Introducing Karen Lum-Nackley - BWH Volunteer

The Books for Wider Horizons birthday party year continues with an interview with one of our long-term volunteers.

Picture of Karen Lum-Nackley

Books for Wider Horizons (BWH) employs a corps of dedicated volunteers who take weekly storytimes to about forty preschools (Head Starts, CDCs, and private preschools) around Oakland. A couple of months ago, we introduced Gay Ducey, librarian, storyteller extraordinaire, and member of the team that originally thought of and implemented the Books for Wider Horizons (BWH) volunteer program over twenty years ago. 

Today we meet Dr. Karen Lum-Nackley, one of those intrepid volunteers. Karen has been with BWH since 2001. She made time for us the week before Christmas to answer our questions regarding her experience with the program.

What attracted you to Books for Wider Horizons fourteen years ago? 

My own love for books as a child. I grew up in Oakland and visited the Glenview Library on Park Blvd. when I was a child. My parents

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6 kids' books from 2014 that hit uncomfortably close to home

From jealousy to farting, these 2014 kids' books capture the little uncomfortable moments of adult life.

1. My New Friend Is So Fun! by Mo Willems

Gerald (the elephant) sees Piggie playing with her new bat friend, and he is JEALOUS. Gerald, I know the sting you feel all too well: maybe Piggie will have so much fun with Bat, she won't need you anymore. I'm sure we'll outgrow these insecurities someday.

Read it to: the BFF who keeps breaking brunch plans.

2. Sam and Dave

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Stream with Freegal - Start the New Year Listening to the 57th Grammy Nominees

Check out the 57th Grammy nominees with free streaming and downloads from Freegal.

The 57th Grammy nominations are in and many of the artists and albums nominated can be streamed or downloaded for free with Freegal. The library has also purchased many of the physical CDs for the collection too!

Here is a small sampling of titles available from Freegal:

G I R L / Pharrell Williams G I R L / Pharrell Williams

Nominated for

Best Album of the Year

Stream now! or click here for CD availability

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Oakland Public Library Staff’s Favorite Books of 2014

OPL staff looks back on their favorite books of 2014.

You’ve seen them everywhere—end of the year Best Books lists in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Amazon, to name just a few—now it’s time for us to weigh in. Here are a few of our favorite books published in 2014.

We’d love to hear from you, too! Please tell us about your favorite books of 2014 in the comments.

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90-Second Newbery Film Festival, Not Too Late to Enter!

Entries are still welcome for the 4th Annual 90-Second Newbery Festival, which will screen at the Rockridge Library on February 7th, 2015.

90 second newbery logoThe 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is once again coming to Oakland on Saturday February 7, 2015, 12 noon-1pm at the Rockridge Branch Library

It is not too late to submit your entry!  The deadline for submissions has been extended to January 16, 2015, which means that you can spend your winter break working on your video, of 90 seconds or less, that tells the entire story of a Newbery-winning book.

We'd love to see your

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Listen, Learn, Participate: A #BlackLivesMatter Resource Series

Across the country #BlackLivesMatter is inspiring action and conversation. Oakland librarians have compiled some resources to support these conversations.

Across the country, a movement to stop violence and uplift Black humanity -- embodied in the phrase #BlackLivesMatter -- is inspiring action and conversation. To support these conversations I've compiled a series of resource guides.

Whether you're a parent, a student, a community organizer or a concerned neighbor, this Resource Series offers books, articles and videos to prompt discussion and action:

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The Reading Minute Presents: The SUN on a Rainy Day



Have you seen The Sun? It is a magazine for writers and, also, it is a magazine for readers. Specifically, it is a magazine for readers looking for “emerging and established artists who are striving to be thoughtful and authentic.” 


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Last Minute Gift Ideas

Need last minute gifts? It's not too late to make something unique!

Are you struggling with last minute gifts? Tired of spending your time at the mall? Oakland Public Library can help you create something unique to give this season. Here are some suggestions for making your own gifts.  Enjoy! 

Edible DIY     Delicious Gifts    

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Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: What’s your opinion on this movie?

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. Sometimes our help is needed to make serious ethical decisions...What movie should we watch tonight?

Q: What do you think about this movie for my kids?

A: Here’s what goes through my mind when I hear this question, which happens a few times a week:

  1. I really appreciate your effort to figure out what’s best for your children!  

  2. Image that made Isabel cry in Schoolhouse Rock.

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Heartburn by Nora Ephron and Leaving Mother Lake by Yang Erche Namu, A Lakeview Book Club Report

Lakeview Book Club Report on the discussion of Heartburn by Nora Ephron and Leaving Mother Lake by Yang Erche Namu.

Eight of us met to discuss these two quickly read books. Heartburn had been on our list for a long time, but we added Leaving Mother Lake, because we wanted to discuss another book with a strong woman. Heartburn was fiction based on fact and Leaving Mother Lake was a memoir, "as told to" anthropologist, Christine Mathieu. Christine Mathieu also added her anthropological analysis of Yang Erche Namu's community in Yunan Province. Our discussion leader for Leaving Mother Lake shared very thorough notes, which brought us all up on the major details.

Yang Erche Namu was born in 1966 in a very remote village in the mountains of Yunnan Province, China. Her isolated community developed a "matrilineal" society over hundreds of years. Anthropologist, Christine Mathieu, conjectures that this evolved from a feudal society

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