Re-Create Workshops in January and February

Art and recycling merge in the 2014 Oakland Re-Create Art Contest.

OPL has lots going on for children and families in the next couple of months. For Lunar New Year we are bringing both Chabot Space & Science's portable planetarium (Star Lab) and Goof Ball, a magician who will amaze us with his Eastern Magic. We are celebrating African American Heritage month by presenting Kirk Waller, storyteller extraordinaire. And we are happy once again to host workshops for Oakland's 2014 Re-Create art contest.  We'll spend the next couple of weeks highlighting these special events. 

Image from Re-Create ExhibitionFirst up is Oakland's 2014 Re-Create Art Contest (sponsored by the City of Oakland Pubic Works Agency and produced

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Who chooses the Caldecott Medal?

Lakeview Branch Children's Librarian Miriam Medow is serving on this year's Caldecott Award Committee. She tells us a little about her experiences this year so far, in anticipation of the award announcement later in January.

Have you ever wondered how those shiny gold and silver embossed medals wind up on the year's most distinguished picture books?  

The Caldecott Medal has been awarded each year by ALSC, a division of the American Library Association, since 1938.  A different committee of ALSC members is elected and appointed every year to decide which picture book, by an American illustrator, will win the award.  You can watch the live webcast of the award announcments at 5 a.m. on Monday January 27th, and check in with us throughout that week for reports on the

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Found in the Library, Volume 3

Here are more items from our collection of things found in books and in the library. Enjoy!

You may have already seen the awesome article in the San Francisco Chronicle about all the interesting things found in library books and at the library and how we feature them here on our blog.  Super cool, right?  I've had a lot of good response to the article - it seems like many people enjoy finding things left behind in books and other places.  Have you ever lost something in a book?  Found something unexpected?  

In any case, this is an ideal time for another post of found items.  I've got so much more to share! 

         

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You've Got a Great App!

Looking for some awesome new apps? Here are some of my favorites!

As the holidays approach and people are gathering their piles of new devices, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite apps with you!  Maybe you'll find something fun you didn't know about!

Some of these are library-specific, some are useful, if not library-specific, and some are just for fun!  

Should we start library?  Ok, let's!  Of course I'm sure you already know about all of these, right?  Just in case, though:

  • Freegal - An app that allows you to stream and download music for free using your library card
  • Zinio - This app lets you read digital versions of the newest edition of many magazines, again for free using your library card

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Read the Book, See the Film

Check out the many books that have recently been made into movies.

You may have seen any number of recent movie releases such as The Book Thief, How I Live Now, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, 12 Years a Slave, and Catching Fire, which are all based on books.  In 2014 many more popular books for

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Fantastic Family Read-alouds

A list of recommended chapter books for families to read aloud together, available at the Oakland Public Library.

Kids are off school and the holiday season is drawing to a close. Tis the season for digging into a great all-ages read-aloud! Cuddle up with your kiddos, try some of these favorites, and tell us in the comments about the beloved books in your family:

Picture Books

Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock book cover

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Fun on (Almost) Zero Dollars a Day

Are you tired of buy, buy, buy? Do you just want to have fun? So does your child. Here are some free toys for you both to play with.

With the holidays upon us, pressure is on to buy expensive toys. However, for babies and toddlers, play = the chance to smell, taste, hear, touch and see different things. That is how babies and toddlers explore their new, exciting world. Here are some tips for simple and almost free things you can make for your toddler this holiday season (with thanks to Rachel Payne at Brooklyn Public Library):

  • Cover a table with a sheet of contact paper sticky side up. It teaches your child the meaning of sticky.
  • Make a set of blocks out of cardboard boxes you already have at home. Think about those empty cereal boxes and spaghetti boxes you plan to throw out or recycle and repurpose them.Cereal Box
  • Stuff a scarf into a paper towel tube and what do you have, an instant game of peek-a-boo.
  • Tape some bubble wrap to the floor and let your child walk

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A few (1) of my favorite things

As I reflect on the great books I've read this year, one really stands out: Where'd you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

As I reflect on the great books I've read this year, one really stands out: Where'd you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.  Bee is an over-schedule teen in a Seattle private school filled with parents who seem to have too, much time, show too much interest or otherwise are over-involved in school politics.  Bee's dad is an up-and-comer at Microsoft, and her mom, Bernadette, is a former prodigy-turned mom-on-the-verge (of a breakdown).  This book is sassy, charming, and Bernadette is totally relate-able.

At a recent holiday party, a friend told me that here favorite part of the book was actually in the reader's guide at the back (trade paperback version).  It's a short piece called "Dear Mountain Room Parents" and it's hilarious!  A mostly

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Readers I know #4: "what made being alive almost worthwhile"

A book brings comfort when nothing else can.

Peace to you and yours this holiday season. --Miss Amy

 

*The book is Kurt Vonnegut: Letters, ed. Dan Wakefield

**Thumbnail image via sarahpanic on flickr

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90 Second Newbery Film Festival Coming to Oakland

The 90 Second Newbery Film Festival is coming to Oakland in February, co-hosted by Newbery Honor winning author Jennifer Holm! It is not too late for kids or teens to submit their entries to the festival.

The 90 Second Newbery Film Festival is coming to Oakland!

We posted back in October about how kids and teens can enter their video creations to the 90 Second Newbery Film Festival. Since then, the deadline for entries been extended to January 20th,  giving kids that precious time over winter break to work on their entries.  

And, we are very pleased to announce that the Film Festival will be coming to Oakland on Saturday, February 8th, at 12 noon, at the Rockridge Branch Library.  It will be co-hosted by

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