Castro Valley Library

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

Libraries are for Art Day March 20
Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Libraries, Programs, Public Art

Marion Coleman

Saturday, March 20, 2010
10:30am – 3:00pm

Join us for a fun community arts day at Castro Valley Library! As part of the countywide celebration of Art IS Education during National Arts Education Month, Castro Valley Library and the Alameda County Arts Commission present a special event that explores the power of youth and community-based art as well as the heroes in our lives and literature.

Free and open to the public.

10:30 am Children’s Textile Postcards Workshop with Marion Coleman. Register at the library or by phone at (510) 667-7900. (Learning Center)

10:30 am Art Activity creating storybook heroes for children of all ages. Drop-In. No registration necessary. (Chabot and Canyon Rooms)

11:30 am Pastel Art Demonstration by artist Mark Mertens. (Chabot and Canyon Rooms)

12:00 pm Tours of the library public artwork collection and
Castro Valley High School and Marshall
Elementary art exhibits. (Meet in Lobby)

1:00 pm Special Guest Speaker: Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, District 4. (Chabot and Canyon Rooms)

1:15 pm Performance by Cinderella and Prince Charming from the upcoming Castro Valley High School musical. (Chabot and Canyon Rooms)

1:30 pm Metal Art Demonstration by Scott Miner. (Outdoor patio outside Chabot and Canyon Rooms)

2:00 pm Powerpoint presentation about the process of creating the public artwork in the library. (Chabot and Canyon Rooms)

All Day Visual art exhibits by Castro Valley High School students in the Community Gallery and Marshall Elementary artwork in the Children

For information on how you can support the arts in public education visit

Good reads this past year
Thursday, December 31, 2009, 12:25 pm
Filed under: Books, Libraries

We have the technology, we have DVD’s, books and music on CD and e-books to download, but our biggest checkout activity is still print books. The Christian Science Monitor recently posed the idea that it might be the last decade for the dominance of printed books as the e-book readers like Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader gain in popularity.
Electronic or paper, it’s still the stories that pull many of us into the Library, and here are a few of my favorites from this past year:

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Kite Runner meets Grey’s Anatomy in this dramatic saga of two men born in India who become doctors, one in the U.S., one in Ethiopia. It’s epic in scale but touching and intimate with wonderfully memorable characters to care about. The author is a physician at Stanford Hospital.

City Of Thieves by David Benioff. Until I read this book, World War II’s Siege of Leningrad was mostly a statistic from a history book to me. This short novel (under 300 pages) tells the story of two young Russian soldiers on a mission behind German lines in the harsh winter landscape. A great buddy story, a great war story, with cinematic descriptions. (The author is a screen writer with 25th Hour and Kite Runner among his credits)

Half Broke Horses: a True Life Novel, by Jeanette Walls. Until James Frey blurred the lines between memoir and novel, this one might have been called non-fiction. It is the fictionalized story of Walls’ grandmother Lily, who became a teacher at age 15, in a remote southwest frontier town she reaches after a solo 28-day horseback ride. Lily is a spirited heroine, fiercely outspoken against hypocrisy and prejudice, a rodeo rider and breaker of horses, and a ruthless poker player. It’s one of those heartwarming stories about indomitable women. If you like Walls’ Glass Castle, you’ll find this a delight!

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Anne Barrows. Yet another look at WWII from a lesser known perspective. The story unfolds in letters from our newspaper columnist heroine, after the war ends, to citizens on the isle of Guernsey which was occupied by the Germans during the war. With the enemy just a stone’s throw from British soil, it was a harrowing time that took a mix of courage and guile to survive.

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton. I know they are formulaic and good for a quick read, but this one rises above her most recent entries in the ABC mysteries. Kinsey follows a case that involves a decade old kidnapping that leads to suspects that she knew in high school. It’s like when you have a friend over for dinner and you take up where you left off last time. I thought it was a satisfying read.
Happy New Year

Let’s hear your favorites!

Holidays in the Holy Land
Saturday, December 5, 2009, 2:22 pm
Filed under: Displays, Libraries

“Holidays in the Holy Land,” is a display created by Castro Valley Citizens for Middle East Awareness. In the days following 9/11, a group of Muslim, Jewish and Christian women from Castro Valley, who had been casual acquaintances, forged a friendship and created a network to foster tolerance through education. They have made presentations in local schools and at the Library. It’s the ninth year the Library has hosted the display. Among the original members are several who were born in Jordan, Syria, and Israel. A number of beautiful sacred and decorative objects are included in the display case in the Library Lobby, including a wooden creche that was hand carved in Bethlehem, antique Muslim prayer beads, and Hanukkah decorations created by the children of Congregation Shir Ami in Castro Valley.

New Castro Valley Library took 20 years and worth the wait!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 9:25 am
Filed under: Libraries

We are open and off to a great start. The Great Castro Valley Book Pass was a big success thanks to organizing efforts of a dedicated team of Library Staff and volunteers. 70 participants manned check-in stations where the 1500 who lined the route picked up a commemorative tee-shirt (70% recycled material, of course). It took about 2 hours to pass the 300 books hand to hand from the old Library to the New Library and the feedback has been that good time was had by all.

Local residents are embracing the new Library with open arms. Typical days we’ve seen 3 times the business as the Redwood Road location and incredibly the 145 parking places are full or nearly so each day.
Dozens of people are using the wi-fi on their own laptops, the collection if flying off the shelves, the public computer stations are mostly full, the homework and teen rooms are buzzing after school, and the Friends of the Library Bookstore and Fresh Start Cafe are doing great business. The staff is here to help you find your way around and we’ll offer tours every half hour this Sunday, November 8.
See you in the Library.

Thursday, October 15, 2009, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Building site, Children, Libraries, News, Public Art, Teen, Uncategorized

Preparations are underway for the The Great Book Pass & Grand Opening of the new Castro Valley Library on Saturday, October 31, 2009. We have more than 1,100 participants registered for The Great Book Pass. Come out and take part in this historic Castro Valley event!


There will be NO PARKING available at the new library for either the Grand Opening or The Great Book Pass.


For more information about The Great Book Pass visit:
Please remember to bring the waiver if you are participating in The Great Book Pass.

Below is a sneak peak of the interior space of the new library. See you at The Great Book Pass and Grand Opening of the fabulous new Castro Valley Library!

The Great Book Pass & Grand Opening @ The Castro Valley Library
Thursday, August 27, 2009, 2:25 pm
Filed under: Books, Libraries, News

Saturday, October 31, 2009 is opening day for the new Castro Valley Library, and the community has the opportunity to participate in the Opening Day ceremonies!

We are looking for participants to help in a ceremonial hand-to-hand pass of books destined for the new Friends of the Library Book Store. Participants will be stationed along the route from the current library on 20055 Redwood Rd. to the new library on 3600 Norbridge Ave.

If you are interested in participating, get together with a group of friends, family or colleagues and sign up at link below.

Teams will be assigned points along the route, beginning at 8:00-8:30 a.m.  You are welcome to bring your own snacks, water, etc.  The book pass is scheduled to end by 10:00 a.m., and opening ceremonies will begin at 11:00a.m.

Please come to the ceremony, grab lunch at Farmer’s Market and enjoy your spectacular new library!  For more information please call (510) 670-6280

To Register for the Great Book Pass click link below:

%d bloggers like this: