Wheeee! Roller Coasters....At the Library?

Become a roller coaster engineer, April 2nd, 3:30 at the 81st Avenue Library!

Do you love roller coasters?  The loops, the speed, the excitement, the wind in your hair?  Have you ever wondered why some coasters are faster or scarier than others?  How roller coaster cars stay on the track?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, have we got something special for you!


On Thursday, April 2nd at 3:30, Lawrence Hall of Science is coming to the 81st Avenue Library to teach kids Lawrence Hall of Science logoall about the science and engineering of roller coasters with hands-on experiementing and table-top creations!  Kids and

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Kids Eat Free! YES FREE!

New food program launched in the Oakland Library. Free meals and snacks served after school.

Starting April 2nd and ending May 22nd everyone who is 18 years old and younger can eat a FREE meal or a snack in the Eastmont library. The meals must be eaten onsite in the designated area.  Meals will be served between 3:30 and 4:30 pm (or while supplies last.) 

We are also looking for a few responsible teenagers or young adults to  volunteer and help us distribute the food.  In addition to showering you with undying gradidute,  we will also sign off on your school mandated community service hours. Contact Paul Schiesser at (510) 615-5726 for more details.

The Eastmont Library is located in the Eastmont Towncenter: 7200 Bancroft Ave. Suite 211 (second floor)

So you're hungry today? Or you can't make it to the Eastmont Library? Try these other two locations:


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What's Your Favorite Bunny Book?

Do you like your bunnies soft and gentle, or bloody and savage? Either way, we've got a bunny book for you!

Hippity-hop! It's springtime in Oakland, and I thought we could celebrate with a chat about bunnies, the official animal of spring. I don't know why the vernal equinox gets everyone thinking about rabbits. Scientific data exists that shows they do, in fact, exist at other times of the year.

Also, bunnies are really not sweet and gentle and cute as the books below would have you believe. They are kind of vicious. Have you read Watership Down? If you haven't, you really should. It's one of my childhood favorites. At one point, I considered myself fluent in the language the author invented for the book, so if you read it, maybe you can come by and we can have a conversation in Lapine. Anyway, the rabbits in that book killed each other pretty easily and often, so much so that if you do a Google image search for "

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Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Antidotes to teen romances for my precocious pre-teen?

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. Will my daughter lose her unique identity, trying to fit into the images she sees modeled in teen novels? The strong female characters all fall in love in the end! Can we get some strong-female novels appropriate for a 6th grade reader?

Q: My daughter is in 6th grade, and she’s an avid reader. She’s choosing teen stories that seem to actually be romances - vampires, warriors, rebels, detectives - they all seem to focus on the love interest in the end! I feel Twilight is one of the books the 6th-grader had read.like it might be influencing her behavior toward the boys in her school - in a way that to me seems vulnerable. Do you have any good stories about strong female characters without the romance? Akata Witch - See below for details.

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You Can Throw Your Pizza On MY Roof

There's no need to "break bad" when you have great picture books about pizza to read!

You know, we all get a little mad sometimes. But throwing perfectly good pizza onto the roof of your house is NOT an okay way to show your anger! It makes me cry to think of the tragic--TRAGIC--scene in the TV series Breaking Bad when Walter White hurls a delicious-looking pizza onto the roof, instead of directly into his mouth where it belongs. 

I'm not the only one weeping. According to Buzzfeed, the people who live in the house where the show was filmed would really like you to stop throwing pizza onto their roof, please. They have backing from the show's creator, Vince Gilligan, who says

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Aw, Bologna

Your Oakland Public Library has three out of four winners of this prestigious international award for children's illustration.

Someday when I'm rich, really disgustingly wealthy, I'm going to the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Bologna, Italy, and I will meet aaaaalll the wonderful illustrators and buy them a glass of vino. Seriously, I am obsessed with picture book illustration, and the book fair in Bologna attracts artists from every corner of the globe.*

This year, though, we're all in luck! Because you don't have to go any farther than your local Oakland Public Library branch to see almost all the 2015 winners of the Bologna Ragazza Awards. 2015 is the 50 year anniversary of the award, which means--fun fact--that it was created during the birth year of Alex Winter, aka Bill S. Preston of seminal American film Bill and Ted'

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Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Do you have books that explain about the birds & the bees?

Children's Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. This week: Human reproduction! If your post-Valentines conversation with your tweens & pre-teens went from lovey-dovey to the birds-&-bees, you might appreciate some literary support. This is a frequently-asked-question...

Shocked dadQ: My eight-year-old son is asking me about how babies are made. I gave him a short-version answer, and now he has a lot more questions. I'm realizing that my older daughter (now 12) probably had a lot of questions she didn't ask out loud when I gave her the simple answers a few years ago. What books do you have for both of them?

It's Perfectly Normal - a book cover.

A: We have plenty of books on this topic for different ages. You will find it much easier to answer your children's questions with the help of some well-chosen books! Whether you read a book aloud to a younger child, give one to an older child to read herself, or simply read

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Books for Wider Horizons Anniversary Party

After 20 years of taking storytimes to Head Starts and CDCs, Books for Wider Horizons marked the occasion with food, cake, and wonderful memories.

As the culmination of the months-long 20th anniversary Books for Wider Horizons celebration, we all partied at the end of January in the Main Library. Current and past volunteers, staff, and community members gathered to share memories and honor the passion, effort, and time that have gone into this simple storyreader program.     

Nina Lindsay Emceeing the PartyAfter we all enjoyed some wonderful snacks, Nina Lindsay, Supervising Librarian for Children's Services, opened the remarks section by reflecting on the impact that BWH has had in the community. This year our 61 volunteers are delivering 91 weekly storytimes at 36 centers, resulting in 1,456 more hours of storytimes a year than the library could possibly offer without these dedicated souls. 

Gerry Garzón, OPL's library director, then thanked the past and present volunteers without whom the

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7 Reasons The 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards Are SO COOL

Kid lit history was made this year, my friend.

Did you see the ALA Youth Media Awards this year? They are SO COOL. Groundbreaking choices were made in every category of these annual awards for children's books. Here's why:

1) Diversity rules!

This year's Medal and Honor recipients are African-American, Latino, Asian, multiracial, deaf, queer, and differently abled. The Newbery and Caldecott Awards have been criticized in the past for being overwhelmingly white; perhaps the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement is causing a cultural shift in children's literature.

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Groundbreaking Newbery and Caldecott Awards!

Check out this year's groundbreaking Newbery, Caldecott, and other award winning children's books!

Each year the Newbery, Caldecott, and other Youth Media Awards are decided and announced at the American Library Association Midwinter conference.  This year's awards break new ground in recognizing a wider diversity of excellence in literature (the Newbery) and "picture books" (the Caldecott).  Could it have anything to do with OPL's Sharon McKellar being one of the Caldecott committee members?

Look for a fuller recap from us

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