DÍA: Great Kids' Books about Differently Abled People

Celebrate DIA, Diversity in Action, with these children's books featuring characters who are differently abled.

Extra extra, bonus list! This afternoon, some great recent children's books about young people who live with disabilities. More on Pinterest!

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DÍA: Great Kids' Books about LGBTQ People

Celebrate DIA, Diversity in Action, with these children's books featuring characters who are LGBTQ.

 Whoa people, have you checked us out on twitter lately? Like yesterday or today? Tons of pictures and personal testimony in support of #WeNeedDiverseBooks --keep it coming for the rest of the week, will you? Take a picture of yourself holding a sign with your reasons why we need diverse books, then email it to sharon@mckellar.org (she's our community relations librarian!). We'll tweet it and you'll be a part of history.

Today, our series of awesome diverse children's books continues with books featuring characters who are lesbian \ gay \ bisexual \ transgender \ queer. As with this week's other post, you'll find lots more titles of note on

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DÍA: Great Kids' Books about Latinos

Celebrate DIA, Diversity in Action, with these children's books featuring Latino characters.

When I first started at OPL, I worked at the César Chávez Branch in the Fruitvale (non-Facebook link here) I could not have a bigger soft spot in my heart for this place. It's sunny, the floors are shiny, the colors inside the branch are radiant. The staff is friendly, and you can get the best veggie burrito in Oakland right across the street.

But for me? It was all about lunch breaks in the staff room with gorgeous old cartoons from Mexico. I dug way into the Spanish-language cartoon section, where there are books you won't find at any other library in Oakland. Also, since Chávez gets the best selection of Latin American DVDs, I brought home

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DÍA: Great Kids' Books about African Americans

Celebrate DIA, Diversity in Action, with these children's books featuring characters who are African-American.

There's lots of buzz right now (as there should be) about the numbers reported by the Cooperative Children's Book Center: of 3,200 children's books they received in 2013, just 93 featured African-American characters. Noted children's author Walter Dean Myers responded in a moving essay in the New York Times, in which he described his own childhood and coming to find himself in books. His son Christopher Myers, a noted children's author and illustrator himself, wrote a companion piece in which he lamented the fact that when African-American children appear in books, too often they "are limited to the townships of occasional historical books that concern themselves with the legacies of civil rights and slavery." 

Today, we

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DIA: Great Kids' Books with Multiracial Characters

This week is DÍA: Diversity in Action! Celebrate with children's books about multiracial characters.

This week is the library holiday with the longest name: Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros; Children's Day / Book Day. It's come to be called just DÍA!--Diversity In Action. Want to come party at the library? Click here!

A lot of people are talking about diversity in children's books right now, which makes me very happy. Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the nation, and every family

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Our Mother's Stories

A selection of memoirs featuring mother/child relationships.

In honor of Mother's Day next month, I've highlighted a sampling of mother memoirs.  Told from the point of view of birth mothers and adopted mothers, sons and daughters, these books capture mother/child relationships in all their complexity.    All book summaries are from the publisher's descriptions.

Are You My Mothe?     My Dear Boy    

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Card Catalog Poetry

Check out some amazing poems created by awesome Oaklanders on old card catalog cards.

Earlier this month I had the great pleasure of participating in Oakland Nights Live, showing off some of the Found Items that have been featured on this blog.  Since it's National Poetry Month in April, I gave the audience a chance to create some poetry to be shared here and they so totally stepped up to the plate with some amazing pieces.

All of these poems were created on card catalog cards that we normally use for scrap paper around the library.  These particular cards came from the LP collection, and as you'll see below much of the poetry was inspired directly by what was on the card.  Some poems are funny, some cryptic, and some are just touching.

(BTW - we still have vinyl!  Want to see what we've got?  

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You and Your Baby @ the Library Pt. 1

At weekly library Baby Bounce programs, you can make new friends and learn best practices for getting your baby ready to read.

Being a brand new parent is a joyous but sometimes scary event.  After all, you have to pass a test to drive a car but no test is required to become a parent.  You want to do your best for your baby and that best is probably pretty sleep deprived right now.  But do not fear - the library is here to help you.

We offer baby storytimes every week.  These lapsit storytimes, called "Baby Bounces" are 15- minutes long and filled with gentle rhymes, songs and movement that will start your baby on the path to reading.  After each Baby Bounce, there is a play time with age-appropriate toys.  This is a great chance to get out of the house, stimulate your baby's brain, meet other babies and their caregivers, share information, and make new friends.  Check out our Baby Bounces at the following times and places: 

  •      Dimond Library.     3565 Fruitvale Ave.               Wed. @ 10:15 am
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Why Diversity Matters in Children's Books

A white paper from the Association for Library Service to Children demonstrates why diversity matters in books and programs for children. OPL will be featuring some favorite books with people of color and of different backgrounds and abilities next week as part of our "Dia" celebrations.

Kids at LibraryThe lack of people of color in children's books has been a recent  topic of discussion.  For those that want to understand the issue more, the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has published a white paper on The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children.  

The author, Jamie Naidoo Campbell, recognizes and demonstrates that children need both to see their own culture, and others' cultures, portrayed authentically in their media-rich environment:  

By the time they are toddlers,

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Go Green with eBooks

It's Earth Day. Read an eBook and love your planet.

This Earth Day consider checking out something from OPL’s quickly expanding digital collection; choose from thousands of eBooks. Whether you already dabble in eBook reading or are certain you could never give up the feel, smell and comfort of a good book, or even if you suspect eReaders and tablets are heralding the decline of civilization, you may be surprised at how easy it is to sink into a good eBook. I was. I was so sure I would never want to read from a backlit screen that I read books in the dark next to my sleeping baby with the flashlight from my phone pointed at the page. When my husband got me an iPad for my birthday I never planned to use it for personal reading, but I had to try out our eBook platforms as part of my job. (Didn’t I?) In no time I began reading mostly on the iPad. I read it in the dark, I read it in the light, in waiting rooms, on trips (you can load a ton of books onto one tablet). I would read

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