Summer Programs for Kids, Teens, and Adults at the Oakland Public Library

Release Date: 
Tue, 06/06/2017

The Oakland Public Library (OPL) is ready to help you explore, connect, and grow this summer. For kids, teens, and adults, the library is offering its annual summer programs, with various incentives designed to get people reading, visiting the library, and participating in their community.

Kids’ Summer Reading, Teen Summer Passport, and Adult Summer Reading begin on June 10 and end on August 5.

Director of Library Services, Gerry Garzón, can’t wait for summer to start. “Summer is my favorite time at the library. It is inspiring to see our community participating in OPL programs and so much fun to see all the activities going on at all of our branches. This year our programs are united under one theme inspired by our mission statement, and I hope record numbers of folks will Explore, Connect, and Grow with OPL this summer!”

Summer at the library kicks off with CULTURE FEST, hosted by the library’s Youth Leadership Council on Saturday June 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Culture Fest is an all-ages annual event held at the Main Library, located at 125 14th Street. This year’s event features an AC Transit bus with schedules, Clipper Card information, and a demo of how to load your bike on the bus. In addition, there will be poetry readings from finalists in the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Program as well as other activities and food from around the globe. For information about other programing for all ages all summer long, visit

In 2016, almost 9,000 children participated in the Oakland Public Library’s Kids’ Summer Reading, with over 5,000 children reading 20 or more days during the summer. This year, the library expects even more kids to “Explore, Connect & Grow” by reading for fun, taking part in hands-on arts and science activities, or enjoying live animals, puppet shows, music, magic, and more.

Children participating in Summer Reading may read anything they want, so they can pursue subjects that spark their interest. Numerous studies have found that children who select books for themselves, and participate in reading as a leisure activity, improve their reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, and writing skills. Kids can listen to someone else read to them, as this also supports reading success.

Caregivers are encouraged to read to their babies and toddlers, and this year OPL has created a special pre-reader card for them to use. The pre-reader card celebrates talking, reading, singing, writing and playing: all activities that support early literacy. “We’re very excited about the new pre-reader card. We hope that little kids and their caregivers find this new way to play Summer Reading is just right for them,” says Children’s Services Supervising Librarian Nina Lindsay.

All children who read 20 days in the summer will receive a free book and coupons to local attractions, and they will be eligible to win other prizes, such as passes or Lego sets. Special grand prize drawings will include an iPad (for kids age 5-14) and a family membership at Children’s Fairyland (for ages 0-4).

To sign up, visit or drop by your neighborhood library and pick up a reading log or pre-reader card.

The TEEN SUMMER PASSPORT PROGRAM is an online digital badging program which encourages teens (ages 12-18) to embrace their communities and the wider Bay Area. Teens earn virtual passport stamps for completing a variety of activities, such as visiting museums on free admission days, making trips to the skate park, and even taking a swim in the local public pool. Teens also receive passport stamps for volunteering at the library, attending library programs, submitting book, movie, video game or music reviews, and creating personalized book lists. Potential prizes for participants in the program include an iPad Mini, a laptop, a Chromebook, or a tablet. Summer programs at various library locations will include henna workshops and a series of craft workshops led by local artists from the Rock Paper Scissors Collective and Oakland Hand Made.

Participants in the ADULT SUMMER READING program earn badges and raffle entries for writing reviews, creating book lists, and completing and reviewing activities. Raffle tickets go towards chances at winning an iPad mini and other prizes.

The library will offer FREE SUMMER LUNCH FOR YOUTH (ages 18 and under) at eight library locations: 81st Avenue Branch, César E. Chávez Branch, Eastmont Branch, Elmhurst Branch, Golden Gate Branch, Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch, Melrose Branch, and the Main Library. This is the 7th year that OPL has partnered with the City's Department of Human Services and the Alameda County Community Food Bank to provide this great service.

Major supporters of 2017 Summer Reading are the Friends of the Oakland Public Library, AC Transit, Fentons Creamery, Hellman Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, The Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, Union Pacific Foundation, and the William G. Gilmore Foundation. Other donors include: Aquatech, Athletic Playground, Bay Area Children's Theatre, Bay Area Girls Rock Camp, Bladium Sports & Fitness Club, the Bookmark Bookstore, Children's Creativity Museum, The Crucible, Folkmanis, Grand Lake Theatre, Kinetic Arts Center, Lake Merritt Boating Center, Landmark Theatres (Piedmont Ave Theatre), Laurel Book Store, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Ballet Company, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland Symphony, Oakland Zoo, Pacific Pinball Museum, San Francisco Bay Ferry, and Studio Naga.

For more information, please visit or contact Sharon McKellar, Community Relations Librarian, at 510-238-3513 or


Printable Press Release