April is Jazz Appreciation Month!

Find out how we're celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month this April!

Jazz Appreciation Month (also known as “JAM”) was created in 2001 by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History “to recognize and celebrate the heritage and history of jazz for the entire month of April.” JAM is designed to encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz - to study the music, enjoy concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.  

One highlight of every summer at OPL is the Jazz on Sundays series at the Golden Gate Branch. Now in its 30th year, the Friends of the Golden Gate Branch Library have organized these live performances every 

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In memoriam: a hoopla playlist

A hoopla playlist that pays tribute to some of the great musical artists we've lost recently.

Hoopla provides streaming and downloadable music, videos, ebooks, and audiobooks. Here's a playlist that pays tribute to some of the great musical artists we've lost recently. 

Lit candle with reflectionJohn Prine, "Prime Prine"

Fountains of Wayne, "Welcome Interstate Managers"

Various Artists - Jackie Brown Soundtrack (feat. Bill Withers and others)
Ellis Marsalis, "Pure Pleasure for the Piano"

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Free Live Homework and Resume Help - Calling All Lifelong Learners!

Free live homework help, resume and cover letter reviews, with tutor.com, from noon to midnight every day!

Desplácese hacia abajo para leer en Español... 

Tutor.com has arrived at the Oakland Public Library to help you take the next step towards reaching your academic and career goals with FREE, live, one-on-one tutoring help, including live Spanish-speaking support in many subject areas.  The site also includes career resources for kicking off your job search.

Trying to complete a GED or high school completion program? Tutor.com offers one-on-one tutoring in English, math, science and social science along with access to free, GED study materials, videos, sample tests and worksheets.

In college and need help with homework, essay writing, or math? If you are thinking about going to college for the first time or are a returning college student, you can view a

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Researching Oakland History from Home

An overview of tools to use for researching local history online.

The Oakland History Center is usually your first stop for researching all aspects of Oakland history. We have collections of many different types of materials - photographs, maps, audio recordings, newspaper clippings, books, and more! A visit to the library is a great opportunity to see these things in person, but what can you do when the library is closed? 

Luckily there are some very valuable online tools that can help with your research from a safe social distance, hopefully while surrounded by snacks, like this Oakland fruit merchant:  

Unidentified produce merchant stands in his store in Oakland, California. 

(Photo: Unidentified produce merchant stands in his store in Oakland, California, circa 1925 from the library's collection on Calisphere)


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Foundation Directory Online now available remotely!

How to get remote access to FDO Essential, plus other resources for local nonprofits during the pandemic.

Trying to search for grants from home? You can now access Candid's Foundation Directory Online through the Oakland Public Library:

FDO Essential public access

For anyone who is new to FDO Essential, see this video guide to get started.

If you need more in-depth assistance, our librarians can also help you with funding searches of

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Commemorate Women's History Month with Electronic Resources

In honor of Women's History Month, here is a selection of electronic books and films celebrating women's achievements in and contributions to society.

Black & white image of civil rights activist Angela Davis

As we shelter in place during this global health emergency, let's not forget the contributions of women out there who keep us safe, directed, inspired, and moving forward. It's Women's History Month, after all! In this unpredictable time, I'm thinking about the nurses, doctors, home health workers, domestic workers, agricultural workers, and government officials who are holding it down every day for family and community.

You can celebrate women's important societal contributions and learn about our ongoing struggles by checking out these e-books available through the Oakland Public Library.

A Black Women's History of the United

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The Influenza Pandemic of 1918

Over 100 years ago, Oaklanders faced another worldwide health crisis.


(Above) The Oakland Municipal Auditorium in use as a temporary hospital during the 1918 flu epidemic.

This week we all became players in a global drama brought on by the COVID-19 coronavirus. How we respond in the coming weeks will help determine our survival rates. But, as unique as this experience seems, it’s really just another case of history repeating.

A little more than a century ago, the world was gripped by another pandemic which left our country and the city of Oakland in fear. It was called the Spanish influenza epidemic. This was before the time of antibiotics and respirators and healthcare plans. The flu spread quickly and reached pandemic proportions due, in large part, to the global conflict of World War I. Though Americans only joined the war in 1917, three years after it began, they were among the virus’ major carriers.

The first

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Introducing SimplyE, the Library E-reader App

SimplyE is the e-reader app that will meet (*nearly) all of your needs

By about a month into the initial lockdown, I was tired of every physical book I'd checked out in a frantic, last-minute rush. On a whim, I read an ebook recommended by a colleague and rather liked it. But when I looked for other volumes in the series, I ran into a issue familiar to many library ebook users—the series was spread across two different ebook providers. I had to search for titles in two places, which was kind of a drag.

And that's where SimplyE comes in.

SimplyE is an e-reader app that provides access to most of OPL’s 

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1919: the year that changed America

This year marks the centennial of a momentous year in world and American history.

As we head into the last month of the year, I’ve been thinking about all the centennial anniversaries that were marked in 2019. The Great Migration of African Americans out of the agrarian South and into the industrial North began in 1919. World War I veterans returned home to communities—including Omaha, Charleston, Chicago—that would be shook by race riots. The artistic and cultural explosion that would become known as the Harlem Renaissance began that year. Oakland Tribune columnist Delilah Beasley published her monumental history of African Americans, “The Negro Trail-Blazers of California” in 1919. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote, was approved by Congress.

These events and many others significantly changed our society. They were influenced, among other things, by

  • the Progressive Movement that called for social reforms in the workplace;
  • the labor movement that looked beyond capitalism to create a more equitable society;
  • the early civil rights

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Back to School? These Resources Can Help

Oakland youth go back to school next week, so the Oakland Public Library’s E-Resources Committee would like to share a couple of online resources available to OPL cardholders that can help with learning!

Oakland youth go back to school next week, so the Oakland Public Library’s E-Resources Committee would like to share a couple of online resources available to OPL cardholders that can help with learning! 

To access these and other online resources go to Oakland Public Library's Online Research and Learning page.

For K-8 Students…

World Book Kids: Provides thousands of easy-to-read articles with embedded multimedia for increased comprehension.

World Book Student: Packed with such research tools as Citation Builder, How to Do Research, Compare Places, Interactive Maps, and the World Book Atlas to help students get the most out of their research

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