Slim Jenkins, West Oakland Entrepreneur

Remembering Slim Jenkins on the 85th anniversary of the opening of Slim Jenkins Cafe.

Today marks two momentous occasions in history. On December 5, 1933, 85 years ago today, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution became law in the United States. This Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment which prohibited the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States.

The repeal of prohibition was good news to entrepreneur Harold “Slim” Jenkins, a man that would become known as the unofficial Mayor of West Oakland. Jenkins became a prominent figure in the heart of the West Oakland community. Eighty-five years ago today, as a result of the end of prohibition, Jenkins opened the Slim Jenkins Cafe. He owned several successful businesses throughout West Oakland including a restaurant, night club, coffee shop and liquor store.                   

Seventh Street as a result of Slim

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DIY Gifts at the Library!

Make your gifts at the library for free!

Want to surprise your loved ones with unique gifts without grabbing your wallet? Looking for opportunities to get crafty after reading about recommended crafting books in our collections? Don't care too much about gifting or the holidays but still want to have free fun while expressing yourself? From card-making to making jewelry, we've got you covered! Our programs are free and supplies are provided.

Events are for all ages unless otherwise indicated.




Monday Arts & Crafts - Brookfield Branch, 4pm


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Introducing from LinkedIn Learning!

Want to get a job, get a promotion, or switch careers? Learn a new skill or two with! Free with your Oakland Public Library card.

Want to get a job, get a promotion, or switch careers? Learn a new skill or two with from LinkedIn Learning for FREE with your OPL library card! 

What is offers more than 12,000 video-based training tutorials and development courses on business, technology, and new media designYou can

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Oakland Public Library's 2018 Gift Guide

Giving a gift to a book lover anytime soon? Our third annual Gift Guide features some of our favorite recent books for kids, teens and adults.

It's that time of year again!  You are looking for ideas for gifts, and we are full of ideas about books!  This is our FOURTH annual Gift Guide and we are excited to share it with you.

Our list this year has some amazing gems for children, teens, and adults and we hope to help you fufill all your gift giving duties with it this winter.  Please think about supporting your local bookstores and all the wonderful readers in your lives by giving them these recent books that are some of our personal favorites.  

Children’s Books for ages 0-5

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Trans Day of Remembrance

Today, we remember and celebrate all transgender individuals whose lives were taken because of anti-trans violence, prejudice, and hate crimes.

OPL logo with trans flag

Today, November 20th, is the Transgender Day of Remembrance (#TDoR). According to the official TDoR website, TDoR was established in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to honor Rita Hesler and all other trans* people who have died from anti-trans hate crimes and violence.

Although recent events have brought the ways the federal government (and other levels of government) define and choose to recognize

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Living on Ohlone Land

While many Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, it is crucial to remember the rich history of the Native peoples of this land and the atrocities committed by colonial and settler forces in attempts to erase their humanity, culture, and survival.

(photo by San Francisco Trail Project on Flickr)

Have you ever driven on Shellmound Street or shopped at the shopping centers along it in Emeryville? Ever wondered where that name came from?

Last week, Corinna Gould delivered a powerful talk about Living on Ohlone Land at the Golden Gate Branch (view the video playlist here). Ms. Gould is the spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone, the co-founder of

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Frederick Roberts: California's First African American Legislator

In honor of election day the African American Museum and Library at Oakland profiles political figure Frederick Madison Roberts.


Today is Election Day in the United States of America. Your vote counts. On this Election Day, the African American Museum and Library at Oakland profiles political figure Frederick Madison Roberts. Roberts was born in Chillicothe, Ohio in 1880 to Andrew J. and Ellen Wales Roberts. From his mother, he acquired the distinction of being the great-grandson of Sally Hemings, a woman reputed to be the mistress of Thomas Jefferson.

There were two milestones in Roberts’ distinguished life. First, Roberts was the first African American to graduate from Los Angeles High School. He went on to attend the University of Southern California for one semester and then transferred to Colorado College, where he received an A.B. in legal studies. He also served in his first civic office, acting as deputy assessor of El Paso County, Colorado.


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International Games Week & Month @ OPL!

Are you a gamer? Did you know that International Games Week is November 4-10, 2018? Luckily, you can play all month long at OPL.

Image of black and white dice

International Games Week is November 4-10, 2018. Whether you're into video games or old-fashioned board games, we've got fun events for you, your friends, and your family all month long!

Thursday 11/1

Wii U Super Smash Bros. Preliminary Tournament @ Dimond Branch

Saturday 11/3

Super Smash Bros Preliminary Tournament

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Halloween & Día de los Muertos @ OPL!

If you love spooky season and/or celebrate Día de los Muertos, we've got you covered with fun events for all ages!

Wednesday 10/31

Halloween Family StorytimeImage of spooky pumpkin

We're having a special (sorta-)spooky storytime! Gather 'round the campfire and get ready to giggle and shriek at tales of toddler-friendly terror. We will sing and dance and then do a pumpkin craft.

Recommended for ages 3-7, but all of your family is welcome.

Wednesday, October 31st, 10:30am @ Elmhurst Branch



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Remembering Ida L. Jackson [1906-1996] A Reflection by Sean Dickerson

Historic Prescott School turns 150 in 2019 and to help celebrate AAMLO will be occasionally blogging about the school's history. Sean Dickerson begins this week with the story of Ida Louise Jackson, Oakland’s first African American teacher, who taught at Prescott starting in 1925.



On the anniversary of Ida L. Jackson's birth (October 12, 1902), AAMLO celebrates her commitment to progress and empowerment through education.

In 1921, while attending U.C. Berkeley (at the time one of only eight African American women students), Jackson founded the Rho Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the oldest Greek-letter society for African American women in the United States. After being told by the Oakland Public School system that she would need more education, she returned to U.C. Berkeley, earning her Master's degree in 1923. After earning her Master's degree, Jackson was again denied a position with Oakland Public; this time they told her she required more teaching experience. With this in mind, Jackson moved to the Imperial Valley, and began teaching at East Side High School in El Centro, California, where parents

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