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June 25, 2008 > InfoBrain: Music and the arts in Alameda County's Tri-City Libraries

InfoBrain: Music and the arts in Alameda County's Tri-City Libraries

By Dennis Finnegan, Children's Librarian, Union City Library

Alameda County's Tri-City libraries are the places to go to experience the arts. Whether you want to learn a new art form or be an armchair artist, the library has what you need to bring art into your life. You can listen to or read about: music, dance, poetry, literature, film, or the visual arts. Alameda County libraries have something for all ages.
Tri-City libraries have arts programs and events for children, teens, and adults.

You can choose free story times for toddlers and babies, bi-lingual story time in Mandarin and English, and school age story time. There are book clubs for kids such as the Fremont Page Turners (a book discussion group for 4th to 6th graders), and the Tween Book Club. Adults can join in the upcoming Three Cups of Tea book discussion at Union City Library on July 12.

If your family loves music, Union City Library's Toddler Music and Movement Time encourages kids to dance and sing along with their favorite songs performed live. Also at Union City Library, The Music Up Close program gives kids ages 6-12 a chance to see and hear teens from local high schools perform and demonstrate their instruments; as well as talk about what it's like to play in concert band, orchestra, marching band, jazz ensemble, and rock bands. Teens can join in for Dance Revolution; an interactive video game that challenges the participants to dance to the game's synchronized rhythmic instructions.

Ongoing hands on craft events for kids of all ages include multicultural crafts, holiday crafts, Knit One, Purl Two at the Newark Library, Create a Mural for the Children's Room program, Don't Bug Me I'm Crafting, and a Photo Workshop for Tweens.

For film lovers there are free screenings such as Enchanted Evenings of Films for Tweens, Teen movie night, and Family Movie Night. The children's classic film, The Red Balloon, will be screened in August at the Union City Library.

In addition to the Summer Reading Games for ages preschool through adult, where the reader collects prizes for reading, local libraries will also be hosting a series of special events for children funded by the Alameda County Library Foundation. Each Saturday starting June 28 through August 9 (except for July 5), live performances will include: a puppet show by Puppet Arts Theater and performances by ventriloquist Steve Chaney (with his puppet friend Cornelius), magician the Great Blindini, and Drummm, the interactive percussion ensemble.

Tri-City libraries have tremendous resources for experiencing the arts. Literature in all genres such as the newest reads from Paul Theroux, Khaled Hosseini or Meg Cabot, short stories by Ha Jin and Raymond Carver, mysteries from J. D. Robb, J.A. Jance, and Robert B. Parker; science fiction from William Gibson, Arthur C. Clarke, and Orson Scott Card. From graphic novels to the classics, from poetry to song lyrics, it's all on the shelves waiting for you. How-to books in drawing, painting, crafting or playing an instrument can be found along with movies in DVD or VHS. You can find the latest feature films such as No Country For Old Men or Charlie Wilson's War, classics like Citizen Kane, documentaries such as No End in Sight, Grisly Man, and Supersize Me; There are all kinds of music on CDs. From classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma to contemporary jazz guitarist Bill Frisell to country star Willie Nelson, classic rock and world music. You can also listen to music, read lyrics or find information through our music and art databases and links to websites such as Califa Overdrive Music, Naxos Music Library for classical music, and Fine Arts and Music Collection. Through the Library website at you can link to websites such as top 40s, Lyric world, SJPL Music Collection Index, and Naxos. With your library card you can borrow arts magazines like Multicultural Review, Smithsonian, and Popular Photography.

Put some art into your life this summer at your nearest Alameda County Library branch.

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