May 18 2012

The status of the Piedmont Avenue Library will be discussed at a meeting on May 29 at 7 p.m., Piedmont Gardens, 110 41st Street in the 5th Floor Community Room.  Council member Jane Bruner and the Associate Director of the Oakland Public Library, Gerry Garzon, will be providing an update on the possible relocation of the library.

Feb 29 2012

Celebrating 80 Years in Architecturally-Designed Building – 

The Piedmont Avenue branch of the Oakland Public Library has been the only tenant in the architect-designed  library building since 1932.  The Library’s 80 years of service will be celebrated from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, with music, cupcakes, face painting and more.   > Click to read more…

Feb 13 2012

The Oakland Branch Library on 40th Street remains open on a month-to-month basis for now.    In its June 2011 decision, Oakland’s City Council approved a budget for the 2011-2013 fiscal years that suggested all Oakland Public branch libraries would remain open.  Piedmont Avenue neighbors hoped that included the branch library on Piedmont Avenue.  See hours of all Oakland libraries. > Click to read more…

Jul 3 2011

On June 28 and 30 Oakland’s City Council approved a budget for the 2011-2013 fiscal years that reportedly keeps all Oakland Public branch libraries open during that time period.  But does that really include the Piedmont Avenue library? > Click to read more…

Jun 24 2011

A group of Montclair residents are organizing and calling for the creation of a private library rather than lose their branch of the Oakland Public Library.  It is not clear whether the City of Oakland would rent the library building to a private library association, or whether an alternative location would have to be found. > Click to read more…

Jun 24 2011

On the evening of Tuesday, June 21, several hundred Oakland library supporters gathered at Oakland City Hall.  They filled every seat on the main floor of the chamber, both galleries, the grand staircase leading up to the chamber as well as the amphitheater in the plaza.  They had come to oppose the proposed budget that would close most of the branch libraries and  drastically reduce services in the four remaining libraries.  (See library articles.)  However, the Oakland City Council, once more, postponed consideration of the city’s FY 2011-12 budget, as it had on June 7.

The Oakland Council did, however, approve the second reading of the increase in the Measure Q parcel tax, the Library Services Retention and Enhancement Act of 2004.  > Click to read more…

Jun 17 2011

For the first time in a very long time a new public space is being  created in Piedmont. Piedmont residents are invited to join the conversation about the best use of the unique, centrally located, public space in the east wing of 801 Magnolia, the former Christian Science Building.  (Comment below.)

While the west wing of 801 Magnolia has been leased to the Piedmont Center for the Arts, another large space exists in the east wing of the property.  The Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Committee recently recommended that public input be solicited on the use of this rare, new public space.  Councilman Garret Keating wrote to PCA on June 8, raising the idea of a small library or reading room in the unleased east wing.  Keating asked, “Is there a Friends of Piedmont Library out there that could take this on?”  (Read full Keating comment.)

Residents recognize the lack of an attractive, comfortable public space in Piedmont.  At the same time, several senior programs are concerned their use of the Veterans Hall space will be terminated.   Creating “A Piedmont Place” in the east wing of 801 Magnolia could provide much needed small meeting space for local groups, offer a gathering place for residents, and accommodate varied interests of the Piedmont community.

The east wing space could open up the opportunity for residents to engage in literary forums, lectures, writing groups, book reviews and author readings, drop-in chess games, book groups, a book exchange, plus provide access to one or more online libraries.  Daily newspapers and donated magazines for perusing, “new favorite books” recommendations, and more could be available.  Residents could volunteer their talents, skills and time to provide some of the services that Piedmont, having no public library of its own, currently lacks. > Click to read more…

Jun 11 2011

Oakland Public LibraryOakland citizens supporting library services and librarians have organized to protest the proposed closing of 15 libraries and the planned reduction of hours at the remaining 4 libraries. Their organization, Save Oakland Library is gathering signatures on a petition that states, “We, the undersigned, protest any proposal to close or reduce services at any Oakland library.”  > Click to read more…

Jun 6 2011

Oakland Public LibraryOn Thursday, June 2 the Rules Committee of the Oakland City Council removed consideration of the FY 11-13 budget (including the determination of the fate of the Oakland libraries) from the City Council’s June 7 agenda.  Instead, the budget and library’s future will be on the June 21 agenda.

While a decision on the fate of Oakland library closures is being postponed by the budget process, the Oakland City Council will be considering a 5% increase in the voter approved library service parcel tax, Measure Q on  June 7.   The terms of Measure Q allow the Council to increase the tax by up to 5% each year without a vote of taxpayers.

Jun 3 2011

Piedmont’s future library service relationship remains unsettled as the Oakland City Council considers drastic library reductions and the elimination of their Library Department. Even as Oakland’s library services shrink, the City has continued to demand increased library contributions from Piedmont and Emeryville.  Reports of Oakland’s demands have varied.  Reportedly, Oakland City Council member Libby Schaff proposes that Piedmont pay $497,722.22 and Emeryville pay $470,332.80  per year for Oakland library services. Piedmont City Administrator, Geoff Grote has previously reported an Oakland demand of $596,000.  The basis of the numbers has not been defined.  On a per capita basis, Piedmont’s population has diminished since the 2000 census, while Emeryville’s has increased.

Meanwhile, library systems throughout California are making tough decisions in light of anticipated State budget cuts to library funding.  Beginning July 1, 2011, the Santa Clara County Library (SCCL) District will charge an annual $80 card fee to non-residents of the SCCL District to use online services or borrow books and other materials.  > Click to read more…