Events & Programs

Lunar New Year Celebrations

We are celebrating Lunar New Year with space and laughter. 

Chabot's Travelling PlanetariumChabot Space & Science Museum brings their Star Lab, a portable planetarium to Oakland libraries. Come see the stars as they were seen by the Chinese and Greeks.

Rockridge Branch 
  Thursday, Jan 23 at 4 PM

Golden Gate Branch
Wednesday, Jan 29 at 3 PM

César Chávez Branch
Tuesday, Feb 4 at 5 PM

81st Avenue Branch
Saturday, Feb 8 at 1 PM

Melrose Branch
Thursday, Feb 27 at 10 AM

GoofballLaughter comes with Goofball. He will entertain us with magic from East and West. Just one look at him and you know he's hilarious. 

Lakeview Branch
aturday, Jan 25 at 11:30 AM

Montclair Branch
  Saturday, Jan 25 at 3:00 PM

Elmhurst Branch
  Saturday, Feb 1 at 2:00 PM

Asian Branch 
  (Co-Sponsored by and located at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center)
  Wednesday, Feb 5 at 10:30 AM

Re-Create Workshops in January and February

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 by Pro Arts). Oakland students (K-12) are invited to turn trash into artistic treasure in preparation for the City of Oakland's 2014 Re-Create Art Contest. These free workshops will be led by Pro Arts staff. All entries will be shown as part of the Re-Create Exhibition. Winners willl be announced at a public reception on Friday, February 28 from 6-8 PM at Pro Arts, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.

The workshops will be held at the following branches:

Dimond Branch
  Friday, Jan 10 at 3 PM

Main Library, Children's Room
   Friday, Jan 17 at 3 PM

Golden Gate Branch
   Wednesday, Jan 22 at 3 PM

Asian Branch
   Friday, Jan 24 at 3:15 PM

81st Avenue Branch
   Saturday, Jan 25 at 1 PM

Lakeview Branch
   Friday, Jan 31 at 3 PM

Montclair Branch
   Saturday, Feb 1 at 2 PM

Melrose Branch
   Thursday, Feb 6 at 3 PM

90 Second Newbery Film Festival Coming to Oakland

The 90 Second Newbery Film Festival is coming to Oakland!

We posted back in October about how kids and teens can enter their video creations to the 90 Second Newbery Film Festival. Since then, the deadline for entries been extended to January 20th,  giving kids that precious time over winter break to work on their entries.  

And, we are very pleased to announce that the Film Festival will be coming to Oakland on Saturday, February 8th, at 12 noon, at the Rockridge Branch Library.  It will be co-hosted by author Jennifer Holm, creator of Babymouse, Squish, and of three Newbery Honor winning novels.

Which is your favorite Newbery book?  It's not too late to submit your entry.  







Make a Winter Snow Globe

Do you miss the snow? Have you never been to the snow but dream of going? Do you simply to look at the snow glitter as it drifts down to a winter scene? Whatever your reason, celebrate winter with us by making a snow globe. You can give it as a gift or keep it for yourself. We'll never tell.

Friday, December 13 at 3:00 PM Elmhurst

Friday, December 13 at 3:30 PM César Chávez

Saturday, December 14 at 1:00 PM 81st Avenue

Saturday, December 14 at 2:00 PM Rockridge

Tuesday, December 17 at 4:00 PM Melrose

Wednesday, December 18 at 3:00 PM Montclair

Wednesday, December 18 at 3:30 PM Golden Gate

What to Make?

Want to make something with your kids, but need some ideas?  If you're tired of browsing online, come in and ask our staff to show you the arts and crafts section.  You'll find plenty of books to page through for ideas.

You can also check out our events listings this month for arts and crafts, knitting, and other hands-on activities.   Tomorrow, try:

Afternoon Crafts at the Melrose Library, Wednesday Dec 5th and Dec 18th at 2:30pm

Weekly Art with MOCHA, Wednesdays at 2pm (this month through December 18th), at the 81st Avenue Branch, the Eastmont Branch, the Main Library, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch.

 Art with MOCHA at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch

Sean's Shadows Bring Halloween

Sean's ShadowsAre you tired of ghosts, goblins, and scary pumkins? Do you want to hear and see a scary story you've never seen or heard before? Come celebrate Halloween with a frightening tale from China. The Scary Temple will send shivers down your spine. But don't be too afraid; they are only puppets.

Monday, October 28 at 7:00 PM  Piedmont Avenue

Tuesday, October 29 at 6:30 PM Lakeview

Wednesday, October 30 at 10:30 AM Golden Gate

Wednesday, October 30 at 3:30 PM Elmhurst

Thursday, October 31 at 4:00 PM César Chávez

Bring Your Child to Storytime

Yuk Yau Preschool StorytimeThis last week I was talking with some teen moms about what they can do to help their babies get ready to read. I had given them the full presentation about five simple activities - talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing - that help a baby, toddler, and preschool child be ready to read by kindergarten.

One of the teen moms said her favorite memory of libraries was all the storytimes she went to when she was a child. She and her parents went to libraries all over Oakland. Her face changed as she talked about the pleasure of hearing stories with her family. It reminded me that when I was young, I spent weeks one summer listening to my librarian read C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. She talked about "being transported to a different world." Being a very literal child, I was disappointed when we all stayed in the garden of the library. But I still remember that summer and have reread the book over and over again. 

There is something magical about being read to. The imagination can fly free to follow whimsy and visit different  worlds. And the memories of those visits can last as long as a visit to a "real" place. As added benefits, children increase their vocabulary by hearing new words in context, and adults get to visit long-forgotten places, feelings, and memories. 

Oakland Public Library has lots of storytimes. There are seventeen locations that serve children and families, and all of them have at least one storytime a week. We have baby bounces for children 0-18 months, toddler time for children 18 months to 3 years, preschool storytime for those who are getting ready to start kindergarten, and family storytime for the whole family.

Do you have a favorite memory of storytimes? Come make some with your child.

Museum of Children's Art Weekly Workshops

MOCHA at Main Children's RoomCome join us as we create art with MOCHA. The programs, for children from 3 to 18, travel to OPL libraries every Wednesday at 2:00 pm. MOCHA's brand new home is not opening until November, but you can do art with their fabulous artists at four of our branches right now.

81st Avenue Branch

Eastmont Branch

Main Library- Children's Room

Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch

MOCHA artist workshops have been weekly events at OPL branches for over three years now. The programs have been very popular at all the sites. Last year the students at two of our branches - 81st Avenue and Elmhurst- created winning projects in the annual ReCreate Art Competition developed and sponsored by Oakland's Public Works Department.

We are pleased to begin another year with MOCHA and its artists. Join us!


Award Winning Children's Book Illustrator at César Chávez Branch

Picture of children's book illustrator Sara Palacios

Sara Palacios, award willing children's book illustrator, is visiting the César Chávez branch of the Oakland Public Library on Saturday, August 24 at 3:30. She will share illustrations from her books and answer questions regarding how she creates her images.

Sara Palacios is the recipient of the 2012 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor for her work on Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match/MarisolMcDonald no combina (Children's Book Press, 2011), which has been described as "vibrant" and "eclectic." A native of Mexico, Sara graduated from the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana with a degree in Graphic Design. She also obtained an Associated Degree in Artistic Illustration from  la Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, and another one in Digital Graphic Techniques  from the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico. After graduation in Mexico, she was the recipient of a portfolio grant from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where she earned her BFA and MFAdegrees in Illustration .  She works with several publishing houses both in Mexico and the US. She works with a variety of media such as collage, ink, and digital artwork. 


Summer's Over?

Our Summer Reading Program is officially over, and so are our free summer lunches, but you can still:

  1. Get free lunch this week at many non-library locations in Oakland, including most Oakland Parks & Recreation Centers. For a location near you, call the Alameda County Community Food Bank "Get Food Today" Hotline at (800) 870-3663. The hotline provides information to all kinds of free food service for everyone, year round. 
  2. Pick up your Summer Reading Program prize at any Oakland Public Library, if you haven't yet, for any hours completed by August 10 (if you didn't get them logged online, just ask library staff for help).    We do start to run low on prizes by the end of the month, but we want you to get yours!  Grand Prizes will be drawn later this week. 
  3. Come this Saturday, August 17th, to OUSD's 10,000 Book Giveaway, at many of your libraries. 81st Ave., Brookfield, Elmhurst, Martin Luther King Jr., Melrose, Piedmont Ave., West Oakland, and the Main Library will host OUSD's book giveaway from 11am to 3pm.   Just show up!

What was your favorite activity at the library this summer? Should we do it again?

Kids at the library

Families enjoying The Bubble Lady at the Eastmont Library this summer