Main Library

Image of Main Library Library

Branch Address

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

Branch Hours

10:00am - 5:30pm
10:00am - 5:30pm
12:00pm - 8:00pm
12:00pm - 8:00pm
12:00pm - 5:30pm
10:00am - 5:30pm
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

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

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

Currently on Exhibit

Know Your Rights Posters from Oakland International High School Students

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, 11/29/2017

Currently on Exhibit

Working in America

Working in American logo with faces

Working in America by Project&  is inspired by, celebrates, and brings forward the tradition and humanity of Studs Terkel from his influential book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do (1974). 

The centerpiece of the Working in America initiative is a nationally traveling photography exhibition focused on the stories of veterans, a tech worker, farmer, entrepreneur, domestic worker, athlete, artist, educator, police officer and more. The images were t taken by Project& Fellow and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Lynsey Addario.

The exhibit, designed in collaboration with award-winning architect Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang, profiles 24 people from 17 states ranging in ages from 21 to 87. The exhibit has been experienced by more than 175,000 people from around the world. 

To further engage Studs’ living legacy as part of the initiative, Project& and Radio Diaries have co-produced a series, "Working Then and Now," including never before heard field recordings Terkel conducted for the book as well as new interviews, airing on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition. The now 12-part series has been downloaded 500,000+ times and heard by 13.6+ million people.

Everyone has the opportunity to contribute their own stories of the everyday challenges, triumphs, and realities of working in America by submitting to the online community, "Your Working Story" at

Lead Creative Team: Curated and conceived by Project& President and Artistic Director Jane M. Saks, photographs taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Lynsey Addario, exhibit design collaboration by MacArthur Fellow and architect, Jeanne Gang + Studio Gang. 


On Display From

Sat, 11/04/2017 - Sun, 02/18/2018

Upcoming Events

Sunday, November 26th, 2017
Event Name Time
Veterans Services 1:00pm
It's Ancestor Season! 3:00pm
Monday, November 27th, 2017
Event Name Time
Preschool Storytime 10:30am
Library Advisory Commission Meeting 5:15pm
Tuesday, November 28th, 2017
Event Name Time
Baby Bounce 10:15am
Vet Net 10:30am
Naturalization: What You Need to Know 2:00pm
Job Help with the EDD 2:00pm
Wednesday, November 29th, 2017
Event Name Time
Help with substance abuse, mental illness and more 12:00pm
Videogames in the TeenZone 2:10pm