Awards Excitement!

The American Library Association Youth Media Awards are nigh! Will you be watching?

No, this isn't about who is custom-designing my dress for Oscar's night.  This is about the Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and other Youth Media Awards, soon to be unveiled, on Monday January 27th!

You met Miriam Medow, OPL librarian and member of this year's Caldecott committee, a couple of weeks ago.  Miriam, and members of many award committees, are now in their final weeks of re-reading their confidential short-lists, nominated from among hundreds of children's books published this year.   Around the middle of next week, they will pack their bags with warm clothes, books and notes, and head to Philadelphia PA for the

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From the Main Library

Introducing the Main Library blog

Still from The Desk Set
Welcome to the Oakland Public Library’s newest blog, “From the Main Library.”  Reference librarians will be blogging in this space about the Main Library’s resources, programs, and collections.  We’ll also be sharing tips on research so you can get the most out of what your library has to offer.  (It’ll be all “The Desk Set” meets “Party Girl” with a little “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” thrown in for fun.)

Statistics show that in public libraries the number of reference questions asked by our patrons have declined since the dawn of the internet -- though many days we wonder where this statistic comes from.   Our reference librarians have observed, though, that the questions you ask us are getting harder.  Once you’ve Googled the living daylights out of your difficult questions you come to us for our mad

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Mills College, KALW and the Library

Students at Mills College have created these great radio stories about our libraries.

The library was very excited to partner with students at Mills College and KALW this past semester to work on radio stories about our branches and services.  The students, who were studying public radio reporting, had the opportunity to create a radio spot focusing on an Oakland library.

Many of our branches were highlighted and this series showcases some of the exciting and meaningful services that the library and our staff provides every day.  I encourage everyone to give them a listen.  We are so proud of our staff and all the things they offer the community!   
Mills College Logo

You can find all of the stories on the Mills College

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Lakeview Book Club Update: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Review of the Lakeview Book Club Discussion of Ernest Hemingway's A Farwell to Arms.

Wow, what a Meeting! I think I counted nine of us there to discuss A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.

Where to begin? Our discussion leader sent out an email asking us to think before the meeting about:

  • The body of literary ciriticism characteriizes this book as an enduring American classic. Why?
  • Prose style. Can you describe, find examples, and compare to other genres or writers?
  • Are there character traits of this author that are brought to the fore in the writing?

As usual there were reports on the life of our author. Several members took extensive notes of passages that were memorable in their ideas or in the writing style...either in a positive or negative way.

Most of the group read the entire book. A few didn't finish it and one did not read it and did not plan to read it after we had discussed it.

Regarding liking it or not, a few didn't like it at all. (I had

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Book Trailers for Kids

Information about and examples of book trailers – short video clips meant to get readers excited about books.

Have you ever seen a book trailer? They’re just like previews that we see at the movies, only they’re advertising upcoming books! Publishers have been putting more energy into creating exciting and enticing trailers for their books, in the hopes that watching these videos online will encourage people to go out and read the whole story.

If you or your kiddos are ever in need of new inspiration for what to read next, book trailers are an excellent way to go! Check out these trailers to see if any capture your family’s interest.

Chapter Books

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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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