Castro Valley Library

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.

Spotting Fake News by crselig2014
Wednesday, December 21, 2016, 2:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Made-up stories and false information that come from fake-news web sites can spread rapidly on the Internet, usually through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Recent media coverage has illuminated the way these fake stories have influenced people’s views. The San Francisco Chronicle published an informative article on the topic in December.

In addition, reporter Marissa Lang put together a guide to spotting fake news. Highlights from the guide are below. Your Castro Valley librarians hope this will help you be an informed and active consumer of news.

Tip #1 Read the URL

All web sites have an address also called the URL. Many fake-news stories are easy to spot just by looking at the URL. According to Lang, “Bogus-news web sites that appear to belong to a legitimate news source tend to have an extra suffix at the end of the address that isn’t .com. For instance the web site is a fake-news site. The actual web site for ABC News is

Tip #2 Go Beyond the Headline

Some people read only the headline of a fake news article and then share it online without reading the whole story. Going deeper into the story can help you determine if it is fake. Look at the author’s name. Is he or she a real person? Does the story actually back up what the headline is proclaiming?

Tip #3 Check the Sources

Who or what is quoted in the story? If an article is reporting on a study or report, you can do a quick web search to determine if that study or report actually was completed by an organization. If “experts” are quoted, it’s often easy to determine if those people actually exist.

Tip #4 Check the Date

If a story is several months or years old, conduct your own search to see if there have been any updates.

Tip #5 Call in the Experts

If the story seems sensational and really makes you upset, that’s a sign you should do a little more digging. There are independent organizations that specialize in fact checking. Lang recommends Snopes, Politifact and FactCheck.

So much music at your Library! by crselig2014
Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

musical-notesThe Castro Valley Library will feature some great musical events over the next month. Please join us!

The Fall Concert features the Silvertone Brass Quartet and the Chabot College Flute Choir and will take place on Sunday, November 27 from 3 pm to 5 pm.

Then on Sunday, December 11 from 2 pm to 4 pm you can enjoy A Swingin’ Holiday with the In Full Swing Big Band directed by Milt Bowerman.

Next up is a Winter Concert featuring The Hillside Woodwind Quintet and the Montecito Brass Ensemble who will perform light classics and holiday favorites. They’ll be here on Saturday, December 17 from 2 pm to 3:30 pm.

And we’ll end the holiday season with a Hanukkah Sing-Along on Tuesday, December 27 at 5:30 pm. The whole family is welcome to sing with Mikel Estrin on mandolin and clarinet, Josh Cohen on violin and vocals, Martin Gross on guitar and vocals, Jawxillion Loeb on guitar, Cary Nasatir on percussion, and Ralph Sklar on vocals and guitar.

Staff Favorites III by crselig2014
Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

ironlakecoverPeriodically we publish reading recommendations from our staff members, and this month we feature some favorites from our circulation supervisor Patty Mangel. Enjoy!

  1. Cork O’ Connor series by William Kent Krueger. These take place in Minnesota and should be read in order so you get to know the family. Start with Iron Lake.
  2. Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I love these mysteries.  The main detective is a man you’d love to call friend.  Start with Still Life.
  3. For a Swedish mystery that isn’t quite as dark as some of the others, try the Fjällbacka series by Camilla Läckberg. Start with The Ice Princess.
  4. Try an Appalachian Mountains noir! One Foot in Eden or The World Made Straight by Ron Rash.
  5. Or, switch mountains and try a noir from the Ozarks by Daniel Woodrell.
  6. For a mystery that tells you who done it in the first paragraph, read A Secret History, the first novel by Donna Tartt.
  7. Want a heartwarming story that will make you laugh? Read Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman or Eat, Drink, and Be from Mississippi by Nanci Kincaid.
  8. For something a little fun and a little disturbing, read The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier.

%d bloggers like this: