Weekends @ OPL!

Looking for fun & free things to do indoors this weekend? Check out this weekly blog for a small sampling of what Your Library has to offer.

Spend your weekend with us!

Now that we're all doing our best to stay in and avoid becoming exposed -- or exposing others -- to COVID-19, we'll be highlighting a few of our favorite online services, books, and other resources to help keep you (and your loved ones) educated and entertained during physical distancing. If you have any questions about getting a library card or accessing our resources, please email: eanswers@oaklandlibrary.org .

Don't forget to follow us on FacebookInstagram

Click here to read more

Check Your Shelf: The Oakland Public Library Podcast, Episode 1

Check Your Shelf: The Oakland Public Library Podcast invites listeners to take an inside look at OPL.

Made possible by a Friends of the Oakland Public Library mini-grant, Check Your Shelf: The Oakland Public Library Podcast, invites listeners to take an inside look at OPL. Co-hosts Amy Martin (Community Relations) and Paul Overton (Main Teen Zone) bring you inside the walls to get to know the library as a friend. The first season will feature six episodes diving into the different programs and initiatives that make OPL truly special.

Click one of the following links to listen:

Anchor Libsyn | Spotify 
Soon, you'll be able to find Check Your Shelf on many more of your favorite platforms. 

Click here to read more

AAMLO 2019 Year-End Highlights

A selection of events and happenings at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland from 2019.

African American costume ball held at Sweets Home of the Big Band circa 19382019 has been an exciting year for the African American Museum and Library at Oakland. This year, we have undergone some major changes, with the addition of our new Chief Curator, Bamidele Agbasegbe-Demerson, our new library aide, Stephanie Jackson, our new part-time librarian, Jen Bator, and our new full-time librarian, yours' truly, Steve Bartenhagen. Additionally, we are making big plans for the new year that will involve more of our Meet the Author lecture and book signing series, the continued growth of our Saturday children's storytime, more educational and insightful programming, and the evolution of our library services and community engagement, changes we hope will enable AAMLO to better share our collections and serve the needs of the people of Oakland and California. Here are some 2019 highlights from AAMLO:

Click here to read more

Let's make things together in December

Make a light-up snowflake card or decorate a cookie at your local library.

Rainy days in Oakland mean it's a great time to cozy up and make some crafts. We have crafty times happening all over Oakland this December. Come join us! All our craft programs are free and we provide the materials.

For all ages

Snow Globes at the Main Library
Friday, December 13, First floor at 12pm; Children's Room and Teen Zone at 2:30pm

For kids and families

Kwanzaa Story and Crafts
Main Library Children's Room, Wednesday, December 11, 2:30pm

Holiday Ornaments
Dimond Branch, Saturday, December 14, 4pm

Cookie Decorating
Elmhurst Branch, Friday, December 20, 3pm

Light-up Snowflake Cards
Golden Gate Branch, Wednesday, December 11, 3pm
West Oakland Branch, Friday, December 13, 4pm
Temescal Branch, Saturday, December 14, 11:30am
Brookfield Branch, Tuesday, December 17, 1:30pm

Click here to read more

Too Good: A Poem by Eleanor Wikstrom, Oakland's Vice Youth Poet Laureate

Listen to Eleanor Wikstrom perform her poem, "Too Good", and find a printable version of her inspiring words.

When Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified, with a national audience, during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination that he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, Eleanor Wikstrom wrote a poem. With this poem, "Too Good," and two other poems, she applied to the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program and became Oakland's 2019 Vice Youth Poet Laureate. 

Click here to read more

Trans Day of Remembrance

Today, we remember all transgender individuals whose lives were taken because of anti-trans violence, prejudice, and hate crimes.

OPL logo with trans flag

Today, November 20th, is the Transgender Day of Remembrance (#TDoR). According to the official TDoR website, TDoR was established in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to honor Rita Hesler and all other trans* people who have died from anti-trans hate crimes and violence. 

The National Center for Transgender Equality states that “more than one-in-four trans people has faced a bias-driven assault, and rates are higher for trans women and trans people of color.” Those who have intersecting marginalized identities bear the brunt of violence; it is no

Click here to read more

OPL Helps You Work for 2020 Census

Census 2020 means jobs! Get one-on-one application help at a library workshop.

It's chilly and the leaves are changing colors, but at OPL, we're already thinking ahead to spring -- and the 2020 census.

Beginning in March 2020, the US Census Bureau will begin its decennial (that's every ten years) count of people living in the US. Getting an accurate count for the census is critical to government funding, and the Oakland Public Library will be helping to make sure everyone gets counted, especially vulnerable populations such as immigrants and refugees, families with children, and people experiencing homelessness.

Want to be part of that effort while earning some money? The Census Bureau will hire thousands of workers to help count people next year, and they will give one-on-one help to anyone who wants to apply for those jobs in these upcoming workshops. Bring your resume!

81st Avenue - Saturday, November 23, 2-3:30 PM

Brookfield - Wednesday, November 20

Click here to read more

Celebrate Native History with OPL!

November is National Native American Month! Celebrate Native history with OPL. All events are free and open to the public!

November is National Native American Month!
OPL has relevant programming planned for October (see "Beyond Recognition") and continues the theme in early November with events that are likely to be popular. All events are free and open to the public. Make your plans now!

Black background with words "Native American Heritage Month"

Beyond Recognition Film Screening and Discussion

Click here to read more

Whatever You Do, Don't Read This

It's Banned Books Week! Celebrate the freedom to read.

It's 2019, and people are still trying to ban books? Or burn books?

Banned Books Week is an annual celebration of the freedom to read the books you want to read. People ask libraries to get rid of books they don't like (we call this a "challenge"), and when they do, libraries send a report to the American Library Association (ALA) Office of Intellectual Freedom. Every year, the OIF creates a list of the books that get challenged the most.

Want to see the list for 2018We have all of them.

  1. George by Alex Gino
    Reasons: banned, challenged, and relocated because it was believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, and for mentioning “

Click here to read more

AAMLO Seed Lending Library Expansion

Veda Silva, Museum Project Coordinator, introduces you to the new and improved Seed Lending Library at AAMLO

Recently the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO) rededicated the space allowed for its new and improved seed library. This idea of seed sharing and back to the earth ideas evoke images of 60s flower children and forest communes. For those of us older than fifty who among us cannot remember a visit to grandma’s and the unbelievably delicious foods she cooked with vegetables and fruits from her prized garden. Oh my!

Today, nostalgia has been replaced by practicality when it comes to access to fresh fruits and vegetables, especially people who live in inner city neighborhoods that often do not have grocery stores that stock healthy foods. Add to that the spectre of untested genetically modified vegetables that are at this moment in the produce section of your favorite market.

Many of us are unaware that multinational corporations have tried to copyright or otherwise gain legal ownership of

Click here to read more