The Library Will be Closed, But the Internet’s Open

Between Labor Day, Admissions Day (What?! You don’t celebrate Admissions Day? Shame on you.) and the budget crisis, the library is going to pretty much shut down next week. Wednesday is the one day next week when you will be able to do your library business. Unless you have Internet access, that is.

Montclair's Storybook Library (OPL)

Use the unfortunate library blackout to experiment with the Oakland Public Library’s cool new OverDrive system, which allows patrons to download ebooks and audiobooks to PCs and Macs. The audiobooks play on most MP3 players, including the iPod. You can read the ebooks on your computer with free software, on the Barnes and Noble Nook or the Sony Reader. You can’t use your Kindle or iPad…yet. Start browsing.

While we’re on the subject of the Oakland Public Library, help out your friendly local librarian and take this survey about the library’s website. They are in the process of revamping it and making it easier to use.

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Happy 80th Birthday, Montclair Library!

Today was an Oakland-weather day, sunny and perfect for a quick celebration.  Locals and a couple city dignitaries stopped by the Montclair Branch of the Oakland Library to honor our octogenarian:  the Montclair Branch itself.

At today’s event, District 4 Council Rep Jean Quan was on hand to thank Montclair Library Assistant Geremie Celli and Oakland Library Director Carmen Martinez.  My ears perked up when Director Martinez mentioned they intend to reorganize our library’s layout, though we didn’t hear details today.  Then Aurora School’s Head for the Hills race organizers proudly delivered a $275 donation, to wrap up the proceedings.  And we all dug into some nice, fruit-filled birthday cake from Lucky’s.

Throughout May, the Friends of Montclair Library organized and held a series of library programs honoring this 80th year milestone.  The history presentation by Kathleen diGiovanni, an Oakland Heritage Alliance member and city librarian, was very interesting.  We also heard the other book readings and events were pretty well-attended too.

In these times, at least we can celebrate our local library!  Good ‘ole Measure Q requires minimum funding levels for city libraries, though the system did cut back service days last year.  Our Montclair Library is now open five days a week:   Tuesday (12:30 pm – 8:00 pm); Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday (10:00 am – 5:30 pm); and Friday (12:00 pm – 5:30 pm).

Montclair’s storybook library has been welcoming locals since the district started getting settled, and expanded over the years as well.  While it caters to kids, this blogger likes getting lost in the travel books and recently-arrived fiction.  The place is comfortable and inviting, not to mention properly de-molded last year.

So remember to stop by the library this summer to read a paper, check the aisles, hop on a computer or just read in a quiet place.  Besides the weekly story times, there’s a a knitting class for kids (May 26th) and lawyers in the library (June 8th) ahead – just check upcoming events.