As Vicky Chen, the teen librarian at the Rockridge Library Branch, attempted to settle the chaotic rush of middle school students visiting the youth section after school, a student suddenly asked, “Ms. Vicky, how can a book be banned?” Chen, along with other Oakland librarians, highlighted banned books at their respective branches by creating displays…

Read More

Michael Pandolfo’s childhood comic store was dark, dingy, and intimidating. He remembers the shop was full of the condescending comic book fans he calls “rules lawyers”—comic book experts who show disdain for non-experts. It wasn’t a welcoming place for any but the most shunned, resentful reader. This old store, where he bought his first issues…

Read More