OPLSummer

#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 eanswers@oaklandlibrary.org or leave a voicemail at 510-238-3134. 

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

#OPLSummer Week 7: Read, Watch & Listen: Black Joy!

Book cover of My People by Langston Hughes, photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr.

When I was a teenager, independent and sure of everything, I asked my mother, “Why did you even have kids? You of all people know how awful people can be and how tough life is.” My mother, raised in the backwoods of segregated Virginia, gave birth to and raised three daughters.  

I’m sure my hand was on my hip as I asked her. I directed my frustration—with racism, with sexism, with classism, with the whole world—at her. After all, she brought me into such a crazy world. She deserved some sass! 

At the time, I was sure I wouldn’t ever become a parent myself; I was just waking up, becoming aware of politics and history, the many wrongs committed through the years. Why didn’t you chose not to?” I asked.

Her response was simple. “Because then they would’ve won.”

 

Now I am a mother, a mother to a daughter, who is so full of happiness and curiosity. And now the world feels even crazier than it did that day with my mother. 

Despite the anguish and fear and outrage, we are witnessing an international uprising, demanding justice and working for a new, more equitable world.

The most inspiring faces in those crowds are the young people who know nothing but a world with frequent videos of graphic, state-sanctioned violence. And yet they march. 

 

This week at the Oakland Public Library, we celebrate diversity and focus on the idea of Black Joy. “Blackness is an immense and defiant joy,” writes Professor Imani Perry for The Atlantic. You can hear it in our music, you can see it in our art, and you can feel it in our poetry, plays and prose.

Book cover of Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole DoyonIt is resistance to be happy, proud and united in the face of sorrow. It is also a critical act of self-care, a skill I want our youth in Oakland to master.  

So even as we ride the rollercoaster of global protests and a global pandemic,  let’s find, create, and capture that Black Joy.

Let’s play with our hair in the morning. Let's cook our favorites through the day. My little one especially loves to dance, so we tune in to a good radio station and crank the volume up at the end of the day.  

Our children’s librarians recommend the following resources to tap into Black Joy, into pride in Black heritage, and to celebrate the diversity among Black people. Many of these resources are available digitally, and others can be requested for sidewalk pickup

Read, watch, listen, and enjoy!

 

Family & Community

Book cover of A Day at the Museum by Christine Platt

Ana & Andrew (series) by Christine Platt: Ana & Andrew are always on an adventure! They live in Washington, DC with their parents, but with family in Savannah, Georgia and Trinidad, there’s always something exciting and new to learn about African American history and culture. Read it on Hoopla, or check it out at the library.

 

Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke, illustrated by Angela Brooksbank: Join Baby and his doting mama at a bustling southwest Nigerian marketplace for a bright, bouncy read-aloud offering a gentle introduction to numbers. (Currently my daughter's favorite!) Check it out at the library.

 

Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole Doyon, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita: A joyful young narrator celebrates feeling at home in one's own skin. Watch the animated video on Hoopla, or check out this brand new book at the library.

 

Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell: Numbers from one to ten are used to tell how members of a family shop and work together to prepare a meal. Check it out on Hoopla, or check it out at the library.

 

 

Self-Love

Black Is A Rainbow Color by Angela Joy, illustrated by Ekua Holmes: A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on. Includes historical and cultural notes, song list, and two poems. Check out this brand new book at the library.

 

 An Ode to the Fresh CutCrown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James: This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair—a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth. Read it on RB Digital, or check it out at the library.

 

Book cover of Thirteen Way of Looking at a Black BoyThirteen Ways of Looking at A Black Boy by Tony Medina & 13 artists: A fresh perspective of young men of color depicting thirteen views of everyday life: young boys dressed in their Sunday best, running to catch a bus, and growing up to be teachers, and much more. Each of Tony Medina's tanka is matched with a different artist including recent Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Award recipients. Check it out at the library.

 

Book cover of My People by Langston HughesMy People by Langston Hughes, photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr.: Hughes's spare yet eloquent tribute to his people has been cherished for generations. Now, acclaimed photographer Smith interprets this beloved poem in vivid sepia photographs that capture the glory, the beauty, and the soul of being a black American today. Check it out at the library.

 

 

I Love My Hair! by Natasha Tarpley, illustrated by E. B. Lewis: A young African American girl describes the different, wonderful ways she can wear her hair. Check it out at the library.

 

 

 Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children by Sandra L. Pinkney, photographs by Myles Pinkney: Photographs and poetic text celebrate the beauty and diversity of African American children. Check it out at the library.

 


Art & Expression

Image of animated video of Dancing in the LightDancing in the Light: The Janet Collins Story: Janet loved to dance, and she especially loved ballet! When the world renowned Ballet Russe came to town holding auditions in 1934, Janet could hardly wait for her moment to shine. This is the inspiring story of the first African American prima ballerina, Janet Collins. Narrated by actor and comedian Chris Rock, this story teaches us that we can be anything we set our minds to. Watch the  video on Kanopy.

 

Trombone Shorty by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier: A Grammy-nominated headliner for the New Orleans Jazz Fest describes his childhood in Tremé and how he came to be a bandleader by age six. Enjoy the read-along on Hoopla (read by Trombone Shorty himself!), borrow the eBook on Overdrive, or check it out at the library.

 

Resistance

A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée: After attending a powerful protest, Shayla starts wearing an armband to school to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but when the school gives her an ultimatum, she is forced to choose between her education and her identity. Borrow the eBook or eAudiobook on Overdrive, borrow the eAudiobook on Hoopla, or check it out at the library.

 

Freedom Soup by Tami Charles, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara: Every year, Haitians all over the world ring in the new year by eating a special soup, a tradition dating back to the Haitian Revolution. This year, Ti Gran is teaching Belle how to make the soup. Together, they dance and clap as they prepare the holiday feast, and Ti Gran tells Belle about the history of the soup, the history of Belle's family, and the history of Haiti, where Belle's family is from. Enjoy the animated video on Hoopla, or check the book out at the library.

 

 

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem's Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie: In the 1930s, Lewis's dad had an itch he needed to scratch—a book itch. How to scratch it? He started a bookstore in Harlem and named it the National Memorial African Bookstore. And as far as Lewis could tell, his father's bookstore was one of a kind. People from all over came to visit the store, even famous people—Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, and Langston Hughes, to name a few. People not only bought and read books here, and they also learned from each other. Read this on Overdrive or Hoopla, or check it out at the library.

 

If you want more recommendations, submit a request through Book Me!, or email us with other questions at eanswers@oaklandlibrary.org. You can also leave a voicemail with your full name and details at 510-238-3134.  And for e-books, streaming video, and more digital content, browse  Overdrive Hoopla Tumblebook RB Digital, and all of our other online resources. 

 

#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. 

STEP 4 - MAKE STUFF!

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 engagement@oaklandlibrary.org OR tag us using #OPLSummer

 

How do you play from far away?