The Oakland History Room is the best place to brush up on local history.

In June, at a ceremony at the Fox Theater, the Library was honored to receive the 2013 Oakland Youth-Friendly Business Award for a Government Agency. The award was granted by the Oakland Youth-Friendly Business Network, an organization that promotes and recognizes the generous businesses and individuals who provide workplace mentoring, meaningful work, and essential life skills to youth. Teen Outreach Librarian Amy Sonnie accepted this award on behalf of her colleagues in the Teen Services Department.

Mayor Jean Quan (left), Interim Library Director Gerry Garzón (back, center), and members of the Youth Leadership Council at the Youth-Friendly Business Awards.

In March 2013, OPL staff put on an art exhibit at Rockridge Branch to display their talents in the visual arts, plus an event featuring performing arts – singing, poetry, a fashion runway show, and comedy  – and a craft market that attracted a huge, enthusiastic crowd.

The OPL Teen Pinterest page drew some welcome attention when the Open Education Database rated it among the “25 Libraries We Most Love on Pinterest.” The OPL Teen site was rated Number 9, with a complimentary review: “When looking for inspiration about multimedia treats to offer up local teens, this Pinterest account might very well prove one of the most valuable resources.”

In Spring 2013, Sharon McKellar, OPL’s Community Relations Librarian, contributed several “Community Voices” columns to the Oakland Local online news site. In her first installment, Sharon wrote thoughtfully about the Library’s role in the community while promoting all the incredible resources and services that OPL offers.

Ted McCoy, a part-time librarian who specializes in children’s services, was named a 2013 American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leader. The Emerging Leaders program is a leadership development program that enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity.

Read Sharon’s columns online at Oakland Local

Nina Lindsay, Supervising Librarian for Children’s Services, chaired the Caldecott Medal 75th Anniversary Task Force, a group charged with developing plans for the esteemed children’s book award’s landmark anniversary celebration.

Children’s Librarian Helen Bloch served on the Association for Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) Everyday Advocacy Website Task Force, creating a new website designed to help librarians make a difference in their communities. The site launched in May 2013.

On the sporting end of the spectrum, in May, OPL staff entered the month-long Team Bike Challenge and finished third in Alameda County in the “medium company” category. (OPL was sixth among all “medium companies” in nine Bay Area counties.) The Library team, comprised of 40 staff members, logged 3,083 miles, which represents 3,083 pounds of carbon dioxide saved. In August, a Library staff soccer team, the Dewey’s Disciples, won the championship of the Coed D3 Wednesday League at Alameda’s Bladium.