OPL Advocates Celebrate Hard-won Successes at Holiday Mixer

The Ninth Annual OPL Advocates Holiday Mixer on Dec. 5 gave our favorite volunteer groups a much-deserved chance to celebrate the successes and hard work of the past year.

The Zoom-based mixer, which drew more than 100 RSVPs, was attended by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas (District 2), and Councilmembers Dan Kalb (District 1) and Carroll Fife (District 3), all of whom pledged to support the upcoming renewal of OPL’s Measure Q parcel tax (read more about Measure Q).

Organized and co-hosted by the Friends of the Oakland Public Library nonprofit and the City of Oakland Library Advisory Commission (LAC), this year’s mixer featured:


  • A performance by Myra Estrada, Oakland’s 2021 Youth Poet Laureate.

  • A presentation about “Teen Take & Makes” by Sharon McKellar and Katrina Deens of OPL’s Teen Services Department.

  • A report by Senior Library Assistant Anthony Propernick about free Bike Fix-It Clinics, bike giveaways, and much more. Propernick is a member of the East Oakland Outreach and Community Engagement Team.

  • A show-and-tell about the Bookworms Book Club by Sally Engelfried, Children’s Librarian at the 81st Avenue Branch.

  • A “State of the Library” report from Jamie Turbak, Director of Library Services.

  • Co-hosting by Kathryn Sterbenc, president of the Friends of the OPL, and Commissioner Angelica Valentine of the LAC.

Along with all this, the mixer celebrates another year of collaboration for OPL Advocates. Founded in 2013, OPL Advocates is an informal coalition harnessing the organizing prowess and library passion of myriad groups, including the LAC; the Friends of the OPL nonprofit organization; Branch Friends groups representing all of OPL’s locations; the Youth Leadership Council and Teen Advisory Boards; library unions SEIU Local 1021 and IFPTE Local 21, and the grassroots group Save Oakland Libraries. OPL Advocates members meet monthly to share strategies, goals and resources.

Many thanks to OPL for its endless support of all of our advocate groups, with special thanks to Jamie Turbak, Director of Library Services; Sara DuBois, Coordinator of Grants and Volunteers; and Amy Martin, Community Relations Librarian. Also, major thanks to Kere Gonzales, Executive Assistant to Jamie Turbak, who “directed” the live Zoom event and helped us prep and plan.

The Zoom-based mixer was recorded, so we hope to bring you a link to the event in the near future. Thanks to all who joined us this year!