Events & Programs

Make Zines with Author Cathy Camper

Book Cover Lowriders in SpaceCathy Camper, the author of Low Riders in Space, comes to Oakland to present a series of zine-making workshops at five braches. Join us as she shares her process in writing Lowriders in Space and shows how to create zines. These workshops are designed for ages 10 to 14, but all are welcome. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 1:00pm 81st Avenue

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 10:30am Martin Luther King, Jr

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 3:00pm Elmhurst

Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 1:00pm César Chávez

Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 4:00pm Eastmont


Celebrate Families and Reading this Sunday with us at the Oakland Museum

Picture of Chiquy Boom!

Oakland proved we know how to party with our city-wide celebration of the Warriors in June. Now it's time to celebrate something even more important: almost 10,000 children have read this summer in the Oakland Public Library's Summer Reading Challenge. So let's party! 

Logo of Oakland Museum of California

Join us at the Oakland Museum of California on Sunday (August 2) from 12 to 4. All children who've finished the Summer Reading Challenge will receive a signed certificate of completion. Everyone is welcome, and every child will receive a book, thanks to the East Bay Children's Book Project. 

Storytime at OMCABut wait... there's more! Chiquy Boom! will bring her unique style of silly magic and movement in two languages with two shows, at 1:30pm and 3pm. We'll have a DJ to dance our sillies away, art projects, and food trucks from Off the Grid. Oakland Parks & Rec will entertain us with games, a bouncy house, and face painting; and of course there will be storytimes, with your favorite librarians. 

This is a free day at OMCA. Entry and all the entertainment will cost nothing for the whole family. Prices vary for the food trucks.

It is not too late to participate in the Summer Reading Challenge.  You can sign up online, or stop by any Oakland Public Library for a summer reading calendar.  Children ages 0-14 are rewarded for reading completed between June 13th and August 8th this summer. Any reading counts, including being read to, because we know that reading for fun makes good readers. 

Be a Summer Reading Super Hero!

OR2020 LogoAll kids are invited to participate in Oakland's Summer Reading Challenge. But two special events this Friday invite kids to be summer reading heroes!

Join us on Friday, June 19th, from 1pm to 3:30pm at the Martin Luther King Jr Branch, or the 81st Avenue Branch, for a summer reading festival including free books, facepainting, bubbles, popcorn, storytime, a superhero photo booth, and a chance to win a Kindle!

The Summer Reading Super Hero festival celebrates National Summer Learning Day, and is sponsored by Oakland Reads 2020.

It's Summer at Your Library!

The Oakland Public Library has reading, fun, and adventure for children, teens, and adults this summer.

Smiling girlWe invite you to hang out, play, meet new people, and read for fun this summer.

Studies show that kids who don’t read during the summer lose approximately two months’ worth of gains made during the school year.  But we have you covered, with the kids Summer Reading Challenge.  

We know (because studies also show!) that when kids choose their own reading, they enjoy reading more, and when reading is fun, they become better readers.  We'd like to celebrate your child's summer experiences by rewarding them for reading, which they can track in their own reading log.  Come to any Oakland Library to pick one up.

While you're here, check out our amazing activities and performances. Music, puppets, marble runs, an instrument petting zoo and a live animal petting zoo...there's always something to do at your library. 

Baby Bounce ProgramCelebrate reading with the whole family. 

Any child can participate in the Summer Reading Challenge whether they know how to read or not.  Even babies are learning important literacy skills when you or another loved one read to them.  Read together, read often, it all counts, because it all makes a difference.  

You can also get prizes for your own reading, for attending a library program or bringing a friend to the library, or checking out a free Discover & Go pass.  Just ask for an Adult Summer Reading raffle card at any location.  And, yes, your teenager too!

Girl and boy reading togetherStart now.  Here's our favorite reads. 

We love to talk to you and your children at the library to find the perfect book, but your can always browse our favorites at our Great Reads page.   We also love OUSD's Elementary Summer Reading list, and hope you will try our new service, Beanstack. Set up a free account and select your child's age, interests, and reading level. You’ll receive a weekly email with recommended books from the Oakland Public Library!

We've got plenty in store...

Don't miss our end of summer extravaganza at the Oakland Museum, or that special event that just right for you and you child.  We are also serving free lunch for youth at many of our libraries. Check out out events calendar any day this summer.  We can't wait to see you. 

Girl eating lunch in the library

Spring 2015 Picture Book Showcase

Let's face it: everyone who's into illustration, cartooning, design or just plain old fine art is into the art of the picture book. Next Thursday, May 21, the Oakland Public Library is joining the Octopus Literary Salon to show off some of our newest favorites....

It's the Spring 2015 Picture Book Showcase! Won't you come on over, buy yourself a drink, and enjoy the show? A surprise musical guest will make an appearance. Copies of the books will be for sale, too.

OPL's Spring 2015 Picture Book Showcase
Thursday, May 21, 2015, 6:30-8:30pm
The Octopus Literary Salon
2101 Webster Street in Oakland

Here's a sneak preview:

Vegetables in Underwear, by Jared Chapman


Last Stop on Market Street, by Christian Robinson

The Spider, by Elise Gravel

What else will make the cut? Who knows! I do. And soon you will too. See you next Thursday!

The Octopus is a literary salon, re-interpreted in the 21st Century to engage and entertain readers and writers of all ages in Uptown Oakland, California. The Octopus Literary Salon includes a café, a small-scale specialty bookstore and publisher, and a space for public readings and discussions as well as other literary spontaneity.

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


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