African American Reference Works at OPL

The Oakland Public Library offers two large African American reference collections to its users.

The Oakland Public Library has a very large and diverse collection of African American reference materials. While many of these works are scattered throughout our Oakland Public Library system, there are two specialized collections in the system:  the African American Reference Collection at the Main Library and the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO).

The African American Reference Collection at the Main Library has been a core part of the library’s reference works for many years. Located in the Adult Reference Department, it includes encyclopedia on historic figures, important eras, social movements, and the arts; biographical dictionaries; historical atlases; pictorial works; directories; first editions of seminal African American works; literary criticism; and statistical reports. This extensive collection is

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Namesake Exhibition at MOCHA

Stop by the Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA) to see the results of this collaborative community art project.

Oakland Boy showing his self potraitIt's not too late to see the Namesake Exhibition at MOCHA this year! Throughout October, National Family History Month, The Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA) conducted art workshops at five Oakland Public Library branches and two senior centers on themes of family, culture, identity, and heritage. The result of the month-long venture is an intergenerational quilt of 250 10"x10" canvases that reflect the diversity, creativity, and imagination of Oakland residents. 

As part of this NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Big Read grant, MOCHA distributed 125 copies of 

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The 59th Annual Grammy Nominations Are In!

Check out these nominated artists’ albums and many others, available at the library or stream/download instantly on hoopla!

What is hoopla, how does it work?  

Search for your favorite music CDs at the library

Search for your favorite albums on hoopla

The complete list of 59th Grammy nominees

Here’s just a small sampling of albums from this years Grammy nominees. Simply click "At the library" link for library holdings or click on the "hoopla" link to stream/download online.

                     

Adele / 25

 

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It is time for Winter Bingo!

Need some simple, fun distractions for your child this winter break? Try our Winter Bingo, then come by for a free book.

Winter Bingo cardsIt is once again time for Winter Bingo! Your child can earn a free book just for completing fun activities over winter break. There are two Bingo cards available: one for children in grades K-5, and one for pre-readers and their caregivers. On the K-5 card are activities that include “Splash in a puddle,” “Tell a story” and my favorite: “Tell a librarian what to read.” The pre-reader card includes a variety of early literacy activities like “Build with blocks” or “Cuddle while you read.” Just do five activities in a row and you have B-I-N-G-O. Winter Bingo starts December 17, 2016 and ends January 14, 2017. Pick your cards up at any Oakland Public Library or just print your own right now!

Parents and Pre-Readers, English

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Time to Get Baking

"A party without cake is just a meeting." -- Julia Child

December is here and the winter holidays are at our heels. The Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa all call for desserts. I don't know about you, but I'm in the mood to bake.

Though the internet is a fine place to start, the volume of material to sort through can be, well, overwhelming. When you've got a spare minute or two, Google "cookies" and work your way through 2 1/2 billion entries. Me? I love a good cookbook, and the library is just full of cookbooks to get you baking. Read on for a few suggestions and some jacket photos from our wide selection. If you're browsing the shelves go to 641.815 for most baking books. Our ebook platforms also boast an ample supply of baking and dessert cookbooks.

Two terrific go-to bakers with cookbooks in collection are Dorie Greenspan and David Lebovitz. Greenspan has a new title out this fall, Dorie's Cookies,

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Women & Bikes & Books

Join Us Every 2nd Tuesday for a New Book Club: Women Bike

In partnership with Bike East Bay, we are co-hosting the Women Bike Book Club! Bike East Bay's Women Bike program enters its second year of bringing women, femme, trans, and gender nonconforming folks together in social settings to share experiences and resources with each other.

All are invited to discuss biking, feminism, and the intersection of the two. Join us on the second Thursday of each month at 6:00pm. We'll focus on a different book or film each month, with a few guest speakers and activities along the way.

For October, we're thrilled to welcome local author Emily June Street! We will be reading her steampunk cycling novel,

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in December 2016

If you're looking for new fiction, here are our ten picks for December.

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Reading Race and Class

Books that shed light on race and class dynamics in the U.S.

In the past, and especially during this election cycle, I've been committed to reading books that help me better understand race and class dynamics in this country. One of the books on my reading list is The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward. Ward uses James Baldwin's 1963 book The Fire Next Time as a starting point to discuss current questions of race in the U.S. Contributors such Carol Anderson, Edwidge Danticat and Isabel Wilkerson speak to their concerns about race through essays and poems.                                         

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I Don't Want To Hug Aunt Myrtle: A Consent Lesson From Kids To The Adults Who Love Them.

Some kids in my branch asked me to tell you this grown-ups. Please listen.

The children in my branch have asked me to tell you this: They don't want to be required to be hugged, kissed, pinched, or petted by family this holiday season.

This is an important worry for some kids during the holiday season. Relatives from all over the world meet up and everyone loves the children, but the children are not comfortable (yet) around the extended family members.

Here are some examples I was given (family members names changed of course):

  • Your kid doesn't want to hug Aunt Myrtle.
  • They hate it when Grandpa Joe pinches their cheeks or rubs their hair.
  • They don't want to want give Grandma Martha any "suga".
  • And your kid don't care if cousin Pam hasn't seen the family since last

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Oakland Public Library's 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

What's the best gift to give or receive? In our opinion: a book!

If we do it two years in a row, can we call it a holiday tradition? Either way, we're glad to help you once again with your seasonal gifting duties. Our second ever Holiday Gift Guide features some of our favorite books from the past year, with a list of local indie bookstores where you can buy these gems. (Call ahead to confirm availability!)

This page has recommendations for adults and teens, plus check out our gift guide for children's books here. You can also view the teen recommendations on Pinterest.

Books for Adults

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