When was the last time you visited the Oakland Public Library? I ask, because we are nearing the end of National Library Week, and as a longtime library evangelist (and library worker), I didn’t want to let the occasion pass without some sort of mention.
National Library Week often gets a lot of buzz, and I’m not sure why it didn’t around these parts this year. Maybe because there was no big event? Often a famous writer will come speak at that nice auditorium in the Oakland Museum to celebrate the week, but this year, there was nothing, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because the Museum is closed so there was nowhere to have the event? (Speaking of which, OMG, how excited are you guys for the museum re-opening? It’s only 2 weeks away, and it’s going to be awesome.)
New 81st Avenue Library
Which reminds me. If you have, like, any cash to spare, you could do a whole lot worse than sending some of it FOPL’s way. They have received two challenge grants to help them fill this beautiful new 21,000 square foot library with books. 21,000 square feet, folks! It takes a lot of books to fill that much space! But you can help. See, with these challenge grants, every $1 you give will mean $5 for the new library. The branch will serve as the library for two adjacent schools as well. Don’t let all those kids come back to school next fall and find a bunch of empty shelves! You can help out by clicking the button below and making sure you write “81st Ave Library” in the space marked “designation.”
And if you haven’t been to your local library in a while, check it out soon. They really are amazing places.
Oakland East Bay Symphony Orchestra
Have you been to see the Oakland Symphony yet this season? They’ve put on four great shows (well, I can only vouch for three of them — I was out of town one weekend), and they’ve got only two left. One of which is tonight!
The Oakland Symphony is awesome, and of course any excuse to hang out at the beautiful Paramount Theater is a good one. So if you’re not doing anything tonight, why not head downtown and enjoy one of our most wonderful cultural institutions? Here’s what you can expect from tonight’s program:
The virtuosity of our orchestra will really be showcased in this concert! Strauss’ Don Quixote, based on the humorous novel by Cervantes, dramatically depicts various characters and scenes from the novel using different instruments in the orchestra. The spotlight will be on principal cellist Dan Reiter, whose cello solo represents the character Don Quixote.
Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 – one of the most popular piano concertos of all time and an early favorite of Michael Morgan’s – will feature rising young star Adam Neiman, hailed as one of the premiere pianists of his generation.
Our second New Visions/New Vistas work premieres tonight. Award-winning composer and performer Benedikt Brydern, who has many film scores to his credit, will offer a vibrant, jazz-infused piece that reflects his long-standing interest in old time jazz and swing.
Okay, have a good weekend, folks. Go to the Symphony! And the Library!