Program Assistant

Program Assistant's Blog Posts

December 23, 2020

Library Awarded Five Stars!

The Berkeley Public Library received its first five-star rating, the highest rating awarded to public libraries in the USA, by the Library Journal (LJ). After an annual review of more than 5,600 libraries, the LJ spotlights the “best of the best” public libraries. Read more...

July 29, 2020

2020 Summer Reading Program

This summer, dig into a good book with the Berkeley Public Library's Summer Reading Program, "Dig Deeper: Read, Investigate, Discover." There are programs for adults, teens, and children. Read more here.

July 17, 2020

Roses & Renewal

As summer blooms begin to peak this month, roses of every size, shape and color remind us of the beauty and awesome power of people coming together to make change. They also remind us of something else -- the legacy of Rosa Shattuck. Read more here...

June 17, 2020

Library Staff Step Up for Berkeley

“About one-third of Library staff have been assigned to COVID-19 disaster work since our buildings have been closed,” said Elliot Warren, director of library services. Read more here...

February 27, 2020

Photo Gallery

2020 Authors Dinner

January 14, 2020

Library for a New Decade

Change is coming! In the days ahead, there will be many exciting transitions at our library. Be sure to read the latest newsletter about what's coming up new at the library. Read more here.

July 15, 2019

What’s New At The Library

Extraordinary things are happening at our Berkeley Public Library branches! Read about our new Launchpad learning tablets, laptop lending machines at Tarea Hall Pittman, the Big Blue Blocks party, and our featured librarians! More here!

June 20, 2019

All Things Library Summer 2019

Is your summer reading list ready? Read about the library's 2019 summer reading theme A Universe of Stories, and all the great things coming up at our Berkeley Library branches! Keep reading here!
Jessica Zitter

January 20, 2019

Jessica Zitter

Jessica Zitter, MD, MPH, practices ICU and Palliative Care at the Highland Hospital in Oakland, California. She is the author of Extreme Measures:  Finding a Better Path to the End of Life.

Narda Zacchino

January 20, 2019

Narda Zacchino

Narda Zacchino is a journalist, writer and editor. She worked at the Los Angeles Times for over thirty years, eventually serving as vice president and associate editor. She has also been the deputy editor for the San Francisco Chronicle and served as a member of the Board of Directors for the International Women’s Media Foundation and Journalism and Women’s Symposium.

Ayelet Waldman

January 20, 2019

Ayelet Waldman

Ayelet Waldman is the author of A Really Good Day:  How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, the novels Love and Treasure, Red Hook Road, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, and Daughter’s Keeper, as well of the essay collection Bad Mother:  A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamaties, and Occasional Moments of Grace and the Mommy-Track Mystery series.  

Oscar Villalon

January 20, 2019

Oscar Villalon

Oscar Villalon is the managing editor at the San Francisco literary journal ZYZZYVA. His writing has been published in the Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, the Daily Beast, NPR.org, the Rumpus, and other publications.

Robin Sloan

January 20, 2019

Robin Sloan

Robin Sloan’s first novel, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, was a New York Times Best Seller, translated into more than twenty languages. His latest novel, Sourdough, was published in 2017.

Betty Charbonnet Reid Soskin

January 20, 2019

Betty Charbonnet Reid Soskin

Betty Charbonnet Reid Soskin is an author, singer, songwriter, social and political activist, entrepreneur, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, historian, blogger, public speaker, and National Park Service Ranger. Betty was instrumental in the establishment of Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, in 2000 where she now works.

Greg Sarris

January 20, 2019

Greg Sarris

Greg Sarris received his Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University, where he was awarded the Walter Gore Award for excellence in teaching.  He has published several books, including Grand Avenue (1994), an award-winning collection of short stories, which he adapted for an HBO miniseries and co-executive produced with Robert Redford. 

David Reid

January 20, 2019

David Reid

David Reid is the editor of Sex, Death and God in L.A. and coeditor of West of the West: Imagining California. His essays, articles, reviews, and interviews have appeared in Vanity Fair, The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and in several anthologies, including The Pushcart Prize XII.

Anna Rabkin

January 20, 2019

Anna Rabkin

Anna Rabkin’s early life in Poland was one of serial escapes – from Communists, Nazis, and her Catholic saviors. After WWII to escape Polish fascism she was sent to England. At the age of 18 she emigrated to New York where she was introduced to a cosmopolitan, globetrotting life.

Cleo Papanikolas 

January 20, 2019

Cleo Papanikolas 

Cleo Papanikolas is the author/illustrator of The Opposite Is Also True: A Journal Of Creative Wisdom For Artists and Cook Until Desired Tenderness. After Berkeley High School she earned a BFA in printmaking from California College of Arts and an MFA in painting from the University of California, Berkeley.

Tommy Orange

January 20, 2019

Tommy Orange

Tommy Orange is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

Laura Nader

January 20, 2019

Laura Nader

Laura Nader’s current work focuses on how central dogmas are made and how they work in law, energy science, and anthropology. Harmony, Ideology, Injustice and Control in a Mountain Zapotec Village (1990) and The Life of the Law: Anthropological Projects (2002) indicate a wide range of interests in law that has moved from village sites into national and international arenas.

Halifu Osumare

January 20, 2019

Halifu Osumare

Halifu Osumare, Ph.D., is a choreographer and scholar who has been involved with dance and black popular culture internationally, for over forty years, as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, administrator, and scholar.

Erin Scott  and Laura McLively

January 20, 2019

Erin Scott and Laura McLively

Laura McLively

is an Oakland-based registered dietitian and food writer. An avid home cook, Laura is the creator of My Berkeley Bowl, a popular blog about cooking with unusual fruits and vegetables from Berkeley Bowl, from which the seeds for her Berkeley Bowl Cookbook took root.

Michael David Lukas

January 20, 2019

Michael David Lukas

Michael David Lukas has been a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, a night-shift proofreader in Tel Aviv, and a waiter at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont. Translated into more than a dozen languages, his first novel The Oracle of Stamboul was a finalist for the California Book Award, the NCIBA Book of the Year Award, and the Harold U.

Oliver James

January 20, 2019

Oliver James

Oliver James is an author and illustrator born in Berkeley in 1991. He started watching birds in his backyard on Colusa Avenue at age five and never turned back. Since then he has competed in national birding tournaments, worked as a birding tour guide, and joined ornithological research teams from Peru to Alaska.

Sands Hall

January 20, 2019

Sands Hall

Sands Hall’s memoir, Flunk. StartReclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology (Counterpoint), was named a top ten book in religion and spirituality by Publishers Weekly, Spring 2018. Other books include the novel Catching Heaven (Ballantine), a Willa Award Finalist; and a volume of writing essays and exercises, Tools of the Writer’s Craft.

Charlotte Schiander Gray

January 20, 2019

Charlotte Schiander Gray

Charlotte Schiander Gray, author of Fatima’s Room and Stories from Ethiopia, was born in Copenhagen in 1944. After earning her PhD in Scandinavian Languages and Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, she accompanied her American husband, a water engineer for UNICEF, to Yemen, India, Sudan, and Ethiopia. 

Francis Fukuyama

January 20, 2019

Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He has previously taught at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and at the George Mason University School of Public Policy.

Carolyn Federman

January 20, 2019

Carolyn Federman

Carolyn Federman is the founder and Director of the Charlie Cart Project, a nonprofit bringing hands-on food and nutrition education to scale in schools, libraries and other community hubs. Prior to Charlie Cart, Carolyn worked in food education for more than a decade, with such food advocacy pioneers as Alice Waters, Jamie Oliver and Michael Pollan.

Jasmin Darznik

January 20, 2019

Jasmin Darznik

Jasmin Darznik’s debut novel Song of a Captive Bird is a fictional account of Iran’s trailblazing woman poet, Forugh Farrokhzad. It was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice as well as one of 2018’s Best Books by Vogue, Ms.

MK Chavez

January 20, 2019

MK Chavez

Latinx writer, MK Chavez, is the author of Mothermorphosis (Nomadic Press) and Dear Animal (Nomadic Press). She is a recipient of a 2017 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award. She is a fellow with CantoMundo, co-founder and co-curator of the reading series Lyrics & Dirges, co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival, and guest curator of the reading series at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) in the Fall of 2018.

Tom Dalzell

January 20, 2019

Tom Dalzell

Tom Dalzell has lived in Berkeley since 1984.  He grew up outside Philadelphia. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971 he moved to California to work with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers.  

Kirstin Chen

January 20, 2019

Kirstin Chen

Kirstin Chen’s new novel, Bury What We Cannot Take (Little A, March 2018), has been named a Most Anticipated Upcoming Book by Electric Literature, The Millions, The Rumpus, Harper’s Bazaar, and InStyle, among others.

Erwin Chemerinsky

January 20, 2019

Erwin Chemerinsky

Erwin Chemerinsky is Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He was founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at University of California, Irvine School of Law, and, before that, professor at Duke University and USC.

Michael Chabon

January 20, 2019

Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novels The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Summerland, The Final Solution, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Gentlemen of the Road, Telegraph Avenue, and Moonglow; the short story collections A Model World and Werewolves in Their Youth; the essay collections Maps and Legends, Manhood for Amateurs; and the recent Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces.

Shane Bauer

January 20, 2019

Shane Bauer

Shane Bauer is a senior reporter at Mother Jones magazine. In 2015, Shane took a job as a prison guard in Louisiana to investigate corporate-run prisons, the subject of the award-wining piece, “My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard.”

Faith Adiele

January 20, 2019

Faith Adiele

Faith Adiele has authored two memoirs: Meeting Faith, an award-winning account of becoming Thailand’s first black Buddhist nun, and The Nigerian Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems. She is writer/narrator/subject of the PBS documentary My Journey Home; and co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology

October 30, 2018

Luis Herrera on the Future of Libraries

Our annual Rosa Shattuck Circle Reception featured public library superstar Luis Herrera. Guests gathered to enjoy in the new flexible space funded in part by the Foundation called “The Commons.”  Read more…

September 25, 2018

All Things Library

The Commons grand opening, new board members, an art books sale, libraries in the media, and much more. Read about all of it here!

March 27, 2018

All Things Library

Upcoming STEM events, film screenings, and the Authors Dinner! Foundation news, events, and library happenings.  Read more ...

December 14, 2017

All Things Library

Cozy places, great authors, and a laptop lounge! Foundation news, events, and library happenings.        Read more ...

October 24, 2017

All Things Library

Latest news on  library leadership, plus Kanopy -- the Library's exciting new film streaming service -- donor spotlight on the Friends of the Library, new faces at the Foundation, Tool Lending Library's Adam Broner, and the upcoming Authors Dinner. Learn more ...

April 6, 2017

All Things Library

It's our birthday! Help us celebrate by telling us how much the Library means to you. Find out about AfterWORDS events, see the new faces at the library, and make plans for the Bay Area Book Festival, the annual Friends of the Library book sale, and more in our latest newsletter!

January 3, 2017

Honoring Linda Schacht Gage

In honor of her fifteen years of service as the chair of the Authors Dinner--and 20 years of fearless fundraising for the Berkeley Public Library--the Foundation will honor Linda Schacht Gage with the Fred and Pat Cody Award at the 15th Annual Authors Dinner on February 11, 2017. Read more about Linda here and make a donation in her honor today!

November 28, 2016

All Things Library

The Foundation is thankful for you and all that you do to support the library. Interested in furthering your commitment and involvement? Apply to become a member of the Board of Library Trustees. Read about the Authors Dinner and our 2017 AfterWORDs series sponsor, Middle-earth Enterprises. Lean into gratitude and read the latest newsletter here.

October 18, 2016

All Things Library

The Foundation welcomes new Library Director Heidi Dolamore to Berkeley. Learn more about Heidi and help welcome her to the library. See how you can get involved as a sponsor of the 15th Anniversary Authors Dinner. Authors revealed and tickets on sale in early November. Read the latest newsletter here.

April 1, 2016

All Things Library

Step into spring with the Berkeley Public Library Foundation. Check out upcoming AfterWORDS events, learn about new board members, see how you can become a charter member of the Rosa Shattuck Circle and more. Read updates here.