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.

Saturday, December 6th, 2014, Oakland Tribune

Brian Boies, a teen librarian at Oakland's Public Library, has developed "Oakland Has Jobs," an online bulletin board where job opportunities in Oakland and beyond are posted and shared.

The board is on Instagram and can be viewed at www.instagram.com/oaklandhasjobs or you can follow it on Instagram at @oaklandhasjobs. It can be viewed from a computer or a smartphone.

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014, Contra Costa Times

The program is designed for children in kindergarten through fifth grade as well as younger children with the help of their parents. Bingo cards will be distributed in the month of December.

Any child or parent who returns a card with five actitivies in a row completed will receive a free paperback book. Bingo cards will be available in English, Spanish and Chinese.

"We hope this is a simple and fun game that promotes family engagement around reading as a daily activity," said Nina Lindsay, supervising librarian for children services.

The Dimond Library will begin the Winter Bingo with a visit from celebrated children's and young adult author Mitali Perkins, whose work explores living between cultures.

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Monday, December 1st, 2014, Oakland North

The Oakland Public Library and its 16 branches have also functioned as an alternative for students who don’t have a computer at home. “Our computers are extremely popular and they are very busy, especially after school hours,” said Sharon McKellar, community relations librarian at the Oakland Public Library. “You can walk into any branch in Oakland and see the computers well-filled, usually with young people.”

Although students can make a reservation for a computer three days in advance online or by calling the library, there are also some limitations for accessing these computers: Students need to have a library card, they can only use those computers for one hour at a time, and there are only around 250 computers available. “There is clearly a huge need in the city for public access computers,” said McKellar.

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Monday, November 24th, 2014, School Library Journal

Overall, Lindsay says, the emphasis on nutrition and food has had a positive response from patrons.

“We get a huge thank you from kids and their parents,” she says, attributing its success to the library’s ability to foster a sense of community. “It makes the library feel much more like their home. It adds to that quality of the third space.”

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Sunday, November 16th, 2014, Oakland Tribune

Utilizing funds from a California State Library grant, the library staff has digitized more than 8,000 pages of manuscripts and 200-plus photographs related to civil rights, women's history, Negro baseball leagues and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.

The online resources include the entire collection of noted civil rights and labor leader C.L. Dellums, who is the uncle of former Oakland Mayor Ronald Dellums. There are photographs and administrative records of the West Coast Negro Baseball Association and historical records of the California State Association of Colored Women's Clubs.

Twenty years of the official newsletter of a black masons organization, the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of California, are also now available online, says Sean Heyliger, the African American Library's archivist, who is in charge of the digitalization project.

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, San Jose Mercury News

Friends of Rockridge Library (FORL) want to promote the idea that a lot can happen at your public library and on Saturday, participants in "Seasoning to Taste with Linda Carucci" will even be able to eat at the library.

Described as "Tasting, testing, tempting: all at the library," the morning workshop is just another way that the volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) organization wants to put the spotlight on Rockridge Library as a place that's so much more than books. Having put their efforts into funding children and teen resources, FORL decided it was time to sponsor some adult programs.


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Friday, October 31st, 2014, Oakland Magazine

For librarian Gerry Garzon, there is nothing more important than reading.

“Two-thirds of our third-graders read below their grade level, and it’s even worse for Latino and African-American kids. Right now I’m involved with the Oakland Reads 2020 initiative, a project that envisions an Oakland where at least 85 percent of students are reading at grade level by the end of third grade in 2020. Why third grade? Because that’s when kids shift from learning to read to using reading as a tool for learning, and if they don’t read well at that point, they’re less likely to catch up.

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Thursday, October 9th, 2014, Oakland North

Many of Elkin’s poems touch on her difficult childhood, but her delivery was confident on this September afternoon— the verses of the last poem almost tumbling out of her mouth, her arms tucked defensively close to her sides so that only the tips of her tattoos peeked around her forearms.

A slouchy, tattooed kid on an unconventional path may not be the most common image associated with the word “laureate,” but the Youth Poet Laureate program exists precisely to shed light on the potential of young Oaklanders like Elkin and their inevitably varied experiences. “We think of it as a spider web across our community,” said Lana Adlawan, Supervising Librarian for Teen Services at the Oakland Public Library. “We each do our part to help youth in Oakland, but this brings it together.”

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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014, Oakland North

As Vicky Chen, the teen librarian at the Rockridge Library Branch, attempted to settle the chaotic rush of middle school students visiting the youth section after school, a student suddenly asked, “Ms. Vicky, how can a book be banned?”

Chen, along with other Oakland librarians, highlighted banned books at their respective branches by creating displays for Banned Books Week, which ran from September 21 to 27, an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read. At the Rockridge branch, Chen’s display is in a small corner of the teen section: bright yellow caution tape surrounding a few plastic shelf slots with banned graphic novels and chapter books including Maus by Art Spiegelman, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and a book from the Twilight saga.

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Sunday, September 28th, 2014, Oakland Local

At-risk youth (or rather at-promise youth, as BRL puts it) build self-esteem, creative and critical thinking skills, coping strategies, and trust through BRL’s programs. As demonstrated by their pilot program, the young men who participated in the Hip Hop Therapy group reported feeling more confident and less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

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