10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in April

Looking for something to read? Here are 10 highly recommended books coming this month.

Cover of The Storied Life of A J FikryCover of RubyCover of Lovers at the Chameleon ClubCover of Frog MusicCover of Family LifeCover of Casebook

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Get That Grant!

The library can help you get funded.

Did you know that the Oakland Public Library is a member of the Foundation Center's Funding Information Network? What does that mean? It means that you, the library user, can come to the Main Libary and access the Foundation Center's databases Foundation Grants to Individuals Online and Foundation Directory Online Professional. The Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Foundation Directory Online Professional lists more than 92,000 foundations, corporate giving programs, and public charities in the United States that make grants to non-profit organizations. Foundation Grants to Individuals Online has listings for 6,500 foundations and other charities that provide grants to students, artists, researchers and other individuals seeking funding. Access to these databases -- and the help that goes with them -- is only available at the Main Library. 

At the Main Library we don't just make these databases available to you

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Oakland Reads 2020 - A New Chance for Oakland Youth

Solution - increase the number of children reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

Did you know that only 42% of Oakland children read at a third grade level by third grade?  Did you know that only 33% of Oakland's socio-economically disadvantaged children read at grade level by the end of third grade? Did you know, further, that the ability to read at grade level by the end of third grade is a prime indicator of a child's likelihood of graduating from high school? 

Oakland Reads 2020 is an initiative of the Oakland Literacy Coalition, a group of service providers who believe that Oakland can double the number of third graders reading at grade level by 2020. 

There are four pillars that support

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Poetry at the Library

April is National Poetry Month.

One of my favorite ways to experience poetry is to hear it read aloud. OPL has a variety of audio recordings of poets reading their works which I've shared with you below, in celebration of National Poetry Month.

Essential Hughes     Leaves of Grass    

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Poems are Blooming at the Main Library in April

During April, experience poetry in its many forms and varieties at the Main Library.

Cover of Hickory Dickory Dock

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"Hickory, dickory, dock,

The mouse ran up the clock.

The clock struck one,

The mouse ran down,

Hickory, dickory, dock."

  

Did you know that "Hickory, Dickory, Dock," other nursey rhymes, and even many children's songs such as the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" are also poems?  April is one of my favorite months of the year because it's National Poetry Month, a time when we focus on appreciating poetry in its many, many forms.

This year, the entire Main Library, including the Children's Room

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Meet the California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC).

Looking for free historical newspapers? The California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC) might have a scan of the issue you're looking for.

The California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC) contains more than 400,000 pages of significant historical California newspapers dating from 1846-1922, including the first California newspaper, the Californian, and the first daily California newspaper, the Daily Alta California which was published in San Francisco. This resource is freely available online, and new titles and pages are contantly being added. What's neat is that the articles are all scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) so you can do a keyword search. I searched for 'bicycle' and found some interesting ads and articles; police actively investigated stolen bicycles back in the day - two

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What have we found lately?

Check out some more amazing items found in library books!

It's been far too long since my last post of amazing found items.   The best thing that's happened in that time on the topic of items found in library books is that I was able to reunite a library staff member with a missing love letter!  Yep, that's right.  A lost item found!  The love letter in question was given to me by someone who had found it in a book, and I recognized the "to" and "from" names on it and thought perhaps it might belong to a certain staff member.  When presented with it, the staff member blushed and claimed it.  I won't show it to you here, but just know that it's possible - reunions can happen!

Perhaps you'll recognize one of these items...

The following two items were found in a single envelope in a book.  I find the contrast between the two letters quite interesting.

  

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People of Color Underrepresented in Children's Books

Nina Lindsay, Supervising Librarian for Children's Services at Oakland Public Library, continues the discussion for Monday's KQED Forum Program on the lack of diversity in children's books.

This post was originally going to be about "beauty" in children's books.  Inspired by Lupita Nyong'o's speech at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, I wanted to talk about picture books that tell children they are beautiful in real ways, like My People, Me Frida,

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Q&A Patrons ask; librarians answer: My preschool daughter is obsessed with sparkly princess stories! Is it time to worry?

Q&A: Children's Librarians answer questions all day, every day, from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. Princess picture books for preschool-age children are in demand at every branch - but what do parents really want to know?

Q:  My daughter wants even more books about princesses wearing beautiful, sparkly dresses. I would like her to read books about confident girls whose sense of self is built on their capabilities, dreams, and interests. Do Photo of princess dollsyou have any like that – or any in which the princess doesn’t marry the prince? 

A: Yes, there are princess stories that feminists can embrace! The trick is to find the ones that will please your daughter as much as they will feed your long-term character goals for her.  I would point you to the article by

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Oakland Wiki + Oakland Public Library = True Love

Oakland Public Library and Oakland Wiki are working together to help you share what you know about Oakland.

Oakland Wiki is a community website about Oakland that anybody can contribute to.  Including you and me!  We are so very excited about this that we are hosting a series of neighborhood "edit parties" where Oakland Wiki volunteers will help you share what you know about Oakland.

It's very easy.  You don't even need to have computer experience.

You can add information about:

  • What your neighborhood is like
  • Your family's history and experiences
  • Cultural events and history
  • Fun things to do
  • Anything else you think other people should know about Oakland

Come to one or come to them all!  Most of these have a focus for topics to write about, but you can feel free to come and learn about Oakland Wiki and write about

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