Events & Programs

OPL Celebrates Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Megumi!

Picture of MegumiJoin us at Oakland Public Library as we celebrate Asian Pacific Islanders Heritage Month with Megumi. This wonderful bilingual storyteller (English/Japanese) will entertain and move us with tales of all types. She especially delights in sharing Japanese folk tales. Megumi will be at four branches in May:

 

 

Tuesday May 5 at 12:30pm at the Martin Luther King, Jr Branch

Wednesday May 6 at 10:30am at the Asian Branch

Friday May 15 at 1pm at the Brookfield Branch

Saturday May 16 at 11am at the Montclair Branch

Wheeee! Roller Coasters....At the Library?


Do you love roller coasters?  The loops, the speed, the excitement, the wind in your hair?  Have you ever wondered why some coasters are faster or scarier than others?  How roller coaster cars stay on the track?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, have we got something special for you!

 

On Thursday, April 2nd at 3:30, Lawrence Hall of Science is coming to the 81st Avenue Library to teach kids Lawrence Hall of Science logoall about the science and engineering of roller coasters with hands-on experiementing and table-top creations!  Kids and families will design, create and test their mini-coasters and will be challenged to keep their marble on track through all their loops and turns.

 

Note: Participants will get to take home their projects.

 
Marble roller coaster 1                                

 

 

 

                              

Kids Eat Free! YES FREE!

Starting April 2nd and ending May 22nd everyone who is 18 years old and younger can eat a FREE meal or a snack in the Eastmont library. The meals must be eaten onsite in the designated area.  Meals will be served between 3:30 and 4:30 pm (or while supplies last.) 

We are also looking for a few responsible teenagers or young adults to  volunteer and help us distribute the food.  In addition to showering you with undying gradidute,  we will also sign off on your school mandated community service hours. Contact Paul Schiesser at (510) 615-5726 for more details.

The Eastmont Library is located in the Eastmont Towncenter: 7200 Bancroft Ave. Suite 211 (second floor)

So you're hungry today? Or you can't make it to the Eastmont Library? Try these other two locations:

 

Teen Zone  at the Main Library

125  14th Street 2nd Floor [just follow the signs (and the music) to the teen zone.]

Snacks served Monday - Friday at 3:00 pm

Dinner served on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 5:00 pm

Food is served until it is gone! *Teens (12 - 18 years old)  have first priority*   

 

Rockridge Library

5366 College Avenue

Snacks every Tuesday, Thursday, and  Friday at 3:30 pm

Snacks every Wednesday at 1:30 pm 

Come in get one while supplies last.

 

Do you have any questions for us? They can be about almost anything. Submit a question and it will be answered in an upcoming blog post!

 

African American Literature Read In Hits Oakland Next Week!

Book Cover of My PeopleNext week, the Oakland Public Education Fund is sponsoring an African American Literature Read In in the schools and is looking for volunteers. If you can volunteer to read in a school next week, it is not too late to sign up.

Their site includes a great recommended reading list, which we contributed to, and includes many of our favorites. Check them out, anytime. 

Book Cover Heart & SoulIn support of the Read In, and in celebration of Black History month, all Oakland Public Library storytimes next week (February 2-7) will highlight African American authors, illustrators, and characters.  

We strive for diversity in our collections and storytimes every day of the year and are excited to support next week's activities. We look forward to seeing you. 

You can browse and place holds for some of our favorites books for next week right here

BookCoverWhenBeatWasBorn

Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Do you have some books to prepare our child for the new baby we’re expecting?

Erica's daughters - age 3 and newborn!

Q: Do you have some books to prepare my child for the new baby we’re expecting?

A: Yes, we do! Different issues come up for kids who are about to have a new sibling. I’d like to share books that include some different angles on the question. I think of them in these 5 rough categories:

Books that simply explain what welcoming a new baby might include. If you don’t know yet what your child is thinking or feeling about the whole thing, simple books without drama may be a good starting place.

New Baby at Your House by Cole Baby for Max cover illustration Cover image of A Baby's Coming to Your HOuse cover image of Babies Don't Eat Pizza cover image of How Does Baby Feel cover image of Now We Have a Baby

Books that show and tell how babies are made. If your child has already started asking questions, we have books that provide answers in kid-friendly terms – arranged here from youngest/simplest to oldest/most-detailed.  

cover image of When You Were Inside Mommy cover image of How you were born cover image of How Babies Are Made  cover image of How I Was Born cover image of Where Do Babies Come From cover of Mommy Laid an Egg cover image of Everybody has a bellybutton cover image of What Makes a Baby cover of Where Did I Come From? cover of Amazing You! cover of What's In There? cover image of It's Not the Stork 

Books that acknowledge the long wait. For your child, it’s half a lifetime away – from the time your family & friends start talking about the coming baby and the birth-day. These books help put the calendar in perspective. 

    

Books that address strong feelings that older siblings might have. If your child has already expressed negative feelings, there are books that address their fears, with humor, information, or simple acceptance, any of which could be a big relief for you both. Many of these stories start out disastrous, but they turn out fine in the end, of course!  

          

Books that give ideas of how to enjoy a baby. Whether the baby has arrived yet or not, you can build positive anticipation brainstorming ways your older child can enjoy the baby.  

       

Actually, there are tons more! My hands are all clicked out...this will have to be a starter list! 

If you’d like some advice about how best to prepare your child for a new sibling, there are a few websites to get ideas. Ask Dr. Sears, Baby Center, WebMD, and What To Expect each have their own advice, but most of it is consistent, so reading any one of those will give you some basic suggestions.

watercolor of a baby on a blanketGuess what?!?! Now that you’ve reached the end of this blog post, I’d like to invite you and your child to our New Sibling Workshop coming up in March, 2015. We’ll read a few of these books and you’ll make one of your own to help your first child welcome the new baby. Spread the word! 

Finally, despite the steady stream of questions coming to us at the Oakland Public Library every day, we’d still be happy to receive your question online! Leave a comment if you like, but if you have a question you’d like to see answered in depth, on this blog on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, CLICK HERE

Link to submit a question to the Children's Services Blog

Celebrate Hat Day!

Start the New Year off in style by celerating Hat Day at the Library.

Come to the Main Library or the Elhmurst Branch on January 15 at 3:30pm and celebrate Hat Day. We will provide everything needed to create memorable headgear. Once your hat is finished you and the other milliners can parade your headgear through the Library and see what the staff are wearing on their heads. Looking for inspiration? Take a peek at Origination's periodic table of hats.

We will also be making tiaras!

May 24th may be Tiara Day, but we saw how great the President looked in his tiara and decided not to wait until May. We will have supplies for people to create their very own tiara.

 

 

 Photo by Pete Souza/White House

Unable to make the January 15th event?

If you are not able to come by the Library on January 15th or want to celebrate again, we will be having a second celebration at the Asian Branch on January 23 at 3:30 pm. 

 

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

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 Oakland entries in the festival, and welcome you to post your links here as well.   Does anyone dare take on the 2014 Newbery Medal book Flora & Ulysses?  I can lend you a vaccuum cleaner, but just be careful with the squirrel, the ones I've met are not so nice. 

Books for Wider Horizons - The Anniversary Celebration Continues

Books for Wider Horizons has had a busy couple of months.    

Congratulations Class of 2014!

OurBWH graduating class 21st class of Books for Wider Horizons volunteers graduated in November. These hardy souls spent 21 1/2 hours in training and observing, only to commit to spending 2-3 hours per week preparing and presenting storytimes at Oakland Head Starts, OUSD Childhood Development Centers, and other preschool sites for the rest of the school year. Gluttons for punishment, some of this year's volunteers actually came to both graduation days, so they could get more ideas on what books to choose, songs to sing, and ways to present!

Volunteering for BWH does take commitment and time and enough energy to interact with a class full of preschool students for a half hour a week. But the rewards are hugs and rock star status. 

The next volunteer training is not until fall of 2015, but if the idea of reading stories to preschool children appeals to you, please send an email to the Books for Wider Horizons coordinator, Rochelle Venuto (rvenuto@oaklandlibrary.org). She will keep your name on file and be in touch with you as the time for the new training class approaches.

   

Check out our new logo!

We asked a different set of volunteers to design a new logo to take us into the next 20 years. Designed by one of those wonderful people (who would like to remain anonymous), the logo we chose conveys our mission of adding joy to the lives of young children through books, songs, chants, and fun. 

 

     

It's time to party!

And finally, we are planning a birthday party for Sunday, January 25. If you have been involved with Books for Wider Horizons as a volunteer, teacher, student, donor, or staff member, and would like more information, please send Rochelle Venuto (rvenuto@oaklandlibrary.org) an email. She will send you the party details. One thing I can tell you right now, there will be cake!

The staff here at Oakland Public Library are proud to be associated with the people, past and present, who have contributed to the success of this program. Thank you. 

Winter Crafts at the Library

 

 

This month at the Library we are offering two festive Winter Crafts. If you like glitter then you should come make a Snow Globe. We will have plenty of glitter and other fixings to let you create a winter wonderland in a jar. (If you have an extra jam jar or two at home please bring it with you!) 

If you prefer frosting to glitter,  you may want to make a Graham Cracker House.  We have loads of sweets and plenty of Graham Crackers for you to design and create the home of your dreams.

 

Hope to see you at the library this December!

Snow Globes

Martin Luther King Jr., Saturday, December 13th-2:30pm

Elmhurst Branch, Tuesday, December 16th-4:00pm

Montclair Branch, Wednesday, December 17th-2:00pm

Asian Branch, Thursday, December 18th-3:30 

Cesar E. Chavez Branch, Tuesday, December 23rd-1:00pm

Graham Cracker Houses

Montclair Branch, Thursday, December 11th-3:30

Elmhurst Branch, Saturday, December 20th-1:00pm

West Oakland Branch, Tuesday, December 23rd-4:00

Martin Luther King Jr., Tuesday, December 30th-2:30pm

Books for Wider Horizons - Taking Storytimes to Young Children for Twenty Years

Books for Wider HorizonsThis year is our 20th anniversary of taking storytimes to young children in Oakland preschools, including Head Starts and CDCs, through the efforts of our trained volunteer storyreaders. We will be celebrating all year with posts on the history and future of Books for Wider Horizons.

Picture of Gay DuceyFirst up is an interview with Gay Ducey. Gay is a nationally-known storyteller and has been training our volunteers since the beginning. Her commitment to this program is legendary within the library, and she is a beloved mentor to all our volunteers.

We interviewed Gay on Saturday, October 11.

How and why did Books for Wider Horizons start?

As a group, OPL’s children’s librarians were not happy seeing only the children whose parents brought them to the library. We knew there were children who were not being exposed to the gifts the library can offer and wanted to reach them but knew we didn’t have the time to do it well, or even at all. It began when the Children’s Services Supervising Librarian at the time, Julie Odofin, asked me to put together a proposal and curriculum. The rest is history.   

What is the most important quality of a successful storyreader?

Two come to mind: commitment, a real steadfast commitment to the children; and the ability to share the love and joy of literature and language to children, so that the children carry it with them as they grow older and have choices.

Do you have a most vivid memory of the program?

There are so many… Our first training class started with six people. By the end of the three weeks, two had dropped out. So, on graduation day – a wet, cold, hailing, windy kind of day – there were just four brave souls who attended. We heard the door open and shut, thought it was just the wind, and continued with what we were doing. But it wasn’t the wind. At the door were Martín Gomez, the library director, and Ruth Metz, the assistant director. These two administrators had braved the weather on their own time to honor the four volunteers who were graduating. It was nice for me and wonderful for the volunteers.

The second came from trainings we gave to Head Start directors, staff, parents, and the public. These trainings had been requested by Head Start and organized by one of our earlier coordinators, Zarita Dotson. I'll never forget the comment of one of the mothers. She said, “If this had been available to me when I was little, I would have liked reading, been able to read better, and shared it with my children. It wasn’t, and I didn’t. My children were on their own once they could read just a little bit.”

What is the most important message you have for new volunteers?

Again, there are two. The first is to tell them they are dedicating their time to the children of Oakland, who deserve the very best. The second is that they are sufficient as they are. We provide a tool box; the volunteers can choose which tools they use.

Is there something you’d like to share that I haven’t asked? Gay Ducey with BWH bag

Yes. When our volunteers begin training, they are eager, well intentioned and nervous. The little secret we tell them on the first day is that they are going to be rock stars. They will find that this storyreading experience ranks very high on their list of fun things they have done in their lives. 

Thank you Gay. And thank you for your years of service to the children of Oakland, who deserve the very best.

***

Our fall training series is already underway, but if you might be interested in being a Books for Wider Horizons storyreader, please call (510) 238-7453 or e-mail Rochelle Venuto at rvenuto@oaklandlibrary.org for more information about our next series.  A 7-night training session (offered each fall) is required for this program. Upon completion of the training, each participant agrees to prepare and present a weekly storytime at a partnering preschool site for at least 6 months.