DÍA: Great Kids' Books about African Americans

Celebrate DIA, Diversity in Action, with these children's books featuring characters who are African-American.

There's lots of buzz right now (as there should be) about the numbers reported by the Cooperative Children's Book Center: of 3,200 children's books they received in 2013, just 93 featured African-American characters. Noted children's author Walter Dean Myers responded in a moving essay in the New York Times, in which he described his own childhood and coming to find himself in books. His son Christopher Myers, a noted children's author and illustrator himself, wrote a companion piece in which he lamented the fact that when African-American children appear in books, too often they "are limited to the townships of occasional historical books that concern themselves with the legacies of civil rights and slavery." 

Today, we

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DIA: Great Kids' Books with Multiracial Characters

This week is DÍA: Diversity in Action! Celebrate with children's books about multiracial characters.

This week is the library holiday with the longest name: Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros; Children's Day / Book Day. It's come to be called just DÍA!--Diversity In Action. Want to come party at the library? Click here!

A lot of people are talking about diversity in children's books right now, which makes me very happy. Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the nation, and every family

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Our Mother's Stories

A selection of memoirs featuring mother/child relationships.

In honor of Mother's Day next month, I've highlighted a sampling of mother memoirs.  Told from the point of view of birth mothers and adopted mothers, sons and daughters, these books capture mother/child relationships in all their complexity.    All book summaries are from the publisher's descriptions.

Are You My Mothe?     My Dear Boy    

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Card Catalog Poetry

Check out some amazing poems created by awesome Oaklanders on old card catalog cards.

Earlier this month I had the great pleasure of participating in Oakland Nights Live, showing off some of the Found Items that have been featured on this blog.  Since it's National Poetry Month in April, I gave the audience a chance to create some poetry to be shared here and they so totally stepped up to the plate with some amazing pieces.

All of these poems were created on card catalog cards that we normally use for scrap paper around the library.  These particular cards came from the LP collection, and as you'll see below much of the poetry was inspired directly by what was on the card.  Some poems are funny, some cryptic, and some are just touching.

(BTW - we still have vinyl!  Want to see what we've got?  

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You and Your Baby @ the Library Pt. 1

At weekly library Baby Bounce programs, you can make new friends and learn best practices for getting your baby ready to read.

Being a brand new parent is a joyous but sometimes scary event.  After all, you have to pass a test to drive a car but no test is required to become a parent.  You want to do your best for your baby and that best is probably pretty sleep deprived right now.  But do not fear - the library is here to help you.

We offer baby storytimes every week.  These lapsit storytimes, called "Baby Bounces" are 15- minutes long and filled with gentle rhymes, songs and movement that will start your baby on the path to reading.  After each Baby Bounce, there is a play time with age-appropriate toys.  This is a great chance to get out of the house, stimulate your baby's brain, meet other babies and their caregivers, share information, and make new friends.  Check out our Baby Bounces at the following times and places: 

  •      Dimond Library.     3565 Fruitvale Ave.               Wed. @ 10:15 am
  •      

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Why Diversity Matters in Children's Books

A white paper from the Association for Library Service to Children demonstrates why diversity matters in books and programs for children. OPL will be featuring some favorite books with people of color and of different backgrounds and abilities next week as part of our "Dia" celebrations.

Kids at LibraryThe lack of people of color in children's books has been a recent  topic of discussion.  For those that want to understand the issue more, the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has published a white paper on The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children.  

The author, Jamie Naidoo Campbell, recognizes and demonstrates that children need both to see their own culture, and others' cultures, portrayed authentically in their media-rich environment:  

By the

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Go Green with eBooks

It's Earth Day. Read an eBook and love your planet.

This Earth Day consider checking out something from OPL’s quickly expanding digital collection; choose from thousands of eBooks. Whether you already dabble in eBook reading or are certain you could never give up the feel, smell and comfort of a good book, or even if you suspect eReaders and tablets are heralding the decline of civilization, you may be surprised at how easy it is to sink into a good eBook. I was. I was so sure I would never want to read from a backlit screen that I read books in the dark next to my sleeping baby with the flashlight from my phone pointed at the page. When my husband got me an iPad for my birthday I never planned to use it for personal reading, but I had to try out our eBook platforms as part of my job. (Didn’t I?) In no time I began reading mostly on the iPad. I read it in the dark, I read it in the light, in waiting rooms, on trips (you can load a ton of books onto one tablet). I would read it on the train, and I

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It's been a lovely National Library Week

Check out these staff recommended titles for teens. Great for adults, too!

We hope you've enjoyed your National Library Week.  We sure have!  And I have good news for you...we still have National Library Week Booklets left.  You can get one of your own at your closest Oakland Public Library Branch throughout April.

Lest anyone think that we don't have any amazing books for teenagers, I thought I'd share some Staff Reading Recommendations of books you can find in our teen collection.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Although Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why is made up of many sad and heartbreaking

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Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Or, occasionally – Young patrons gawp; librarians guess.

Q&A: Children's Librarians answer questions all day, every day, from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. How do children learn to ask questions?

Q: My child is too shy to ask questions. I want him to be confident, and to ask for what he needs. How do I get him to ask you questions himself? Graphic from the ALA; National Library Week Logo - Lives change @ your library

A: Yes, it's our job – parents, caregivers, and librarians, working together – to model the interactions that we'd like young people to conduct independently someday. Your child is learning a million tiny things by simply observing you as you conduct yourself daily. With very little conscious effort, he's learning by watching what you do.

When you bring a young person to the library, show him (you may not need to tell him) how you wait your turn, make a friendly greeting, ask a question, clarify if we're on the right track or

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National Library Week Continues...

Check out these great titles in our Children's collection. Staff recommendations are a sample from our National Library Week Booklet.

On Monday, I posted a sneak peek at some of the staff reading recommendations in our National Library Week booklet.  Today I've got some recommendations for you from the Children's section, but they aren't just for children.  There are many more where these came from - just pop into your closest OPL branch and pick up a booklet of your own!

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
Two sisters go to live with their eccentric aunt in a creep house, in a town filled with secrets, near an abandoned church that calls to them like

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