On behalf of all library staff and dedicated volunteers, I am honored to present the Oakland Public Library’s 2012–13 Annual Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013. This year’s cover page is a beautiful rendering of a temporary National Library Week installation mounted in April on the exterior of the Main Library. Known as the “Origami READ Wall,” it was created by library staff in the Main Children’s Room with contributions of hand-folded origami pieces from children throughout Oakland. As you peruse this report, you will see the installation in the background of several photos – it was our most popular backdrop of the year!
The year’s highlights include opportunities for the Library to take services where patrons and prospective patrons are located. A great example is a partnership with the Alameda County Social Services Agency in which children’s librarians offer family storytimes in the waiting room. “Read While You Wait” aims to promote family literacy, enjoyment of reading, and awareness of local public library services among agency customers and their children. The Library continues to reach greater numbers of young people through collaborations with educational institutions and youth organizations. Ready, Set, Connect!, a new program made possible through a partnership with Community Technology Network, offers young people technology skills to enhance their employment prospects while assisting patrons in the Library’s computer labs. The Library continues to expand online services with e-books, streaming music, and online audiobooks growing in popularity. Our interactive website and social media sites offer timely reminders of events, advice for readers, and tips for parents helping their child to learn to read. These are just a few examples of the services our dedicated and experienced staff offer – in the Library, outside the Library, and online.
During the past year we had some transitions. We bade farewell to Carmen Martínez, Oakland’s Library Director for 12 years, upon her retirement in December 2012. We welcomed new members and leadership to the Library Advisory Commission and, in recognition of their active role in promoting the Library, I invited the Chairperson and Co-Chairperson to send their own message to you in this report. Unchanged is the steadfast support of the Friends of the Oakland Public Library and over a dozen branch friends groups. I am grateful to library staff, volunteers, and friends who are so committed to our community and its libraries. Together we achieved the accomplishments described in this report.
Interim Library Director