Events & Programs

Mount Diablo Beekeepers Association Summer 2019

MDBA is an organization dedicated to promoting beekeeping and educating the public about the vital role of honey and bees in the environment. Learn about bees, hives and get a taste of sweet honey.

  • Saturday, June 1, 2019, 10:30 AM at Main Library Children's Room
  • Thursday, June 13, 2019, 3:00 PM at Piedmont Avenue Branch Library
  • Tuesday, July 9, 2019, 4:00PM Elmhurst Branch Library
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019, 1:30 PM  81st Avenue Branch Library

Xtreme Science Magic Summer 2019

Be prepared to be blown away with the laser lighting, special FX, music...far beyond anything you've even seen in a magic show. 

  • Saturday, June 1, 2019 at  10:30am  Golden Gate Branch Library
  • Monday, June 3, 201 at  1:00 pm  Eastmont Branch Library
  • Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at  11:00 am  King Branch Library
  • Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 6:30 pm   Rockridge Branch Library
  • Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 10:30 am  Asian Branch Library
  • Monday, June 10, 2019 at  10:30 am  Main Library Children's Room
  • Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 7:00 pm  Dimond Branch Library
  • Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 1:30 pm  81st Avenue Community Library
  • Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 1:00 pm  Melrose Branch Library

 

Meet the Ten Amazing Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Finalists!

The Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program is an unprecedented citywide effort to celebrate literacy through poetry and connect young writers to far-reaching opportunities. Each year we accept submissions from talented Oakland writers (ages 13-18) to be considered for the city’s top literary honor. The Laureate earns an educational scholarship and embarks on a year of opportunities as an ambassador for literacy, arts and youth expression.

 

Our 2019 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate is Samuel Getachew, and our 2019 Oakland Vice Youth Poet Laureate is Eleanor Wikstrom.

Follow along with their work this year at the bottom of this page.

Oakland poets between the ages of 13 and 18 can join the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate community by applying with three poems early each calendar year. 

Get to know our 2019 Youth Poet Laureate, Vice Youth Poet Laureate, and all of the Finalists here by checking out their incredible performance videos.  

If you would like to book our current Oakland Youth Poet Laureate or Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Finalists, please do so here: http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/yplbooking

First up, Hayden Beaulieu, an 18-year-old high school graduate:  


Siara Edmond, 14 years old, goes to Skyline High School:

Darien Em is a 16 year old who goes to Oakland High:

Next, we have Samuel Getachew, who is a 16-year-old at Oakland Technical High School:

Monique Nadine Jonath is a 16-year-old at The College Preparatory School:

Here is Greer Nakadegawa-Lee, a 15-year-old who goes to Oakland Technical High School:

Zouhair Mussa is a 15-year-old who goes to school at Oakland High: 

Here is Jordan Tisnado, a Dewey Academy 17-year old:

Eleanor Wikstrom goes to Skyline High School and is 16 years old:

17-year old Lizette Navarro goes to Oakland School for the Arts:

2019 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Poets' Projects and Words

We Are Still Here, a project by 2019 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Sameul Getachew, is a visual showcase of first-draft poems from writing workshops in Oakland public school classrooms.

Watch Eleanor Wikstrom's powerful performance of her poem Too Good and read about her opportunity to read this poem in front of the woman who inspired it.  You can also find a printable version of the written poem.

Eleanor Wikstrom wrote an original poem for the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, which was recorded and featured as part of the official UN commemoration ceremony. See the video here, and watch the full commemoration event here.  

***

Check out Finalists from other years, and the work they've done, here.  

Early Learning Backpacks

In September 2018,  OPL’s West and Eastmont branches began a pilot program offering an exciting and fun way for kids ages 3-5 to boost their language skills and school readiness.  The First 5 Alameda County funded early learning backpacks available during family storytime and play café are a huge hit. Early literacy specialists understand parents are a child’s first and best teacher.These backpacks are designed to provide opportunities for rich interactions, fun, and learning by providing materials and books for families to use together. 

The backpacks are not part of our traditional collection. Families can simply choose a backpack, sign it out on a clipboard, and enjoy the rich contents inside to explore math, science, literacy and/or social skills at home. The following week families can exchange the backpack for one of the other 30 themed backpacks. The backpacks are see-through and full of educational activities, toys and books in English, Spanish, Chinese and/or Arabic. A child doesn’t need to know that each backpack’s contents were painstakingly put together by experts at First 5 Alameda and are meticulously connected to California kindergarten readiness standards. Children are drawn to the joy of engineering a bridge, examining bugs, taking care of a baby doll, or reading a book about a garden. Many families come back week after week because their child is excited to choose their next backpack. It has become an important part of their weekly routine and something special they do with each other.

Some caregivers ask for advice such as “Which Science backpack will teach my child the life cycle of a butterfly?” or “Which Social Skills backpack will help my child learn how to resolve conflicts with their friends?” Working in partnership with First 5 Alameda children’s librarians meet quarterly to engage with the materials and how they relate to aspects of the California Preschool Curriculum Framework to help make better recommendations. It is a joy to see the pride and excitement in a child’s step as they leave the library with their choice for the week snugly on their back and knowing that it is a tool to help them build the skills they need to be successful in kindergarten and beyond.

~ Celia, West Oakland Children's Librarian

Five Key Areas of School Readiness for Children include:

  • Promoting physical well-being and gross and fine motor development
  • Promoting social, emotional and self-regulation skills
  • Developing approaches to learning (awareness of how one learns best)
  • Fostering literacy and language development
  • Instilling cognitive development and general problem solving skills

The Bubble Lady Summer 2019

Prepare to experience bubbles like you’ve never seen.  Rebecca's routines can be hilarious. Her playlist adds an extra dimension to the magical atmosphere of her performance.  Your imagination will  continue to expand  as   so many bubbles are introduced. Join us!

  • Thursday, June 6  Melrose at 1:00 pm 
  • Tuesday, June 11 King at 11:00 am
  • Tuesday, June 1  Brookfield  at 1:30 pm 
  •  Thursday, June 13  West at 10:30 am
  • Monday, June 17  Eastmont  at 1:00 pm 
  • Thursday, June 20  Temescal at 11:00 am 
  • Wednesday, June 26 81st at 1:30 pm 
  • Wednesday, June 26 Montclair at 6:30 pm 
  • Wednesday, July 3  Chavez at 11:00 am  
  • Tuesday, July 9  Rockridge  at 6:30 pm 
  • Thursday, July 18  Asian  at 10:30 am 
  • Tuesday, July 30  Elmhurst  at 4:00PM 
  • Tuesday, July 30 Dimond at 7:00 

Asheba Summer 2019 Performer

Asheba is a musical storyteller who specializes in calypso, the musical and folkloric oral tradition of Trinidad, Asheba's homeland. Stories of hope and happiness are the focus of his songs, which range from original lullabies to fast tempo tunes to remakes of classics such as Itsy Bitsy Spider, Five Little Monkeys, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and You Are My Sunshine.

You and your little ones will be singing and dancing the minute Asheba starts performing. Join us!

  • Saturday, June 1 Chavez at 2:00 pm
  • Monday, June 3  Children's Room at 10:30 am 
  •  Tuesday, June 4  Dimond at 7:00 pm 
  • Wednesday, June 5  Montclair at 6:30 pm
  • Saturday, June 8  Lakeview  at 11:00 am 
  • Monday, June 10  Eastmont  at 1:00 pm  
  • Tuesday, June 11  Elmhurst  at 4:00 pm 
  • Thursdays, June 13 Melrose  at 1:00 pm 

El día de los niños/El día de los libros

OPL celebrates Día with two community artists: 

Mariela Herrera will bring energetic bilingual music and storytelling to the library in April to celebrate El día de los niños/El día de los libros

Learn about the art of repujado with artist Rachel-Anne Palacios!

Repujado is the Spanish craft of pushing metal to give it an embossed look.

Maker March at the Library!

March is Maker Month, a time for all of us to explore our creativity, our curiosity, and take joy in our capacity for innovation. The Oakland Public Library has many events and workshops for kids this month to celebrate!

A highlight of Maker Month is our first Family STEAM Night! The Main Library Children's Room has been awarded a Friends of the Library (FOPL) grant to fund special, hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) workshops for kids 8-12 and their adult caregivers, with dinner included! RSVP is required, as space is limited. Call 510-238-3615 to sign up your kids for this community and team-building event!

What else is happening this month? Check out the list below and join the fun!

3/2/19, 2:00pm, Dimond Branch: Virtual Reality Demonstration -- Experience Virtual Reality (VR) during this special visit from NewPathVR, a local company that educates communities about the benefits of VR for emotional wellness. Ages 8+.

3/5/19, 3:30pm, MLK Branch: 3D Printing - learn how a 3D printer works! Call (510) 615-5728 for more information.

3/6/19, 3:00pm, Children's Room, Main Library: Shrinky Dinks - Create your own designs and watch them shrink in a toaster oven.

3/9/19, 3:30pm, Dimond Branch: Scientific Adventures Create, discover, design, build, and have fun with your friends and family! Scientific Adventures presents a new STEAM project each month, inspired by favorite children's books and designed to test your creative, collaborative mind. 

3/12/19, 3:30pm, MLK Branch: 3D Printing - learn how a 3D printer works! Call (510) 615-5728 for more information.

3/14/19, 3:00pm, Children's Room, Main Library: LEGO Mania - Play and build with a mountain of LEGO bricks.

3/16/19, 10:30am, Dimond Branch: Slime Time

3/21/19, 3:00pm, Children's Room, Main Library: Marble Run - We'll make a giant marble obstacle course together!

3/26/19, 3:30pm, MLK Branch: Make an LED Minecraft Torchlight. Call (510) 615-5728 for more information.

3/27/19, 6:00pm, Children's Room, Main Library: Family STEAM Night - Play-Well Teknologies will lead a special LEGO project for kids ages 8-12 and their adult caregivers. Dinner provided. RSVP is required.

3/29/19, 3:00pm, Children's Room, Main Library: Blue Blocks Imagination Playground - Build huge structures with giant blue blocks.

 

African Drumming and February Favorites

Happy Birthday Bob!  Today is the Bob Marley’s birthday.

During  Black History month  we also wish a happy birthday to:

February 1 - Langston Hughes 

February 14 - Frederick Douglass 

February 16 - Levar Burton 

February 17 - Michael Jordan 

February 18 - Toni Morrison 

February 21 - Nina Simone 

February 27 - Marian Anderson

 Who are some of your favorites?

 

For those of you who like to focus on historical events rather than people, I invite you to revisit a February favorite- this awesome blog post by Nichole from Eastmont : Black History Homework Re-Imagined!

This month at OPL you can enjoy African drumming with Tacuma King

 

Tuesday, February 19th, 11am 

MAIN LIBRARY, CHILDREN’S ROOM 
125 14th Street |510-238-3615 

Wednesday, February 20th, 3pm 

EASTMONT BRANCH 
Eastmont Town Center 7200 Bancroft, Ste 211 | 510-615-5726 

  

 

 

 

 

Play Café - a place for your little one and you

Play Café is what we call our storytime and playgroup for toddlers (ages 1-3) and their adult caregivers. It's like Toddler Time, but longer and with bonus coffee!

Whether you're a relative, nanny, or friendly neighbor lending a hand, you are welcome to bring the child in your care to play! Perhaps you will meet some new friends to invite to a playdate! There are several Play Café sessions around Oakland, with different songs and stories at each one. You can find one that works best for you, try a new one each week, or visit several in the same week if you like.

Play Café, like all library programs, is free of charge. You don't need to register; you can just drop in when you can. (And it's okay to come late or leave early if you need to!) 

a group of Play Cafe attendees raise their arms to follow the leader

Here's what Play Café at Elmhurst looks like:

10:15-10:30 Doors are open! Gather in the children's room after stopping by the desk for a nametag for your child. Get yourself a cup of coffee or tea and say hello to the other grownups while the kids play with trucks, dolls, blocks, and their new buddies. You might see "parallel play", where kids don't interact very much while they do their own thing -- that's normal for toddlers.

toddler looks up from playing with xylophone

toddler with curly hair tries on a firefighter's helmetgrownups and toddlers playing in the library

10:30 Time to put away the toys for a little... they'll be back later!

10:35 - 11:00 Storytime! 

Librarian Josh reads aloud from Brown Bear, Brown Bear

    Grownups turn their toddlers upside down on yoga mats

The children's librarian leads everyone in songs and rhymes with hand motions, in English and in Spanish. We read some short books picked especially for toddlers. We might pass out scarves or musical instruments to shake.

 

 

Even if your child wanders a little and doesn't seem to be paying attention, they're benefiting by being in the room with you and the storytime. Babies learn SO much in their first years: just by being in earshot, your little one is being exposed to rhythm, melody, and enthusiasm about reading. They may surprise you at home by dancing to a song they first heard in storytime. You can read the same books at home, or try singing at bathtime or in the car.

11:00 Snacktime! We provide a light snack for kids and grownups, too. Try some berries with yogurt and granola, a black bean taco bowl, or cheesy fish-shaped crackers with applesauce. You're welcome to bring food from home if your child prefers it, and eat together while we catch up. Another cup of coffee?

11:15-12:00 Let kids play some more -- outside if the weather's nice -- and burn off excess energy. Curl up over a board book and let baby turn the pages. This is also a great time to check out some books to take home. Feel free to browse the shelves or ask the librarian what would be just right.

When it's naptime, lunchtime, or time to head to the store before you pick up your big kid from school, leave your nametag at the desk and head out. We'll see you next time!

two children in a double stroller wave books