Strengths and Accomplishments

What has OPL accomplished in the last six months?

Here at the library, we are engaged in a strategic planning process and through that process, we have developed a new mission statement, a vision statement, core values, and three-year goals.  

You've probably seen "explore, connect, and grow" on some of our materials recently, including our last annual report and all of our summer program materials.  That's because our mission is, "Your Oakland Public Library empowers all people to explore, connect, and grow," and we take it quite seriously.

Hopefully our core values aren't a surprise to you, as we aspire to infuse them into everything we do.

And what about those three year goals?  Well, in no particular order, we are working to:

    Click here to read more

    Books for Wider Horizons - Taking Storytimes to Young Children

    Be a rock star to Oakland children. Volunteer for Books for Wider Horizons.

    "She is fantastic. She brings every story to life. The children just love her storytelling...The staff loves her as well."

    "Our reader is amazing. She ranks as one of the top five activities for students and teachers. We love her stories, songs, enthusiasm, and calm. Thank you for bringing her into our lives!"

    "He is an excellent storyteller. The children, staff, and parents love him. He is unique in his own way."

    These are just some of the reactions we received from the teachers of the preschool classes that our Books for Wider Horizons (BWH) volunteers read to this past school year. These 67 BWH volunteers are changing the lives of Oakland children, one week at a time.

    If you want to be a hero in a child's life and are interested in volunteering for BWH, please call our coordinator, Rochelle Venuto, at (510) 238-7453. She will be happy to sign you up. 

    We hold

    Click here to read more

    The OPL Kids' Summer Reading Fairyland Winner Is...

    Announcing the 2017 OPL Children's Summer Reading grand prize - Fairyland family membership

    Tiago! Tiago is 3 years old and goes to the Piedmont Avenue Branch when he wants to find good book. He's not all that fond of getting his picture taken but loves the glow-in-the- dark Fairyland key he received as part of his prize. In addition to the glow-in-the-dark key, he also won a Fairyland family membership. Congratulations Tiago!

    Every child who played the game got to choose a book to keep and received a packet of coupons and a chance to win in this raffle. 

    Of course, the real prize was the time he and every player spent reading, singing, talking, playing, and writing with friends and family during the summer.

    Clifford with Winning Pre-Reader CardClifford

    Click here to read more

    10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in September 2017

    Presenting our monthly fiction picks, with great new books from some of our favorite authors!

    Click here to read more

    What to do with those eclipse glasses?

    Bring your eclipse glasses to the library and we'll send them to Astronomers Without Borders for use by school children in other countries

    Click here to read more

    Building Community: Flavors of Oakland

    What makes your community stronger?

    What makes your community stronger? We recently posed that question to our patrons after the violence in Charlottesville and posted their responses in our branch. It's also a question I've been pondering for a while.

    A few weeks ago we hosted Anya Ku and Elazar Sontag at the Dimond Branch for a discussion about the making of their book Flavors of Oakland and shared some of the recipes. After listening to the authors talk it became clear to me that projects like these make our communities stronger.

    Anya, a photographer, and Elazar, a writer, began their collaborative project when they were 16 and 18 years old. As part of the project the two shared meals with home cooks throughout Oakland and learned their personal histories. Many of the

    Click here to read more

    Oakland Responds: Charlottesville

    From Oakland to Charlottesville, libraries are united in opposition to hate and violence. Here we share resources so we can all learn the mistakes of history and shape a more equitable future.

    From Oakland to Charlottesville, we are united in our opposition to hate and violence. We are proud to echo the American Library Association’s clear statement affirming that, “We stand in solidarity with the people of Virginia as well as anyone who protests hate and fights for equity, diversity and inclusion.”

    Racism, bigotry and white nationalism are not new phenomena. Brazen marches through the streets of Charlottesville and Berkeley have shown the face of a movement long-simmering and ever-threatening to Black, Jewish, Muslim, immigrant and queer communities -- and to our democracy. 

    As long as these movements have existed, so have movements promoting justice and equity. Our libraries

    Click here to read more

    A Suitable Novel

    August is a great month to read contemporary novels from the Indian sub-continent.

    August 15 marks the 70th anniversary of India’s independence from Great Britain. Indian partition happened at the same time, creating an independent India and an independent Pakistan. Pakistan celebrates its independence one day before, August 14. Modern India, modern Pakistan, and the diaspora from the sub-continent has enriched the literature of the English language immeasurably.

    This August we’re going to immerse ourselves in that literature. Where to begin? Here’s a short list to get you reading.

    You can start with Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. Though better known for other books, like the still-controversial Satanic Verses,

    Click here to read more

    10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in August 2017

    Hope you have room on your holds list! Here are 10 great titles arriving this month.

    Click here to read more

    Experience the Eclipse!

    Experience the eclipse at Oakland Public Library! We will be hosting an eclipse viewing party August 21st at 9:30. Please join us! We have several new books on solar eclipse science, lore, and history to get you excited about this rare astronomical event.


    Where will you be on August 21st?  Watching the eclipse of course!   

    Oakland Public Library will be hosting a Viewing Party!! Please join us!

    Certain states will experience a total eclipse this summer; those of us in California can expect to see a partial eclipse. A limited number of safe viewing glasses will be available. Come watch the partial eclipse with us! 

    • When: August 21, 2017 at 9:30am
    • Where: Main Library,  West Auditorium - Off of Madison St.

                        125 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612 / Phone# 510-238-3134

    For those who can't join us on August 21st, NASA will be

    Click here to read more