Día!: Diversity in Action

Kirk Waller and Mariella Herrera help us celebrate children, books, and language at your library.

Día!: Diversity in Action (formerly known as Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros) celebrates children, families, fun, and the joy of books and language.

In Oakland we celebrate Día for a whole month, at each of your libraries. This year we present two wonderful performers.  Bring the whole family. There will be light refreshements, and free book to keep for each child attending. 

Picture of Kirk WallerKirk Waller - With a lifelong love of story, literature and the performing arts, Kirk Waller summons

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Private Life by Jane Smiley: A Lakeview Branch Book Club Review

Notes from the Lakeview Book Club Discussion of Jane Smiley's novel, Private Life.

Eleven of us had a lively discussion of the 2010 novel, Private Life by Jane Smiley.

Jane Smiley is in her mid-sixties and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992 for her novel, A Thousand Acres, which is based on King Lear. She was raised in Missouri and obtained a B.A. from Vassar and her M.A. and M.F.A from the University of Iowa. She had a Fulbright scholarship to Iceland while working on her Doctorate.

None of our group had ever read one of her novels. We learned that Smiley is noted for writing books about families. Our novel, Private Life, is loosely based on the lives of her great-uncle and great-aunt. Her great-uncle was an eccentric scientist and her great-aunt a long suffering wife. In this book those characters were Andrew and Martha.

Almost all of us liked this book. One really did not like it and would not recommend it to others. Those who liked it would only recommend it to certain

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Hey kids, get cooking!

Come in today and grab a cookbook to share with your kids!

There are two cookbooks seeing heavy rotation in my kitchen right now: Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry and Thug Kitchen.


Mmm-mmm! Please try the peach-pomegranate barbecue sauce in

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in April 2015

Here are ten fantastic books springing this month.

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Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: I know what kind of book I want but I can't find it!

How to find that hard-to-find book

Kids looking for booksQ: I know exactly what kind of book my son/daughter likes but it is kind of hard to describe.  Can you help me find some good titles that we would like?

A:  Yes, we would love to help!  One of the best book requests I ever heard from a parent was for picture books "where there is a lot of things to look at."  It turned out her four year old son loved pouring over elaborate illustrations with lots of little details to explore.  And guess what?  There are lots of children's picture books that fit the bill!  The tricky part for this parent was to find those types of books on the shelf when there isn't a keyword for "detailed pictures" or "lots to see" in the library catalog.  So how do we find something her son will enjoy?

Looking for books with a certain feel, tone, or specific trait can sometimes be tough.  We

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Wheeee! Roller Coasters....At the Library?

Become a roller coaster engineer, April 2nd, 3:30 at the 81st Avenue Library!

Do you love roller coasters?  The loops, the speed, the excitement, the wind in your hair?  Have you ever wondered why some coasters are faster or scarier than others?  How roller coaster cars stay on the track?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, have we got something special for you!


On Thursday, April 2nd at 3:30, Lawrence Hall of Science is coming to the 81st Avenue Library to teach kids Lawrence Hall of Science logoall about the science and engineering of roller coasters with hands-on experiementing and table-top creations! 

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When's the Last Time You Read a Poem?

April is National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month. What better way to celebrate than by reading a poem and what better place to find a poem than Oakland Public Library! We have a vast selection from which to choose starting with the collections listed below, all published during the past year. 

What I've Stolen, What I've Earned     

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Kids Eat Free! YES FREE!

New food program launched in the Oakland Library. Free meals and snacks served after school.

Starting April 2nd and ending May 22nd everyone who is 18 years old and younger can eat a FREE meal or a snack in the Eastmont library. The meals must be eaten onsite in the designated area.  Meals will be served between 3:30 and 4:30 pm (or while supplies last.) 

We are also looking for a few responsible teenagers or young adults to  volunteer and help us distribute the food.  In addition to showering you with undying gradidute,  we will also sign off on your school mandated community service hours. Contact Paul Schiesser at (510) 615-5726 for more details.

The Eastmont Library is located in the Eastmont Towncenter: 7200 Bancroft Ave. Suite 211 (second floor)

So you're hungry today? Or you can't make it to the Eastmont Library? Try these other two locations:


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What's Your Favorite Bunny Book?

Do you like your bunnies soft and gentle, or bloody and savage? Either way, we've got a bunny book for you!

Hippity-hop! It's springtime in Oakland, and I thought we could celebrate with a chat about bunnies, the official animal of spring. I don't know why the vernal equinox gets everyone thinking about rabbits. Scientific data exists that shows they do, in fact, exist at other times of the year.

Also, bunnies are really not sweet and gentle and cute as the books below would have you believe. They are kind of vicious. Have you read Watership Down? If you haven't, you really should. It's one of my childhood favorites. At one point, I considered myself fluent in the language the author invented for the book, so if you read it, maybe you can come by and we can have a conversation in Lapine. Anyway, the rabbits in that book killed each other pretty easily and often, so much so that if you do a Google image search for "

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OHR Preserves Local Treasures on Obsolete Media

The Oakland History Room has preserved rare and culturally valuable recordings in its collection.

Since 2013, the Oakland History Room (OHR) has been a partner of the California Audiovisual Preservation Project which preserves and provides access to unpublished and rare audiovisual content that is significant to state history. The CAVPP also works to raise awareness of the need to preserve such items and to raise funds for this type of archival preservation. The project, known locally as California Light & Sound, is administered at the University of California at Berkeley.

Through this partnership, the Oakland History Room has been able to preserve such items as 8mm and 16mm film of speed boat races on Lake Merritt and the 1948 Christmas Balloon Parade in downtown Oakland; VHS recordings of community events like the annual Black Cowboy Parade; oral histories recorded on audiocassette, and Oakland junior high orchestra and choir recordings on vinyl. So far, forty-nine items from OHR's collection have been digitized. These recordings now live on the Internet Archive (www.archive.org). Just type in “Oakland History

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