Castro Valley Library

Staff Favorites IV by crselig2014
Thursday, November 16, 2017, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

VacationersHere’s another entry in our Staff Favorites series. These recommendations come from Paige Kelly, our newest library employee. Paige is a CV mom and a graduate student working on her degree to become a librarian.

Engaging adult books…

Zero Day by David Balducci (John Puller Series)

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coban (Myron Bolitar Series)

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (Thursday Next Series)

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque

His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina by Danielle Steel

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Awesome children’s picture books…

The Other Side of Town by Jon Agee (picture book)

Al Pha’s Bet by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (picture book)

A great title for parents…

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night’s Sleep by Marc Weissbluth M.D.

Castro Valley Reads! It’s Coming! by crselig2014
Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 12:11 pm
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CV Reads Teaser 1

Happy Anniversary to The Princess Bride by crselig2014
Monday, September 18, 2017, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


“When I was your age, television was called books!”

September 25, 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the beloved movie The Princess Bride. It’s a movie close to many librarians’ hearts because it begins with a grandfather reading to his grandson. The grandson is reluctant to listen to his grandfather; he’s worried there will be too much kissing in the book! But he becomes devoted to the story by the end, proving the power of a good story to engage.

To many of us this swashbuckling tale of love, adventure and heroism is a cult classic with a slew of quotable lines that delight.

Buttercup: You mock my pain!
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

Vizzini: No more rhymes now, I mean it.
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?

The Library has the movie on DVD and copies of the book by William Goldman upon which the movie is based. We also recommend a wonderful web site to help you relive the charm featuring trivia, swag, and games.

Cary Elwes, who plays our hero Westley, has written a great book of insider info called As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride. Request it the next time you’re in the Library.

“Have fun storming the castle!”

“Whichbook” to read next? by crselig2014
Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 1:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

At the Alameda County Library we’re happy to help you find a great book. Don’t hesitate to ask your librarian for help.

But if you like to do your own research, there are many tools that can help.

One of them is Whichbook. Whichbook was created by a British organization focused on Library innovation. It provides a unique online book browsing tool to help you choose your next read.

Whichbook helps you figure out what kind of books are appealing to you. It doesn’t ask about your favorite authors or titles. Instead it asks you to determine what aspects of the story make you love a book.

For example, do you want a book to be funny or sad? Gentle or violent? Easy or demanding? Optimistic or bleak? Expected or unpredictable? These aspects and others are presented as ranges, rather than simply extremes. You can set the tool to find books that are somewhat funny, somewhat gentle, and somewhat unpredictable. It really makes you think about your taste in reading material.

You can also explore books based on different types of plots, characters, and settings.

Whichbook gets our seal of approval!

Libby by Overdrive by crselig2014
Wednesday, July 12, 2017, 12:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

libby300Many of our patrons have discovered our huge collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks. You can access thousands of titles using a mobile device, tablet or computer from the comfort of your home using your library card. Plus no more late fees! Digital books return themselves.

Now, Overdrive, our biggest vendor for eBooks, has updated their app to make access to these materials even easier. The new app is called Libby. Anyone with an an Android (4.4+) or an Apple iOS device (IOS 9+) or a PC (Windows 10+) or Windows Tablet (10+) can give it a try.

Overdrive has created a helpful video to introduce Libby. Click here to watch it. You can stop by the Information Desk to get detailed instructions to start using Libby or you can download the instructions by clicking here.




Summer Reading Game and Fine Forgiveness! by crselig2014
Thursday, June 1, 2017, 9:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


Join the Alameda County Summer Reading Game today! All ages are invited. Our brand new game is entirely online and easy to use.

Click here to go to the registration page.

You will earn points by logging the number of minutes you read and by completing activities. Your points will earn you free books and a chance to join our grand prize drawing. The game runs from June 1 to September 15.

We’ll also feature two weeks of Fine Forgiveness! If you have fines for overdue items simply return the items from June 12 to June 25 and we’ll forgive the fines. Or if you have old late fees from items you’ve already returned, just stop by or call us during June 12 to June 25 and ask us to remove those fines. More information can be found here.

We hope this fine forgiveness period will allow many members to reconnect with the library and enjoy all that we have to offer!


Reading Without Walls: Challenge Yourself by crselig2014
Monday, May 8, 2017, 12:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In April, Gene Luen Yang, a best-selling author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, launched Reading Without Walls Month, which will become an annual event.

The aim is to encourage young people to explore the world through books and celebrate diversity in children’s books. The key ways Reading Without Walls does this is by challenging young people to do one of three things:

  • Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like them or live like them.
  • Read a book about a topic they don’t know much about.
  • Read a book in a format they don’t normally read for fun, such as a chapter book, an audiobook, a graphic novel or a book in verse.

“We want to use Reading Without Walls as a way of getting kids to read outside of their comfort zone,” Yang comments, emphasizing that most people have a comfort zone whether they realize it or not. This is a long-lasting problem, not something new–even though it seems very topical. Books are a solution to comfort zones and can lead readers to open up to people they might not have otherwise. “One of the primary functions of books is to build empathy between people,” he says. “And empathy is good for you.” He emphasizes, too, that his challenge applies to adults as well as young readers.

Yang notes that early on books helped him get out of his comfort zone, and lately he’s noticed another comfort zone. “I’ve been reading the news that’s fed to me,” Yang explains. “Some algorithm figures out what makes me feel good and makes it so that I have to actively find news outside my comfort zone.”

Se we here at the Castro Valley Library want to challenge all of our patrons from all age groups to read outside of your comfort zones and explore literature from a diverse group of authors. Please let us know if you’d like some book recommendations. We’re here to help.

This post is adapted from the Shelf Awareness newsletter dated March 16, 2017.

Castro Valley Book Fair set for May 6 by crselig2014
Monday, April 10, 2017, 11:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

BookFairEventkeeperPic2017Best-selling author Lisa See will be the keynote speaker for the Castro Valley Book Fair, which features book sales from 30 local writers plus panel discussions on Saturday, May 6 from 11:30 am to 4 pm. No tickets are required for this free library event.

Lisa See, author of 10 beloved books including On Gold Mountain, Shanghai Girls, and the newly released The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, will present live via Skype from her home in L.A. at 11:30 am. See will share stories about her life as a writer, her writing process, and current and future projects. The event will be fully interactive and questions are welcome.

The Book Fair opens at 1 pm, immediately following See’s address, and will feature writers of fiction and nonfiction books in a wide variety of genres and topics. Both professionally and independently published authors will be on hand. Patrons can chat with authors, buy signed books, and enjoy light refreshments.

You’ll also have a chance to learn about writing and publishing in two informative panel discussions:

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm: “Murder on the Mind: Writing Riveting Mysteries”

3 pm to 4 pm: “Putting Your Life on the Line: Writing a Memoir”

The ever-expanding variety of ways for writers to get their work published in print and online means more people can put their stories out into the world. With this event the Castro Valley Library has become part of the pipeline from local authors to their readers. Please plan on stopping by to learn about the writers in our midst and be inspired by our vibrant literary community.

Become a Booklegger! by crselig2014
Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 11:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Please consider joining the inaugural class of the Castro Valley Bookleggers! The Booklegger program is a wonderful and flexible volunteer opportunity for people who love kids and books.

Bookleggers make magic! They are a group of volunteers dedicated to promoting     independent reading by children. They do this by introducing books that kids simply can’t resist. Bookleggers visit K to 5 classrooms in the Castro Valley Unified School District to share great books, including exciting adventures, suspenseful mysteries,  hilarious comedies and eye-popping nonfiction.

Librarians will teach you booktalking and storytelling skills.  You’ll use your talents and passion to connect kids and books. Are you ready to get started?

To kick off the program we are holding an orientation meeting on Tuesday, April 11 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am. Please RSVP to Dawn ( or Chris (

At the orientation you will meet Library staff, get a demonstration of Booklegging, learn about the training program, and understand the commitment necessary to be an outstanding Booklegger.

A bit more about the program can be found here:

The Castro Valley Booklegger program is a partnership of the Castro Valley Unified School District and the Alameda County Library.


Resources for Immigration Concerns by crselig2014
Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 6:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Alameda County Library prides itself on being able to offer resources for our patrons’ needs. After the presidential election, many people had questions about what the change in the White House will mean for our immigrant communities. To that end we have updated our Immigration Resources on our web site. In addition we are referring patrons to community organizations that offer legal information, referral, and/or direct legal services related to immigration issues at low or no cost.

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