Toddler Storytime. Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years. 10:30 a.m. Saturdays. Melrose Branch Library, 4805 Foothill Blvd., Oakland. 510-535-5623, www.oaklandlibrary.org.

Chess at the Library. A weekly chess program offers instruction for beginners and a place for patrons of all ages and levels to play with each other. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. César E. Chávez Branch, 3301 E. 12th St., Oakland. 510-535-5620, www.oaklandlibrary.org.

Off the Hook Knitting Group. The Melrose Knitting Group meets the second and fourth Saturday every month. 3 to 5 p.m. Melrose Branch Library, 4805 Foothill Blvd., Oakland. 510-535-5623, www.oaklandlibrary.org.

Anthony T. Browder Lecture. Historian/scholar/author Anthony T. Browder discusses "Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization," the African contributions to the rudiments of civilization. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 15. Marcus Books, 3900 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland. Free. 510-652-2344.

Elaine Brown "Black Life in the Age of Obama." Elaine Brown, a former Chair of the Black Panther Party, discusses "Black Life in the Age of Obama," and leads a Q-and-A. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 16. Marcus Books, 3900 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland. Free. 510-652-2344.

All About Snakes. Local historian Ernest Chann addresses the Year of the Snake and what it will portend, and shares Chinese folk tales featuring snakes. 1:30 p.m. Feb. 16. Asian Library, 388 Ninth St., Oakland. 510-238-3400.


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Public Blood Drive. The American Red Cross holds a public blood drive. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 20. Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. 800-733-2767, redcrossblood.org.

Superior Court Volunteers Needed. Alameda County Superior Court needs eager volunteers to support the information kiosks in the Oakland, Hayward, and Fremont courthouses. Training provided. Call for details 510-891-6921 or jsalerno@alameda.courts.ca.gov.