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, 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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Wednesday, July 31st, 2013, San Jose Mercury News

The renovated modular classroom building that now houses the branch at 80 Echo Ave. is 1,920 square feet, about 200 more square feet than the 41st Avenue site. It also offers more seating, a handicapped-accessible restroom and two computers.

The branch retains its collection of nonfiction, fiction, children's books and audio materials. Long known for its extensive materials pertaining to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the branch has, like others in the system, integrated that collection into its general collection. Branch manager Jenera Burton said she didn't know what to expect after the move, but said all signs indicate use of the library is expanding. The branch works closely with the school to provide access during and after class.

"We are getting different families, and we are definitely seeing new faces," Burton said.

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Thursday, July 18th, 2013, Fox News

That's exactly what happened at the Oakland library following a 1991 firestorm that ravaged the Oakland Hills section of the San Francisco Bay area, destroying 3,000 homes and killing 25 people.

The library's Temescal branch established a small Home Resources Collection to help residents with their rebuilding and repair projects following this disaster.

A tool-lending library was considered as an extension of those efforts and was launched in 2000 thanks to seed money from a community development block grant.

Of the 5,000 tools available to patrons, the most popular items by far are the weed whackers, said Sharon McKellar, community relations librarian, who added that hedge trimmers and lawn mowers also are in seasonal high demand.

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Wednesday, July 17th, 2013, East Bay Express

The History Room in the Main Branch of the Oakland Public Library is a positively rich repository of local history. Located on the library's second floor, the history room contains items such as yellowed newspaper clippings and old photographs chronicling everything from Oakland birth and death records to the history of the city's lakes and creeks — much of which can be pored over and photocopied by amateur and professional historians alike. Visitors to the room can view rotating historical exhibits and dig for answers to burning questions like, "What on earth is that weird old windmill doing up near 60th and Telegraph?" and, "Did Oakland really used to have a streetcar line?" And if ever you need help exploring, a friendly librarian is always on hand to help you along the way.

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