That's a Great Question: 44 Girlie Picks

Movies based on books written by women

We get all kinds of excellent questions at the Reference Desk here at the Main library. Recently a caller asked,

I can think of three great movies based on books written by women. They are Giant (Edna Ferber), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), and Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell). Can you tell me some other ones?

We librarians love this kind of question and had a wonderful time coming up with answers. These will probably not all meet your definition of "great movies," but we thought of a pretty wide range of titles:  

  1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath | 1979 film directed by Larry Peerce, starring Marilyn Hassett and Julie Harris

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Exploring the Travel Collection at Main

profile of travel resources and programs at Oakland Main Library

This year the Main Library’s Travel Series marks its eleventh year. In that time we’ve helped people plan vacations, discover new countries and cultures, and travel more efficiently and safely. Photographers, travel guidebook writers, and experienced travelers have generously shared their knowledge and enthusiasm for travel with members of our community. Our virtual journeys have taken us to Greece, Kenya, Brazil, Cuba, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Paris, New York City, South Africa, Italy, Croatia, and many other locales.

This year’s roster of programs will be held, as always, in the Walters Auditorium and include:

California Deserts   Wednesday, May 10; 6 pm

Intrepid traveler Trevor Cralle returns to the Main Library to share tips on exploring Death Valley, Mojave National Preserve, Anza Borrego State Park, and more. 

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The First Anniversary of the Women Bike Book Club: Read and Talk with Us

A booklist and some club history

It’s Bike Month!  Are you riding? And are you reading?  

If you’re looking for literary inspiration, we’ve got a booklist for you!

Last spring Bike East Bay created The Women Bike Book Club as part of an initiative called Women Bike, which aims to “encourage and inspire more women, trans and femme folks to ride bikes.” In January, the library began co-sponsoring this club. Each month we meet at the intersection of bikes, books, and feminism. We discuss experiences and issues, and sometimes we do a little coloring too. While the focus of this group is women and biking, everyone is welcome to join.

We meet on the second Thursday of the month.  This month that day, May 11th, is

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A historic day: The first community puzzle at Main is finished!

Did you know that you can work on a jigsaw puzzle at the library? We just finished our first one!

Main's first community puzzle was completed just seconds ago today, thanks to the diligent efforts of our patrons. We will start a new puzzle tomorrow, but you can come see this completed 1000 piece puzzle of a library...at the library...through next Monday. We hope to eventually challenge the Rockridge Branch puzzlers for completion times. If you have any puzzles to donate, please let us know!

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Truth, Lies and Quibblers: Media Literacy for a New Era

Don't Fall for Fake News. Your library offers workshops and resources to build media literacy.

Photo of newspaper from Harry Potter booksBefore fake news and alternative facts there was … The Quibbler and The Daily Prophet. Yes, I am talking about the wizarding world of journalism. Bear with me.

For those who skipped the Harry Potter series, The Quibbler was Rowling’s storyline about a tabloid complete with sensational headlines, paparazzi and misleading (even fake) stories. The Daily Prophet, on the other hand, shared government-sponsored news, replete with alternative facts and spin control from The Ministry of Magic.

Imagine if Harry Potter readers graduated to Book 7 having gained media literacy skills from the stories. Sadly, the books’ negative depiction of media is troubling – both because it’s based in some truth and because it’s incomplete, leaving readers with a near total distrust of journalism. Sound familiar?

Lest we

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African American Reference Works at OPL

The Oakland Public Library offers two large African American reference collections to its users.

The Oakland Public Library has a very large and diverse collection of African American reference materials. While many of these works are scattered throughout our Oakland Public Library system, there are two specialized collections in the system:  the African American Reference Collection at the Main Library and the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO).

The African American Reference Collection at the Main Library has been a core part of the library’s reference works for many years. Located in the Adult Reference Department, it includes encyclopedia on historic figures, important eras, social movements, and the arts; biographical dictionaries; historical atlases; pictorial works; directories; first editions of seminal African American works; literary criticism; and statistical reports. This

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The 59th Annual Grammy Nominations Are In!

Check out these nominated artists’ albums and many others, available at the library or stream/download instantly on hoopla!

What is hoopla, how does it work?  

Search for your favorite music CDs at the library

Search for your favorite albums on hoopla

The complete list of 59th Grammy nominees

Here’s just a small sampling of albums from this years Grammy nominees. Simply click "At the library" link for library holdings or click on the "hoopla" link to stream/download online.

                     

Adele / 25

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Oakland celebrates Black Panther Party's 50th anniversary

Black Panther Party's 50th anniversary commemorations continue in Oakland.

For the past month, historians, teachers, scholars, artists, students, and residents from all over the Bay Area and the state have gathered in Oakland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party's founding here. Local visual artists, art historians, deejays, dancers, political activists, and academics have hosted events that celebrated the legacy of this revolutionary group. Many of the economic and political issues they addressed--police brutality, poverty, job and housing discrimination--remain unresolved today. The Oakland Museum of California hosted a weekend conference, "Where Do We Go From Here?," that drew hundreds of people.   

Though most of the commemorative Panther programs occurred in October, there are a few events you can still catch:

Oakland Museum of California: "All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50"

The Museum has mounted an extensive

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Black Panthers at 50: Syllabus - Events - Exhibits

Oakland Library commemorates the Black Panther Party's 50th Anniversary with events, exhibits and a syllabus for K-12 students.

Collage with 4 book covers and the words Black Panther Party 50th AnniversaryFifty years ago, the Black Panthers took to the streets of Oakland to defend Black residents against police violence and city neglect. Soon, the Panthers electrified America with a bold image of Black militancy and some very basic demands, “We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace."

 

Who were the Panthers and what did they achieve? What can we learn from their influence on culture, music and mass media? From their grassroots social programs — including free breakfast for children, health clinics and liberation schools — and from their "Rainbow Coalition" uniting poor people of all races. Yes, the Panther’s did that too.

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Melrose Branch Library celebrates its 100th Birthday!

Brief history of Melrose Branch Library in celebration of its centennial

This year marks the centennial of the Melrose Branch Library, the first of four Carnegie Libraries built in Oakland.

The area we know as the Melrose District was once a thriving, semi-rural town south of Oakland. The town boasted large factories like the Oakland Chemical Company and a diverse array of light industry (machine shops, lumber yards, planing mills). Banks, tailor shops, pharmacy, and real estate offices could also be found there. Every twenty minutes people could go to the Melrose Terminal and board a Southern Pacific train, or get on a ferry at Clark’s Landing, as the Melrose wharves were known, to travel to San Francisco. East 14th Street (now International Boulevard) was the main commercial strip of the town.

Melrose School shared its building with Union High School #4 (later renamed John C. Fremont High). People, skeptical that the district couldn't justify having a high school, were surprised at how quickly the school filled with students. After the 1906 earthquake, families moved to

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