Posted by: montclairlibrary | April 14, 2015

Book Art

Tomorrow (Wednesday, April 15, 2015) at 2pm, kids and teens are invited to come make mixed-media collage with discarded books at the library! And you can enter your finished product in our Unbound Book Art & Craft Contest – remember contest entries (whether made at the event or on your own) can be submitted at the library April 15-30. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Art project details »
Contest details »

Posted by: montclairlibrary | April 13, 2015

This week at Montclair Library: April 13-19, 2015

Collage photo by SergiosVox via Flickr / Creative Commons

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Montclair Library Kids Book Club – 4:00pm
Do you like to read and talk about books? Every month, we have a lively discussion about our selected book. Books are generally aimed at 4th-6th graders. Snacks will be provided! This months’ book will be Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson

Lawyers in the Library – 6:00pm
Free legal advice and referrals. Second Tuesday of each month, from 6 to 8 pm. Register by phone starting one week in advance at 510-482-7810. Volunteer lawyer leaves before 7pm if no more people are present.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
PAWS to Read with BARK Therapy Dogs – 1:30pm
Kids! Come practice reading to a gentle dog. Practice your reading skills, pet a dog and just have fun.

Unbound Book Art Craft for Kids – 2:00pm
Make new art from old books at the library! Enter your art piece in our Unbound Book Art & Craft Contest (sponsored by the Friends of Montclair Library). All materials provided.

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Toddler Storytime – 10:15am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30am
Play, sing and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Photo: SergiosVox via Flickr / Creative Commons

Posted by: montclairlibrary | April 10, 2015

Novels-in-Letters

Letters photo by Liz West via Flickr / Creative Commons

Since April is National Letter Writing Month (remember letters?), today we’re celebrating the rich and lengthy history of epistolary novels — stories told via letters, diaries and other documents.

Some of the earliest novels were epistolary, like Samuel Richardson’s Pamela
and Fanney Burney’s Evelina. Classics like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein also reveal their plot twists and turns through letters, newspaper articles, ship’s logs and other documents.

Some of my favorite books of the last few years have been ones that play with the epistolary form by including emails, text messages, tweets and other modern documents amongst the traditional entries.

Here are eight novels-in-letters (and one book of short stories), many (but not all) of which use updated forms of communication to tell their stories. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means – what are your favorite epistolary novels?

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (FIC SHAFFER)
Told through old fashioned letters, this is the story of a book club on Guernsey, born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island during World War II.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (FIC SEMPLE)
This hilarious story of a woman’s midlife crisis is one of the most inventive on this list, including emails, “psychiatrists’ transcripts, police reports, a TED talk and Christmas missives” amongst its content.

The Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (YA FIC ROWELL)
This story is partially told in emails between two best friends who work at the same newspaper. Their coworker, assigned to monitor emails that have been flagged for possible inappropriate content, finds himself falling in love with one of the friends through her emails.

S. by J.J. Abrams & Doug Dorst (FIC ABRAMS) (not at Montclair)
Another truly unique version of the epistolary novel, this one includes actual maps on napkins, postcards, marginalia and other ephemera as it tells the tale of a young woman who picks up a book in the library and starts corresponding with a stranger through notes in the margin, leading her into a mystery.

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (FIC DUNN) (not at Montclair)
When a totalitarian government bans the use of certain letters in the alphabet, its citizens have to get creative to continue to communicate via the written word. In addition to being epistolary, this book is lipogramatic (writing that lacks certain letters) – so now you know two 2-dollar literary words.

Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros (FIC MEDEIROS) (not at Montclair)
“Told almost entirely in tweets and DMs, Goodnight Tweetheart is a truly modern take on a classic tale of love and loss, a Griffin and Sabine for the Twitter generation.” (GoodReads)

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday (FIC TORDAY) (not at Montclair)
Emails, letters, interviews and news clippings tell the story of an Englishman tasked with establishing salmon in the desert.

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher
The story of a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at a small Midwestern liberal arts college, told through the endless letters of recommendation he must write for his students and colleagues, “each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits and passive-aggressive strategies.” (Amazon)

Other People’s Mail: An Anthology of Letter Stories, edited by Gail Pool (SS OTHER) (not at Montclair)
If you like your letter-based stories in bite-sized chunks, try this collection of short stories told through letters, by everyone from Alice Munro to A.A. Milne.

Photo: Liz West via Flickr / Creative Commons

Posted by: montclairlibrary | April 6, 2015

This week at Montclair Library: April 6-12, 2015

Photo of BARK reading program at Montclair Library from Oakland Tribune

Source: Oakland Tribune, March 27, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
PAWS to Read with BARK Therapy Dogs – 1:30pm
Kids! Come practice reading to a gentle dog. Practice your reading skills, pet a dog and just have fun.

Pop Up Teen Zone – 1:30pm
Come visit the Montclair Branch for a Pop Up TeenZone with crafts; hang out and share suggestions for serving you better!

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Toddler Storytime – 10:15am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30am
Play, sing and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Posted by: montclairlibrary | April 3, 2015

Anniversary Program

A big thank you again to everyone who came to the library’s 85th anniversary celebration this week, and to Arrol Gellner and Annalee Allen for their presentations.

Here’s one last treat from the event: A photo of the original program from the library’s dedication ceremony on February 28, 1930:

Program from Montclair Library's dedication February 28, 1930

Posted by: montclairlibrary | March 31, 2015

Happy Birthday, Montclair Library

Interior of Montclair, Oakland branch library c. 1930

The interior of the Montclair branch near the time when it opened in 1930, looking toward where the door to the children’s area is now. Photo courtesy of Oakland History Room.

The Montclair Library turns 85th this month.  Don’t forget the special history presentation and celebration tonight:
Come celebrate Montclair Library’s 85th anniversary with us! – 6:00-7:45pm
The Montclair branch library opened in March of 1930, and this month we celebrate its 85th anniversary as a beloved and busy community resource. Architect Arrol Gellner, author of Storybook Style: America’s Whimsical Homes of the Twenties, will speak about the Storybook Style of architecture and show slides. Historian Annalee Allen, author of several books about Oakland, will speak about the development of the Montclair neighborhood and the City of Oakland at the time the library was built. Refreshments will be served.

 

Posted by: montclairlibrary | March 30, 2015

This week at Montclair Library: March 30-April 5, 2015

Photo by Joey Gannon via Flickr / Creative Commons

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Celebrate Montclair Library’s 85th anniversary with us! – 6:00-7:45pm

The Montclair branch library opened in March of 1930. This month we are celebrating our 85th anniversary as a beloved and busy community resource. There will be refreshments.

Architect Arrol Gellner will speak about the Storybook Style of architecture (of which the Montclair branch is an example) and show slides. Mr. Gellner has written three books on period design, including Storybook Style: America’s Whimsical Homes of the Twenties.

Annalee Allen will speak about the development of the Montclair neighborhood and the City of Oakland at the time the library was built. Ms. Allen is an Oakland historian, Tribune columnist and author of several books on Oakland history.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
PAWS to Read with BARK Therapy Dogs – 1:30pm
Kids! Come practice reading to a gentle dog. Practice your reading skills, pet a dog and just have fun.

Thursday, April 2, 2015
Toddler Storytime – 10:15am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30am
Play, sing and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Photo: Joey Gannon via Flickr / Creative Commons

Posted by: montclairlibrary | March 29, 2015

Women’s History Month

8 Picture Books about Trail-blazing Women, a List by the Friends of Montclair Library

March is Women’s History Month, and we’re squeaking in under the wire here with a list of picture books featuring trailblazing women with an Oakland/East Bay connection. Check it out:

Rosie the Riveter: While “Rosie” isn’t a single person, this cultural icon represents the women who worked in shipyards and factories during World War II, including the Kaiser shipyards in Richmond, often taking on jobs that had traditionally been considered “men’s work.” To learn more about the Rosies, read Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II by Penny Colman (J 331.40973 COLMAN).

Amelia Earhart: Amelia was the first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California, and she left from Oakland Airport for her final attempted round-the-world flight in 1937. Read about her spunky personality in Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride by Pam Muñoz Ryan (J PICBK RYAN), a fictionalized account of the night Amelia Earhart flew Eleanor Roosevelt over Washington, D.C. in an airplane.

Lillian Gilbreth: Did you know that the pioneering industrial engineer Lillian Gilbreth was born right here in Oakland? And that she invented things we take for granted around the kitchen, like the shelves inside refrigerator doors and the foot-pedal trash can? Learn more in Spic-and-Span!: Lillian Gilbreth’s Wonder Kitchen by Monica Kulling (J BIO GILBRETH). (This one’s not at Montclair, but worth requesting.) If you enjoy reading about the Gilbreths, check out the books or movies Cheaper by the Dozen (also available as a movie) and Belles on Their Toes (not at Montclair).

Isadora Duncan: Isadora, known as “The Mother of Modern Dance,” grew up in Oakland, where she found school too stiffling and “dropped out at the age of ten to be self-educated at the Oakland public library under the guidance of poet-laureate Ina Coolbrith,” according to isadoraduncan.org. Find out about this free spirit’s life in Isadora Dances by Rachel Isadora (J BIO DUNCAN).

Gertrude Stein: Modernist author and poet Gertrude Stein lived in Oakland as girl.
Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude by Jonah Winter (J BIO STEIN) is a story inspired by Gertrude’s modern and groundbreaking writing and the whimsical world of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.

Julia Morgan: Julia was the first woman architect licensed in California, and designed many local buildings, including some on the campuses of UC Berkeley and Mills College. One of her most famous commissions was Hearst Castle, the subject of Julia Morgan Built a Castle by Celeste Davidson Mannis (J BIO MORGAN).

Dorothea Lange: Dorothea, known for her stunning Depression-era photographs and her coverage of Japanese internment camps, moved to the Bay Area in 1918 and spent the rest of her life in Berkeley. Read about her extraordinary life in In Real Life: Six Women Photographers by Leslie Sills (J 927.7 SILLS).

Ina Coolbrith: We couldn’t find any picture books about Ina, a literary powerhouse who was the first librarian of the Oakland Free Library and a mentor to Jack London, among others. But a good substitute might be Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children by Jan Pinborough (J BIO MOORE), about the woman who created the first children’s room at the New York Public Library. (Adults can read more about Coolbrith in The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature by Ben Tarnoff, in the Montclair Library Adult New Books section under 810.99794 TARNOFF.)

Posted by: montclairlibrary | March 23, 2015

This week at Montclair Library: March 23-29, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
PAWS to Read with BARK Therapy Dogs – 1:30pm
Kids! Come practice reading to a gentle dog. Practice your reading skills, pet a dog and just have fun.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
Toddler Storytime – 10:15am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30am
Play, sing and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Posted by: montclairlibrary | March 20, 2015

Under the Sea

March 24 is Ocean Day California, a day dedicated to advocacy for and conservation of California’s coastal resources. (There’s also a World Oceans Day every June 8.)

To help you learn more about the ocean and celebrate its denizens, here are 12 picture books from the Montclair collection highlighting life under the sea:

Picture books about the ocean, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

In the Sea by David Elliott (J 811.54 ELLIOTT)
Collects poems describing the many creatures living in the sea, from the sea horse to the blue whale.

Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea by Steve Jenkins (J 591.779 JENKINS)
Provides a top-to-bottom look at the ocean, from birds and waves to thermal vents and ooze.

Ocean Babies by Deborah Lee Rose (J 591.39 ROSE)
Describes baby animals that live in the ocean, pointing out their many differences as well as the most important similarity.

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola (J BIO EARLE)
This picture book biography tells the story of Sylvia Earle’s growing passion for the wonders of the sea and how her ocean exploration and advocacy have made her known around the world.

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry (J PICBK SHERRY)
A giant squid brags about being bigger than everything else in the ocean–almost.

Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle (J PICBK CARLE)
After Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs on Mr. Seahorse’s belly, he drifts through the water, greeting other fish fathers who are taking care of their eggs. (Also available elsewhere in OPL in Spanish, as the charmingly-named Don Caballito de Mar.)

Dolphin Baby! by Nicola Davies (J PICBK DAVIES)
Following his mother, a baby dolphin learns about life under the sea, from catching his first fish to developing his own unique whistle.

Into the A, B, Sea: An Ocean Alphabet by Deborah Lee Rose (J 591.77 ROSE)
An alphabet book featuring twenty-six animals found in the ocean and including endnotes giving additional details about each of these sea creatures.

Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs (J 811.6 COOMBS)
Playful, moving poems that evoke the beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea.

First Big Book of the Ocean by Catherine D. Hughes (J 551.46 HUGHES)
Introduces several of the ocean’s species, provides profiles of creatures, from dolphins and sharks to sea otters and penguins, while sharing facts about their characteristics, diets and habitats.

And 2 beautifully-illustrated books about Jacques Cousteau:
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino (J BIO COUSTEAU)

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne (J BIO COUSTEAU)
Before Jacques Cousteau became an internationally known oceanographer and champion of the seas, he was a curious little boy. In this biography, poetic text and paintings combine to create a portrait of Jacques Cousteau.

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