Meet the California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC).

Looking for free historical newspapers? The California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC) might have a scan of the issue you're looking for.

The California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC) contains more than 400,000 pages of significant historical California newspapers dating from 1846-1922, including the first California newspaper, the Californian, and the first daily California newspaper, the Daily Alta California which was published in San Francisco. This resource is freely available online, and new titles and pages are contantly being added. What's neat is that the articles are all scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) so you can do a keyword search. I searched for 'bicycle' and found some interesting ads and articles; police actively investigated stolen bicycles back in the day - two

Click here to read more

Find It!

A helpful guide to searching the catalog and finding a book at the Main Library.

Last time I told you a little bit about how the Dewey Decimal System works. So now it’s time to figure out how to use the library catalog, and the Dewey Decimal numbers, to find a specific item on the library’s shelves.

You can always ask a librarian for help, but if you want to search for items on your own here are the basics of finding things in the library:

1. Search the online catalog.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about how to search, but if you need help with this part someone at the reference desk will be happy to help you.

2. Find the item you want, make sure it's the right one, and figure out where to look for it.

Click here to read more

OverDrive tips and tricks...

Some basics to get started with OverDrive, OPL's largest eBook and eAudiobook collection.

OverDrive is OPL's largest collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks. Here are some tips to get you started. Please ask any librarian for help!

  • Do you know that you can limit your search to ONLY find available titles and in titles in particular formats that work best with your device? Click on the "Advanced Search" option in the upper right side of OPL's ePort page to use various drop-downs and check boxes to limit your results. You might need to scroll down a bit to get to all the various options - especially if you're using a phone. 
  • With eAudiobooks in particular, it's tricky if you're using a computer to get titles on your iPod or other iDevice. If you use a Mac, you can download and transfer only MP3 format titles but if you use a PC, you can download and transfer both MP3 and WMA format titles. Either way, you'll need to download the free software, OverDrive

Click here to read more

March is National Nutrition Month!

Pick up recipe books and other titles to celebrate National Nutrition Month!

March is National Nutrition Month, a campaign of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”, because healthy eating doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor. The Alameda County Food Bank is posting recipes that are healthy and delicious and various tips on nutrition and healthy eating on its Facebook page. We have a number of recipe books for both adults and kids to encourage healthy eating habits at the library, including fun titles like "The monster health book : a guide toeating healthy, being active & feeling great for monsters & 

Click here to read more

Free File - free software to help you file your federal taxes.

File your federal taxes online and securely for free!

It's tax season, and we are offering free tax help at Main (and other locations), as in prior years. This year, the IRS is also providing some help in the form of software called Free File, which lets you prepare and e-file your federal return for free if your income is under $58,000/year. If your income is higher, you can still use free fillable forms online. Join the 33 million Americans who have used this service and saved money! 

 

Click here to read more

Bright Eyes and Others at the Library

What do you know about Shirley Temple, Sid Caesar and other Hollywood stars?

Hollywood lost two of its notables this week.  

Shirley Temple, America's Darling, died Monday, February 10, at the age of 85. She was one of the most popular child actors, beginning her career at the age of 3; by the time she was 10 she was a box office sensation. She sang, she danced, she charmed.  Her box office power has been credited with saving 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy during the Great Depression. 

On Wednesday we learned of the death of pioneering TV comic Sid Caesar at 91. He was best known for the brilliant Your Show of Shows which aired in the early 1950s.  He also appeared in films like Grease and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.  

Click here to read more

Eat seafood responsibly with the Seafood Watch Pocket Guide.

Research the most sustainable seafood options with the free Seafood Watch Pocket Guide, available at the Main Library.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program helps you make the most sustainable choices in seafood to help keep our oceans healthy. You can pick up your very own wallet-sized copy of the Pocket Guide at the Main Library's community information area. Also, if you have a smartphone, you can also download the free Seafood Watch App for Android and iPhones - you can share restaurants with others that have downloaded the app, and also use an interactive Sushi Guide that lists seafood by the by the Japanese name as well as the common market name. 

 

 

Click here to read more

Bombogenesis -- and other new words

New Words and How to Find 'Em

"Bombogenesis."  Did you run across this word last week?  I heard that word on the radio and wanted to know
right away what it meant.  Turns out it's a weather word. 

Remember how the East Coast started January with the "polar vortex" while we basked in our freakishly warm weather?  Well, after the polar vortex had gone away, in came "bombogenesis."  According to AccuWeather.com -- a website that I really like -- "bombogenesis" describes a storm that usually forms over water.  Cold and warm air clash, causing the storm to intensify rapidly.  In a bombogenesis the atmospheric pressure at the center of the storm must drop 24 millibars in 24 hours.  Drops like a bomb. Weather experts also call this kind of storm an "extratropical surface cyclone." 

But back to this nifty new word.

Click here to read more

Why do we need the Dewey Decimal system?

A little bit about how the library uses the Dewey Decimal System to organize ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE!

If you've been to the library you know we have a LOT of books, and if you've been to the reference desk you know that we can usually guide you directly to the area for a topic you're interested in or to a specific book. This is possible not because librarians know everything, but because we know how to use the Dewey Decimal System. 

The first thing to know about Dewey is that it uses numbers to represent subjects. Almost any subject you can think of has a corresponding Dewey number. We use Dewey to organize nonfiction materials at all of the Oakland Public Libraries. Other sections (like fiction, biography, and test prep) are arranged alphabetically.

Each book in the nonfiction section has its own Dewey call number, which makes it easy to find the area for a topic or to find a specific item. You can browse all the cookbooks or all the sheet music, but you can also go straight to the book you want.

Dewey numbers are formed one digit at a time, starting from the left.

The T

Click here to read more

Super Bowl Sunday's Coming Up!

Super Bowl Sunday is this Sunday. Get ready with some selected reads and films about this major sporting event!

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up! It's this Sunday, February 2. The library has a number of titles to get you ready for the big day. Read about the social customs surrounding Sunday with this book, "Sunday : a history of the first day from Babylonia to the Super Bowl". Or if you're concerned about the future of football in America, you might enjoy "More than a game : the

Click here to read more