Has this happened to you?

No one wants to talk about accidentally damaging a library book, but it happens to everyone, even librarians.

Yesterday one of our children's librarians told me this story:

"Today a young child came to me with her mother carrying a book. Eyes downcast she explained that her three-year-old sister learned how to use scissors and handed me this":

Cut Book

"I laughed and told her the story of my library book when my three-year-old sister discovered crayons. I asked her if she kept her temper,  she admitted she lost her temper "a little, but she deserved it!"  The girl promised to keep her library books in her backpack next time. Luckily I had a back-up copy in storage anyway. The child is relieved, the mother is happy, and they checked out several more chapter books."

Baby Eating Book

We know this happens.  Your three-year-

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Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer. What books do you have for and about Muslim children?

Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer. What books do you have that will help our Muslim classmates feel welcome, and give the rest of the class some idea of what it means to be Muslim? I teach reading in elementary school, so a range of reading levels would be best.

Q: I’m looking for books to help our Muslim students feel welcome, and give the rest of the class some ideas of what it means for their classmates to be Muslim. Where do you keep books about Muslims for kids? I need books for kindergarten through third grade.

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Is Santa Real? A Librarian's Dilemma

Not all questions asked in the library have cut and dry answers. And not all can be accurately answered using a book. When a child asks me about the existence of Santa, what am I supposed to say?

In my personal life, I don't touch this question with a 10-foot pole. But when I am asked this question as a librarian; I cannot deflect. The child is asking me as a trusted professional for an accurate and factual answer. Furthermore I am obligated to provide reliable resources to justify my answer. And herein lies my dilemma; I am supposed to affirm or deny the “realness” of a “person” whose very existence is based on faith! The potential answer to this question is as dangerous as a child asking me if Jesus Christ is “real.” Now before you guffaw or laugh at me, I understand  Jesus and Santa are not the same. 

But just like everyone doesn't share the same beliefs about Jesus, everyone doesn't share a universal belief in Santa. Furthermore there are many adults who would not appreciate my answering this question contrary to their beliefs especially considering I am working in a professional

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Winter Bingo @ Your Library!

Winter Bingo is an easy way to have fun and stimulate literacy and learning during the winter break.

It's time again for Winter Bingo!

Get your Winter Bingo card, complete five activities in a row, and bring the card back to the library anytime between December 19, 2015 and January 16, 2016 to receive a free book. There is a card for children in grades K-5, and one for you to do with your younger children.

Children can “Listen to a story” or “Read about your favorite thing,”  “Make someone laugh,” or “Bring a friend to the library,” “Dance” or “Play outside.”  Activities for you to do with your baby or preschooler include “Use a recipe to make a snack,” and “Ask your child to turn the page.”  There is plenty to choose from, so everyone can be a winner.

Winter Bingo cards will be available at your library Dec 12th,or you can print your own if you can't wait to start!

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What Will You Submit to the 90-Second Newbery Festival?

Now accepting submissions to the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival!

90 Second Newbery LogoOnce again, we are thrilled to host a screening of James Kennedy's 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, coming to the Rockridge Branch on Saturday, February 13, at 12noon.  

James will introduce many of the amazing films, made by kids around the country, that tell the story of a Newbery book in 90-Seconds or less. 

Will he show your film? Not if you don't submit one! The rules are

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Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer: Which is your favorite book about Thanksgiving for ages 3 to 7?

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. It's harvest time all around the northern hemisphere. What books could we read to our children?

Q: What's your favorite book about Thanksgiving for ages 3 to 7?

A: Any question that begins with "What is your favorite..." is hard for me to answer, because my moods change, my tastes change, and new things are constantly coming into my consciousness. Also, it's my job to imagine what might be someone else's favorite. 

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OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide--Graphic Novels

It's been a banner couple-of-years for comics. Here are some of our favorites.

We loved so many graphic novels lately, we gave them their own list! Try Dr. Comics and Mr. Games of Oakland for these, though a couple are self published and can be purchased directly from the artists. Follow the links!

We've grouped them under the age of the youngest appropriate reader, but any of the kids' and YA titles may be loved by adults too.

Kids

For kids' books that aren't comics, click here.

  

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OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide--Children's Books

Gifts for the readers in your life recommended by OPL librarians.

We have a confession to make: we librarians LOVE IT when you buy books. LOVE!! And we know you want to give exactly the right book. 

So, without further ado, OPL is proud to present its first ever Holiday Gift Guide. These are books we love and want you and your loved ones to read, ones that are 99% guaranteed not to garner this reaction. And as if that weren't great enough, we're capping it off with a list of local indie bookstores where you can buy these gems. (Call ahead to confirm availability!)

Click here for our Graphic Novel Gift Guide!

Click here for suggestions for adult and YA readers!

OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Children's List 

For babies and

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Q & A Patrons Ask, Librarians Answer: What is your favorite part of your job?

Q & A: It's the kids turn to get their questions answered!

Usually I answer questions asked by adults. Today I am going to answer questions asked by children:

1. Who invented the Dewey Decimal System?

Melvil Dewey.

2. Was he a scientist?

No, he was a librarian.

3. You're kidding?

No. 

4. Tell the truth Ms. Nichole! Was Melvil Dewey a real person?

 I am not pulling your leg. Melvil Dewey was a real person. Read his online biography here or borrow this book:

               

5. What are the words to the "I love you" song you sing at storytime?

The song "Skinnamarink Dinky Dink" is what I sing at

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Coming soon: OPL's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

On November 12, we're releasing a list of books we recommend and independent bookstores where you can buy them! Which books do you recommend?

So, we at the library love letting you borrow books for free. It's kind of our thing. But we know that when you give a book as a gift, you don't want to have to whisper "bring it back in three weeks" while receiving your thank you hug, do you? Sometimes, you really need to buy a book.

And boy, do we have thoughts about which books you should buy, and where you should buy them. That's why on November 12, OPL will release our first Holiday Gift Guide. We'll include recommended titles for the children, teens, and adults in your lives, AND a handy-dandy list of independent bookstores in Oakland! What more could you ask for?

While we're making our list and checking it twice,* chime in with your suggestions here. What books have you loved this year? Which are you planning to give as gifts? I'll go first and say that multiple people on my list will be getting Kate Beaton's two 2015 books:

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