Los Angeles Public Library’s Central Library

Nov 05, 2009 by Lisa Newton

First opened in 1926, Los Angeles Public Library’s Central Library is the third largest in the nation, and its subject departments contain more than 2.6 million books; 10,000 magazine subscriptions; 3 million historic photographs; 5 million U.S. patents; language learning tutorials; and and a plethora of multi-media resources. 

Los Angeles Central Public Library

The Central Library is headquarters for the entire Los Angeles Public Library system, which includes 71 branch libraries.

Arson fires in 1986 destroyed the Central Library, until the “new” Central Library opened in October 1993.

Currently, it now contains 538,000 sq ft of space, with approximately 89 miles of book shelves. The Central Library also has kept up with the times—it has 255 free Wi-Fi enabled public access computers located in its Computer Center, and throughout the building, providing its patrons with 600,000 annual hours of computer access.

From 2006-2007, the Library’s visitors checked out 1.2 million books and other items; presented over 2,000 programs attracting 46,000 people to attend its events; and responded to approximately 2 million reference questions.

Flower Avenue Entrance

A central feature of the Central Library is its Teen’Scape program, one of the nation’s first libraries within a library, designed by, and exclusively for teens.

Teen’Scape includes a “living room,” complete with sofas and 50”plasma TV’s; “Cyberspac” with more than 20 Internet-ready computers; and a Homework Center featuring computers with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint software applications.

The Teen’Scape program offers kids a place to feel welcome, comfortable, and provide them a venue to encourage them to do their homework, and have fun at the same time.

Helping Hand

Culturally, and atheistically, Los Angeles’ Public Central Library provides a city-wide educational resource center. With its never-ending source of books, art, art exhibits, and exhibitions, it’s a world class physical, artistic, and educational treasure for the city, that’s free and provides many rare and sublime glimpses of art, that are more typically reserved for showing at the LACMA, MOMA, the National Museum, or at the Christie’s or Sotheby’s auction houses.

For example, the current exhibit, “Richard Neutra, Architect: Sketches and Drawings,” will be available until January 31, 2010. The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular library hours.

If you’re interested in taking a tour of the Central Library, they provide daily walk-in tours lasting approximately for an hour:

Monday – Friday 12:30pm

Saturday – 11:00am & 2:00pm

Sunday – 2:00pm

Lastly but not least, either on your way in or out be sure to check out and spend some time at The Maguire Gardens, the 1.5 acre public park adjoining the library. At every corner and turn, you’ll find an angle, design, and item of wonder:

In Los Angeles, life’s treasures, and the treasures of life, are on display here every single day. When in Rome do as the Romans do—and when in Los Angeles and Southern California, always be sure to check out Travelin’ Local for what’s hip, new, and interesting.

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2 Responses to “Los Angeles Public Library’s Central Library”

  1. FrugalNYC says:

    It’s been way too long since I’ve been back here! Big fan of libraries! This would definitely be one of my destinations when I visit :)

    Speaking of libraries, giving away a great book on current blog post – if anyone is interested :)

    Hope to help you help others!
    FrugalNYC´s last blog ..FrugalNYC’s Frugal Philanthropist Giveaway (Book) My ComLuv Profile


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @FrugalNYC, I’m sure NYC has some great libraries.


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