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.

Monday, December 23rd, 2013, Oakland North

 It’s not your average Saturday afternoon in the “teen room” at Rockridge Public Library. Carl Holland walks down a row of computers, peering over the shoulders of people navigating Covered California’s website.

“How are we doing over here?” he asks Lawrence Lincoln, an Alameda resident who has hit a snag in his pursuit of health insurance through the online exchange. A self-employed contractor, proving income is complicated for Lincoln, and he’ll have to produce more documents to get a price estimate. Holland plots strategy with Lincoln; others up and down the row wait for help too. More people wait for a computer in a line that snakes out the door.

Everyone came for information about the insurance options available thanks to the Affordable Care Act – just two days before the first enrollment deadline. At the same time, all across Oakland residents have flocked to other workshops held by volunteers and community organizations working to get California’s uninsured acclimated to the new system.

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Friday, December 6th, 2013, Iserotope

So I countered. “How about doing our own book fair?” The principal agreed but wondered how we would pull it off. “Won’t it be a lot of work?”

It turns out, no, it didn’t take a lot of work. Actually, it was pretty easy, thanks to the wonderful teen librarians at the Oakland Public Library. The vice principal and I called up Brian Boies, the lead TeenZone librarian, and his staff pulled 150 high-interest titles (both fiction and nonfiction) for us to borrow for the book fair. I drove over in my Honda Civic and loaded the back seat with mountains of books.

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Sunday, November 24th, 2013, Oakland Tribune

The African American Museum and Library of Oakland, or AAMLO, is housed in a 100-year-old city landmark that is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

AAMLO is a non-circulating library dedicated to preserving the history and experiences of people of color in Northern California, and a research archive containing diaries, correspondence and family photos belonging to African-Americans.

It is featured in a new book, "Here Tomorrow, Preserving Architecture, Culture, and California's Golden Dream," published by the California Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group based in San Francisco that for the past 30 years has bestowed design awards on those who have excelled in restoration and creative reuse.


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Thursday, November 21st, 2013, Oakland Tribune

Lana Adlawan, Teen Services Librarian, says, “the Teen Zone is built on a culture of acceptance, where all are welcomed and respected.” Signs demarcating the hater-free space are posted on the walls around the room.

The library is very successful at bringing in teens to use its services. Lana says it’s not enough to just get teens in the door. If you want them coming back, she says, you have to consider how to keep them engaged. Innovation and out-of-the-box thinking is the key to keeping teens interested and involved. It’s this unique approach that led Teen Outreach librarian Amy Sonnie to hook up a custom-built mobile library to her bike to ride around this year’s Life is Living Festival.

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Tuesday, November 19th, 2013, KALW

For about a year and a half now, KALW has been popping into the 81st Avenue East Oakland library to record the stories of the people who live and work in the neighborhood. Today we meet the man who helps make the library a safe and valuable place for the community, Anthony Propernick.

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Tuesday, November 12th, 2013, Oakland Local

The African American Museum and Library at Oakland will host “The Griots of Oakland: Voices from the African American Oral History Project, “an exhibit that is opening on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 4 p.m. to 7p.m.

The opening celebration and book release will moderated by a local talent and include talks from leading educators, activists and participant youth. Community members will have time to voice their experiences and reactions to the exhibit, which will run through March 1.

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Wednesday, August 14th, 2013, KALW

Like the book mobiles that came to her house when she was a kid, she decided to bring the library to the waiting room. When she approached librarians in Alameda County, Children’s Librarian Amy Martin signed up.

“I thought it was a great idea,” Martin said. “It’s very simple. I just bring books down here a couple of times a month and read to them for half an hour. A lot of the kids end up coming to the library after I see them here. It just seems like a really easy and successful thing to do.” Martin said that she’ll end up seeing 90% of the children from the reading circle back at the library.

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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013, KALW

Libraries aren’t the most practical place for an exercise dance party, but the library decided to make an exception. The 81st Avenue branch is in a high-crime area of East Oakland, so it’s always looking for ways to get people together over something positive. When Ariella approached the library about leading a class, Anthony Propernick, the Senior Library Assistant here, didn’t see why not.  He says, "If the community wants a Zumba class and it's something we can provide and make sure it's something that doesn’t spill over into the library, we should share it with them.”

When the class starts, Ariella doesn’t seem so afraid to be in front of the room. She even speaks to the women in both English and Spanish. She emphasizes that she is mostly there to keep everyone motivated. The video starts, and the 13 or so women standing behind Ariella mimic the moves on the screen. Occasionally, Ariella turns around and smiles or gestures to the class to step it up a notch. Everyone looks to be having a good time.

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Thursday, August 8th, 2013, Oakland Tribune

The Youth Poet Laureate competition, which is meant to recognize and honor youth expression, is in its second year. It is hosted by the Oakland Public Library's Teen Services Department, in partnership with Youth Speaks, ProArts Gallery, Oakland School for the Arts as well as some community partners.

"This contest celebrates Oakland's visionaries," said Amy Sonnie, teen outreach librarian at Oakland Public Library. "These young voices are shaping the present of our city and building a more vibrant future for the city of Oakland."

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Tuesday, August 6th, 2013, Rockridge Patch

"'Expertly balancing a focused rage with an irrepressible tenderness, Davis is certain to inspire and activate a new generation of leaders through both the written and spoken word.

Now in its second year, the Youth Poet Laureate competition was staged by Oakland Public Library’s Teen Services Department, in partnership with Youth Speaks, ProArts Gallery, Oakland School for the Arts and more than a dozen community partners.

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