Who we are and what we do

Business Goals

  • Prioritize and implement projects to improve library facilities with the proceeds from Measure KK, the 2016 infrastructure bond measure which includes $15 million for libraries.

  • Perfect a customer service approach that centers “people over things” and provides equitable access to library services through a well-trained and diverse staff who are visible and vital participants in the community.

  • Increase the library’s responsiveness to and inclusiveness of Oakland’s diverse communities through engaging and creative activities inside and outside the library walls and the implementation of a Library Department Racial Equity Plan.

  • Increase the use of all circulating library materials, including books, magazines, e-books, DVDs, tools, toys, downloadable/streaming music and movies, as well as laptops and hotspots.

  • Enhance services and programs for children including story times for preschool children and promotion of early literacy.

  • Offer teen programming that expands youth expectations of libraries through arts, gaming, civic engagement and volunteer opportunities that help develop leadership skills and workplace preparedness.

  • Archive and promote collections of the African American cultural and historical experience in Northern California, along with programs, lectures, films, and exhibits that speak to the social, historical, and political conditions of the African American Diaspora.


African American Museum & Library At Oakland

This program represents the programs, collections and archives provided at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO) on the culture and history of African Americans in Northern California and the Bay Area.

Branch Library Services

This program represents the services provided by the 16 Branch Libraries located throughout Oakland.

Library System-Wide Support

This program represents the system-wide services provided by Administration, the Finance and Administrative Unit, Teen Services, Children’s Services, Community Relations, Materials Unit, Computer Services Unit, and the Acquisitions and Cataloging Unit.

Literacy Programs

This program represents the literacy services provided by the Second Start Adult Literacy Program.

Main Library Services

This program represents the public services provided at the Main Library. These include General Reference services, the Oakland History Center, Magazines and Newspapers Room, Children’s Room, Computer Lab and Circulation.



External Services

Safe and Comfortable Access to Facilities

Maintain 18 libraries for Oakland residents that offer a range of services and programs.

Circulation and Information Services

Provide service to customers to allow them to check out materials, return materials, obtain or replace library cards, place-holds, update account information, ask questions and receive help.

Technology Access

Provide free Wi-Fi, PCs, high-speed internet, printing, scanning, faxing, circulating hotspots and Chromebooks.

Free Online Resources

Provide e-services such as, e-books/magazines, e-audiobooks, online programs, streaming music and movies, Discover and Go, online tutoring, and subscription databases.

Social Services Resources and Information

Facilitate access to social service support for employment, taxes, housing, food, legal, education, health, etc.

Public Communication

Engage with residents and keep them informed about Library services and all the exciting activities.


The Oakland Public Library (OPL), founded in 1878, is the second-oldest public library in California. In addition to its Main library, 16 neighborhood branches and African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO), the Oakland Public Library is expanding its effort to engage people in the community by making resources available online. The library provides free public access to technology - computers, high-speed Wi-Fi, hotspots, and laptops - to help bridge the digital divide. Facilities, programs and services include:

  • 1 main library and 16 neighborhood branches
  • Second Start Adult Literacy Program
  • Tool Lending Library
  • African-American Museum and Library at Oakland
  • 2,051,503 million items in collection
  • 2.38 million physical items checked out
  • 490,869 e-materials checked out
  • 4,549 live and virtual programs held
  • 127,934 attendees to live and virtual programs
  • 168,467 uses of public internet computers
  • 1,947,657 virtual visits to the library website