Reasons to Read Non-Fiction: Election 2020

In this week's Advice for Readers blog, we take a look at some books on politics in 2020 that you may have overlooked.


As if we haven’t been through enough already, it’s election season! This week’s Advice for Readers blog highlights books from 2020 that illuminate our current national political circumstances: how we got here, some of the major political figures, and how we can use the power of the people to create a better future for us all. 

The Oakland Public Library has put together an informational page entitled, "How To Make Sure Your Vote Counts," containing information on voter registration, deadlines, early voting (starts Monday, October 5th!), language assistance, and more. Click

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Annual Festival of Black Dolls Show & Sale

The American Black Beauty Doll Artists convenes its annual Festival of Black Dolls Show & Sale virtually with AAMLO.

This year the African American Museum and Library (AAMLO) at Oakland will host the annual Festival of Black Dolls Show & Sale, streaming live on Saturday, November 7, 2020 at American Black Beauty Doll Artists Facebook and YouTube ChannelDue to the pandemic this year’s show will be exclusively online. Stay up-to-date on what is going on at AAMLO through our electronic newsletter. Sign up today.

Karen Oyekanmi, in the 1980s found it difficult to find positive African American dolls for her young daughter. As a result, in 1984 she gathered a group of six like-minded women from Oakland and founded the

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Virtually Browse Our New Indie Fiction Releases Late Summer/Early Fall 2020

Do you miss browsing the new book section at the library and finding books you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered? Here’s what’s new in fiction on our shelves from smaller presses and lesser known authors.

Some of us love looking over a bestseller list or recent book award announcements for reading ideas (like the recently announced Booker and National Book Award nominations for example). But maybe you’re someone who misses perusing our new book section, searching for a more obscure gem.  Since you can’t browse our stacks in person, here’s a list of new fiction titles available at the library from independent publishers, university presses and books in translation.

Descriptions in italics provided by the publishers. 

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How to find NEW Children's Books!

We’re still selecting and ordering the latest published books. Check out the “Featured Lists” within our Classic Catalog to see a list of newly arrived materials, ask for a "New Book Bundle" at sidewalk pickup, and check out this blog on the last Tuesday of each month.

One of my favorite library experiences, as both a librarian and a patron, is admiring and purusing the new books that come in to the library.  

I get excited when books that I’ve ordered arrive at my desk for processing...there’s just something about that new book smell!  

As a children’s librarian in the Children’s Room at the Main Library it made me so happy to watch families search the latest books for the perfect read 

Even though we are offering side walk service at many of our locations, we know that it’s been hard not for you not to be able to browse the shelves and

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Oakland Public Library Launches Playlist to Help You Find New Books and More

Video tutorials to help you find books in OPL's online catalog.

Have you been wondering how to find new books in Oakland Public Library's catalog? We've created a brief tutorial that shows you how.

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Reasons to Read Non-Fiction: New Poetry and Essays

After a brief diversion into the 9th century, we highlight some recent books of poetry and essays and find our shared humanity regardless of circumstance or century.

When I first found out that I would be writing this week's blogpost on "the 800s," I was definitley intrigued. The years between 800 and 899 CE were a fascinating time in human history, containing threads that stretch into our own time. When you think of the 800s, if you’re like me, you automatically think of 9th Century astronomer and mathematician Al-Khwarizmi, the father of algebra whose name provides the basis for the word algorithm (see: Significant figures : the lives and work of great mathematicians); or the 9th Century Chinese alchemists who

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Early Learning - WRITE & PLAY

This week we feature two more early learning skills for preschoolers. This is final entry of our four part series that focuses on developing pre-reading skills.

This final post of the early learning series will highlight two prereading skills:  Write and Play 

Play is the work of children. They develop early writing skills by drawing and scribbling.


  • Practice the hand motions for Itsy Bitsy Spider.  This is fun way to develop (fine motor skills) the muscles needed to write.
  • Give your toddler crayons and paper to use.
  • Play with blocks and other toys with letters or shapes. Stack and make patterns.
  • Write your child’s name and show how the letters are formed. 

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New Books by Latinx Authors

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with these new books by Latinx authors.

It's National Hispanic Heritage Month! Check out these new books by Latinx authors to read throughout the month and beyond.


It is wood it is stone You Had Me at Hola

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Early Learning - SING

This month we feature early learning tips for preschoolers. Children ages 0-5 are learning everyday about the world around them. This four part series will focus on developing pre-reading skills that prepare kids for school.

In my recent reading of Land of Cranes by local author Aida Salazar,  I came across a passage where a mother wants to teach children in a detention center. Someone commented  but they have no pen or paper!  Never mind that. They have their voices. They would learn through song just as the enslaved learned about a path to freedom by Follow[ing] the Drinking Gourd. 

Singing helps children hear the sounds that make up words.  

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