Events & Programs

Sean's Shadows

Sean's Shadows brings shadow puppet stories from all over the world. This month we celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month with two stories from China: Fool me Once and Bloom Tree. After each performance he shows and demonstrates musical instruments he used during the show.

Join us.  

Martin Luther King, Jr. Tuesday, May 20 at 4:00 PM

Dimond  Tuesday, May 20 at 7:00 PM

West Oakland Wednesday May 21 at 10:30 AM

You and Your Baby @ the Library Pt. 1

Being a brand new parent is a joyous but sometimes scary event.  After all, you have to pass a test to drive a car but no test is required to become a parent.  You want to do your best for your baby and that best is probably pretty sleep deprived right now.  But do not fear - the library is here to help you.

We offer baby storytimes every week.  These lapsit storytimes, called "Baby Bounces" are 15- minutes long and filled with gentle rhymes, songs and movement that will start your baby on the path to reading.  After each Baby Bounce, there is a play time with age-appropriate toys.  This is a great chance to get out of the house, stimulate your baby's brain, meet other babies and their caregivers, share information, and make new friends.  Check out our Baby Bounces at the following times and places: 

  •      Dimond Library.     3565 Fruitvale Ave.               Wed. @ 10:15 am
  •      Golden Gate Library.     5606 San Pablo Ave.     Tues. @ 11:15 ambaby playing on rug
  •      Lakeview Library.     550 El Embarcadero            Wed. @ 11:30 am    
  •      Main Library Children's Room.     125 14th St.     Tues. @ 10:15 am
  •      Montclair Library.     1687 Mountain Blvd.           Thurs. @ 11:30 am

Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros - Children's Day / Book Day

We are celebrating Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros - Children's Day / Book Day all month long in Oakland. Juan Sanchez, entertainer extraordinaire, brings us joyous music from all over the world. He has a unique performing style full of warmth and humor that stresses audience participation and focuses on themes such as celebrating different cultures, peace building, respect, and self esteem. 

Each child attending a Dia event will receive a book to keep.  Join us:

Temescal   April 16 at 10:30 AM

Martin Luther King, Jr.   April 19 at 12:00 PM

César Chávez   April 19 at 2:00 PM

81st Avenue   April 25 at 4/25/14 10:45 AM

Main Library, Children's Room   April 25 at 1:00 PM

Elmhurst   April 26 at 2:30 PM

Melrose   April 29 at 3:00 PM

Rockridge   April 29 at 7:00 PM

Eastmont    April 30 at 10:30 AM

Lakeview    April 30 at 3:30 PM

Poems are Blooming at the Main Library in April

Cover of Hickory Dickory Dock


"Hickory, dickory, dock,

The mouse ran up the clock.

The clock struck one,

The mouse ran down,

Hickory, dickory, dock."


Did you know that "Hickory, Dickory, Dock," other nursey rhymes, and even many children's songs such as the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" are also poems?  April is one of my favorite months of the year because it's National Poetry Month, a time when we focus on appreciating poetry in its many, many forms.

This year, the entire Main Library, including the Children's Room, is going to be celebrating Poetry Month in a variety of ways.

Cover of book A Poke in the Eye

Climbing up the stairs in the building to get some exercise and/or to get to another part of the library?  Don't forget to look at the stairs as you climb them and read our staircase poems!

Have you ever seen a poem that is written in the shape of the poem's subject?  These are called "concrete poems" and lots of our favorites, like poems from the book, "A Poke in the I,"  will be on display throughout the building.

 So, visit us, take a tour, make a rhyme and sing a song!  You'll be happy you did.    The Main Library is located at 125 14th St. and the Children's Room is in the basement of the building.       

PAWS to Read at Lakeview

Boy reading to dogIs your child shy about reading out loud? Does your child avoid reading at all? Join us on Wednesday afternoons in April. Therapy Pets in Oakland is bringing dogs to the Lakeview Branch to give your child a fun way to practice reading. These gentle dogs do not judge children; they only love them. 

Research has shows that children gain ease in reading when they read to dogs. And who wouldn't love being around these mellow dogs?

Sign up for 20-minute sessions by calling the branch (510 238-7344) or by dropping by.

Seeing Stars at the Melrose Branch

Have you visited the Melrose Branch?  This week might be the time. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 2:00pm - 
2:45pm, come to the Melrose Branch to meet a star from  "Disney on Ice presents ROCKIN' EVER AFTER."  One of the stars of this production will be making a stop to greet you, on the way to the Oracle Arena for their evening performance.

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 10:00am visit with even more stars in the Chabot Space & Science Center's Star Lab, a traveling planetarium. In the comfort of your own library you'll see the stars as they were seen by the Greeks and Chinese; listen to the stories those ancient peoples told to explain the movements in the heavens; and learn how astronomers are discovering answers to some of the ages-long mysteries. 

The Melrose Branch, at Foothill Blvd and 48th Avenue, is a beautifully restored Carnegie library building, with a great event room and garden, not to mention wonderful staff and services.  If you've never been, it's time to check it out. 

Kirk Waller - Storyteller Extraordinaire

For the past several weeks we have been honoring the citizens and institutions of Oakland in our children's programming. Public Works has sponsored the annual Re-Create art competition, with free workshops by Pro Arts at OPL branch libraries. Goofball the Magician and Chabot Space & Science Center have helped us commemorate Lunar New Year in a new way.

Next up is our annual celebration of African American Heritage Month

The children's librarians at Oakland Public Library wanted to celebrate this year with something both pithy and entertaining. We could not have made a better choice. Kirk Waller "owns" a trunkful of tales and lives in each story as he tells it. He almost literally transports us to live there with him.  

Join us as we celebrate African American Heritage Month with Kirk Waller.

Friday, February 21 at 10:30 West Oakland Branch

Friday, February 21 at 2:00 PM Main Library Children's Room

Saturday, February 22 at 2:00 Montclair Branch



Lunar New Year Celebrations

We are celebrating Lunar New Year with space and laughter. 

Chabot's Travelling PlanetariumChabot Space & Science Museum brings their Star Lab, a portable planetarium to Oakland libraries. Come see the stars as they were seen by the Chinese and Greeks.

Rockridge Branch 
  Thursday, Jan 23 at 4 PM

Golden Gate Branch
Wednesday, Jan 29 at 3 PM

César Chávez Branch
Tuesday, Feb 4 at 5 PM

81st Avenue Branch
Saturday, Feb 8 at 1 PM

Melrose Branch
Thursday, Feb 27 at 10 AM

GoofballLaughter comes with Goofball. He will entertain us with magic from East and West. Just one look at him and you know he's hilarious. 

Lakeview Branch
aturday, Jan 25 at 11:30 AM

Montclair Branch
  Saturday, Jan 25 at 3:00 PM

Elmhurst Branch
  Saturday, Feb 1 at 2:00 PM

Asian Branch 
  (Co-Sponsored by and located at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center)
  Wednesday, Feb 5 at 10:30 AM

Re-Create Workshops in January and February

OPL has lots going on for children and families in the next couple of months. For Lunar New Year we are bringing both Chabot Space & Science's portable planetarium (Star Lab) and Goof Ball, a magician who will amaze us with his Eastern Magic. We are celebrating African American Heritage month by presenting Kirk Waller, storyteller extraordinaire. And we are happy once again to host workshops for Oakland's 2014 Re-Create art contest.  We'll spend the next couple of weeks highlighting these special events. 

Image from Re-Create ExhibitionFirst up is Oakland's 2014 Re-Create Art Contest (sponsored by the City of Oakland Pubic Works Agency and produced by Pro Arts). Oakland students (K-12) are invited to turn trash into artistic treasure in preparation for the City of Oakland's 2014 Re-Create Art Contest. These free workshops will be led by Pro Arts staff. All entries will be shown as part of the Re-Create Exhibition. Winners willl be announced at a public reception on Friday, February 28 from 6-8 PM at Pro Arts, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.

The workshops will be held at the following branches:

Dimond Branch
  Friday, Jan 10 at 3 PM

Main Library, Children's Room
   Friday, Jan 17 at 3 PM

Golden Gate Branch
   Wednesday, Jan 22 at 3 PM

Asian Branch
   Friday, Jan 24 at 3:15 PM

81st Avenue Branch
   Saturday, Jan 25 at 1 PM

Lakeview Branch
   Friday, Jan 31 at 3 PM

Montclair Branch
   Saturday, Feb 1 at 2 PM

Melrose Branch
   Thursday, Feb 6 at 3 PM

90 Second Newbery Film Festival Coming to Oakland

The 90 Second Newbery Film Festival is coming to Oakland!

We posted back in October about how kids and teens can enter their video creations to the 90 Second Newbery Film Festival. Since then, the deadline for entries been extended to January 20th,  giving kids that precious time over winter break to work on their entries.  

And, we are very pleased to announce that the Film Festival will be coming to Oakland on Saturday, February 8th, at 12 noon, at the Rockridge Branch Library.  It will be co-hosted by author Jennifer Holm, creator of Babymouse, Squish, and of three Newbery Honor winning novels.

Which is your favorite Newbery book?  It's not too late to submit your entry.