Library’s “Expressions of Joy” Mural Captivates Children

The “Expression of Joy” mural, painted by Umi Vaughan in 2009, adorns the south wall of the West Oakland Branch Library at 18th and Adeline Streets, bringing joyful expressions from many of the children who visit the library to read books and operate computers. Some of the children at the library last Saturday talked about how they felt about the mural. “The mural makes me feel so happy to see children running and having fun at the library. I like to run to the library, too.” said Ashanti Watson, 11, who attends Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School. Jahliel Elliott, 6, a student at Lakeview Elementary, said, “It’s nice to see the kids playing, and they look like they like each other, too.” The students went to the library to read and talk with Librarian Veronica Lee, who says it is a good sign that children are enjoying themselves and having fun while learning at the library. Jahliel and Ashanti could very easily exchange places with the children in the mural, she said. The children said they see the Oakland Post every week and asked publisher Paul Cobb if their picture would be taken someday. With photo shown at right, they, too, will have their expressions of joy “Posterized.” Photo by Jesus Hernandez.
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