KQED at Oakland’s 81st Ave Library


Public radio Forum panel visits + shares innovative services in East Oakland

On June 4, San Francisco-based KQED public radio’s Forum program traveled to Oakland 81st Avenue Library for a live panel discussion on that branch’s innovative library services for its East Oakland community.

Joining host Michael Krazny were Oakland Public Library’s director Jamie Turbak, outreach and community engagement coordinator Anthony Propernik, branch aide RB Burnette, Jr, and public library historian Wayne Wiegand. The group discussed how the branch has continually innovated its services to meet the needs of East Oakland – first as a joint-use library sharing a campus with two schools, through to its important local role, including as a resource for bike repairs and participation in Oakland’s Scraper Bike movement. Wiegand layered in how public libraries have evolved with community needs over time, and now playing a unique civic role as a public gathering space.

In the second half of the program, Oakland’s youth poet laureate Leila Mottley discussed her craft, read some of her work, and, with teen services librarian Sharon McKellar, shared how youth voices are supported by Oakland Library programs.

Photograph by Cesar Rubio