OPL in the News

Below, you can read selected media stories showcasing Oakland Public Library programs and staff. To view an archive of press releases from the library, click here.

Thursday, March 14th, 2013, Current.org

But it’s been the library appearances that have kept Hear Here moving smoothly along. Within a few months of the project’s launch, Mu and team noticed that their relationships with library staff members had developed into something special.

“We were seeing that our library partnerships were really paying off because we were investing a lotof time and effort into trust-building,” said Mu.

To reach certain communities, Hear Here’s producers knew they needed liaisons if they were to achieve the levels of engagement that they sought. They recognized that the staffs of neighborhood libraries had built reservoirs of trust within their communities that would help facilitate Hear Here’s work.

“We built a relationship with the community,” said Anthony Propernick, a senior library assistant who has a background in community studies and works with at-risk youth. “Then we bring in programs based on their needs.”

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Wednesday, March 6th, 2013, CBS

About 20 people searching for work gathered in the basement of the Oakland Public Library’s main branch for Job on!, a series of four classes taught by teacher, small-business owner and librarian Nancy Rhoda.

“People are the ones that make the hiring decisions. So you can be friendly with the internet, but unless you’re friendly with some of those people you’re not going to get a job,” she said.

Rhoda explained that networking in person exposes you to unadvertised jobs or what she calls the hidden job market.

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Tuesday, March 5th, 2013, Oakland Local

Gone are the days when libraries and museums are just for checking out books and displaying artifacts. 

The libraries of the 21st century not only offer more resources but serve as a conduit to the community. When one walks into the African American Library and Museum of Oakland, or AALMO, there is a sense of coming home.

AAMLO opened in 2002 as a part of the Oakland Public Library system. The first floor houses a non-circulating library as AAMLO is a research institution for African American history.

"The mission of the organization is to preserve African American history," Veda Silva, Museum Project Coordinator, said. She works closely with Chief Curator Rick Moss. 

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Friday, February 8th, 2013, Oakland North

Ofori teaches the kids a simple West African dance in four steps. He takes them through each step as a group, and gradually adds more movements.

The fifth graders go to E.C. Reems Academy in East Oakland. They’ve come to the library on a Black History Month field trip. Ofori, their guide, is a master percussionist from Ghana who’s teaching them about West African rhythms and culture. Today’s West African drumming event is free and open to the public, so it’s an affordable way for schools with lean operating budgets to celebrate Black History month and teach African American students about their heritage.

“The second time we’re going to roll our waists,” says Ofori.

The kids erupt in laughter.

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Wednesday, December 5th, 2012, KALW

As I walk into the new Piedmont Branch of the Oakland Public Library, I see what looks like a library: librarians quietly working, people reading, and there are walls filled with books.

Branch manager, Jenera Burton has been working on the relocation of the library for about two years.

“Just in a couple of days, we got this whole place together. I feel a lot more relaxed now that we're open to the public and people are in and browsing and happy,” says Burton.

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