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May 11, 2010 > Alameda County Library News: Parenting tips at your library

Alameda County Library News: Parenting tips at your library

With Mother's Day just past, this seems like a good time to point out various resources for parenting your local libraries offer, even though we all know parenting isn't just for mothers.

People have long associated libraries with story times for kids, but there's more to it than that. Many or most of them are meant to be interactive with parent and child, and some have special features.

The Centerville branch library has been offering a monthly Parenting Class for Mandarin-speaking parents for almost two years. Dr. Shu-ling Chen is well-known among the Chinese community in the Bay Area. She has given speeches at numerous events and has appeared on TV and radio programs several times. Dr. Chen has been donating her time to conduct the class at Centerville since September 2008. Her class is so valuable that some working parents have been taking time off from work to attend. It is offered on the second Thursday in the month from 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Upcoming dates are: May 12, June 10, July 8 and August 12.

For more information about this and other programs for children and their parents, call the branch at 795-2629 or contact Chien-chun Chang at

Fremont Main has a "Parenting with Purpose" workshop on the fourth Wednesday of the month. This lecture series is presented by the staff of the Center for Speech, Language and Occupational Therapy and yikes tikes! Each free program begins at 7 p.m., lasts one hour; free child care is provided. Topics through October have been scheduled:

May 26 - Different Types of Smart: What Type is Your Child?
June 23 - Connections Between Movement, Attention and Learning
July 28 - Toys, Toys, Everywhere! How to Find Inexpensive Educational Toys
August 25- Fussy Eaters
Sept. 22 - Early Literacy
October 27 - Raising Your Child Bilingually

In addition to many books on various aspects of child rearing (generally 649.1 on the second floor), there is a separate Parents' Collection in the Children's Area so that parents and caregivers have easy access to it while their children browse the surrounding area.

The Lapsit story time is interactive for pre-walkers and a parent. It is offered on Thursdays every other month (May, July, September, etc.) and includes an interactive stay-and-play with age-appropriate toys. Registration is required.

For more information about these and other programs for children and their parents at Fremont Main, contact the Children's Information Desk at 745-1421.

Newark's parenting class is presented by Sandra Dye, MFT. It occurs on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. and is for parents only - no children please. Upcoming dates in May and June are May 11th, May 25th, June 8th and June 22nd.

Newark Library also has a separate Parents' Collection.

The Toddler Time (for 18-36 month olds and their parent) at Newark Library is parent-interactive; no registration is required at present. There is stay-and-play time afterward. It is on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. and will run through May then take a break for the summer.

For more information about these and other programs for children and their parents at Newark Library, contact the branch at 795-2627, or contact Kat Blair at

Union City has parent/child workshops in May in conjunction with their Family Place program. They are on Mondays from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. for parents and toddlers from 1-3 years old. Children play with developmental learning toys for pre-reading, dramatic play, music, art, fine motor, and large motor skill building. Parents interact one-on-one with experts in child development, nutrition, speech and hearing, dental health. Sign up to attend.

Union City Library also has a separate Parents' Collection.

Toddler Time for Parents and Toddlers is offered on Wednesday mornings in May from 10:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. It is for children ages 16 -36 months and a parent/ caregiver. Registration is required.

For more information about these and other programs for children and their parents at the Union City Library, contact the branch at 745-1464, or contact Pat Ryan at, or Mira Geroy at

The Alameda County Library also subscribes to a number of databases that can be of help to young students and their parents. To see all of them, visit, and click on Research and then Articles and Databases. They are listed by category. Look under For Students and Teachers. You'll find America the Beautiful, which includes comprehensive information on all states and territories of the United States of America with pictures, a Biography Resource Center with long and short articles on the famous and infamous from ancient times through the present, Learning Express Library, practice tests and review materials for elementary school on up, Literature Resource Center for reports on authors and their works, Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center for info on social issues, with opinions, statistics and more, and Tumblebooks Library, a collection of animated picture books for the younger set.

Don't miss the link to Brainfuse, an online, live tutoring service for all ages from 1 p.m. - 10 p.m., perfect for that algebra problem no one can figure out how to solve. In the category called Health and Medicine, check out Health and Wellness Resource Center, with medical encyclopedia, articles, magazines and journals, and pamphlets on conditions and medications used to treat them, including alternative medicines.

For all of these, you will need a library card so that you can enter the number on the back to get into the databases.

We'd also like to recommend the Internet Public Library/Librarian's Internet Index site. They've pulled together some great resources for parents at

Some staff favorite book titles for parents include:

Vicki Lansky Getting Your Child to Sleep ....and Back to Sleep
Charlene C. Giannetti Cliques: 8 steps to help your child survive the social jungle
Ericka Lutz On the Go with Baby
Jen Singer Stop Second-Guessing yourself: the toddler years
Adele Faber Siblings without Rivalry: how to help your children live together so you can live too
Hal Edward Runkel Screamfree Parenting

Last but perhaps not least, if you'd like to read something that looks at parenting issues with a sense of humor, try:

Beth Harpaz 13 is the new 18: and other things my children taught me while I was having a nervous breakdown
Robert Wilder Daddy needs a drink: an irreverent look at parenting from a dad who truly loves his kids-- even when they're driving him nuts
Sandy Kahn Shelton Preschool Confidential and other titles

Sallie Pine, Manager, Fremont Libraries (510) 745-1413

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