Read to a Dog!

Children can practice reading to a certified therapy dog in the library.

Girl reading to a dog

Dogs in the Library? Well, sure, when they're working!

Young readers can read aloud to a certified therapy dog who loves listening to stories! Reading to dogs can help increase children's reading confidence, skill, and enjoyment. 

Read to a Dog events are hosted at the following locations/times.  Please call in advance of your planned day to make sure the dog is expected.  Dogs take vacations too sometimes.  

Scout the Dog is ready for a story at:

Elmhurst Library, Every Saturday at 11am

Natasha the Dog is ready for a story at:

81st Avenue Library, First Wednesday of the month at 2pm

Rockridge

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OPL Responds: Mass Shootings, Community Violence, and School Safety

We’ve compiled a list of resources that will cover grief/fear/trauma, speaking to your children about traumatic events, gun laws, advocacy, and safety info. We hope you find this helpful.

OPL Responds Logo

After last month’s tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, student activists brought the gun debate to a national level by pressuring lawmakers to make changes.

There are many different aspects attached to the mass community violence that have been dominating the national and local news for decades. What do you need to know? We’ve compiled a list of resources that will cover grief/fear/trauma, speaking to your children about traumatic events, gun laws, advocacy, and safety info. We hope you find this helpful.

   

Parents & Caregivers: Talking to Children about Traumatic Events

When getting ready to speak to your children about these issues, it is important to remember that everybody processes grief and traumatic events differently. Here are some resources that provide helpful tips on this delicate subject:

  • NPR, with help from the National Association of School

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in March 2018

Here are ten of the many great books headed to the library this month.

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The Black Arts Movement in Oakland and Berkeley

The Black Arts Movement was a vibrant creative period that has had a lasting cultural impact on the East Bay.

Ever so often a social and political movement merges with an arts movement to create a uniquely vibrant environment that impacts communities for generations. The Black Arts Movement that began in 1967, and reached its zenith in the early 1980s, was such a cultural moment in this country. Two social/political movements would greatly impact the decade: African independence and American Civil Rights. As the Civil Rights Movement in America grew to gain international attention, young and creative people took an increasingly more active role. Their study and acceptance of Pan-Africanism, their identification with the words of Malcolm X and James Baldwin, and their ardent call for Black Power shifted the movement from a conciliatory call for justice to a more forceful call to political action and radical self-determination. Local artists responded by embracing African cultures, rhythms, and design motifs. This was exemplified in their dress, hairstyles, art themes, writing, and performance.

As the Black Arts Movement grew, galleries and cultural centers

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AAMLO Celebrates Women's History Month

The African American Museum & Library at Oakland is proud to announce its speakers series, "Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Times" in honor of this year's Women's History Month. Please join us each Saturday in March at 2:00 p.m. for an discussion with an engaging series of speakers.

Lise Pearlman, Saturday March 3

Considered the country’s leading expert on the 1968 Huey Newton death penalty trail in Oakland, Ms. Pearlman studied law at Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley, and practiced law in Alameda County. She appeared in the acclaimed 2015 documentary, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” and she will be signing copies of her new book, With Justice For Some: Politically Charged Criminal Trials in the Early 20th Century That Helped Shape Today’s America.

Careth Reid, Saturday March 10 

Ms. Reid is a native of Berkeley and a lifelong educator and champion of community service in the Bay Area. She is a recipient of the San Francisco State University “Alumna of the Year” award and an inductee in the university’s Hall of Fame. She will be signing copies of her book, The Picture Man: From the Collection of Bay Area Photographer E.F. Joseph, 1927 – 1979 which she wrote with co-author, dance legend, and Oakland native, choreographer, Ruth Beckford.

Halifu Osumare, Saturday March 17

A participant and

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New Nonfiction

Check out new nonfiction at OPL.

This month we received some exciting new nonfiction books. Here are a few that I look forward to reading. I hope you enjoy them, too!

Eloquent Rage      This Will Be My Undoing       When the Call You A Terrorist      

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Oakland's Long View of History

The study of African American history has engaged generations of Oaklanders and East Bay residents.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the student movement to institute Black Studies into college curricula. The drive to learn the history of African Americans, a history brutally suppressed during slavery and denied and ignored for decades after slavery, was always present. Decades before the Black Power Movement of the 1960s inspired San Francisco State College students to demand the curriculum be representative, Oaklanders were passing along African American history in formal and informal settings.

Journalist Delilah Beasley, the mother of Black California history, published her groundbreaking book, “Negro Trail Blazers of California” in 1919.  This masterfully documented work includes interviews with former slaves, profiles of civic groups and prominent citizens, and reports from national conferences. Ms. Beasley also wrote for the Oakland Sunshine

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We've Accomplished so Much!

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.  This year our (coming soon) annual report will be focused on YOU and Your Oakland Public Library.  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

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Lifting as They Climbed: Making a Home for African American Seniors

African Americans worked to feed, clothe, and house their seniors in early Oakland.

The forgotten community of Beulah was a district of large, beautiful homes, many of which provided social services to the orphaned, poor and elderly. It was located in what is now East Oakland, just north and east of Mills College. One of Beulah’s most prominent institutions at the turn of the 20th century was the Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People. Retirement homes at the time were racially segregated, accepting whites only, so Oakland’s African American civic and religious leaders came together to establish a home for its seniors and aged homeless.

The Old Peoples Home Association incorporated in 1892 for the purpose of building such a home. Its founding board included several prominent Oakland-based African American women such as Hettie Tilghman, Julia Shorey (shown here with her family), Harriet E. Smith, Ann S. Purnell, and Mary C. Washington. This early board of directors—and those who followed them—sponsored festivals, dances

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African Americans Establish a Growing Community in Early Oakland

In honor of Black History Month we celebrate Oakland's pioneering African Americans.

For most of us, the story of African Americans in Oakland begins with the westward migration during World War II. And while that is an amazing history, the story really began nearly 100 years before when Oakland was little more than dirt roads and clapboard buildings. The original town ran along 14th Street over to the estuary, from the tidal slough we know as Lake Merritt to West Street.

The same dreams of personal and economic freedoms that brought whites west drew African Americans to the state. They had come to California to start new lives unharnessed by tradition and restriction. They had come in search of gold. They had come accompanying slave masters. They had come to set down new roots. The first East Bay census, taken in 1852 when the city was founded, recorded that five African American men and one African American woman, and eight foreign-born African American men lived in Oakland. In those early days, African Americans in Oakland worked as sailors, laborers, draymen, barbers, maids, dressmakers, railroad porters, hotel workers, cooks, and waiters.

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