Hands-On Science Books

A list of recommended science experiment books available at the Oakland Public Library.

During this season of colder weather and shorter days, you can find plenty of inspiration for activities to do with kids in the science section of the library. These are just a handful of our favorite books that help curious kids explore the world around them through scientific experimentation. Check them out!:

Crazy Concoctions book cover

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in November 2014

Are you a fiction lover? Here are 10 great books coming out in November.

 

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Essay Contest for "War Comes Home" - win an iPad Mini!

Write an essay on "War in Your Life" for the chance to win an iPad Mini!

Did you know that OPL is one of 43 libraries throughout California to be awarded the California Reads grant - to help promote understanding and empathy around the veteran experience? We're working with some partner agencies to plan programs and we're doing an essay contest with Veterans for Peace East Bay. This essay contest for adults and teens is taking submissions now - and the prize for each is a iPad Mini! The guidelines and judging criteria are available here. Good luck and please let me know if you have any questions - you can email me at mtominaga@oaklandlibrary.org

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Ebola Facts and Fiction

Ebola is serious but not highly contagious.

The Ebola virus has been in the news. The current outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea has killed thousands. Despite the frenzied commentary of some journalists, there is no danger of an outbreak in the United States. Drug resistant bacteria and motor vehicle accidents kill more people in the United States than this Ebola outbreak (current statistics from the World Health Organization show that 4,500 people have died so far).

Yes, Ebola is a serious disease that kills between 60 and 90 percent of those who contract it, but it is not highly contagious. The host is the fruit bat. People get the disease when bodily fluids (blood, saliva, feces, urine, semen) enter the body through broken skin or mucous membranes. The disease is not airborne. It can only be transmitted via direct contact, which is why health care workers are at high risk if they do not take proper precautions.

The symptoms are similar to many common infections such as the flu: fever, weakness, muscle aches, sore throat, so unless the patient tells his/her health care provider about possible

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C.L. Dellums: An Oakland Civil Rights Hero

Thanks to our Archivist, Sean, at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland, we have a fascinating blog post about C.L. Dellums, an Oaklander you should know about.

Thanks to Sean, the Archivist at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland for this amazing post.  Have you heard of C.L. Dellums?  

                        

When C.L. (Cottrell Laurence) Dellums arrived in Oakland, California in 1923, he had dreams of one day attending law school at the University of California. He came to California for many of the same reasons other African Americans came to the state - to escape the segregation and racism of the South in the hope of finding social and economic equality.

But Dellums soon realized that things were not much different in California than in Texas, and the only jobs open to African Americans were low-paying positions in the service sector as waiters, janitors,

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Best Illustrated Books of 2014--with a raffle!

What's YOUR favorite illustrated book of 2014? Leave a comment to enter the raffle!

Wow, "Best Of" season has started already! Last week, the New York Times released its annual "Best Illustrated Books" list, ten illustrated books NYT staff felt outdid all the others this year. You can see the slideshow here.

We here at OPL like their choices, but are sad that some of our favorites didn't get picked. (I mean, have you seen Viva Frida?!) Below are the books that made the NYT's list--you can get the first six from OPL, and the last four you can get through Link+... also at OPL*. Either way, visit your local branch and ask for these--they're all treats.

We want to know--what's YOUR favorite illustrated book of the year? What would be on your "Best Illustrated" list for 2014? Leave a comment with your choice(s), and you'll be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy

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You Too Can Play the Ukulele

Want to learn to play the ukulele? Do you already play and want to learn more tunes? The Oakland Public Library’s music collection has many ukulele instruction scores/CDs and songbooks you can borrow.

You Too Can Play the Ukulele

The ukulele is back! This instrument is experiencing a renaissance, big-time.

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Even Monsters Deserve a Nice Name

Frankenstein was the name of the doctor not the poor nameless creature. I'm gonna call him Creature.

It's Halloween, let's talk monsters!

For Book Club this month, we read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Before I get into my book rant, I'll fill you in on a few details of the author's life. Her biography is arguably more scandalous than the book's plot.

Mary Wollstencraft Shelley was the daughter of a famous feminist and a well known author who were too hip to get married. Her mom died shortly after her birth, so Mary grew up with her dad, her mean stepmom, her mom's daughter from a previous relationship (an affair with a soldier), her stepmother's kids from her

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My Desk for Day of the Dead

I keep thinking that I will be able to clean my desk but I just don't think it will ever happen.

 At the Library we offer more than just books and reference material. During the week, OPL children's librarians offer numerous storytimes, bring performers in, support community events or present crafts. Part of my job is to help bring these programs to the library. Which brings me to my desk.

                                                

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House Concerts: A New Twist on a Centuries-Old Tradition

House concerts are once again gaining in popularity. Performing artists are looking to find creative approaches to reaching new and appreciative audiences, and ways to make a living doing what they love.

Throughout history, from the early consorts of the European Renaissance (fourteenth through seventeenth centuries) to the rent parties of the Harlem Renaissance (1920s and 1930s), having “house concerts” has been a way to introduce an audience to new chamber music compositions and play for an appreciative audience in an intimate space. The rent parties that flourished in New York, Chicago, and Detroit (among other places) in the early to mid-twentieth century were just that: a way to help pay the rent! And let’s not forget the tradition of folk music house performances and sing-alongs that are also part of the house concert’s long and varied history.

Today house concerts—albeit in a more refined form than the rent parties—are once again gaining in popularity. Performing artists in the current generation are looking to find not only creative approaches to reaching new and appreciative audiences but also ways to make a living doing what they love.

The Oakland Public Library is delighted to present a program—“

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