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Los Angeles Public Library
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The Los Angeles Public Library system (LAPL) serves the residents of the City of Los Angeles. The system holds more than six million volumes,[3] and with over 18 million residents in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, it serves the largest population of any publicly funded library system in the United States.[4] The system is overseen by a Board of Library Commissioners with five members appointed by the mayor of Los Angeles in staggered terms in accordance with the city charter.[5]
Los Angeles Public Library

South entrance of the Richard J. Riordan Central Library at Hope Street
CountryUnited States
TypePublic
Established1872
LocationHeadquarters: 630 West 5th Street
Los Angeles, California
Branches72
Collection
Size6,393,429
Access and use
Circulation18 million
Population served4,030,904 (city)
18,783,638 (metro)
Other information
BudgetUS$134,630,543
DirectorJohn F. Szabo (Fall 2012)
Staff944
Websitewww.lapl.org
Map
References: [1][2]
Circulation and services
Library cards are free to California residents. Circulating books, zines, periodicals, computer access, and audiovisual materials are available to patrons. Books, magazines, and audiobooks are loaned for three weeks. Music cassettes, music CDs, documentary videos, and documentary DVDs are loaned for one week. Entertainment videos and entertainment DVDs are loaned for four days. Fines are charged only if materials are returned late. There is a loan limit of 10 books, 10 magazines, and 4 DVDs or videos at one time up to maximum of 30 items on the patron's record. Items checked out from Los Angeles Public Library may be returned to any of its 72 branches or to the Central Library. Most items may be renewed a maximum of two times. Entertainment DVDs and videos may be renewed one time.
The Los Angeles Public Library has many community support organizations which work with the library to raise funds and sponsor programs to enhance library service throughout the community. The Library's Rare Books Department is located in its downtown Los Angeles location. There is also an extensive selection of databases covering a wide variety of topics, many of which are available to remote users who hold an LAPL library card. Examples include full-text databases of periodicals, business directories, and language learning tools. The Central Library at 630 West 5th Street, between Grand Avenue and Flower Street in Downtown Los Angeles, remains an important research library, despite the development of accessible databases and public access to the Internet.
The library also offers an online program that allows adult patrons who have not completed high school to earn their high school diploma.[6]
History
The Downey Block, 1880s
The Los Angeles Library Association was formed in late 1872, and by early 1873, a well-stocked reading room had opened in the Downey block at Temple and Main streets under the first librarian, John Littlefield.[7][8]
The original library consisted of two rooms. The larger room was called the “Book Room,” and the smaller room was called the “Conversation Room,” which contained newspapers, tables, chairs, and spittoons for the chess and checkers players who gathered there.[9]
Women were not initially involved in the conception and development of the Los Angeles Library Association. Mrs. John Downey was given an honorary membership out of “courtesy,” but otherwise, no women were listed in the association's founding documents, women were not represented on the board, and women were denied access to the library's reading room. However, this changed in 1876 when the association decided to implement a “Ladies Room.” While this new room did not offer any books, it did provide a number of magazines and comfortable sofa and chairs for local clubwomen to use.[9]
After Mary Foy was appointed as the first head woman librarian in 1880, her appointment was viewed as an act of charity by Mayor Toberman, who may have thought Foy to be in need of a job. Joanne Passet even posited that Foy's nomination, and librarian nominations in general, were seen as “an honorable means of assisting needy men and women in the community.” This notion was mostly confirmed when Foy was replaced by Jessie Gavitt, whose economic need was deemed greater than Foy's by the board.[9]
There was further speculation as to why the board decided on appointing Foy as the first head woman librarian. It may have been a political choice since she represented values that flourished in women's organizations, aiming to please the city's powerful women's clubs who may have been applying pressure. It's also suggested that Foy's nomination was a financial move; John Littlefield earned a salary of $100 while Mary Foy earned $75, which included janitorial work.[9]
Tessa Kelso was appointed head librarian in 1889. She abolished the membership fee, increased membership from 100 to 20,000, increased the collection from 12,000 to 300,000 volumes, moved the books to open shelves, and permitted children to use the library. She set up an early system of branch libraries and moved the central library in to City Hall. She was forced out after a controversy over the library's acquisition of Jean Richepin's book La Cadet, which was considered indecent at the time.[7]
Mary Jones, who was appointed Librarian in 1905, was fired by the library board in favor of Charles Fletcher Lummis. The only reason given for this was that the library should be run by a man, not a woman. This provoked "The Great Library War". Women in Los Angeles petitioned and marched in support of Jones but she was finally forced out; she took up a position as head of the library at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.[10][11] Lummis established several special collections, including photography, autographs, and California and Spanish history. He oversaw two moves into larger buildings, and he greatly increased use of the library through several outreach programs.[7]
Aggressive expansion and growth of the system began in the 1920s. The first building dedicated exclusively for library use opened in 1926.[7] Under Library Board of Commissioners Chairman Orra E. Monnette, the system was improved with a large network of branch libraries with new buildings. Thelma Jackman founded the Business & Economics section of the library sometime prior to 1970.
As with all libraries worldwide, all of the branches had closed since mid-March 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
City Librarians
Central Library
Main article: Richard J. Riordan Central Library
Cornerstone of the original building of the Richard J. Riordan Central Library, laid in 1925
Los Angeles Central Library at Flower Street
The historic Central Library Goodhue building was constructed in 1926 and is a Downtown Los Angeles landmark.[12] The Central Library was designed by the architect, Bertram Goodhue.[13] The Richard Riordan Central Library complex is the third largest public library in the United States in terms of book and periodical holdings. Originally named the Central Library, the building was first renamed in honor of the longtime president of the Board of Library Commissioners and President of the University of Southern California, Rufus B. von KleinSmid. The new wing of Central Library, completed in 1993, was named in honor of former mayor Tom Bradley.[14] The complex (i.e., the original Goodhue building and the Bradley wing) was subsequently renamed in 2001 for former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, as the Richard Riordan Central Library. The building was damaged by fire in 1986.
Branches
Besides the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles, the system also operates 72 branch locations in the city's many neighborhoods. Eight of the larger branches are designated "regional branches":
No.NamePhotographAddressZip CodePhoneAreaNeighborhood ServedNotes
01Benjamin Franklin2200 E. First St.90033-3902323-263-6901NortheastBoyle Heights
02Lincoln Heights
2530 Workman St.90031-2322323-226-1692NortheastLincoln Heights
03Pío Pico-Koreatown (피오 피코 코리아타운 도서관)
694 S. Oxford Ave.90005-2872213-368-7647HollywoodKoreatown
04Vernon4504 S. Central Ave.90011-3632323-234-9106Central SouthernSouth Central
05Arroyo Seco6145 N. Figueroa St.90042-3565323-255-0537NortheastHighland Park/GarvanzaRegional Branch
06Exposition Park
3900 S. Western Ave.90062-1111323-290-3113Central SouthernExposition ParkRegional Branch
07Junipero Serra4607 S. Main St.90037-2735323-234-1685Central SouthernSouth Park
08Echo Park1410 W. Temple St.90026-5605213-250-7808NortheastEcho Park
09San Pedro931 S. Gaffey St.90731-3606310-548-7779Central SouthernSan PedroRegional Branch
10Wilmington1300 N. Avalon Blvd.90744-2639310-834-1082Central SouthernWilmington
11Goldwyn Hollywood1623 Ivar Ave.90028-6304323-856-8260HollywoodHollywoodRegional Branch
12John C. Fremont6121 Melrose Ave.90038-3501323-962-3521HollywoodHancock Park
13Westchester-Loyola Village
7114 W. Manchester Ave.90045-3509310-348-1096WesternWestchester
14Vermont Square
1201 W. 48th St.90037-2838323-290-7405Central SouthernVermont Square
15Pacific Palisades
861 Alma Real Dr.90272-3730310-459-2754WesternPacific Palisades
16Donald Bruce Kaufman Brentwood11820 San Vicente Blvd.90049-5002310-575-8273WesternBrentwood
17Jefferson-Vassie D. Wright
2211 W. Jefferson Blvd.90018-3741323-734-8573Central SouthernJefferson Park
18Malabar
2801 Wabash Ave.90033-2604323-263-1497NortheastBoyle Heights
19Robert Louis Stevenson
803 Spence St.90023-1727323-268-4710NortheastBoyle Heights
20Cahuenga
4591 Santa Monica Blvd.90029-1937323-664-6418HollywoodEast Hollywood
21El Sereno5226 S. Huntington Dr.90032-1704323-225-9201NortheastEl Sereno
22Palms-Rancho Park
2920 Overland Ave.90064-4220323-840-2142WesternPalms & Rancho Park
23Van Nuys6250 Sylmar Ave.91401-2707818-756-8453East ValleyVan NuysClosed for renovations until Summer 2020.
24Canoga Park20939 Sherman Way91303-1744818-887-0320West ValleyCanoga Park
25Studio City12511 Moorpark St.91604-1372818-755-7873East ValleyStudio City
26Angeles Mesa
2700 W. 52nd St.90043-1953323-292-4328Central SouthernHyde Park/Leimert Park
27West Los Angeles11360 Santa Monica Blvd.90025-3152310-575-8323WesternWest Los AngelesRegional Branch
28Cypress Park
1150 Cypress Ave.90065-1144323-224-0039NortheastCypress Park
29Wilshire
149 N. St. Andrews Pl.90004-4019323-957-4550HollywoodMid-Wilshire
30Ascot120 W. Florence Ave.90003-1805323-759-4817Central SouthernFlorence
31Will & Ariel Durant7140 W. Sunset Blvd.90046-4416323-876-2741HollywoodHollywood
32Eagle Rock5027 Caspar Ave.90041-1901323-258-8078NortheastEagle RockArticle on the former building
33Hyde Park-Miriam Matthews2205 W. Florence Ave.90043-5101323-750-7241WesternHyde Park
34John Muir
1005 W. 64th St.90044-3605323-789-4800Central SouthernVermont-Slauson
35Sunland-Tujunga7771 Foothill Blvd.91042-2137818-352-4481East ValleySunland & Tujunga
36Los Feliz1874 Hillhurst Ave.90027-4427323-913-4710HollywoodLos Feliz
37North Hollywood Amelia Earhart5211 Tujunga Ave.91601-3119818-766-7185East ValleyNorth HollywoodRegional Branch
38Mar Vista12006 Venice Blvd.90066-3810310-390-3454WesternMar Vista
39Panorama City14345 Roscoe Blvd.91402-4222818-894-4071East ValleyPanorama City
40Venice-Abbot Kinney501 S. Venice Blvd.90291-4201310-821-1769WesternVenice
41Washington Irving
4117 W. Washington Blvd.90018-1053323-734-6303HollywoodArlington Heights/Mid-City
42Robertson Branch Library1719 S. Robertson Blvd.90035-4315310-840-2147WesternBeverlywood/Cheviot Hills/Pico-RobertsonClosed Saturday and open Sunday due to widespread observation of Shabbat in this neighborhood
43Alma Reaves Woods-Watts10205 Compton Ave.90002-2804323-789-2850Central SouthernWatts
44Atwater Village3379 Glendale Blvd.90039-1825323-664-1353HollywoodAtwater Village
45Mark Twain9621 S. Figueroa St.90003-3928323-755-4088Central SouthernVermont Vista
46Baldwin Hills2906 S. La Brea Ave.90016-3902323-733-1196WesternBaldwin Hills
47Encino-Tarzana
18231 Ventura Blvd.91356-3630818-343-1983West ValleyEncino & Tarzana
48Felipe de Neve
2820 W. 6th St.90057-3114213-384-7676HollywoodWestlake
49Memorial
4625 W. Olympic90019-1832323-938-2732HollywoodCountry Club Park
50West Valley
19036 Vanowen St.91335-5114818-345-9806West ValleyResedaRegional Branch
51Sherman Oaks14245 Moorpark St.91423-2722818-205-9716East ValleySherman Oaks
52Sun Valley7935 Vineland Ave.91352-4477818-764-1338East ValleySun Valley
53Pacoima13605 Van Nuys Blvd.91331-3613818-899-5203East ValleyPacoima
54Sylmar14561 Polk St.91342-4055818-367-6102East ValleySylmar
55Playa Vista
6400 Playa Vista Dr.90094-2168310-437-6680WesternPlaya Vista
56Granada Hills10640 Petit Ave.91344-6452818-368-5687West ValleyGranada Hills
57Valley Plaza12311 Vanowen St.91605-5624818-765-9251East ValleyValley Glen/North HollywoodFormerly known as Vanowen Park Branch
58Woodland Hills22200 Ventura Blvd.91364-1517818-226-0017West ValleyWoodland Hills
59Northridge9051 Darby Ave.91325-2743818-886-3640West ValleyNorthridge
60Chatsworth21052 Devonshire St.91311-2314818-341-4276West ValleyChatsworth
61Fairfax
161 S. Gardner St.90036-2717323-936-6191HollywoodFairfax
62Lake View Terrace
12002 Osborne St.91342-7221818-890-7404East ValleyLake View Terrace
63Chinatown
639 N. Hill St.90012-2317213-620-0925NortheastChinatown
64Little Tokyo
203 S. Los Angeles St.90012-3704213-612-0525NortheastLittle Tokyo
65Platt23600 Victory Blvd.91367-1349818-340-9386West ValleyWest Hills
66Mid-Valley Regional16244 Nordhoff St.91343-3806818-895-3650West ValleyNorth HillsRegional Branch
67Porter Ranch11371 Tampa Ave.91326-1729818-360-5706West ValleyPorter Ranch
68Harbor City-Harbor Gateway24000 S. Western Ave.90710-1741310-534-9520Central SouthernHarbor City & Harbor Gateway
69Edendale2011 W. Sunset Blvd.90026-3122213-207-3000NortheastEcho Park
70Pico-Union
1030 S. Alvarado St.90006-3712213-368-7545HollywoodPico-Union
71Westwood
1246 Glendon Ave.90024-4914310-474-1739WesternWestwood
72Silver Lake
2411 Glendale Blvd.90039-3217323-913-7451NortheastSilver Lake 
See also
Los Angeles portal
References
  1. ^ Martin Gomez (February 2010). "City Librarian's Report to Friends Groups". Los Angeles Public Library. Archived from the original (.PPS) on June 20, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  2. ^ "Los Angeles Library Foundation - Annual Report 2008-2009". Library Foundation of Los Angeles. 2009. Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  3. ^ "Los Angeles Public Library Facts 2013 (for fiscal year 2012-13) | Los Angeles Public Library". www.lapl.org. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  4. ^ Szabo, John (2015). "LAPL Strategic Plan 2015-2020" (PDF). Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  5. ^ "Board of Library Commissioners | Los Angeles Public Library". www.lapl.org. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  6. ^ Toppo, Greg (June 2, 2014). "Libraries' choice: Change or fade into oblivion". USA Today. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e Orlean, Susan (2018). The Library Book. London: Atlantic Books. pp. 125, 129, 132, 139–143, 173, 174, 198, 203, 307. ISBN 9781782392255. OCLC 1084749272.
  8. ^ Soter, Bernadette Dominique (1993). The light of learning: an illustrated history of the Los Angeles Public Library. Los Angeles: Library Foundation of Los Angeles. pp. 19–20.
  9. ^ a b c d Debra Gold Hansen; Karen F. Gracy; Sheri D. Irvin. "At the Pleasure of the Board: Women Librarians and the Los Angeles Public Library, 1880-1905". Libraries & Culture. University of Texas Press. 34 (4, Fall 1999): 311-346.
  10. ^ Orlean, Susan (2018). The Library Book. London: Atlantic Books. pp. 132, 139–143. ISBN 9781782392255. OCLC 1084749272.
  11. ^ Beyelia, Nicholas (March 21, 2018). "The Great Library War of 1905, Part 1: Have you met Miss Jones?". Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) blog. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  12. ^ "EARLY HISTORY, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE GOODHUE BUILDING | Los Angeles Public Library". www.lapl.org. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  13. ^ Orlean, Susan (2018). The Library Book. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-4767-4018-8.
  14. ^ "TOM BRADLEY WING: HISTORY AND DESIGN | Los Angeles Public Library". www.lapl.org. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
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Last edited on 28 March 2021, at 15:37
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