Main Library

Image of Main Library Library

Branch Address

125 14th Street
Oakland, CA  94612
(510) 238-3134

Branch Hours

Monday: 
10:00am - 5:30pm
Tuesday: 
10:00am - 5:30pm
Wednesday: 
12:00pm - 8:00pm
Thursday: 
12:00pm - 8:00pm
Friday: 
12:00pm - 5:30pm
Saturday: 
10:00am - 5:30pm
Sunday: 
1:00pm - 5:00pm

About the Main Library

Located between downtown and Lake Merritt, Oakland's Main Library is one of the largest public library facilities in the Bay Area. In addition to large collections of over 350,000 reference and circulating non-fiction and fiction books, the Main Library offers hundreds of current and historic magazines and newspapers, a major collection of sheet music, and thousands of maps.

There are federal, state, and local government publications and a large collection of compact discs, videocassettes, DVDs, and audiobooks. We are also home to the Oakland History Room, a significant resource on the history of our area, a large and active Children's Room, and the TeenZone.

The branch is equipped with 33 computers with Internet access available for public use, available on a drop-in, first-come, first-served basis. Adaptive technology is available, including screen readers and enlargers for those who are blind or who have low vision or learning disabilities.

Main Library Department Phone Numbers

  • Check-Out Desk: (510) 238-3144
  • Children's Room: (510) 238-3615
  • Teen Zone: (510) 238-7332
  • Magazine & Newspapers: (510) 238-3176
  • Oakland History Room: (510) 238-3222
  • Reference Services: (510) 238-3138

Meeting Room

The Main Library's meeting room, West Auditorium, has a capacity of 121 people, and is equipped with collapsible tables and chairs and a podium.

Currently on Exhibit

Know Your Rights Posters from Oakland International High School Students

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Image of exhibit

Story of the Project:

  • Do you know what to say if a police stops you in the street and asks to search your things? 
  • Do parents have the right to a translator at public schools in California? 
  • Do undocumented workers have the same rights to workers' compensation and overtime as documented immigrants and citizens? 
  • Should you ever tell the police your immigration status? 

These are a few of the many questions that 11th grade students at Oakland International High School have been asking about their rights in the United States. What is my right to education? My right to interact with police? My right to remain in the country? My right to a fair wage and treatment at work? My right to participate in elections? What do  these rights look like for a citizen? For a documented immigrant? For an undocumented immigrant? As a part of an interdisciplinary project-based Know Your Rights unit in their Reading class with teacher Aly Kronick and Digital Media Arts class with Mallory Moser, students investigated the nuances of our rights in the United States. 

After becoming experts in their rights, the students designed posters as tools to spread the knowledge. The students planned to disseminate the posters and wallet guides to their communities - mosques, churches, community centers, bus stops, schools and corner stores - that teach their neighbors, family and friends how to protect and defend their right to remain in the United States, right to education, right to fair wage and fair treatment at work, right to participate in elections, right to interact with police, and their right to free speech and assembly. Each student printed two posters - one to put up with classmates around North Oakland, and another to put up in their own communities all over Oakland. Beyond these posters, tens of community organizations and schools, from Oakland to Brooklyn, requested more posters and postcards to distribute in their community.

How did this all happen? The posters and postcards are a result of something that was brewing even before the election results. The 11th grade students at OIHS began learning about their rights in their Reading Class in October where they studied, discussed and acted out different elements of their rights, living as documented and undocumented immigrants in Oakland, California. They studied what situations may occur in which they must defend their rights and what to say in order to protect their rights. 

After the students analyzed the most effective ways to communicate their knowledge and educate their community, they began taking their new knowledge and information and applied it to the design of posters and postcards in their Digital Media Arts class. Each poster and postcard includes three different parts of a right, how to respond when that right is at stake and images that bring the right to life, in both English and their native languages.

On Display From

Thu, 09/14/2017 - Wed, 01/17/2018

Currently on Exhibit

Oakland and the Great War: World War I Centennial, 1917-2017

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Oakland War Camp 1919

To mark the centennial of America's entry into the First World War, the Oakland History Room has mounted an exhibit about Oakland before and during the international conflict. Many of the issues raised during this war--nativism, acculturation of immigrants, national security--continue to challenge us today. The exhibit will feature photographs, books, scrapbooks, posters, and ephemera showing how Oaklanders responded to the call of duty.

On Display From

Fri, 09/01/2017 - Sat, 12/02/2017

Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Event Name Time
ESL Conversation Club 2:00pm
Lawyers in the Library 6:00pm
Learn to Make Websites! 6:30pm
Friday, October 20th, 2017
Event Name Time
Super Smash Bros Tournament! 2:00pm
Videogames in the TeenZone 2:00pm
Monthly Crafts in the TeenZone 2:30pm
Saturday, October 21st, 2017
Event Name Time
Are You Ready to Become A U.S. Citizen? 10:00am
Toddler Storytime 10:30am
Youth Leadership Council 11:00am
The Beat Within - Writing Workshop for Teens 2:00pm