Oakland celebrates Black Panther Party's 50th anniversary

Black Panther Party's 50th anniversary commemorations continue in Oakland.

For the past month, historians, teachers, scholars, artists, students, and residents from all over the Bay Area and the state have gathered in Oakland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party's founding here. Local visual artists, art historians, deejays, dancers, political activists, and academics have hosted events that celebrated the legacy of this revolutionary group. Many of the economic and political issues they addressed--police brutality, poverty, job and housing discrimination--remain unresolved today. The Oakland Museum of California hosted a weekend conference, "Where Do We Go From Here?," that drew hundreds of people.   

Though most of the commemorative Panther programs occurred in October, there are a few events you can still catch:

Oakland Museum of California: "All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50"

The Museum has mounted an extensive

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Black Panthers at 50: Syllabus - Events - Exhibits

Oakland Library commemorates the Black Panther Party's 50th Anniversary with events, exhibits and a syllabus for K-12 students.

Collage with 4 book covers and the words Black Panther Party 50th AnniversaryFifty years ago, the Black Panthers took to the streets of Oakland to defend Black residents against police violence and city neglect. Soon, the Panthers electrified America with a bold image of Black militancy and some very basic demands, “We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace."

 

Who were the Panthers and what did they achieve? What can we learn from their influence on culture, music and mass media? From their grassroots social programs — including free breakfast for children, health clinics and liberation schools — and from their "Rainbow Coalition" uniting poor people of all races. Yes, the Panther’s did that too.

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Melrose Branch Library celebrates its 100th Birthday!

Brief history of Melrose Branch Library in celebration of its centennial

This year marks the centennial of the Melrose Branch Library, the first of four Carnegie Libraries built in Oakland.

The area we know as the Melrose District was once a thriving, semi-rural town south of Oakland. The town boasted large factories like the Oakland Chemical Company and a diverse array of light industry (machine shops, lumber yards, planing mills). Banks, tailor shops, pharmacy, and real estate offices could also be found there. Every twenty minutes people could go to the Melrose Terminal and board a Southern Pacific train, or get on a ferry at Clark’s Landing, as the Melrose wharves were known, to travel to San Francisco. East 14th Street (now International Boulevard) was the main commercial strip of the town.

Melrose School shared its building with Union High School #4 (later renamed John C. Fremont High). People, skeptical that the district couldn't justify having a high school, were surprised at how quickly the school filled with students. After the 1906 earthquake, families moved to

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Do It Yourself (with a little help from the Library)

Read-CREATE-Explore with DIY resources at the Library!

Summer is in full swing, and so are summer projects. You may be using your well-deserved time off for gardening, home repair, mending what's broken, or generally beautifying your surroundings. In honor of our summer reading theme this year - Read-Create-Explore - we're highlighting some of our DIY resources. 

Does your project require special equipment? No need to run off and buy a bunch of expensive tools. Just visit our Tool Lending Library at the Temescal Branch and check out what you need. The TLL has over 5,000 tools, plus books and instructional DVDs. 

One of the many items offered at Tool Lending Library is a bike repair kit - or use our tools at one of our drop-in repair clinics! You can fix minor repairs or scraper your bike on Fridays 2-4:

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Geo-Palooza Returns!

Main Library hosts its second annual geography quiz, Geo-Palooza. Pre-registration is required. Call 510.238-3222.

The Main Library is still celebrating our tenth year of providing Oaklanders with fun and inspiring travel programs. Please join us for our 2nd annual device-free geography quiz, Geo-Palooza! Last year we had so much fun we had to do it again. Who knew geography geeks could be so competitive?

If you want to participate, you must register by calling 510.238-3222. You're welcomed to sit in, but it's so much more fun to play! Join the fun! Win prizes! Show off your geography chops!

Wednesday, June 15; 6 p.m.

MAIN LIBRARY

Walters Auditorium

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May is National Bike Month

Celebrate National Bike Month with the Library!

 May is National Bike Month, one of our favorite times of the year at Oakland Public Library. Did you know that bike usage has tripled in Oakland since 2000? We are a leading metro area for bicycle commuting nationwide. In fact, 4% of all Oakland commuters traveling to work and school go by bike. In celebration, and to encourage even more Oaklanders to get out and ride, we have a full slate of bike-related events for you! 

First things first: If you don't currently have a bike, the Library can help you get one! We're partnering with Cycles of Change to get more people on bikes - all you have to do is sign up at the West Oakland branch before May 21, and attend a safety training on May 27th at

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Oaklandhasjobs Job Fair

Meet employers in person, have your resume reviewed, and learn about paid internship opportunities at our Job Fair on Saturday April 30.

If you're currently in the market for a new job, the following may sound familiar: You're in the midst of a job search, feeling the pressure of making your resume or application stand out from the crowd. But in your efforts to shine, you start to feel lost in the shuffle: poring over job postings, submitting applications online, trying to make real contacts in a virtual world. If only you had the opportunity to give your resume to a hiring manager face-to-face, shake hands and make an impression in person!

You can do just that at the upcoming Oaklandhasjobs Job Fair at the Main Library on Saturday, April 30, 10:30am-12:30pm. There's a long list of local employers ready to meet you. Dress professionally, bring copies of your resume, and prepare to impress! So far, the list of employers includes Starbucks, Manpower, IKEA, Home Depot, Alliance Staffing, Oakland Private Industry Council, Whelan Security, Select Staffing, State Farm Insurance, Claremont Resort,

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Rad American Women: R is for Rosa Parks

The Rosa Parks Papers are now available anywhere.

Rounding out Women's History Month and our Rad American Women theme, we want to let you know that the Library of Congress has digitized and made available online its collection of papers and photographs on the life and career of Rosa Parks. The collection, which includes 7,500 manuscripts and 2,500 photographs, was purchased in 2014 by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and deposited at the Library of Congress on a 10 year loan. It has been open to in-person researchers for a year but is now accessible online to researchers worldwide as the Rosa Parks Papers

The contents of the Rosa Parks Papers are huge and wide-ranging. Mrs. Parks seems to have kept everything. The collection includes items such as a poll tax receipt, letters to her mother, recipes, and a

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Researching Your House's History at OPL

Researchers can use several handy tools at the Oakland History Room to discover the history of their homes and businesses.

The houses many of us live in have long and fascinating histories. Some are architecturally distinguished, some have been moved from other locations, some are the former homes of important people. For those of you interested in finding out more about your house, a trip to the Oakland History Room (OHR) may answer your questions.

A first stop should be to OHR's Map Room where patrons can find their houses in tax assessment block books (1877-1925) and Sanborn Fire Insurance maps (1882-1951). There you can find out names of previous owners, property values, physical information about the house, and prior street names. Another important resource in the Map Room is the Oakland annexation map. The city grew by five annexations; knowing when your neighborhood became part of Oakland helps facilitate your search. Researchers can then consult Oakland city directories (in OHR's

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Researching Your House's History at OPL

Researchers can use several handy tool at the Oakland History Room to discover the history of their homes and businesses.

The houses many of us live in have long and fascinating histories. Some are architecturally distinguished, some have been moved from other locations, some are the former homes of important people. For those of you interested in finding out more about your house, a trip to the Oakland History Room (OHR) may answer your questions.

A first stop should be to OHR's Map Room where patrons can find their houses in tax assessment block books (1877-1925) and Sanborn Fire Insurance maps (1882-1951). There you can find out names of previous owners, property values, physical information about the house, and prior street names. Another important resource in the Map Room is the Oakland annexation map. The city grew by five annexations; knowing when your neighborhood became part of Oakland helps facilitate your search. Researchers can then consult Oakland city directories (in OHR's Main Room) to find out more about the owners. Some, for example, were contractors, possibly the builders of their properties. 

Further

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