Vol 1 no 4
December 2017
Why Were The Libraries Closed ?
Last Tuesday, December 12, after a weeklong work stoppage, Oakland Public Library branches reopened. The Library is back in business, still negotiating...
Library employees are represented by SEIU Local 1021 and IFPTE Local 21. The City is negotiating with these two unions as well as with IBEW Local 1245, the Confidential Management Employees Association CMEA, and the Fire Fighter’s Union Local 55.
As of December 13th, IBEW 1245 and CMEA have ratified their tentative agreements with the city. According to Karen Boyd, Oakland Communications Director, both groups have agreed to the following:
·       4% wage increase effective 7/1/2017
·       1% effective 1/2019
·       Up to 1% more in the second year of the two-year-contract, depending on City revenues, effective 1/2019.
The tentative agreements are expected to be presented to City Council for final ratification at their next council meeting. The above wage proposal is the same one that has been offered to SEIU 1021 and IFPTE 21. SEIU’s counter proposal calls for a 4% increase effective 7/1/2017 and 4% effective 7/1/2018. Katano Kasaine, Oakland’s Finance Director, has said the union’s proposal would require job cuts of nearly 150 positions during the two-year period.
The good news is SEIU Local 1021 and the city are now meeting with mediator David Weinberg, and their next session is scheduled for Monday 12/18.There are other issues on the table besides wages. Among them are conditions for 911 dispatchers and workers who clean up encampments and the excessive reliance on temporary workers.
 Updates are available on the city’s web site – oaklandnet.com and we will post any new information on our web site – fopabl.org.
Russell Tran

Russell Tran, Library Assistant

Russell grew up in Oakland and has worked for the Oakland Public Library for nine years and for PABL for one year. His previous job was in the Children’s Room at the Main Branch.

The fact that the Piedmont Avenue Branch has lots of toddlers and children and it’s so small that children are never out of sight of their parents are two of Russell’s favorite things about our library. Another plus: Fenton’s is nearby. It’s “truly amazing,” he says.

Russell feels that our PABL needs a sign on Piedmont Avenue to direct people to the library, as many people still don’t know where it is located. Using the library’s computers, Russell can also help patrons learn how to do email and increase their computer literacy. There are many internet resources available in our library, including ordering books from anywhere in the state.

Russell is a wonderful resource providing tech support to our patrons and book help on smart phones and tablets. He can demonstrate how to download books through the library from Overdrive and Hoopla.

Just ask Russell for help!
The Book Worm Recommends
Meeting Again with Old Friends:
John Le Carre’s new novel
 A Legacy of Spies
Between 1961 and 1986, John Le Carre wrote eight novels about agents working in British intelligence during the Cold War. These characters, mostly men, examined suspicious circumstances and uncovered intricate deceptions by piecing together disparate facts in ways that were fascinating to follow. The men themselves were imperfect, with disappointing private lives and deep cynicism about the government they served, but their personal failures made them familiar and very sympathetic.

And now, after thirty years, they are back! Le Carre has written a sequel that focuses on two favorite characters Peter Guillam and his old boss, George Smiley. They have aged, just as we have, and now reflect on how their lives have turned out. But they are also involved in figuring out a series of current dangers posed by a new generation with unclear and possibly nefarious motives. What makes these younger people act as they do? What are they up to?  Is it safe to tell them about what was done during the Cold War when Communism was an urgent threat? It seems clear that they have little understanding or sympathy for the actions taken over fifty years ago to safeguard the fragile post war peace.

The book also takes us back to some of the events of the first eight books and gives us satisfying updates about the people and events that we remember, but it is not perfectly constructed. For example, when Peter Guillam appears to be cornered and in great danger he comes up with a solution that is so simple that one wonders why he didn’t think of it several chapters earlier. But no matter. It is so intriguing to see these old friends again and to hear how they are doing that one can forgive a few gaps in the story.
A testimonial to libraries, a series by our patrons
Things I Like About Our Local Public Library

There are hard plastic chairs in our library. They are strong, well constructed, comfortable, but firm. When I sit down to take notes or just read I feel dignified, like I’m doing something serious. Even though many children are frequently present in this small cozy library, it is a well-behaved place where most of the people are, not surprisingly, reading something. Reading is a serious business. Most of us are sitting up straight, mostly with fairly good posture. There are also some comfy cushioned chairs. You can sit and read for a longer time in the comfy chairs. I notice that gentleman over there hasn’t turned a page in his magazine for a long time. His chin is resting on his chest. But that’s probably just a really interesting, densely written article he’s reading. 

There are serious books here, on history, philosophy, art, and also baking and romance. There’s the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and a health magazine with a lot of midriff showing. There are music CDs, and DVDs of movies and TV programs. Walking past the teen section just now I saw fantasy novels, romance novels – but also a couple of Dostoyevsky novels, and “ Lord Of The Flies .” 

I remember reading Dostoyevsky when still in my teens and feeling very grown up. That was a few decades ago. Okay, maybe five decades. I’m very grownup now, very dignified, feeling very young, with good posture in my comfy chair. And very happy I have my local public library to share with all these well-behaved people.

by Peter Sownie

Send contact@fopabl.org your testimonial
What's Happening at the Library

Wednesdays: 10:15am Toddler Storytime
Wednesdays: 11:00am Pre-School Storytime
Fridays: 3:30pm  Lego Mania is now Build Fridays
Saturdays: 10:30am  Baby Café
Saturdays: 2:30pm  eBook Help

December & January

Thursday December 28th 3pm: Tissue Paper Lanterns. Build paper lanterns to light up the holidays. Make one for yourself and if you bring an extra jar you can make one to share.

Tuesday January 9th 3pm: Covered CA, Enrollment & Renewal Assistance. An enrollment counselor will be at the Library to answer your questions and assist you with signing up for health insurance through Covered California marketplace.

Wednesday January 24th 6:30pm: Friends of the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library meeting. Be part of the excitment of helping your library!

Tuesday January 30th 6:30pm: Author presentation In his latest book, Free Ride, Mercy & Madness on the Streets of God’s Favorite City , our neighbor Brad Newsham, shares stories of – and from – passengers who have ridden in his cab.

All events unless noted take place at the Piedmont Avenue Branch
80 Echo Avenue, Oakland Ca 94611