Library People

Meet Manny Hernandez

Manny Hernandez is a Library Aide who works in several locations, including the Main Library Children's Room.  Library Aides are the backbone of your library: they touch every book checked in and out  in the whole system, and are often the first smiling face you see.  But let's hear about it from Manny.

What brought you to the Main Library Children’s Room?

I was drawn to the Main library Children’s Room because it was my local childhood library growing up in the Lake Merritt area. My career goal is to become a children’s librarian and what better place to receive experience, guidance and motivation.

 Give us an example of what a day at work looks like for you?

On regular day at work I have assigned duties which consist of organizing and shelving books. Doesn’t sound too interesting does it? You’ll be surprised. Library Aides work hands-on with all sorts of books. Some books are historical, others are humorous; a day at work gets pretty exciting not knowing what cool books you will encounter next. At work I also help create new library cards. Now this is where all the fun begins. Everyone loves library cards, especially children. I am the lucky guy who gets to observe their reaction after handing them their very first library card. I’ve seen screaming, jumping, running, laughter, smiling, all sorts of fun reactions that make me look forward to coming to work every day.

 What is your favorite thing about the Main Library Children’s Room?

My favorite thing about the Children’s Room has to be its wonderful collection of juvenile books. There is a humongous variety of awesome books, very rare for a patron to leave this branch with just one book in hand. Browsing the shelves easily turns into a stack of books in your hands. So if you’re ever in the area swing by and check the branch out and don’t forget to say HELLO!

 Where is your favorite place to visit in Oakland?

Lake Merritt is my absolute favorite place to visit. It is the heart of Oakland and a symbol of peace and a great place to spend a day out in the sun.

What’s your favorite book?

This is a very difficult question to answer but hands down my favorite book is Dog Breath. Author Dav Pilkey uses humor to tell a heroic story of a special dog named Hally Tosis who has a unique smell. So if you’re curious about Hally’s unique stinky smell and ready to hold your nose, then give this book a try. I give this book two thumps up!

 What’s your favorite food?

 I am a food fanatic, love eating.  As a matter of fact I’m probably eating right now, but there is one plate that seats at the very top of my food pyramid. A grilled Alaskan salmon, with a side of steamed rice marinated in butter. This plate is my weak spot and a very good way to make me your best friend.

 

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen in a library?

In summer 2011, OPL partnered with the City of Oakland and the Alameda County Food Bank to provide meals for children during the summer. The craziest thing I’ve ever seen was a line of around 75 hungry children waiting patiently at the Cesar Chavez branch to be served free lunch. This line looped around the entire library, it was a remarkable sight and crazy moment I will never forget.

Kids Eating Lunch

Thanks Manny!  Here's to a long career in Children's Library Services!

Meet Miriam Medow

Picture of MiriamToday, let's head over to Lake Merritt and meet Miriam Medow, the children's librarian at the Lakeview Branch Library

Miriam, what brought you to the Lakeview Library?

I was drawn to the Lakeview branch because of its awesome location in the vibrant and beautiful Grand Lake neighborhood. As you could guess from the branch name, we can see Lake Merritt from our front door!

Give us an example of what a day at work looks like for you.

On the very best days, my work involves singing and dancing and sharing books with kiddos. Each day also includes a lot of asking, "how can I help you?" Last week, I found myself ordering Lego pieces off eBay -- it's fair to say that no days here are identical. But it's typically a satisfying balance of face-to-face, experiential work (leading programs, staffing the reference desk) with computer work and other tasks (placing book orders, sending emails).

What is your favorite thing about the Lakeview Library?

Storytime! Every Wednesday morning, we ROCK OUT at Toddler Time and Baby Bounce. Saturday's Family Storytime is a party, too. Storytimes here are super interactive, joyful, and a little bit wild -- they're definitely the highlight of my week.

Where is your favorite place to visit in Oakland?

Ooooh, how about the Fox Theater, for an amazing show? There are so many places I love in Oakland, it's hard to choose just one! My favorite is taking my little dog out walking in Oakland neighborhoods and finding what there is to discover block by block. Especially when there are trumpet flowers blooming :)

Book cover

What's your favorite book?

It changes daily. This very moment, as I'm preparing to visit some preschool classes, I'll claim Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean and Eric Litwin as my fave.

What's your favorite food?

Popcorn!

What's the craziest thing you've ever seen in a library?

A room full of kids, jumping, shrieking and waving arms in the air as the Bubble Lady barraged them with, what else? Bubbles! Sheer mayhem!!

Thanks for sharing, Miriam!

Anytime.  See you soon. 

Picture of Bubbles

Meet Miriam Medow

Today, let's head over to Lake Merritt and meet Miriam Medow, the children's librarian at the Lakeview Branch LibraryPicture of Miriam

Miriam, what brought you to the Lakeview Library?

I was drawn to the Lakeview branch because of its awesome location in the vibrant and beautiful Grand Lake neighborhood. As you could guess from the branch name, we can see Lake Merritt from our front door!

Give us an example of what a day at work looks like for you.

On the very best days, my work involves singing and dancing and sharing books with kiddos. Each day also includes a lot of asking, "how can I help you?" Last week, I found myself ordering Lego pieces off eBay -- it's fair to say that no days here are identical. But it's typically a satisfying balance of face-to-face, experiential work (leading programs, staffing the reference desk) with computer work and other tasks (placing book orders, sending emails).

What is your favorite thing about the Lakeview Library?

Storytime! Every Wednesday morning, we ROCK OUT at Toddler Time and Baby Bounce. Saturday's Family Storytime is a party, too. Storytimes here are super interactive, joyful, and a little bit wild -- they're definitely the highlight of my week.

Where is your favorite place to visit in Oakland?

Ooooh, how about the Fox Theater, for an amazing show? There are so many places I love in Oakland, it's hard to choose just one! My favorite is taking my little dog out walking in Oakland neighborhoods and finding what there is to discover block by block. Especially when there are trumpet flowers blooming :)

Book cover

What's your favorite book?

It changes daily. This very moment, as I'm preparing to visit some preschool classes, I'll claim Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean and Eric Litwin as my fave.

What's your favorite food?

Popcorn!

What's the craziest thing you've ever seen in a library?

A room full of kids, jumping, shrieking and waving arms in the air as the Bubble Lady barraged them with, what else? Bubbles! Sheer mayhem!!

Thanks for sharing, Miriam!

Anytime.  See you soon. 

Picture of Bubbles

 

A favorite author

 Book cover From the Mixed up FilesE.L. Konigsburg, the author of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and many other  books, died earlier this week. She was 83 years old.  Konigsburg won the Newbery Medal twice, for From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in 1968, and again almost thirty years later for The View from Saturday, in 1997.  There are a few other authors who have done that...but no one else but she has gotten a gold and a silver Newbery Medal in the same year.  In 1968, along with the gold Newbery medal for From the Mixed-Up Files, she also got the silver runner-up Newbery medal for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me, Elizabeth. And they were her very first books published. 

E.L. Konigsburg was one of my favorite authors when I was a kid.  I never wrote her a fan letter though...at least, not until I was an adult.  Five years ago, I served on the Newbery Committee to select that year's winner (this one!).  It meant that for one year I had to read for hours every day, and I didn't get to choose my reading. I had to read A LOT of books I didn't like.  When we finally finished, and I came home, I took a day off to do nothing but read exactly what I wanted.   I chose From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler I read it all through the day, and through dinner, and way past my bedtime, and finished it around midnight.  And THEN, I stayed up another hour to write E.L. Konigsburg the fan letter I never wrote her as a kid.  I'm so glad I did. (And she wrote me back.)

Who is your favorite author? Have you ever written them a fan letter? Do it today! If they don't have a website with contact information, you can send an old-fashioned letter to them at the address for their publisher, and their publisher will forward it to them. 

What is your favorite E.L. Konigsburg book?  Which one are you going to try next? 

Book Cover Jennifer Hecate   Book cover the View from Saturday   Book Cover    Book Cover   Book cover

A favorite author

Book cover From the Mixed up FilesE.L. Konigsburg, the author of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and many other  books, died earlier this week. She was 83 years old.  Konigsburg won the Newbery Medal twice, for From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in 1968, and again almost thirty years later for The View from Saturday, in 1997.  There are a few other authors who have done that...but no one else but she has gotten a gold and a silver Newbery Medal in the same year.  In 1968, along with the gold Newbery medal for From the Mixed-Up Files, she also got the silver runner-up Newbery medal for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me, Elizabeth. And they were her very first books published. 

E.L. Konigsburg was one of my favorite authors when I was a kid.  I never wrote her a fan letter though...at least, not until I was an adult.  Five years ago, I served on the Newbery Committee to select that year's winner (this one!).  It meant that for one year I had to read for hours every day, and I didn't get to choose my reading. I had to read A LOT of books I didn't like.  When we finally finished, and I came home, I took a day off to do nothing but read exactly what I wanted.   I chose From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  I read it all through the day, and through dinner, and way past my bedtime, and finished it around midnight.  And THEN, I stayed up another hour to write E.L. Konigsburg the fan letter I never wrote her as a kid.  I'm so glad I did. (And she wrote me back.)

Who is your favorite author? Have you ever written them a fan letter? Do it today! If they don't have a website with contact information, you can send an old-fashioned letter to them at the address for their publisher, and their publisher will forward it to them. 

What is your favorite E.L. Konigsburg book?  Which one are you going to try next? 

Book Cover Jennifer HecateBook cover the View from SaturdayBook Cover Book CoverBook cover

Meet Ana-Elba Pavon!

Ana-Elba PavonToday let's head over to 88th Avenue and meet Ana-Elba Pavon, now Branch Manager of the Elmhurst library.  

Ana, What brought you to the Elmhurst library?

I was assigned to work at the Elmhurst Library when I first became an on-call Children’s Librarian here.  I went to visit the library a few days before my first assignment, and like many people visiting this library for the first time, I went right by it because it blends in so well with the houses in the neighborhood!

Give us an example of what a day at work looks like for you.

I often prepare for the day’s activities before we open.  During our open hours, I may do a storytime, visit a school, have a meeting, and, of course, help people find things in the library.  At Elmhurst we are small enough that we can give everyone personal attention.  I am happy to serve people of all ages and backgrounds in English and Spanish.

What is your favorite thing about the Elmhurst library?

The people who use our library on a regular basis are so warm and friendly!  We are small, so we do get to know people who come to the library.  People are very appreciative when we help them whether it is finding the right book for a child, helping someone find a job or home on the computer, making copies, or finding the latest DVD.

Where is your favorite place to visit in Oakland?

My favorite place to visit in Oakland has to be the Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena.  I’ve seen all sorts of musical acts such as Madonna and Janet Jackson at the Oracle Arena and was privileged to see the Reverend Billy Graham at the Oakland Coliseum.

What’s your favorite book?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  I was an English major at the University of California at Berkeley and took a course on the 20th Century Novel.  We didn’t get a chance to read or discuss it in class so the professor decided it would be the focus of one of the questions on the final.  That added pressure made me think I would hate it but I read it in 3 days and I loved it!

Ana-Elba Pavon

What’s your favorite food?

Pasta and seafood are my favorite meal.

What is the craziest thing you have ever seen in a library?

Buki the Clown!  I love her neon-colored outfits.  The last time she came to Elmhurst, she had a plastic flower decal on her nose and wore a bright baby blue tutu.  She also puts on a hilarious show.  She’s scheduled to come back to Elmhurst on Wednesday, July 10 at 1 p.m.  I’m sure she’ll be at other locations this summer as well!

Thanks for sharing Ana!

Anytime. I hope everyone stops in for a visit. 

Meet Ana-Elba Pavon!


Ana-Elba PavonToday let's head over to 88th Avenue and meet Ana-Elba Pavon, now Branch Manager of the Elmhurst library.  

Ana, What brought you to the Elmhurst library?

I was assigned to work at the Elmhurst Library when I first became an on-call Children’s Librarian here.  I went to visit the library a few days before my first assignment, and like many people visiting this library for the first time, I went right by it because it blends in so well with the houses in the neighborhood!

Give us an example of what a day at work looks like for you.

I often prepare for the day’s activities before we open.  During our open hours, I may do a storytime, visit a school, have a meeting, and, of course, help people find things in the library.  At Elmhurst we are small enough that we can give everyone personal attention.  I am happy to serve people of all ages and backgrounds in English and Spanish.

What is your favorite thing about the Elmhurst library?

The people who use our library on a regular basis are so warm and friendly!  We are small, so we do get to know people who come to the library.  People are very appreciative when we help them whether it is finding the right book for a child, helping someone find a job or home on the computer, making copies, or finding the latest DVD.

Where is your favorite place to visit in Oakland?

My favorite place to visit in Oakland has to be the Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena.  I’ve seen all sorts of musical acts such as Madonna and Janet Jackson at the Oracle Arena and was privileged to see the Reverend Billy Graham at the Oakland Coliseum.

What’s your favorite book?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  I was an English major at the University of California at Berkeley and took a course on the 20th Century Novel.  We didn’t get a chance to read or discuss it in class so the professor decided it would be the focus of one of the questions on the final.  That added pressure made me think I would hate it but I read it in 3 days and I loved it!

Ana-Elba Pavon

What’s your favorite food?

Pasta and seafood are my favorite meal.

What is the craziest thing you have ever seen in a library?

Buki the Clown!  I love her neon-colored outfits.  The last time she came to Elmhurst, she had a plastic flower decal on her nose and wore a bright baby blue tutu.  She also puts on a hilarious show.  She’s scheduled to come back to Elmhurst on Wednesday, July 10 at 1 p.m.  I’m sure she’ll be at other locations this summer as well!

Thanks for sharing Ana!

Anytime. I hope everyone stops in for a visit. 

Welcome!

Welcome to Oakland Public Library's Children's Services blog!  Here your children's services librarians will feature upcoming events, reading and activity recommendations, and stories about your libraries and the people who love them. 

Our "Library People" series will include spotlights on staff, as well as interviews with the many different kinds of people who use the children's materials and services in Oakland libraries.  Our favorite people, of course, are you.

Oakland's newest library is the 81st Avenue East Oakland Community Branch, which opened in January 2011 as a joint-use facility with the Oakland Unified School District.  We'd like for you to meet that year's graduating 5th grade class from Acorn Woodland Elementary and EnCompass Academy, as they introduce you to their library. 

This video was produced as a graduation gift to the 5th graders, by 81st Avenue Library Staff.

Welcome!

Welcome to Oakland Public Library's Children's Services blog!  Here your children's services librarians will feature upcoming events, reading and activity recommendations, and stories about your libraries and the people who love them. 

Our "Library People" series will include spotlights on staff, as well as interviews with the many different kinds of people who use the children's materials and services in Oakland libraries.  Our favorite people, of course, are you.

Oakland's newest library is the 81st Avenue East Oakland Community Branch, which opened in January 2011 as a joint-use facility with the Oakland Unified School District.  We'd like for you to meet that year's graduating 5th grade class from Acorn Woodland Elementary and EnCompass Academy, as they introduce you to their library. 

This video was produced as a graduation gift to the 5th graders, by 81st Avenue Library Staff.