Our staff is committed to meeting the needs of the communities we serve through quality collections. Explore the 1.2 million books and other materials which are located in the Main Library, the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, and our 16 branches. 

Download our Collection Development Policy (PDF).

If an item you need is not available on the shelf or is not owned by Oakland Public Library, you may order it through Link+ or Interlibrary Loan.

New Items in our Collections

To see featured lists of some of the newest items in our catalog (DVDs, Music CDs, Books on CD, Nuevos Títulos and 中文新书) please visit this page


Learn about our growing collections of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and magazine, and other digital resources on our e-Books and digital content page.

Language Collections

Many of our branches maintain collections of books, videos, and CDs in non-English languages. You can view a complete list of branch language collections here.

Ethnic Resources

Our community is multicultural and so are our collections! Check out our unique resources:

African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

The African American Museum and Library at Oakland is a service of the Oakland Public Library devoted to preserving, organizing, and sharing the African American experience in Northern California through exhibits, programming, archives, and research documents. AAMLO's home is the refurbished Charles Green Library building in downtown Oakland.

Asian Branch Library

Books are available in Cambodian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, and Laotian. Asian and Asian American studies collections in English are also housed here.

César E. Chávez Branch Library

Spanish language materials are available, as well as materials in English about Latin America and the Chicano/Latino experience in the U.S.

Black History Collections

Black history collections are available at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (for reference use only), the Main Library, the Martin Luther King, Jr. branch, and the West Oakland branch library.

Special Collections

Family History & Genealogy Resources

Genealogy questions are answered in the Oakland History Room, Main Reference, and Magazine & Newspaper sections of the Main Library.

Foundation Center Cooperating Collection

Free resources available to individual and nonprofit grantseekers, including a print collection of Foundation Center directories and publications, and two databases: Foundation Directory Online Professional and Foundation Grands to Individuals Online. Both databases are only available on-site at OPL's Main Library.

Oakland History Room

Special collection housed on the second floor of the Main Library containing books, clippings, photographs document the history of California with an emhpasis on the East Bay.

Music Collection

The Oakland Public Library has an extensive music collection located at the Main Library. This collection includes over 13,000 circulating music scores: chamber music scores & parts, solo instrumental & vocal repertoire, instructional methods, play-along CDs with accompanying scores, full and study scores, piano/vocal scores and songbooks for operas, musicals, sacred and popular music, and more.

OPL also has a significant non-circulating songbook collection, in addition to the OPL Sheet Music Special Collection, with over 16,000 popular songs, art songs, and popular and classical piano pieces. Sound recordings also make up a significant part of the collection, comprising over 1,900 vinyl records, thousands of CDs, and access to Freegal, an online streaming and download service giving patrons access to over 8 million songs.

Tool Lending Library - Temescal Branch

This program lends tools to the Oakland community, ranging from screwdrivers to reciprocating saws.

Reconsideration of Materials

Persons raising an objection to a book or other material in the library will be asked to provide a written explanation of their objections, citing specifics from the material in question. The supervisor of the unit receiving the complaint will refer the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form to the Collection Development librarian, who will appoint a commitee composed of librarians whose expertise or reading background is related to the material in question. The committee will evaluate the material and compose a report with the recommendations for action for the Director. The Library Director will respond to the individual or group making the complaint.

If you have found materials or library resources which you have concerns about, please complete the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form (PDF) and return it to your nearest library location.