Our mission is to advance the role of the Oakland Public Library as a vital community resource and as an institution critical to the culture, education, and welfare of our diverse community. Friends of the Oakland Public Library fulfills this mission by encouraging and facilitating volunteerism, advocacy efforts, and monetary support for the Library through fund-raising efforts.
The Friends raise money . . .
With sales at our Bookmark Bookstore in Old Oakland
From members’ dues and donations
Through special events
These funds support library programs and materials at the Main Library and all 16 branch locations, the Second Start Adult Literacy Program, the Books for Wider Horizons preschool story-reading program, the Tool Lending Library, and the African-American Museum and Library.
Would you recommend Friends of the Oakland Public Library?
I picked up an application in person and discussed my physical limitation with them (I'm disabled). First woman was really helpful. I had very positive email exchanges with two women, one of which said she would start training me for the bookstore, but could I bring in an application because the online application wouldn't upload properly.
When I dropped by the library to pick one up with my African American boyfriend, an employee of the bookstore came out and told me I had to be a paid member to volunteer, took the application out of my hand and told me to look elsewhere in the library to volunteer.
As a physically disabled person, I had looked careful over the last few months at what would be a good fit.
I definitely felt unwelcome and walked away with my boyfriend confused. The woman had talked about being forced to pay to work there as "protection." He literally asked, "Do you think they think you'll steal because you have a black boyfriend?"