We apologize for the recent disruption of service, and are pleased to report that the power has been restored to the Main Library. All locations have resumed normal operations. We appreciate the community's support and patience over the past few days.
Branch Address125 14th Street
Oakland, CA 94612
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 RoomThe 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
How did the United States change from 1877-1924? Answering this broad question about turn-of-the-century America was the guiding task for 11th grade students at the College Preparatory School in Oakland, CA. Chosen from over thirty student projects, the exhibits presented here were selected for their creativity, engagement, and scholarship. Student explored the themes of immigration, labor & capital, social reform, women's suffrage, African-American Civil Rights, and the city in American life. In doing so, these exhibits all make the argument that the events of the turn-of-the-century transformed the United States into a modern nation and redefined what it meant to be an American.
The College Preparatory School is a small independent school in Oakland, California. The project was done as part of the U.S. and the World class, which explores the United States and its connection to the world in the 19th and 20th century.
On Display FromWed, 11/29/2017 - Wed, 01/31/2018
Currently on Exhibit
The Oakland History Room will mount an exhibit on the Temescal district’s Idora Park. Opened in 1904, this popular amusement park entertained thousands of East Bay residents for over twenty years, offering visitors such diversions as a roller coaster, a hot air balloon launches, a roller rink, and an opera company. The exhibit features photographs, documents, vintage postcards, and other ephemera. The exhibit runs from January 3 to March 31, 2018.
On Display FromSat, 01/06/2018 - Sat, 03/31/2018
Currently on Exhibit
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 working.org.
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 FromSat, 11/04/2017 - Sat, 03/31/2018
|Lift Every Voice - Youth advocacy writing and art workshops||2:00pm|
|The Beat Within - Writing Workshop for Teens||2:00pm|
|Let's Talk About Work - Working in America||3:00pm|
|Help for Renters||3:00pm|
|Free Tax Help at the Main Library||10:00am|