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 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

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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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We Can Help You With That!

One-on-One Computer Help by appointment is now available at the Main Library.

You can now make an appointment to get individual help for your basic computer needs at the Oakland Public Library's Main Library. 

Do you want to know how to 

  • Navigate the Internet?
  • Get an email account?
  • Use a computer to write a resume?
  • Use a computer to look for a job or a place to live?

In addition to their daily drop-in hours, our Computer Lab tutors are now available for 30-minute individual appointments to tutor you in the basic computer skills you need to manage today's connected world.

Hours and times will vary based on the schedules of our friendly lab tutors. Call for an appointment at 510-238-3178. 

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Preserving Family Stories

"Preserving Family Stories," the final program in the Main Library's Fall History Series, will be held October 29, 6 p.m. in the Walters Auditorium.

Did you know that October is Family History Month? To mark the occasion, the Oakland History Room is sponsoring a series to celebrate families. Over the last week, we've held a family photo scanning day and an instructional program on how to determine the age and history of your house.

The next and final event, "Preserving Family Stories," will feature oral historian Nancy Thompson who will present an interactive workshop on collecting and preserving family histories. Participants will learn how to create family trees, how to conduct interviews and write oral histories, and how to use social histories, photographs and a variety of memorabilia to incorporate into your family history.

This event will be held Thursday, October 29 at 6 p.m. in the Walters Auditorium of the Main Library, 125 - 14th Street. For more information, contact the Oakland History Room staff

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Oakland Family History Day is October 17

Oakland Public Library celebrates Oakland Family History Day October 17.

October is Family History Month. With that in mind, the Oakland History Room has planned a series of interesting events that will encourage you to discover and preserve your family's story. First up is Oakland Family History Day on Saturday, October 17, noon to 5 p.m. at the Main Library. Preserving family stories and mementos is very important and contributes to our understanding of ourselves and our communities. Oaklanders are invited to bring up to six photographs or documents to this event where they will be scanned by Oakland History Room staff and volunteers. If you'd like to participate, here are the answers to some questions you may have:

  1. How can I participate in Oakland Family History Day? Space for this event is very limited. Pre-registration is required. Pre-register by October 16 by calling the Oakland History Room at 510.238-3222. Come to the event on Saturday, October 17, noon to 5 p.m. at the

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Delilah Beasley: Oakland's crusading journalist

Delilah Beasley (1867-1934) was Oakland's first Black newspaper columnist who chronicled the activities of Black residents for the Tribune from 1915-1934.

Any serious student of California history will encounter the name of Delilah Beasley, African American author of the 1919 classic work, “Negro Trail Blazers of California.” Her natural curosity about Black life and culture led her to writing early in her life. As a teen, she wrote articles for the Cleveland Gazette, the Catholic Tribune, and the Ohio State TribuneMs. Beasley came to California from her native Ohio in 1910 at the age of 39. To support herself, she found work as a nurse, a masseuse, and maid. Soon after her arrival, she began to immerse herself in the study of Blacks in California. 

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Be Who You Are - How Boring!

Local author Alex Gino shares a good reason to hope your book is boring -- and gives us a totally awesome new heroine.

Local author Alex Gino has a new book with a powerful message: “Be Who You Are.”

That’s easier said than done in the 4th grade. But it’s especially hard for Melissa, because everyone still calls her George (her birth name) and they don’t know what she knows: She is a girl.

Melissa is transgender and the book George, published by Scholastic, is one of the first middle grade books to give voice to a transgender heroine.

We introduced you to George in a post last week

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