OHR Preserves Local Treasures on Obsolete Media

The Oakland History Room has preserved rare and culturally valuable recordings in its collection.

Since 2013, the Oakland History Room (OHR) has been a partner of the California Audiovisual Preservation Project which preserves and provides access to unpublished and rare audiovisual content that is significant to state history. The CAVPP also works to raise awareness of the need to preserve such items and to raise funds for this type of archival preservation. The project, known locally as California Light & Sound, is administered at the University of California at Berkeley.

Through this partnership, the Oakland History Room has been able to preserve such items as 8mm and 16mm film of speed boat races on Lake Merritt and the 1948 Christmas Balloon Parade in downtown Oakland; VHS recordings of community events like the annual Black Cowboy Parade; oral histories recorded on audiocassette, and Oakland junior high orchestra and choir recordings on vinyl. So far, forty-nine items from OHR's collection have been digitized. These recordings now live on the Internet Archive (www.archive.org). Just type in “Oakland History

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Bike to Books at OPL!

Read a book, ride a bike, and make Oakland a better place!

Bicycling is a healthy, non-polluting, low-cost, and quiet form of transportation that is ideal for commuting and recreation. We also want to make it easier for you to bike to the library. Like last year, we've got a number of exciting programs planned in May, 2015, to encourage you to "Bike to Books" as part of the City of Oakland's efforts to become more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. And you don't have to wait until May to get going with bike-related events at the Library; 81st Avenue Branch hosts a free weekly Fix-It Clinic for minor repairs, every Friday, from 2 to 5 PM. 

Programs in May include these events. First, decorate and personalize your ride with the Scraper Bike Team! We’ll have supplies for you, but feel free to bring along any tinfoil

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It's Pi Day!

March 14 is Pi Day! Time to celebrate math and more!

Yay! It's Pi Day! March 14, when the first three digits of π, 3/14 are the date. Pi Day is exciting more than the usual amount of nerdy interest this year because today is the Pi Day of the Century, the only date this century when the first five digits of Pi will line up in a row: 3/14/15. And at 9:26 and 53 seconds you'll get to experience pi in ten digits. 

So what is π, besides a Greek letter and something good to eat with ice cream? Pi, also called Archimedes' Constant, represents the ratio between the circumference and the diameter of a circle, or roughly 3.14. That's about 22/7 so for those of you who like multiple celebrations,you could also celebrate Pi Approximation Day on July 22. 

The pi ratio, though not named π until the early 18th century, was known to the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians as a way of calculating the area of a circle. It was the

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New TV Series On DVD Coming To Oakland Public Library in March 2015

New TV Series Coming To Oakland Public Library in March 2015

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Streaming Video Now @ Oakland Public Library

Streaming Video is now at Oakland Public Library.

Now you can stream feature films and TV shows directly from Oakland Public Library’s website through OverDrive.  We currently have about 1,300 titles for you to watch.  Everything from Romance, Comedy, Drama, Indie & Foreign films, Horror, Sci-Fi, and even Teen and Children’s content.  
To get started, borrow an available video from OverDrive. If you're using a web browser (like Chrome or Safari) or

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Listen, Learn, Particiate: #BlackLivesMatter Event Series

Today, Oakland Public Library kicks off a series of events to foster discussion on racial inequity in policing, prisons and society.

This week Oakland Public Library kicks off a series of events on policing, prisons, racial justice and social change in the United States.

The goals of the series are to foster learning, dialogue, collaboration and action, foregrounding creative, community solutions to racial inequity.

Last Saturday, we kicked off with the documentary film Ferguson: Race and Justice in the U.S. produced by Sweta Vohra of FaultLines at Martin Luther King Jr Library. Following the film, Michael Bell of InPartnership Consulting facilitated a rich and important conversation with attendees.

Over the next few months, we’ll be partnering with community agencies to host other guest speakers, events for parents/children, and book discussions.

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Goodbye Mr. Spock

In which we celebrate the life and work of Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's iconic Mr. Spock.

Today we acknowledge the passing of Leonard Nimoy, forever to be remembered as Mr. Spock. 

Nimoy a Boston native, began acting at the age of 8 in a production of Hansel and Gretel. Before Star Trek Nimoy enjoyed an active career in film and television. His first science fiction film role, foreshadowing Spock, was as the Martian Narab in the 1952 Republic serial Zombies of the Stratosphere. 

After Star Trek, he contiued to act until 2013 when, in his final film role, he reprised Spock again as Spock Prime in Star Trek Into Darkness.

How did Nimoy feel about his unshakeable identification with Spock? The answer may lie in the titles of his two published memoirs, I am Not Spock in 1975 followed by I am Spock in 1995. His identification with Spock became part of

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New DVDs for February 2015 - Coming Soon to Oakland Public Library

Nine DVDs coming soon to Oakland Public Library

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Romantic DVDs for Valentine’s Day @ Oakland Public Library

An eclectic assortment of romantic films from Oakland Public Library’s DVD collection.

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New DVDs for January 2015 - Coming Soon to Oakland Public Library

DVD Titles coming soon to Oakland Public Library in January 2015.

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