Summer Reading

Growing Readers Gardening Workshops

Have you seen the gardening containers in the front of the Main Library's Children's Room? This summer we have a special series of gardening programs for children on Thursdays. Acta Non Verba; Youth Urban Farm Project is teaching us about soil, seeds, bugs and more. 

In addition to the programming, we also have a new shelf full of gardening books for children. Come to the Main Library Children's Room to both garden and learn about gardening. 

Programs are mostly on Thursdays at 3:00. This week the program will be today (Tuesday) at 3:00. The topic is Weed or Plant? How are weeds and plants different? 

Look at some of the activities! You too could be part of the fun. Come on by!

MOCHA at Libraries this Summer

Artists from the Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA) will continue their workshops at eight branches this summer! See below for the schedules. These weekly programs for preschool up to middle school students have been very popular for the past two years. Each week brings a different art project: sculpture, weaving, painting, collage. Children always leave with art in hand.  

Wednesdays 1-2 and 2-3 Main Library, Children's Room

Wednesdays 2-4              81st Avenue Community Branch 

Wednesdays 1-3:30        César Chávez Branch

Wednesdays 2-4              Eastmont Branch

Fridays 1-3                       Elmhurst Branch

Wednesdays 3-5              Golden Gate Branch

Wednesdays 2-4              Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch

Thursdays 3-4:30            West Oakland Branch

Read to Your Baby!

It is never too early to start reading with your baby; she will associate the security and pleasure of your lap with reading and will want to learn to read when she is older. 

  • Read with your baby every day.
  • Try board books. Board books are books with hard pages your baby can throw, bite, and hit.
  • You don’t need to read the words at all. Just point to the pictures and talk about them.
  • Have him flip the pages. Let him play with the book.
  • Comment as you read. Connect what you read to what's happening in her life.   
  • Keep their board books in the same place as toys.
  • Let your child see you reading for yourself and enjoying it.
  • Come to the library often! Find new books and come to storytime.  

Reading is Soooooooo Delicious

Join 10,000 Oakland children as they eat, er, read their way through the summer. We'll have prizes, entertainment, crafts programs, free lunches, and even books! The fun begins Saturday, June 15 with celebrations at libraries throughout Oakland and ends August 10. 

Children have fun keeping track of stickers and watching performers, but parents know that they are helping their child avoid "Summer Reading Slide" by encouraging reading for pleasure. Children who complete eight hours of reading will choose a book to keep, receive coupons for local attractions, and be entered in a raffle for even more prizes.   

This summer we will host performers: The Bubble Lady, Buki the Clown, Chiquy Boom! , Busy Bee Dogs, Dan Chan the Magic Man, Dance Arts of India, East Bay Vivarium, (Insect Discovery Lab and Edible EdVentures), Magical Moonshine Theatre, Mr. Shap, the Oakland Zoo Mobile, Owen Baker-Flynn, and last, but not least XTreme Science Magic. Check our events listings, or ask your library for details.

Free lunches for children ages 0-18 will be provided at eleven branches. The Main Library will serve lunches Monday-Friday; the branches Tuesday-Friday. Call your branch for meal times. Participating locations are: Main Library, 81st Avenue Community, César Chávez, Dimond, Eastmont, Elmhurst, Golden Gate, Martin Luther King, Jr., Melrose, Temescal, and West Oakland.

 Stay tuned or go to our summer reading site for the most up-to-date information and instructions for playing the game.


Major funders: Friends of the Oakland Public Library, Fentons Creamery, William G. Gilmore Foundation, Union Pacific Foundation, and The Bernard Osher Foundation.

Donors: Alameda/Oakland Ferry Services, Chabot Space & Science Center, Children’s Creativity Museum, Children’s Fairyland, Grand Lake Theater, Hometown Buffet, Lake Merritt Boathouse, Lawrence Hall of Science, MOCHA, Oakland A’s, Oakland Ice Center, Oakland Museum of California, and Pasta Pomodoro .

Free lunch is offered in partnership with the Alameda County Community Food Bankd and City of Oakland Department of Human Services.