Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

Fantasy series recommendations for kids who love Harry Potter -- in celebration of the series' 15th anniversary.

Can you believe that the first Harry Potter book is now celebrating its 15th anniversary of publication in the U.S.? Go ahead and celebrate by reading the whole groundbreaking series! Or, if you're craving something similarly awesome, check out the first book in another excellent fantasy series:

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Read to Your Baby!

How old does your child need to be to be enrolled in Summer Reading, you ask? You can enroll him as soon as he is born!

It is never too early to start reading with your baby; she will associate the security and pleasure of your lap with reading and will want to learn to read when she is older. 

  • Read with your baby every day.
  • Try board books. Board books are books with hard pages your baby can throw, bite, and hit.
  • You don’t need to read the words at all. Just point to the pictures and talk about them.
  • Have him flip the pages. Let him play with the book.
  • Comment as you read. Connect what you read to what's happening in her life.   
  • Keep their board books in the same place as toys.
  • Let your child see you reading for yourself and enjoying it.
  • Come to the library often! Find new books and come to storytime.  

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Help your library help Oakland youth: Summer Lunch Volunteer Site Coordinators Needed!

The Oakland Public Library needs your help to coordinate free summer lunch for children and teens!

Girl Eating LunchDid you know that most Oakland Public Libraries now serve free lunch for children and teens during the summer?

We couldn't do it without the partnership of the Alameda County Community Food Bank, which recruits, trains, and places volunteers for the lunch service.  In addition, they train volunteer Site Coordinators, who commit to at least two weeks of coordinating the other volunteers at a single library site, during lunch time.

Could you be a volunteer Summer Lunch Site Coordinator?  While server positions are mostly filled, we still need some committed volunteers to help with this crucial role.  Coordinators work closely with library staff to make sure this is a fun

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Celebrate Pride…with books!

LGBTQ-themed children’s books at the Oakland Public Library.

June is Pride month for the lesbian / gay / bisexual / transgender / queer community – a perfect time to explore these books with LGBTQ themes available at the Oakland Public Library. If you want more recommendations, check out the Rainbow Book lists for children and teens…and let us know here in the comments if you have any favorites to share! Happy reading, and happy Pride!

Picture Books

And Tango makes three book cover   

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Reading is Soooooooo Delicious

Have you ever loved a book so much you wanted to eat it? Reading is So Delicious!

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Free Summer Cinema at Studio One Arts Center

Free family outdoor summer cinema at Studio One Arts Center in Oakland.

Book coverDo you like to read the book before, or after you see the movie?

Studio One Arts Center is hosting free family movies this summer; coming up this Friday: Matilda!  Based on the book by Roald Dahl.  Check them both out.  

Do you like to read the book before, or after you see the movie?

Studio One Arts Center is hosting free family movies this summer; coming up

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Celebrating Children in Oakland

Oakland Library loves children! Look at these pictures from our Día de los niños / Día de los libros celebrations.

Germar the MagicianDía de los niños / Día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day) is a celebration of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30th. This year Germar the Magician came to many of our libraries to help us celebrate. He  entertained children of all ages with birds that appeared and disappeared, magic coins that did strange and marvelous things, and more. He did so seamlessly alternating between English and Spanish.

Día de los niños / Día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day) is a celebration of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30th. This year Germar the Magician came to many of our libraries to

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Baby Faces

A round-up of books for babies, featuring…babies!

Babies LOVE gazing at faces. Parents and caregivers have always known this; brain research now backs it up as fact. Even the youngest of kiddos are hardwired to recognize faces, and will tend to look at pictures of faces longer than images of other objects.

Want to stimulate your baby's brains? Head on over to the library and find these board books featuring photographs of baby faces:

Global Babies book cover   

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Music Makes the World Go Round

First 5 California offers a Kids Station on the free online music service Pandora!

First 5 California has launched a Kids Station on the online music service "Pandora." This fun new - and free - station targets parents and features music to encourage learning and physical activity.  It includes not only children's music but also examples of other ways to engage and stimulate children's brains -- clapping, dancing, singing, humming!  There are even more suggestions on the First 5 California web site's "

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Hot Off the Presses!

Brand new books for kids, recommended by OPL staff.

Do you know where the newest and shiniest books are kept in your local library? If not, ask a staff member to show you the way! Most branches have a “new book” shelf where you can find these and other fresh, fantastic books for kids:

Picture Books

Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons book cover

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