Events & Programs

Summer Means Activity at Oakland Public Library

Our children's Summer Reading Challenge runs from June 14 through August 9. There are some changes this year. We have changed both the rules and the prizes. We are counting days read instead of hours. And we are awarding coupons at ten days and a badge (see right), a book, and raffle entry at twenty days.

How to Play

  1. Sign up online (starting on June 14th), or come to your neighborhood library.
  2. Choose whatever you want to read, and start reading.
  3. Track your progress online and add optional book reviews to share with friends. For every day you read or are read to, add an online sticker or put one in your reading log.
  4. Pick up your coupon prize packet after 10 days of reading.
  5. Choose your free book and get a badge and a raffle ticket when you complete the 20-day reading challenge.
  6. Get an extra raffle ticket for reading 30 days, 40 days and 50 days.

Branches will have raffle drawings throughout the summer, and on August 11 we will have the grand prize raffle drawings - a yearlong family membership in Children's Fairyland for children 0-4 and an iPad for children 5-14.

In addition to the reading challenge, branches will host performers, offer craft programs, and serve lunches to children and teens.  

Yuyi Morales is Coming to Oakland

Yuyi MoralesThe Oakland Public Library (OPL) will be hosting Yuyi Morales at the César Chávez Branch on Tuesday, May 27th, at 6:00pm.

Yuyi Morales is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books include Niño Wrestles the World, Just in Case, Little Night/Nochecita, and Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book. Her books have won a total of four Pura Belpré Awards, the Américas Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, The Golden Kite Award, the Christopher Award, the Jane Addams Award and the Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award.

As a Spanish-speaking immigrant and new mother who migrated to the U.S. from Mexico in 1994, Yuyi struggled with English and adapting to a new home. She found support in public libraries, where she and her son practiced English by reading children’s books. There she found her life passion writing and illustrating children’s stories.

She writes on her web page's bio, "When I grow old I dream in becoming a professional liar. You know, those kind of people that tell stories and everybody goes, “Ahh, Ohh!"'

On Tuesday, May 27th, at 6:00pm, Yuyi will read her work and talk about her personal history and Mexican children’s folklore at the César Chávez Branch of the Oakland Public Library (3301 East 12th Street, Suite 271). She will be available to answer questions and to autograph books which will be for sale at the event. The library will be closed that day and will open only in the evening for this very special program.

This will be Yuyi’s only East Bay appearance during a Bay Area tour that includes presenting the prestigious Effie Lee Morris lecture at the San Francisco Public Library. This is a rare chance to see this visiting author/illustrator.

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