OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide--Children's Books

Gifts for the readers in your life recommended by OPL librarians.

We have a confession to make: we librarians LOVE IT when you buy books. LOVE!! And we know you want to give exactly the right book. 

So, without further ado, OPL is proud to present its first ever Holiday Gift Guide. These are books we love and want you and your loved ones to read, ones that are 99% guaranteed not to garner this reaction. And as if that weren't great enough, we're capping it off with a list of local indie bookstores where you can buy these gems. (Call ahead to confirm availability!)

Click here for our Graphic Novel Gift Guide!

Click here for suggestions for adult and YA readers!

OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Children's List 

For babies and

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in November 2015

It's getting cold--time to curl up with a great book! Here are 10 coming out this month.

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Q & A Patrons Ask, Librarians Answer: What is your favorite part of your job?

Q & A: It's the kids turn to get their questions answered!

Usually I answer questions asked by adults. Today I am going to answer questions asked by children:

1. Who invented the Dewey Decimal System?

Melvil Dewey.

2. Was he a scientist?

No, he was a librarian.

3. You're kidding?


4. Tell the truth Ms. Nichole! Was Melvil Dewey a real person?

 I am not pulling your leg. Melvil Dewey was a real person. Read his online biography here or borrow this book:


5. What are the words to the "I love you" song you sing at storytime?

The song "Skinnamarink Dinky Dink" is what I sing at

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They're All Dead.

All the good ones are dead. Some amazing writers have left us this year. Who will you miss most?

My plan was to tell you all about this great book: How to be a Friend to a Friend who's Sick, but then my sick friend died so I never finished the book. Instead, for these Days of the Dead, our days to remember and honor our beloved deceased; I thought I'd remind you of all the awesome authors who've passed away this year. Biographies, written while the authors were still alive, provided by the publishers.

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We Can Help You With That!

One-on-One Computer Help by appointment is now available at the Main Library.

You can now make an appointment to get individual help for your basic computer needs at the Oakland Public Library's Main Library. 

Do you want to know how to 

  • Navigate the Internet?
  • Get an email account?
  • Use a computer to write a resume?
  • Use a computer to look for a job or a place to live?

In addition to their daily drop-in hours, our Computer Lab tutors are now available for 30-minute individual appointments to tutor you in the basic computer skills you need to manage today's connected world.

Hours and times will vary based on the schedules of our friendly lab tutors. Call for an appointment at 510-238-3178. 

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Preserving Family Stories

"Preserving Family Stories," the final program in the Main Library's Fall History Series, will be held October 29, 6 p.m. in the Walters Auditorium.

Did you know that October is Family History Month? To mark the occasion, the Oakland History Room is sponsoring a series to celebrate families. Over the last week, we've held a family photo scanning day and an instructional program on how to determine the age and history of your house.

The next and final event, "Preserving Family Stories," will feature oral historian Nancy Thompson who will present an interactive workshop on collecting and preserving family histories. Participants will learn how to create family trees, how to conduct interviews and write oral histories, and how to use social histories, photographs and a variety of memorabilia to incorporate into your family history.

This event will be held Thursday, October 29 at 6 p.m. in the Walters Auditorium of the Main Library, 125 - 14th Street. For more information, contact the Oakland History Room 

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New Ghostly Delights

Check out a ghost story for Halloween.

Have you read a good ghost story lately? With Halloween just a few days away, why not check out one of these new titles featuring ghosts both figurative and literal. Whether you like spooky stories or something more amusing, if you're looking for a good ghost story, read on.

Ghost Summer     Trigger Warning    

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Coming soon: OPL's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

On November 12, we're releasing a list of books we recommend and independent bookstores where you can buy them! Which books do you recommend?

So, we at the library love letting you borrow books for free. It's kind of our thing. But we know that when you give a book as a gift, you don't want to have to whisper "bring it back in three weeks" while receiving your thank you hug, do you? Sometimes, you really need to buy a book.

And boy, do we have thoughts about which books you should buy, and where you should buy them. That's why on November 12, OPL will release our first Holiday Gift Guide. We'll include recommended titles for the children, teens, and adults in your lives, AND a handy-dandy list of independent bookstores in Oakland! What more could you ask for?

While we're making our list and checking it twice,* chime in with your suggestions here. What books have you loved this year? Which are you planning to give as gifts? I'll go first and say that multiple people on my list will be getting Kate Beaton's two 2015 books:

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Advice for Readers Librarian Recommendations Featured on Overdrive

Get started on Overdrive for eBooks and eAudio Librarian recommendations, and more.

Hiya eBook Readers! Here's a tip: You can find titles featured in this blog on Overdrive. We are maintaining a featured collection list entitled, Advice for Readers Blog Picks. Go directly there anytime to scroll through eBook and eAudio librarian recommendations, dating back to our first post in July 2012. Get started with this videoAdditional E-Book Help is available on an appointment basis. 

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Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer. Where do you keep your Level K books?

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. In October, many parents find out their children's reading level from tests given at school. Their children's teachers may encourage them to find books at that level at the library. So where do we keep them?

Q: Where do you keep your Level K books?cover of a reading primer called I Know a Secret

A: The short answer is that Oakland Library doesn't label books with reading levels using any of systems associated with proprietary testing...

...however, we do have areas of the library that gather a range of reading levels together. This allows readers to browse an area that encompasses their reading level and includes choices of subjects, visual presentations, genres, and writing styles. Our hope is that (without too much effort) readers will find books that appeal to them and are close enough to their reading level. 

So, when you ask us for leveled books, let us show you to the section that includes the level you need. At that point, many readers decide to get any books that look interesting

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