Jenera Burton, Branch Manager:
The Piedmont Avenue Branch opened at its present location at 160 41st Street, on March 8, 1932. Several of our patrons have commented that they have been visiting this location for their whole lives, and now they are bringing their children and grandchildren. It is a wonderful sight to see, three generations of library users reminiscing about the space and the hours of reading pleasure. Our regulars tell us that this place is their meeting place, social space, second home and respite. A visit to their local library is part of their weekly, sometimes daily routine. “What is a community without a library?” Commented a patron last week. “I cannot believe that anyone in power would let that happen.”
Although the Piedmont Avenue Branch is one of the two smallest in the system, it has the fourth largest circulation; making this branch small, but mighty. It also hosts the largest collection of Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgender fiction and non-fiction in the East Bay with about 1,000 contemporary and historical titles.
We host weekly Children’s programs like story time and art that regularly exceed room capacity. Our cultural and informative adult and teen programs always bring in a great cross-section of neighbors and residents from around the bay area. With several schools and senior homes in the area, the Piedmont Avenue Branch is the only free amenity of its kind that is within walking distance. Without this Branch, our community’s children, seniors and families would have few other places to go.
We have a fantastic staff and immensely supportive Friends group (Friends of the Piedmont Avenue Library). The library is also has relationships with local schools, the Piedmont Avenue Neighborhood Association (PANIL) and the Piedmont Avenue Merchant’s Association (PAMA). The Piedmont Avenue Branch is truly a neighborhood institution. Please support your neighborhood library today.
Helen Bloch, Former Children’s Librarian and Branch Manager:
Like the beloved Watty Piper book, “The Little Engine that Could” the Piedmont
Avenue Library may be small in physical size but it possesses enormous heart.
Per square foot it has the highest circulation of any library in Oakland but it
is much much more than that. It is the heart of the vibrant Piedmont Avenue
community, acting as an informal indoor and outdoor place for friends of all
ages to meet, a community meeting place in which young families can connect, a
destination for seniors who live in nearby complexes who want to read and
discuss their days, a community resource whose LGBTQ collection is the largest
and most comprehensive in the East Bay, a place for Kaiser employees to grab
books and books on CD during lunch for their commutes, a walking destination for
shoppers perusing the eclectic collection of stores that can be found on
Piedmont Avenue, and the location of a daily, informal, communal book swap.
This little library that can also serves as the principal library for the City
of Piedmont, engaging the students in their schools and providing services to
Piedmont residents of all ages. When people talk about a library serving as the
heart of their community, they are describing Piedmont Avenue Library. Please
do not shut it down.