey, you!” is more common.)

Q: Guys! Do you have a book about a dragon? A fierce dragon! A real, live, true dragon! Dragonology

A: So, you don’t want one of those stories where the dragon turns out to be friendly, I see. You want to know about real, fierce dragons! Okay, I think we can find something. Tell me, would

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Books for Wider Horizons - Taking Storytimes to Young Children for Twenty Years

Books for Wider Horizons is celebrating twenty years.

Books for Wider HorizonsThis year is our 20th anniversary of taking storytimes to young children in Oakland preschools, including Head Starts and CDCs, through the efforts of our trained volunteer storyreaders. We will be celebrating all year with posts on the history and future of Books for Wider Horizons.

Picture of Gay DuceyFirst up is an interview with Gay Ducey. Gay is a nationally-known storyteller and has been training our volunteers since the beginning. Her commitment to this program is legendary within the library, and she is a beloved mentor to all our volunteers.

We interviewed Gay on Saturday, October 11.

How and why did Books for Wider Horizons start?

As a group, OPL’s children’s librarians were not happy seeing only the children whose parents brought them to

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East Bay Home Front at OPL

The Oakland History Room is hosting an exhibit and a program on the East Bay Home Front during World War II.

With the recent week-long broadcast of Ken Burns’ “The Roosevelts: an intimate history” and a number of key anniversaries passing this year, the study of World War II is as popular as ever.  

The Oakland Public Library is following the trend with its current exhibit, “East Bay Home Front during World War II.” This display tells the story of how Oaklanders and other East Bay residents mobilized to assist in the war effort. Men and women not only volunteered for military service, they worked in shipyards, canneries, the aircraft industry, and the burgeoning construction trades. They grew victory gardens at home, observed curfews and blackouts, and reduced their meat and milk consumption to abide by rationing rules. They became blood donors and civil defense officers. They even volunteered their dogs for service!

World War

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