OPL Responds: A Booklist for the 2018 Women's March

Need some reading to go with all that marching? OPL has lots of great books on topics such as suffrage, civic engagement, dissenting women, and women in politics.

Saturday, January 20th will be the second annual Oakland Women's March.

Last year the Mercury News reported that 100,000 people marched here in Oakland. The route goes right by the Main library! We hope to have power restored and be open. If you are planning to visit the library on Saturday, please be aware that parking, and even walking, in the area may be difficult. If we are not open, we will have a table outside the library where you can pick up booklists, flyers, and even do a fun craft.

If you're marching (or if you're interested in reading more about issues being highlighted by the march) we've pulled together some books you might want to take a look at. 


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African Americans in Times of War

Black History Month 2018 focuses on African Americans in Times of War. Join us for events every Saturday in February as we honor veterans of various wars.


This years’ Black History Month theme is African Americans in Times of War.  The African American Museum and Library at Oakland [AAMLO] is commemorating this every Saturday in the month of February with programs honoring our veterans.

Saturday February 3 “Black Warriors, The Buffalo Soldiers of World War II”

Saturday February 10 “Finding Our Place: The Oakland Black Veteran Experience”

Saturday February 17 “Col. Charles Young and the Buffalo Soldiers at the Presidio”

Saturday February 24 “Why We Fight”

African Americans have served our country with pride for centuries in the United States military.

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E.J. (Evangeline) Montgomery: Oakland African American artists' advocate

The African American Museum & Library at Oakland celebrates an arts champion.

Portrait of Evangeline J. Montgomery (1973)Oakland Post Photograph Collection, MS 169, African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library. Oakland, California.

E.J. (Evangeline) Montgomery, who had been active in the Los Angeles art networks in the 1950s and 1960s, moved to Oakland in 1965 and by 1967 had founded an African American artists' advocacy group called Art West Associated North (AWAN). Like other political organizations concerned with African American visibility and self-definition, the association protested the exclusion of African American artists from local museums and galleries. In a note published in the exhibition catalog "

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in January 2018

What better way to say Happy New Year than with a list of great novels being released this January? Here's our monthly list of great fiction titles arriving soon.

Cover of Halsey StreetCover of The Wedding DateCover of WinterCover of A State of Freedom

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OPL Responds: The Legalization of Recreational Cannabis Use

Prop 64 is in Effect, Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em

Recreational cannabis use is now legal in the state of California!

But what does that really mean?

Oakland librarians are happy to answer your reference questions, or you can go directly to some of these sources:

Curious about the specifics of legality? Need health information?

Let’s Talk Cannabis

The California Department of Public Health shares science-based information about cannabis and how it affects our bodies, minds and health. It also provides quick bulleted info about the new law:

  • Under California law, adults 21 or older can use, carry, and grow cannabis (marijuana, weed, pot).

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Calling All Immigrant Artists!

Apply Now! The Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Oakland offers immigrant artists the opportunity to focus on their creative practice, gain support and exposure for their work, while upholding their distinct cultural identities.

Photo of artistsThe Oakland Public Library is excited to be a partner in an exciting new program being brought to our city by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).  The Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Oakland offers immigrant artists the opportunity to focus on their creative practice, gain support and exposure for their work, while upholding their distinct cultural identities.

Apply Here button

NYFA has developed a method that has proved successful in

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Our Favorite Books of 2017

OPL staff look back on their favorite books of 2017.

When the new year prompts you to look back on the previous twelve months, at least you can always count on good books. Here are a few of our favorites published in 2017.

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Books for Living

The book that keeps on giving.

Books for Living

I'm currently reading Books for Living by Will Schwalbe. For me, the experience of reading this book is similiar to first reading the essays in Alice Walker's In Search of Our Mother's Gardens in college. I remember learning about authors I'd never read -- Zora Neale Hurston and Jean Toomer among others -- and the thrill of searching for their books and reading them for the first time. As a book lover, books that lead me to more books are my favorite type of books. And since many people who come to the library are also people who love books, I wanted to share this one with you.

Schwalbe divides his book into brief chapters such as "Searching," "Trusting," "Connecting," "Disconnecting," "Embracing Mediocrity,"

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Winter Bingo!

Come play Winter Bingo at your library, for a free book!

It's time for Winter Bingo!

Children can pick up a Winter Bingo card of activities like "Build with blocks," “Go to a storytime,” “Tell a story about your day,” “Tell a librarian what to read,” or “Make someone laugh.”

Complete any 5 of activities in a row, then bring your bingo card to any Oakland Public Library between December 27, 2017 and January 20, 2018 to receive a free book. 

Your libraries have lots of kids events during winter break, so making BINGO is easy!  You can pick up your Winter Bingo card at any Oakland Public Library or print your own.

Winter Bingo  For Grades K thru 5 -

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Welcome to the new AAMLO!

AAMLO's new Interim Chief Curator, Susan Anderson, greets the community.

Portrait of boy and girl, Oliver Denny photographer, Sacramento,1867 Royal E. Towns papers 

I started my tenure as Interim Chief Curator at the African American Museum and Library on October 21. It’s been an eventful and productive couple of months. The African American Museum and Library at Oakland is re-dedicating itself to its mission – to preserve and make accessible the history of African Americans in the Bay Area and California. We want people to know that our doors are open. Our research collections are available for researchers of all types from high school students and local residents to worldwide academic scholars. Our museum space invites collaborative exhibits and stimulating programs. The wonderful staff here is knowledgeable and skilled at assisting researchers and partnering with the community. During

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