Castro Valley Library

Celebrate Corita
Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 10:28 am
Filed under: Displays, Libraries, News, Programs, Public Art

The Castro Valley was one of the venues for the Corita Celebration, February and March of this year. In partnership with Hayward Arts Council and Art Inc, we showed the award winning documentary film, Primary Colors: the Story of Corita, hosted a gallery show and lobby case display of her works.
Corita Kent, also known as Sister Corita, gained international fame for her vibrant serigraphs (silk screens) during the 1960s and 1970s. A Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she ran the Art Department at Immaculate Heart College until 1968. Corita’s art reflects her spirituality, her commitment to social justice, her hope for peace, and her delight in the world around us.
She was born Frances Kent in 1918 in Fort Dodge, Iowa, grew up in Los Angeles and joined the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1936, taking the name Sister Mary Corita. She graduated from Immaculate Heart College in 1941 and then taught grade school to Native North American children in British Columbia where she was inspired by their vivid art and imagery. In 1946 she returned to teach art at Immaculate Heart College . In 1951, she received a master’s degree in art history from the University of Southern California; it is also the year she exhibited her first silkscreen print.
Corita’s earliest works borrowed phrases and depicted images from the Bible, but the early 1960’s, she was using popular culture (such as song lyrics and advertising slogans) as raw material for her meaning-filled bursts of text and color. One story told is that she took early inspiration from a bold billboard advertising a Los Angeles car wash. Corita’s cries for peace in the era of Vietnam were not always welcome. In 1965 her “Peace on Earth” Christmas exhibit in IBM’s New York show room was seen as too subversive and Corita had to amend it.
She left the order in 1968 for personal reasons during a time of change in the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council. She continued to create bold serigraphs, helping to establish it as a fine art process. Her work is in private collections and museums around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her “Love” stamp issued in 1985 sold 700,000,000. It remains one of the top selling stamps of all time. The Rainbow Swash, a painted water tower just outside Boston is the largest piece of copyrighted art in the world. She lived and worked in Boston the rest of her life. She died of cancer in 1986. The Castro Valley Library exhibit has closed but her work may still be seen at Galleria at the Hayward City Hall.

Chinese New Year Lunar Year of the Rabbit 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 4:16 pm
Filed under: Children, Libraries, Programs | Tags: , ,

The Castro Valley community helped usher in the Year of the Rabbit on Sunday afternoon, January 30. Multicultural Educational Research Center (M.E.R.C.) partnered with the Library to bring the event to Chabot & Canyon Rooms. Patty Chu’s
folkdance class provided lively entertainment, members the Chinese Youth Symphony gave performances on the traditional Chinese Harp (Gu-Zheng), and Henry Li offered a dazzling martial arts demonstration, including wushu, where he wielded a sword.
Participants practiced paper cutting crafts and traditional calligraphy, while snacking on traditional treats.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, people born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract

Thank you to the staff and parents from M.E.R.C. school for bringing this beautifully organized event to the Library.

Solar Panel Installation to begin this week!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 5:19 pm
Filed under: Building site, Libraries, News, Technology

The newest of Alameda County’s onsite solar power systems is being installed on the roof of the Castro Valley Library. This ambitious solar deployment, performed in conjunction with the many energy efficiency features at the Library is expected to provide nearly 100% of the energy used by the Library and will virtually eliminate Library’s cost of electricity from PG&E.
Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors awarded this project’s $1.7 million dollar contract to Sun Light and Power Corporation of Berkeley earlier this year. The project is being funded by a 1% loan from the California Energy Commission. These loan funds were made available under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition, over the next five years, the County will receive $500,000 from PG&E under their California Solar Initiative Incentive Program. The loan will be paid back over the next 15 years with savings from the solar generated electricity.
The 270 watt system will consist of 880 modules manufactured by SunPower Corporation. The modules maximize the solar generation capacity of the library’s south-facing sloped roof. In fact, during most days, the system will produce more power than needed and will export excess renewable electricity to the surrounding neighborhoods. This electricity will credited back to the County by spinning its electric meter backwards.

A monitoring system that will display the solar array’s performance on a flat screened monitor will be installed in the Library lobby.

Return of the Legos is a success!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 5:55 pm
Filed under: Children, Programs | Tags: , , , , ,

Return of the Legos @ The Castro Valley Library was a great success! We welcomed more than 150 kids and parents to build Lego spaceships and play. The kids came up with some great spaceship designs and even helped clean up (thanks!). Special thanks to the TRO volunteers from Castro Valley High School.

The next Lego play day is Tuesday, November 23rd from 3:00-4:00pm. Come Build a Bot with us!

Banned Books Week Sept 25-Oct 2 Battling Censorship
Monday, September 27, 2010, 11:35 am
Filed under: Libraries, News, Uncategorized

Reprinted American Libraries Association Press release 9/21/2010

Book banning alive and well in the U.S.
Banned Books Week

Macey Morales
Public Information Office (PIO)

Nation confronts censorship head-on during Banned Books Week, Sept. 25 – Oct. 2

CHICAGO – What do books from the Twilight series, “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Catcher in the Rye” have in common? All have faced removal from library bookshelves in the United States within the past year.

From coast to coast, libraries and bookstores will battle censorship and celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, Sept. 25 – Oct. 2, 2010. Thousands of participants will read from banned or challenged books and will discuss the impact censorship has on civil liberties.

Each year, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives hundreds of reports on book challenges, which are formal written requests to remove a book from a library or classroom because of an objection to the book’s content. There were 460 recorded attempts to remove materials from libraries in 2009 and more than 11,000 attempts recorded since OIF began compiling information on book challenges in 1990.

“Not every book is right for each reader, but we should have the right to think for ourselves and allow others to do the same,” said ALA President Roberta Stevens. “The founders of this nation protected freedom of expression based on their conviction that a diversity of views and ideas is necessary for a vital, functioning democracy. Danger does not arise from viewpoints other than our own; the danger lies in allowing others to decide for us and our communities which reading materials are appropriate. How can we live in a free society and develop our own opinions if our right to choose reading materials for ourselves and our families is taken away? We must remain diligent and protect our freedom to read.”

In many cases, it is only through public concern and citizen involvement that books are saved from confiscation or from being kept under lock and key. For example in Stockton, Mo., concerned citizens spoke out during school board meetings and persuaded the school board to reconsider its ban of Sherman Alexie’s National Book Award –winning novel, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” While the work of these citizens is not done, their ongoing campaign to encourage the Stockton school board to reverse its decision demonstrates how public support for the right to read freely can help prevent the suppression of literature and ideas.

This year will mark the 29th annual celebration of Banned Books Week. This year’s observance will kick off in Chicago on Sept. 25, as best-selling banned authors participate in a “Read Out!” event. Participating authors include the most frequently challenged author of 2009, Lauren Myracle (the ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r series); Chris Crutcher (“Athletic Shorts”) and many others.

Many bookstores and libraries celebrating Banned Books Week will showcase selections from the ALA OIF’s “Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009.” The list is released each spring and serves as a comprehensive snapshot of book removal attempts in the U.S. The “Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009” reflects a range of themes and consists of the following titles:

ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle

“And Tango Makes Three,” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

“The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky

“To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee

Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer

“Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger

“My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult

“The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler

“The Color Purple,” Alice Walker

“The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier

For more information on Banned Books Week, book challenges and censorship, please visit the Office of Intellectual Freedom’s Banned Books Web site at

Link below to 2009-2010 challenges with reasons why books were challenged

Discounted Oakland Raiders Tickets!!
Monday, September 13, 2010, 4:34 pm
Filed under: Libraries, News

The Alameda County Library Foundation has teamed up with the Oakland Raiders to offer game tickets at a substantially discounted price. See a game and benefit the Library at the same time!
For more information go to

Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 11:09 am
Filed under: Children, Libraries, Programs

India Costume Showcase June 2010

Early in June we enjoyed the Beauty of India, a costume showcase and cultural presentation by Induz, a non-profit organization that promotes art as a way to bridge cultural and economic divides. Induz motto is “where art meets heart.” We learned some facts about the 28 states of India during costume fashion show. Members of the audience had fun trying on costumes and being photographed. Special thanks to Castro Valley resident Ray Mitra, who orgazinized the event. More photos may be viewed in our Castro Valley Branch album in the lower left corner of this page. Learn more about Induz and see additional photos at

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