Most Popular Books of 2015

Think you know OPL's most popular books of 2015? Some of these may surprise you.

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Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer. What books do you have for and about Muslim children?

Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer. What books do you have that will help our Muslim classmates feel welcome, and give the rest of the class some idea of what it means to be Muslim? I teach reading in elementary school, so a range of reading levels would be best.

Q: I’m looking for books to help our Muslim students feel welcome, and give the rest of the class some ideas of what it means for their classmates to be Muslim. Where do you keep books about Muslims for kids? I need books for kindergarten through third grade.

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The Top 5 Books I REALLY Wanted to Read in 2015

Here are five terrific books from 2015 that are still on my bulging, ever-growing to-read list.

Too many books, not enough time… does this sound familiar? Here are five books I had on my hold lists this year that I never got around to reading. I guess they’ll be moving to the top of my 2016 list. 

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Researching Your House's History at OPL

Researchers can use several handy tools at the Oakland History Room to discover the history of their homes and businesses.

The houses many of us live in have long and fascinating histories. Some are architecturally distinguished, some have been moved from other locations, some are the former homes of important people. For those of you interested in finding out more about your house, a trip to the Oakland History Room (OHR) may answer your questions.

A first stop should be to OHR's Map Room where patrons can find their houses in tax assessment block books (1877-1925) and Sanborn Fire Insurance maps (1882-1951). There you can find out names of previous owners, property values, physical information about the house, and prior street names. Another important resource in the Map Room is the Oakland annexation map. The city grew by five annexations; knowing when your neighborhood became part of Oakland helps facilitate your search. Researchers can then consult Oakland city directories (in OHR's Main Room) to find out

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Researching Your House's History at OPL

Researchers can use several handy tool at the Oakland History Room to discover the history of their homes and businesses.

The houses many of us live in have long and fascinating histories. Some are architecturally distinguished, some have been moved from other locations, some are the former homes of important people. For those of you interested in finding out more about your house, a trip to the Oakland History Room (OHR) may answer your questions.

A first stop should be to OHR's Map Room where patrons can find their houses in tax assessment block books (1877-1925) and Sanborn Fire Insurance maps (1882-1951). There you can find out names of previous owners, property values, physical information about the house, and prior street names. Another important resource in the Map Room is the Oakland annexation map. The city grew by five annexations; knowing when your neighborhood became part of Oakland helps facilitate your search. Researchers can then consult Oakland city directories (in OHR's Main Room) to find out more about the owners. Some, for example, were contractors, possibly the builders of their properties. 

Further

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Is Santa Real? A Librarian's Dilemma

Not all questions asked in the library have cut and dry answers. And not all can be accurately answered using a book. When a child asks me about the existence of Santa, what am I supposed to say?

In my personal life, I don't touch this question with a 10-foot pole. But when I am asked this question as a librarian; I cannot deflect. The child is asking me as a trusted professional for an accurate and factual answer. Furthermore I am obligated to provide reliable resources to justify my answer. And herein lies my dilemma; I am supposed to affirm or deny the “realness” of a “person” whose very existence is based on faith! The potential answer to this question is as dangerous as a child asking me if Jesus Christ is “real.” Now before you guffaw or laugh at me, I understand  Jesus and Santa are not the same. 

But just like everyone doesn't share the same beliefs about Jesus, everyone doesn't share a universal belief in Santa. Furthermore there are many adults who would not appreciate my answering this question contrary to their beliefs especially considering I am working in a professional

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Career Online High School

Do you know an adult (age 19+) who wants to get their high school diploma? Learn more about this exciting new program at Oakland Library.

woman on computerOakland Public Library’s Career Online High School (COHS) offers adults the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and a career certificate. Advance in your profession or take the next step in your education. We support you from enrollment to graduation so that you can achieve your goals.

The Library is offering a limited number of free enrollments to qualified adult learners. Applicants should:

  • Be over 19 years old
  • Reside in Oakland, Emeryville or Piedmont
  • Have a Library card
  • Be willing to dedicate 8-10 hours a week to coursework.

Program Quick Facts

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Creative Gift Ideas

Looking for the right gift? These books offer creative DIY ideas.

With the holidays fast approaching you may be looking for creative gift ideas. Why not make something? We have many new books in our collection to help you with canning, sewing, crocheting, candlemaking, baking, candy making and even creating your own wrapping paper. Take a look and happy crafting!

Oh Joy!     The Crafter's Guide to Patterns     

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Winter Bingo @ Your Library!

Winter Bingo is an easy way to have fun and stimulate literacy and learning during the winter break.

It's time again for Winter Bingo!

Get your Winter Bingo card, complete five activities in a row, and bring the card back to the library anytime between December 19, 2015 and January 16, 2016 to receive a free book. There is a card for children in grades K-5, and one for you to do with your younger children.

Children can “Listen to a story” or “Read about your favorite thing,”  “Make someone laugh,” or “Bring a friend to the library,” “Dance” or “Play outside.”  Activities for you to do with your baby or preschooler include “Use a recipe to make a snack,” and “Ask your child to turn the page.”  There is plenty to choose from, so everyone can be a winner.

Winter Bingo cards will be available at your library Dec 12th,or you can print your own if you can't wait to start!

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Book an Appointment for eBook Help

One-on-One eBook help is now available at OPL at four different locations and four different times.

 We are happy to announce that OPL Librarians are now offering hands-on, one-on-one eBook Help at four of our libraries (by appointment): 

Eastmont - Mondays 5-6:30pm 
Eastmont Town Center
7200 Bancroft Ave.
(510) 615-5726 

Rockridge - Tuesdays 6-7:30pm

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