Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Do you have books that explain about the birds & the bees?

Children's Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. This week: Human reproduction! If your post-Valentines conversation with your tweens & pre-teens went from lovey-dovey to the birds-&-bees, you might appreciate some literary support. This is a frequently-asked-question...

Shocked dadQ: My eight-year-old son is asking me about how babies are made. I gave him a short-version answer, and now he has a lot more questions. I'm realizing that my older daughter (now 12) probably had a lot of questions she didn't ask out loud when I gave her the simple answers a few years ago. What books do you have for both of them?

It's Perfectly Normal - a book cover.

A: We have plenty of books on this topic for different ages. You will find it much easier to answer your children's questions with the help of some well-chosen books! Whether you read a book aloud to a younger child, give one to an older child to read herself, or simply read

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Books for Wider Horizons Anniversary Party

After 20 years of taking storytimes to Head Starts and CDCs, Books for Wider Horizons marked the occasion with food, cake, and wonderful memories.

As the culmination of the months-long 20th anniversary Books for Wider Horizons celebration, we all partied at the end of January in the Main Library. Current and past volunteers, staff, and community members gathered to share memories and honor the passion, effort, and time that have gone into this simple storyreader program.     

Nina Lindsay Emceeing the PartyAfter we all enjoyed some wonderful snacks, Nina Lindsay, Supervising Librarian for Children's Services, opened the remarks section by reflecting on the impact that BWH has had in the community. This year our 61 volunteers are delivering 91 weekly storytimes at 36 centers, resulting in 1,456 more hours of storytimes a year than the library could possibly offer without these dedicated souls. 

Gerry Garzón, OPL's library director, then thanked the past and present volunteers without whom the

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Tell us what you think!

The City of Oakland is conducting a survey to evaluate the quality of our service. Take a minute and fill it out!

The city is conducting a 2-week survey to look at language access to city services.  Please take a couple of minutes and let us know how the library is doing.  

You can print the survey here - fill it out, and bring it to the library.

Or you can take it here, online:

In English

In Spanish - Español

In Chinese - 中文

You have until February 28th.  Thank you so much!  We really appreciate it.  

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The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd: A Lakeview Book Club Review

The Mermaid Chair, the second novel by Sue Monk Kidd, explores the life of a woman returning to an island off South Carolina and the decisions she must make.

What an entertaining discussion of The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd this month!

Eight of us had a wide range of reactions to this book. More of us found this selection not to our taste. There was at least one of us who really liked this book. All of us found intriguing elements and some characters or plot devices we really liked. Almost unanimously we found the sex elements of the seduction of the monk to be of a bodice-ripping nature and humorously so. A few skipped that part entirely. Some literally groaned at those sections of the book..

 

One of us thought some of her plot machinations to be similar to Ann Patchett, intricate, interwoven, filled with some suspense and somewhat believable events. Some of the descriptions our group used about this book were, "light, poorly written, titillating, contrived, annoying characters, shocking regarding the finger cutting, "nature held its own" and "like a 10 cent book from a flea market."

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7 Reasons The 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards Are SO COOL

Kid lit history was made this year, my friend.

Did you see the ALA Youth Media Awards this year? They are SO COOL. Groundbreaking choices were made in every category of these annual awards for children's books. Here's why:

1) Diversity rules!

This year's Medal and Honor recipients are African-American, Latino, Asian, multiracial, deaf, queer, and differently abled. The Newbery and Caldecott Awards have been criticized in the past for being overwhelmingly white; perhaps the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement is causing a cultural shift in children's literature.

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New DVDs for February 2015 - Coming Soon to Oakland Public Library

Nine DVDs coming soon to Oakland Public Library

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in February 2015

Hungry for some fresh fiction? Here are 10 fantastic novels coming out this month.

 

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Groundbreaking Newbery and Caldecott Awards!

Check out this year's groundbreaking Newbery, Caldecott, and other award winning children's books!

Each year the Newbery, Caldecott, and other Youth Media Awards are decided and announced at the American Library Association Midwinter conference.  This year's awards break new ground in recognizing a wider diversity of excellence in literature (the Newbery) and "picture books" (the Caldecott).  Could it have anything to do with OPL's Sharon McKellar being one of the Caldecott committee members?

Look for a fuller recap from us

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It starts with a murder. Read A Northern Light

It starts with a murder. If you're into the Serial podcast, then this case and this book might be for you.

A Northern Light

Mattie is 16, she's plain, smart, hardworking and a reader. Her mom died of cancer awhile back, Pa is gone for long stretches, working the land, leaving Mattie with a gaggle of siblings to care for. She wants to finish her schooling but she's poor and in 1906 upstate New York, high school and college aren't priorities for girls. She's inspired by her teacher, a poet and feminist, who helps her land an acceptance letter and full scholarship to Barnard. But Pa forbids it, she made a promise to her dying mother to never leave, and this Plain Jane is getting some unfathomable attention from the town hottie. What's a girl to do?

So, back to murder. Just like an episode of Law and Order, Mattie is going about her work day when she is presented with a body found near the lake. It's a pretty young woman, just

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It starts with a murder. Read A Northern Light

It starts with a murder. If you're into the Serial podcast, then this case and this book might be for you.

A Northern Light

Mattie is 16, she's plain, smart, hardworking and a reader. Her mom died of cancer awhile back, Pa is gone for long stretches, working the land, leaving Mattie with a gaggle of siblings to care for. She wants to finish her schooling but she's poor and in 1906 upstate New York, high school and college aren't priorities for girls. She's inspired by her teacher, a poet and feminist, who helps her land an acceptance letter and full scholarship to Barnard. But Pa forbids it, she made a promise to her dying mother to never leave, and this Plain Jane is getting some unfathomable attention from the town hottie. What's a girl to do?

So, back to murder. Just like an episode of Law and Order, Mattie is going about her work day when she is presented with a body found near the lake. It's a pretty young woman, just

Click here to read more