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Why I Give Thanks to My Library

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

On Nov. 30th, please join the Friends of the Oakland Public Library for GivingTuesday, a global movement that lets us give back to beloved local organizations to express our deep gratitude and social connection. Show your gratitude for the OPL by donating today!

This past year, our Library went above and beyond its duty to Oakland. While library doors were closed during the height of the pandemic, OPL staff provided meals, Wi-Fi hotspots, Chromebooks, Sidewalk service lending, and more to our community. We love the Library for all it does!

This GivingTuesday please give to The Friends of the Oakland Public Library, which has supported Oakland libraries for 70 years, giving an average of $200,000 to OPL annually, benefiting every OPL location, improving facilities, programs, and services for children, teens and adults.

Here are just some grants the Friends have given in the last year:

$21,750 – Chromebooks for public lending

$17,000 – Teen services including the Youth Poet Laureate program

$24,600 – Architectural services for the bike repair container at Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch, which provides youth with opportunities to repair, tune up and decorate bikes

$20,000 – New flooring at West Oakland Branch

$4,500 – Scholarships to staff pursuing their masters of library and information science

Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the amazing programs the Oakland Public Library delivered amid the challenges of the pandemic:

More than 214,000 free meals and 15,000 bags and boxes of produce to individuals and families in need during the pandemic. OPL food distribution was possible thanks to the generous support of World Central Kitchen (WCK) and the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation.

"My mom and I just wanted to say thank you for offering her this [meal] service. It really means a lot. Thank you so much. She has been hospitalized twice this year. Your program really will help us a lot. Thank you so much!"

Comment from an OPL meal recipient

June 2020

500 Wi-Fi hotspots to help support Oakland Unified School District student learning at home. While our Library’s computer labs were closed to the public, providing online access met a critical need in the community.

11 months of Sidewalk Service so that the community could safely and easily access the library’s resources such as books and DVDs.

Please know that books from OPL have been a source of joy & comfort in our home during this crazy time. You are grounding us and inspiring us and giving us something to look forward to each week.

Comment from an OPL patron

December 2020

Hundreds of recorded Children's storytime videos – special rhymes, bedtime stories, celebrations, and favorite books were shared by the OPL Children’s Librarians to stay connected with their youngest patrons.

"I enjoyed the pre-recorded storytime! I really appreciate that you include stories from different cultures and provide opportunities for children to still connect to the local library during the pandemic."

Comment from an OPL patron

More than 350 requests for Book Me in 2020 – With the doors to the library closed, OPL’s personalized book recommendation service, called Book Me, received more requests than the previous three years combined!

"Thank you so much for these thoughtful suggestions! I have to say, reading them after a long week was a breath of fresh air. My boyfriend also filled out a 'book me!' request and read his right after mine, and we were

so impressed.”

Comment from an OPL patron

December 2020

We are so grateful to our library! Our Library's holistic community support deserves to be recognized with deep gratitude this GivingTuesday. Please donate today to the Friends of the Oakland Public Library.

Here are 3 easy ways to donate today:



3) Mail your check (with the memo line of GivingTuesday) to:

Friends of the Oakland Public Library

721 Washington Street

Oakland, CA 94607


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