What's Your Favorite Bunny Book?

Do you like your bunnies soft and gentle, or bloody and savage? Either way, we've got a bunny book for you!

Hippity-hop! It's springtime in Oakland, and I thought we could celebrate with a chat about bunnies, the official animal of spring. I don't know why the vernal equinox gets everyone thinking about rabbits. Scientific data exists that shows they do, in fact, exist at other times of the year.

Also, bunnies are really not sweet and gentle and cute as the books below would have you believe. They are kind of vicious. Have you read Watership Down? If you haven't, you really should. It's one of my childhood favorites. At one point, I considered myself fluent in the language the author invented for the book, so if you read it, maybe you can come by and we can have a conversation in Lapine. Anyway, the rabbits in that book killed each other pretty easily and often, so much so that if you do a Google image search for "

Click here to read more

OHR Preserves Local Treasures on Obsolete Media

The Oakland History Room has preserved rare and culturally valuable recordings in its collection.

Since 2013, the Oakland History Room (OHR) has been a partner of the California Audiovisual Preservation Project which preserves and provides access to unpublished and rare audiovisual content that is significant to state history. The CAVPP also works to raise awareness of the need to preserve such items and to raise funds for this type of archival preservation. The project, known locally as California Light & Sound, is administered at the University of California at Berkeley.

Through this partnership, the Oakland History Room has been able to preserve such items as 8mm and 16mm film of speed boat races on Lake Merritt and the 1948 Christmas Balloon Parade in downtown Oakland; VHS recordings of community events like the annual Black Cowboy Parade; oral histories recorded on audiocassette, and Oakland junior high orchestra and choir recordings on vinyl. So far, forty-nine items from OHR's collection have been digitized. These recordings now live on the Internet Archive (www.archive.org). Just type in “Oakland History

Click here to read more

Veteran Resource Center Online

Veterans can connect to resources at the Main Library starting in mid-April when we open a Veteran Resource Center.

Did you know that Alameda County has the 5th highest veteran per capita population in the state? To help veterans connect with resources, the Main Library will open a Veteran Resource Center in partnership with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) in May. Veterans can drop by during open hours to learn about state and federal education, employment, housing, health, disability and other benefits that may be available to veterans and their families. The Center will be open and staffed by trained volunteers. We'll also have a collection of books and other resources, and access to computer equipment for extended periods in order to complete online application and do research. If you have any questions or want a note when we schedule the opening, please email Mana Tominaga, Supervising Librarian for the Main Library, at mtominaga@oaklandlibrary.

Click here to read more

Found: Art and Literature Left Behind at the Library

If you aren't touched by the tale of Mr. Poopy-Loopy Stinky Butt, then you clearly have no soul.

It's time for another edition of our Found in a Library Book (or in the Library) series.  This one is full of some great stuff including a brand new edition to the Mr. Men series, Mister Poopy-Loopy Stinky Butt!  You will not want to miss what happens to this poor guy.  

              

Click here to read more

Is it ever going to rain again?

Here’s a guest post from fellow librarian Susy Moorhead, Science Fiction enthusiast and climate change believer.

I am tired of looking at the weather and only seeing clear sunny days of high 60s. I am so over gloating to my friends in other parts of the country about not having to wear a jacket while sitting in the park on endless sunny days.

Feeling the dark side of no rain reminds me of great books and movies that portray a future where some sort of climatic catastrophe has irreparably changed life as we know it. Most of these books fall in to the science fiction or dystopia genre. But now that this subgenre is growing a new term has been coined - “climatic fiction” or cli-fi.  Here are some books and movies that I have enjoyed:    

Click here to read more

Bike to Books at OPL!

Read a book, ride a bike, and make Oakland a better place!

Bicycling is a healthy, non-polluting, low-cost, and quiet form of transportation that is ideal for commuting and recreation. We also want to make it easier for you to bike to the library. Like last year, we've got a number of exciting programs planned in May, 2015, to encourage you to "Bike to Books" as part of the City of Oakland's efforts to promote biking for all!

And you don't have to wait until May to get going with bike-related events at the Library; 81st Avenue Branch hosts a free weekly Fix-It Clinic for minor repairs, every Friday, from 2 to 5 PM. 

Programs in May include these events. First, d

Click here to read more

Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Antidotes to teen romances for my precocious pre-teen?

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. Will my daughter lose her unique identity, trying to fit into the images she sees modeled in teen novels? The strong female characters all fall in love in the end! Can we get some strong-female novels appropriate for a 6th grade reader?

Q: My daughter is in 6th grade, and she’s an avid reader. She’s choosing teen stories that seem to actually be romances - vampires, warriors, rebels, detectives - they all seem to focus on the love interest in the end! I feel Twilight is one of the books the 6th-grader had read.like it might be influencing her behavior toward the boys in her school - in a way that to me seems vulnerable. Do you have any good stories about strong female characters without the romance? Akata Witch - See below for details.

Click here to read more

It's Pi Day!

March 14 is Pi Day! Time to celebrate math and more!

Yay! It's Pi Day! March 14, when the first three digits of π, 3/14 are the date. Pi Day is exciting more than the usual amount of nerdy interest this year because today is the Pi Day of the Century, the only date this century when the first five digits of Pi will line up in a row: 3/14/15. And at 9:26 and 53 seconds you'll get to experience pi in ten digits. 

So what is π, besides a Greek letter and something good to eat with ice cream? Pi, also called Archimedes' Constant, represents the ratio between the circumference and the diameter of a circle, or roughly 3.14. That's about 22/7 so for those of you who like multiple celebrations,you could also celebrate Pi Approximation Day on July 22. 

The pi ratio, though not named π until the early 18th century, was known to the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians as a way of calculating the area of a circle. It was the Archimedes who first

Click here to read more

A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit: A Lakeview Branch Book Club Review

This is the Lakeview Book Club Review of A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit.

 
In spite of the seasonal craziness, daily pressures and weeks of heavy rain, five of us came to discuss A Paradise Build in Hell by Rebecca Solnit!
 
We just launched in and barely took a breath talking about parts that really impressed us. By the time we looked up we had gone over our time! We all agreed that we REALLY liked this book. The only criticism is that it had so much detail and analysis that it slowed the reading down so that the reader had to really think about the concepts. Another member thought that the detail and the analysis was the best part. Not everyone finished this title, but they might finish it. Several of the group tabbed passages that were excellently written and inspiring, with many, many post-it papers!
 
As a

Click here to read more

You Can Throw Your Pizza On MY Roof

There's no need to "break bad" when you have great picture books about pizza to read!

You know, we all get a little mad sometimes. But throwing perfectly good pizza onto the roof of your house is NOT an okay way to show your anger! It makes me cry to think of the tragic--TRAGIC--scene in the TV series Breaking Bad when Walter White hurls a delicious-looking pizza onto the roof, instead of directly into his mouth where it belongs. 

I'm not the only one weeping. According to Buzzfeed, the people who live in the house where the show was filmed would really like you to stop throwing pizza onto their roof, please. They have backing from the show's creator, Vince Gilligan, who says

Click here to read more