The 2014 Model Year EPA / DOE Fuel Economy Guide is here!

Get the latest fuel economy data from the EPA and DOE, for 2014 model year cars.

Every year, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publish an annual report featuring fuel economy data for new model year cars, SUVs, and light trucks. You can find printed copies of this guide at the Reference Desk. You can also check out the cooresponding fuel economy website, www.fueleconomy.gov. You can find fuel economy data for cars back to 1984, and you can even do side-by-side comparisons for different cars. The site also includes fuel-saving tips and gas price calculators. 

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Library User Spotlight - Meet Miranda!

Meet Miranda, a Main Library user with a love for all things Oakland!

Today I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Miranda Everitt, a library user who agreed to answer all my questions (for which I am very grateful).  

Miranda, who grew up in Ohio and has lived in Oakland for 3 years, is currently a grad student at UC Berkeley working on a master's degree in public policy.  In the meantime she is working at The Food Labor Research Center, studying working conditions in grocery stores throughout the state.   Before that she worked at a food bank, did a turn in AmeriCorps, and wrote headlines at The Oakland Tribune.  Good stuff!

I asked Miranda a bunch of questions and she gave some amazing answers, that you just have to read!

What is the most embarrassing book that you love?

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Q&A Patrons ask; librarians answer. The Reluctant Reader

Q&A: Children's Librarians answer questions all day, every day, from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. This is part one in a series sharing a question from a patron and an answer from a children's librarian.

The Reluctant Reader. Part 1.

Q: My son is 8 years old and he hates reading. It's like torture to get him to sit still for the 20 minutes each day his teacher requires. I'm at my wit's end. I'm worried about him, and I know he's feeling stressed about it, too. What can I do?

sketch of a librarian ready to take notesA: It's not time to panic. I've met plenty of kids who say they don't like to read, and who avoid reading at all costs, and yet they grow up to be readers. Parents don’t always know that each person starts reading in their own good time. Statistically, this often happens sometime around or before 3rd grade, but it's not universally true that by 3rd grade everyone reads on their own. Plenty of bright children become readers later than anyone expected.

The single best predictor of whether or not a child will

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Awards Excitement!

The American Library Association Youth Media Awards are nigh! Will you be watching?

No, this isn't about who is custom-designing my dress for Oscar's night.  This is about the Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and other Youth Media Awards, soon to be unveiled, on Monday January 27th!

You met Miriam Medow, OPL librarian and member of this year's Caldecott committee, a couple of weeks ago.  Miriam, and members of many award committees, are now in their final weeks of re-reading their confidential short-lists, nominated from among hundreds of children's books published this year.   Around the middle of next week, they will pack their bags with warm clothes, books and notes, and head to Philadelphia PA for the American

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From the Main Library

Introducing the Main Library blog

Still from The Desk Set
Welcome to the Oakland Public Library’s newest blog, “From the Main Library.”  Reference librarians will be blogging in this space about the Main Library’s resources, programs, and collections.  We’ll also be sharing tips on research so you can get the most out of what your library has to offer.  (It’ll be all “The Desk Set” meets “Party Girl” with a little “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” thrown in for fun.)

Statistics show that in public libraries the number of reference questions asked by our patrons have declined since the dawn of the internet -- though many days we wonder where this statistic comes from.   Our reference librarians have observed, though, that the questions you ask us are getting harder.  Once you’ve Googled the living daylights out of your difficult questions you

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Mills College, KALW and the Library

Students at Mills College have created these great radio stories about our libraries.

The library was very excited to partner with students at Mills College and KALW this past semester to work on radio stories about our branches and services.  The students, who were studying public radio reporting, had the opportunity to create a radio spot focusing on an Oakland library.

Many of our branches were highlighted and this series showcases some of the exciting and meaningful services that the library and our staff provides every day.  I encourage everyone to give them a listen.  We are so proud of our staff and all the things they offer the community!   
Mills College Logo

You

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Lakeview Book Club Update: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Review of the Lakeview Book Club Discussion of Ernest Hemingway's A Farwell to Arms.

Wow, what a Meeting! I think I counted nine of us there to discuss A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.

Where to begin? Our discussion leader sent out an email asking us to think before the meeting about:

  • The body of literary ciriticism characteriizes this book as an enduring American classic. Why?
  • Prose style. Can you describe, find examples, and compare to other genres or writers?
  • Are there character traits of this author that are brought to the fore in the writing?

As usual there were reports on the life of our author. Several members took extensive notes of passages that were memorable in their ideas or in the writing style...either in a positive or negative way.

Most of the group read the entire book. A few didn't finish it and one did not read it and did not plan to read it after we had discussed it.

Regarding liking it or not, a few didn't

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Book Trailers for Kids

Information about and examples of book trailers – short video clips meant to get readers excited about books.

Have you ever seen a book trailer? They’re just like previews that we see at the movies, only they’re advertising upcoming books! Publishers have been putting more energy into creating exciting and enticing trailers for their books, in the hopes that watching these videos online will encourage people to go out and read the whole story.

If you or your kiddos are ever in need of new inspiration for what to read next, book trailers are an excellent way to go! Check out these trailers to see if any capture your family’s interest.

Chapter Books

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Re-Create Workshops in January and February

Art and recycling merge in the 2014 Oakland Re-Create Art Contest.

OPL has lots going on for children and families in the next couple of months. For Lunar New Year we are bringing both Chabot Space & Science's portable planetarium (Star Lab) and Goof Ball, a magician who will amaze us with his Eastern Magic. We are celebrating African American Heritage month by presenting Kirk Waller, storyteller extraordinaire. And we are happy once again to host workshops for Oakland's 2014 Re-Create art contest.  We'll spend the next couple of weeks highlighting these special events. 

Image from Re-Create ExhibitionFirst up is Oakland's 2014 Re-Create Art Contest (sponsored by the City of Oakland Pubic Works Agency and produced

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Who chooses the Caldecott Medal?

Lakeview Branch Children's Librarian Miriam Medow is serving on this year's Caldecott Award Committee. She tells us a little about her experiences this year so far, in anticipation of the award announcement later in January.

Have you ever wondered how those shiny gold and silver embossed medals wind up on the year's most distinguished picture books?  

The Caldecott Medal has been awarded each year by ALSC, a division of the American Library Association, since 1938.  A different committee of ALSC members is elected and appointed every year to decide which picture book, by an American illustrator, will win the award.  You can watch the live webcast of the award announcments at 5 a.m. on Monday January 27th, and check in with us throughout

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