Activities & Tips

Going Back to School with OPL

How to Get a Library Card  

While the library is closed, please complete an online application and email to set up a *NEW* account. To reset your PIN, please either request a PIN reset online (the account must have a valid email address) or contact library staff at 

 *If your student has had an Oakland Public Library card  and can't find it, they do not need to submit an application. You will get an error message if you try to complete an online application.  You can email OR call  510.238.3134. to retrieve the library card number.  

Teacher Cards will also be processed online.


Schedule Virtual Class Visits  

Please contact the Children's Librarian at your local branch. You can email if you don't know your local Children's Librarian. 


Homework Help

  • - trusted resource for students and adult learners that offers live and FREE one-on-one tutoring in a variety of subjects. 

  • Pandemic Professors - free tutoring for K-12 students provided by college students and recent graduates 

  • Khan Academy- offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard for all ages to study at their own pace 

Family Paths has a Parenting Support Helpline:1-800-829-3777  because we know navigating school at home can be stressful .


Get Books @ Sidewalk Pick up  

We encourage families to place holds on library materials (en Español) for pick up at the following locations: 

WiFi Connection


Monday, August 10 is also the first day to collect a Summer Reading Prize book

This year’s Kids' Summer Reading GRAND PRIZES are 17 Chromebook laptops. Raffle winners will be drawn and notified after August 31st 


#OPLSummer Reading Logs & Prize Books

Thank you for joining us for Summer Reading 2020, the official end date is August 1st.  In a pre-COVID world, we would be celebrating on Sunday at the Oakland Museum. We miss seeing you at the library and hope to say hello at the Summer Prize pick up locations.

Prize book pick-up will take place: 

If you are not registered in Beanstack, please return your summer reading logs to your local library drop box August 1-22, 2020. 


This year’s Kids' Summer Reading grand prizes are 17 Chromebook laptops. Raffle winners will be drawn and notified after August 31st


We invite you to look back at a few highlights from our Summer Programming.

  • Family Pride: 

    See video

  • Yoga with Misty: 

    See video

  • Cascada de Flores: 

    See video

Looking ahead, as you prepare to go "back to school", please remember our learning support resources are available 365 days a year. 

 To sign up for a library card, please complete an online application. For questions about your account or to reach an OPL reference librarian, please email or leave a voicemail at 510-238-3134. 

Your Oakland Public Library empowers all people to explore, connect, and grow.

#OPLSummer Week 9: Nature Close at Hand


We are pleased to present Morgan Guenther from East Bay Regional Park District with this week's activities: 

  • Animals in Action: 
    See video

    We all are animals! Join in as we hop, crawl, fly, and scuttle with the East Bay Regional Park District and pretend to be some of the animals found in our local parks.
  • Banana Slugs: 
    See video

    Discover the slimy secrets of the Banana slug! Join the East Bay Regional Park District as we take a closer look at this small but mighty superhero of the redwood forest found right here in Oakland. 
  • Habitat Sing-A-Long:  
    See video

    Sing along with Naturalist Morgan from the East Bay Regional Park District as we travel from habitat to habitat in Oakland - from the San Francisco Bay to the redwood forest, to the river, the marsh and more.
  • Scavenger Hunt: 
    See video

    It’s time to head outside! Explore Lake Temescal with Naturalist Morgan, download the “Nature Nearby” scavenger hunt, and find a spot of nature to explore with your friends and family yourself. Oakland has lots of nature to explore, from your own neighborhood to the East Bay Regional Park District! 


Let us know what you find along your walk by sharing your photos online using the #OPLSummer hashtag. 

If you have questions about Summer Reading email OR you can leave a voice mail with your full name and details at 510-238-3134.

Keep reading! We have ebooks, eaudiobooks, and more, you can browse OverdriveHooplaTumblebookRB Digital, and all of our other online resources.

#OPLSummer Week 6: Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

Welcome July!  We're more than half way through the summmer reading program. What have you learned to do since sheltering in place began? We've heard the stories of at home haircuts, bread baking and the challenges of home schooling. What are you doing for fun?

Here are some ideas:

 Check out these DIY titles from our collection 

Family Challenge

Find ten random items from around the house and invite the kids to build whatever they want. We'd love to see what they come up with. Share your photos online using the #OPLSummer hashtag. 

#OPLSummer Week 4: Art & Expression

"Children learn, develop critical skills, and have fun when provided the opportunity for creative, artistic expression. Painting, coloring, writing, making music, and making crafts are all creative activities. Creative expression helps children articulate their feelings and thoughts." ~ Kaboom


This week we encourage you to visit (virtually) museums which we hope will inspire children and families to build, make, create, play, and learn through art exploration. 

Art is everywhere! How do you express yourself?  Please share your art photos online using the #OPLSummer hashtag.

#OPLSummer Week 3: Health, Fitness and Community Wellness

There's been a lot going in the world and it's important to take time to nourish mind, body, and spirit - however you choose to define it. Below are some recommendations to support family fitness and community wellness. 





Tell us, how does your family stay fit/practice wellness?


#OPLSummer Week 2: Let's Play! Social Distance Sidewalk Arcade

8 years ago, there was a YouTube video about Caine's Arcade. Remember that? Ever since then, I've wanted to host an arcade program at the library, using all our delivery boxes and regular office supplies.

All these years, I was never able to make that happen at the library, but working from home with a bored child created the perfect situation to finally make this dream a reality. 

Here's how we did it:

STEP 1 - Collect Recycling

Collecting our recycling became a time to brainstorm as well. Should we throw this away? What could we use this for? Anything that sparked an idea was set aside. When the pile took over too much space, we knew it was time to get started. Cardboard boxes, egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, and plastic bottles were our main materials. 

STEP 2 - Gather art supplies and building tools from all over the house. 

As you can see from the pictures above, my kid likes to use bright colorful markers and stickers to decorate. If you don't have many art supplies at home, you can keep it simple. You will at least need to find a marker, pen or other way to label points, if points are a part of your game. Otherwise be ready to do a lot of explaining when you run your game. 

STEP 3 - Watch Caine's Arcade and get inspired. 

No seriously, watch it. Before we watched the YouTube video it was just a fun idea. Caine's enthusiasm was so infectious, that my own kid wanted to start making stuff right away! What I love about the story of Caine's Arcade is he just uses what is available to him - empty boxes from his dad's shop, packing tape, his own toys. 


You can see our games are not fancy or professional in any way, but they were fun to make and invent rules for. Almost anything can be a game with the right rules . . . Speaking of rules, that leads us to Step 5. 

STEP 5 - Invent rules and playtest. 

This is a key part of designing any kind of game. Come up with rules, test your game by playing. Change what doesn't work. Keep what does. Add new rules as you see fit. Repeat. We decided that to stay in line with social distancing all of our arcade games would involve throwing 5 pennies (or a ball, that can be wiped down), from far away. We chose pennies, because of the following reasons: 1 - We had a lot for some reason, so if we lost them, it would be okay. 2 - We could wash them beforehand. 3 - The pennies easily fit in the materials we had!

STEP 6 - Gather unwanted toys, books or knick knacks to use as prizes. 

All those little kid's meal toys are perfect for this kind of thing. Two of our games involved winning a prize outright, but most had a ticket system. 10 pts = 1 ticket. We had some prizes that were 2 for 1 ticket, 1 for 2 tickets, 1 for 5 tickets, and our grand prizes were 1 for 10 tickets. You don't have to get this complicated. We're just hella extra. 

Psssst! Parents! This is a good way to get your kid to get rid of all those items they never use.

Safely Inviting Others to Play: Things to Think About

If you are fortunate enough to have a big family, you can have an arcade day with each other! We have one child. Our recent play dates have been shaped by social distancing. They mainly involve Face Time, Zoom dates, bike rides, or shouting at our neighbor friends from the sidewalk as the stay near their porch. All of our in-person interactions with people from other households happen outdoors and with masks on. We have several neighbor friends that we have sidewalk play dates with. We know each other very well, and are all on the same page when it comes to staying a safe distance away, wearing masks, etc. We also know that they practice social distancing with others. If you have family or friends that you feel safe with, those are the ideal people to invite over for something like this. People you know and trust. 

Regarding prizes: We knew we were inviting neighbors. Since we live in different households, we quarantined our prizes in our shed for a week to be safe, as Covid does not survive on plastic or cardboard past 72 hours. We had hand sanitizer near our prize area, and instructed players to point at the prizes they wanted. Clorox wipes were also on hand, if someone wanted to be super safe and wipe down their prize.

When inviting others you will definitely need to figure out logistics of set-up. We made signs with rules for our games. We also had signs telling people to wear masks, stay 6 ft. apart, and use hand sanitizer before playing (and we reminded people to use the hand sanitizer throughout their time at the arcade). Even if you are inviting people you know, if you do this near the sidewalk, you may have a curious little passerby that would like to play. Having assigned monitors (we had 3 grownups tasked with supervising certain stations), as well as established rules, and signs in place make it easy to incorporate a newcomer to join in on the fun. 

If this encourages you to make your own arcade, or if you have other creative ways to play with friends, please email pictures to OR tag us using #OPLSummer


How do you play from far away?

Bridging the Learning Gap / Cerrando La Brecha de Aprendizaje

Desplácese hacia abajo para leer en Español... 

Even though the school year is over, learning doesn’t have to stop.  

Here’s what your Oakland Public Library has available for learning 365 days a year:

The library provides free one-on-one tutoring with live tutors through The site can be accessed directly at For instructions on how to connect with a live tutor, check out thivideo. 


Completing research has never been easier with the resources available through your library. World Book, Encyclopedia Britannica, and other resources are available every day of the year! You can find these resources at our student research page: 

Reading Suggestions: 

Are you looking for the perfect book? OPL’s children’s librarians have worked hard to develop great lists of book recommendations. These lists will soon be updated to reflect our eBook titles too: Stay tuned! 

Connect with a Librarian for Personalized Reading Advice: 

Just because our physical buildings are closed doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with a librarian! Schedule your appointment to speak with a librarian who can help recommend the perfect book for you or your child: 

Kid’s Books Online! 

Electronic books can be a great resource for readers young and old! Our two most popular e-reading platforms are Overdrive and Hoopla. Books on Overdrive can be found here: The Libby app for Overdrive is a great way to use Overdrive on mobile devices. Instructions for how to use Libby to find kids books can be found in this video created by Ms. Sally from the 81st Library. 

Hoopla’s eBooks and audiobooks are always available, although users are limited to 10 checkouts a month. You can access Hoopla here online and also as an app through your mobile device. 

Finding eBooks for early readers has never been easier. Check out this video from Ms. Sally on how to search the library’s catalog to find books.  

If you’d like to listen and read a book or story online, try Tumblebooks! 

Online Programs for Kids: 

Your favorite programs for the library are now online!  

Stories, rhymes, and songs provide much-needed stimulation for brain development and language acquisition in young children. They are also a great way for caregiving adults and children to stay connected. Head to the links below to view online storytimes by local librarians! 

Storytimes - 

Play & Learn Rhymes, Songs, and More - 

This year, OPL’s annual summer reading program, will be online. Check our Summer Reading page regularly to learn about this opportunity to read and get free books! 


Aunque el año escolar ha terminado el aprendizaje no tiene que parar. 

Esto es lo que la Biblioteca Pública de Oakland tiene disponible para aprender los 365 días del año: 

La biblioteca ofrece tutoría individual y gratuita con tutores en vivo a través de Se puede acceder al sitio directamente en  Para obtener instrucciones sobre como conectarte con un tutor en vivo mira este video  


Completar una investigación nunca ha sido mas fácil con los recursos disponibles a través de su biblioteca. World Book, Encyclopedia Britannica y otros recursos están disponibles todos los días del año. Puedes encontrar estos recursos en nuestra página de investigación para estudiantes: 

Sugerencias de Lectura: 

¿Estas buscando el libro perfecto? Los bibliotecarios infantiles de la Biblioteca de Oakland han trabajado duramente para desarrollar excelentes listas de recomendaciones de libros. Pronto se actualizarán estas listas para reflejar nuestros títulos de libros electrónicos también: 

¡Manténte al tanto!  

Conéctate Con Un Bibliotecario Para Recibir Recomendaciones Personalizadas de Lectura: 

El hecho de que nuestros edificios físicos estén cerrados no significa que no puedas conectarte con un bibliotecario. Programa una cita para hablar con un bibliotecario que pueda recomendarte el libro perfecto para ti o para tu hijo/a:  

Libros Para Niños en Línea: 

Los libros electrónicos pueden ser un gran recurso tanto para lectores jóvenes como para los de mayor edad. Nuestras dos plataformas más populares de lectura electrónica son Overdrive y Hoopla 

Los libros en Overdrive se pueden encontrar aquí: 

La aplicación Libby es una excelente manera de usar Overdrive en dispositivos móviles. Las instrucciones sobre como usar Libby para encontrar libros para niños se puede encontrar en este video creado por la Sra. Sally que trabaja en la Biblioteca de la Avenida 81. 

Los libros electrónicos y audiolibros de Hoopla siempre están disponibles, pero hay un límite de 10 prestamos al mes para todos los usuarios. Puedes acceder Hoopla aquí: 

en línea y también como una aplicación a través de su dispositivo móvil.    

Encontrar libros electrónicos para lectores principiantes nunca ha sido mas fácil. Mira este video de la Sra. Sally sobre cómo buscar en el catálogo de la biblioteca para encontrarlos. 

¡Si deseas escuchar y leer un libro o una historia en línea pruebTumblebooks! 

Programas En Línea Para Niños: 

¡Tus programas favoritos de la biblioteca ya están disponibles en línea!  

Historias, rimas y canciones proporcionan la estimulación necesaria para el desarrollo del cerebro y la adquisición del lenguaje en niños pequeños. También son una excelente manera para establecer un vinculos entre los adultos y niños. Dirígete a los enlaces a continuación para ver Las Horas de Cuentos de los bibliotecarios locales. 

Hora de Cuento 

¡Juega y Aprende Rimas, Canciones y Mas!  

Este año el programa anual de lectura de verano de La Biblioteca Pública de Oakland estará en línea. Visita nuestra pagina de Lectura de Verano Summer Reading regularmente para informarte de la oportunidad de leer y obtener libros gratis.  

Storytime You Can Watch From Home

Oakland library locations are closed until further notice, but with today's technology, that doesn't stop storytime! OPL children's librarians are presenting germ-free virtual storytimes weekly on our Facebook page:

  • Mondays 10:30 AM: Play & Learn
  • Wednesdays 11 AM: Bilingual Storytime (Spanish)
  • Saturdays 10:30 AM: Family Storytime

We have gathered a list of free online stories, music, art, and more for kids and families to enjoy while practicing social distancing.

More fun for little ones:

  • Mo Willems teaches you how to draw his favorite characters
  • Mariela (an OPL favorite!) leads Rimas y Canto for toddler and preschoolers in Spanish
  • 123 Andrés plays live concerts in Spanish and English
Please note: Oakland Public Library provides access to entertainment and education all year round. Babies and children need words (and music and books) every day, and they have lots of fun while learning with you. We hope to see our storytime friends at the library soon, and also remind you to check out these cool online places anytime: Offers FREE, Live, and One-on-One Homework Help for Students and Parents

Desplácese hacia abajo para leer en Español...

Oakland Public Library is happy to now provide access to, a trusted resource for students and adult learners that offers live and FREE one-on-one tutoring in a variety of subjects. Live one-on-one assistance is available everyday from 12pm (noon) until 12am (midnight). 

You will need an Oakland Public Library card and a computer, smartphone, or tablet with internet access to get connected to a tutor 

Help is available from one of 3,500 professional tutors seven days a week, from 12pm (noon) to 12am (midnight), 361 days a year.

( does not offer service on January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving Day, or December 25.) 

Connecting with a professional tutor is easy and free and only takes a minute

To connect with a tutor:

  1. Go to
  2. Log in using your Oakland Public Library card number.
  3. Choose to use the service as a guest or create an account to login*. Creating an account will allow you to unlock extra featuressuch as saving your work and receiving a recording of your tutoring sessions. *Accounts created for users ages 12 or younger are limited to live tutor help only. Parenting adults, you may create and use your own account for your child under the age of 12 if you'd like them to have access to all of the sites features.
  4.  Choose which service you'd like to use:
  • Connect with a live tutor by topic, subject, and grade level
  • Submit a paper for review
  • Drop off a math question
  • Take a practice quiz
  • Choose "Other Tools" to prep for the ACT/SAT, grad school tests, AP exams, or to watch math and English videos.

During tutoring sessions, you can share files, write on an interactive whiteboard, use a graphing calculator, and chat with your tutor using your computer’s audio or by dialing in to a toll-free number.’s features for K-12 students (and their adult caregivers) include: 

*Live one-on-one tutoring in math, science, social studies, and English with subject matter experts 

*Live one-on-one tutoring in Spanish with bilingual tutors 

*Tutors versed in Common Core standard teaching strategies! 

*Tutoring available in 14 different AP subjects, including Calculus, Statistics, and History 

*Drop-off essay review (Drop off an essay and have it reviewed and returned to you within 12 hours.) 

*Math drop-off help (Drop off a math problem and get a detailed response within 24 hours.)

*Preparation for the ACT or SAT by taking a practice test from The Princeton Review

*safe online environment: 

  • No personal information is exchanged between students and tutors.  
  • Work completed in classrooms is monitored by management staff. 
  • Parents and guardians of children under the age of 13 are welcome to call at 1-800-2REVIEW to review policies and procedures with respect to their 

Want to learn more? Watch this video
Need a library card? While the library is closed, please complete an online application and email to set up your account.

You can also contact for frequently asked questions and technical support.
How do you plan to use
--- ofrece ayuda con la tarea GRATUITA, en vivo y personalizada para estudiantes y padres
Publicado por Mahasin Aleem ofrece tutoría en línea gratuita, ayuda con la tarea y preparación de exámenes para estudiantes el kínder, (jardín de infanciaa 12º grado. El apoyo en vivo en español también está disponible para  matemáticas, ciencias y estudios sociales.
La Biblioteca Pública de Oakland se complace en proporcionar acceso a, un recurso confiable para estudiantes y estudiantes adultos que ofrece tutoría individual en vivo y GRATUITA en una variedad de materias. La asistencia personalizada en vivo está disponible todos los días desde las 12 p.m. (mediodía) hasta las 12 a.m. (medianoche).
Necesitará una tarjeta de la Biblioteca Pública de Oakland y una computadora, teléfono inteligente o tableta con acceso a Internet para conectarse a un tutor.
Hay ayuda disponible de uno de los 3,500 tutores profesionales los siete días de la semana, de 12 p.m. (mediodía) a 12 a.m. (medianoche), 361 días al año. ( no ofrece servicio el 1 de enero, el 4 de julio, el Día de Acción de Gracias o el 25 de diciembre).
Conectarse con un tutor profesional es fácil y gratuito y solo lleva un minuto.

Para conectarse con un tutor:

1. Vaya a

2. Inicie sesión con su número de tarjeta de la Biblioteca Pública de Oakland. 

3. Elija usar el servicio como invitado o cree una cuenta para iniciar sesión *. Crear una cuenta le permitirá desbloquear funciones adicionales, como guardar su trabajo y recibir una grabación de sus sesiones de tutoría. * Las cuentas creadas para usuarios de 12 años o menos se limitan a la ayuda de un tutor en vivo únicamente. Padres adultos, puede crear y usar su propia cuenta para su hijo menor de 12 años si desea que tengan acceso a todas las funciones del sitio. 

4. Elija qué servicio le gustaría usar: 

  • Conéctese con un tutor en vivo por tema, materia y grado. 

  • Enviar un documento para su revisión 

  • Dejar una pregunta matemática 

  • Haz un examen de práctica 

  • Elija "Otras herramientas" para prepararse para el ACT / SAT, exámenes de posgrado, exámenes AP o para ver videos de matemáticas e inglés.

Durante las sesiones de tutoría, puede compartir archivos, escribir en una pizarra interactiva, usar una calculadora gráfica y chatear con su tutor usando el audio de su computadora o marcando un número gratuito. 

Las características de para estudiantes de K-12 (y sus cuidadores adultos) incluyen: 

* Tutoría en vivo de uno-a-uno en matemáticas, ciencias, estudios sociales, y de inglés con expertos en la materia 

* Tutoría individual en vivo en español con tutores bilingües 

* Tutores capacitados en las estrategias de enseñanza estándar de Common Core. 

* Tutoría disponible en 14 diferentes temas de AP, incluyendo cálculo, estadística, y la Historia 

* Revisión de ensayo (deje un ensayo te lo revisaran y te lo devuelven dentro de 12 horas). 

Ayuda con las matemáticas (deje un problema matemático y obtenga una respuesta detallada en 24 horas). 

* Preparación para el ACT o SAT tomando un examen de práctica de The Princeton Review 

* Un ambiente seguro en línea: 

  • No se intercambia información personal entre estudiantes y tutores. 
  • El trabajo realizado en el salón de clases es monitoreado por el personal administrativo. 
  • Los padres y tutores de niños menores de 13 años pueden llamar a al 1-800-2REVIEW para revisar las políticas y procedimientos con respecto a sus cuestas. 

¿Querer aprender más? Mira este video. 

 ¿Necesita una tarjeta de la biblioteca? Mientras la biblioteca está cerrada, complete una solicitud en línea y envíe un correo electrónico a para configurar su cuenta. 

 También puede contactar a para preguntas frecuentes y soporte técnico. 

 ¿Cómo planeas usar