It probably comes as no surprise that people who are drawn to work in a library are interested in books. Most of us love to read, love to learn as much as we can, and love to share that love of books and learning with the community. Recently a few of Oakland Public Library's current and former staff members have been getting a lot of attention for their writing work as well.
You may have seen recently retired Oakland History Center Librarian Dorothy Lazard in the news or at one of the many events she's doing in support of her newly published memoir What You Don't Know Will Make a Whole New World. There are still a few chances to see Dorothy read from her book and talk about writing at the library - June 10 at AAMLO and June 15 at the Main Library. Her book is wonderful, and we're already looking forward to her future publications.
Another recent laurel for an OPL staff author was Librarian Andrew Demčák 's keynote speech at the California Library Association's 2023 conference. Andrew's career at OPL has ranged from driving the bookmobile, to serving as a Children's Librarian in the branches, to his current role as OPL's Senior Collection Development Librarian. Andrew was honored by CLA for his contributions to LGBTQ+ young adult literature. He's written multiple young adult novels and several books of poetry, all of which you can find in our collection.
One additional recently published OPL author is Children's Librarian Sally Engelfried, whose middle grade novel Learning to Fall was released to wide acclaim last year. Sally is another author who we hope will have many more books coming in the not-too-distant future.
There are and have been many more authors on the Oakland Public Library staff throughout the years. I've highlighted three of the most recent above, but I've also compiled a (probably not very comprehensive) list going all the way from current staff back to OPL's most famous author, Ina Coolbrith. I've included one title per author, but many of them have more than one book, so be sure to click on their name if you want to find more.
It's no secret that people who work in libraries usually love to read books. But did you know that some of us also write books? Here is a selection of a titles by authors who work or worked here at the Oakland Public Library, in reverse chronological order.