- Los Angeles Public Library
:"This library serves the city of Los Angeles. For the library serving the county, see
County of Los Angeles Public Library."Infobox_Library
library_name = Los Angeles Public Library
location = Los Angeles, California, United States
established = 1872
num_branches = 71
collection_size = 6,393,429
annual_circulation = 15,775,000 (2005-06)
pop_served = 3,844,829 (city); 12,923,548 (metro)
budget = $97 million
director = Fontayne Holmes (City Librarian)
num_employees = unknown
website = http://www.lapl.org/
The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) system serves the residents of Los Angeles,
California, United States. With over 6 million volumes, LAPL is one of the largest publicly funded library systems in the world. The system is overseen by a Board of Library Commissioners comprised of five members appointed by the mayor.
Due to budget constraints, free membership is limited to residents of the three county area (Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties.) A picture ID and proof of local residency are required for a free library card. Effective July 13, 2008, patrons from outside the area will be charged an annual fee of $25.00 for a user's card. Newly arrived residents who have not yet obtained local identification may be issued a temporary card if they provide a local address. The temporary card is good for a six month period, and allows free use of the library's Internet computers and the ability to borrow one item at a time.
Circulating books, periodicals, computer access and audio visual materials are available to patrons. 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.
Also, the library has an extensive collection of historic photographs from a variety of sources, including the former
Los Angeles Herald-Examinernewspaper, as well as collections from noted local photographers. The Shades of L.A. Collection is an archive of over 10,000 images from family photo albums collected in recent years that shows the diverse history of the area.
Aggressive expansion and growth of the system began in the 1920s. Under Library Board of Commissioners Chairman
Orra E. Monnette, the system gained the support of Los Angeles citizens and began building a network of modern branch libraries to keep pace with Los Angeles' growth as a city.
Richard RiordanCentral Library, originally constructed in 1926, is a downtown Los Angeleslandmark. It is the third largest public library in the United Statesin terms of book and periodical holdings. Originally simply the Central Library, the building was 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 building was subsequently renamed in 2001 after Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.
Bertram Grosvenor Goodhuedesigned the original Los Angeles Central Library to mimic the architectureof ancient Egypt. The central tower is topped with a tiled mosaic pyramidwith suns on either side with a hand holding a torch representing the "Light of Learning" at the apex. Other elements include sphinxes, snakes, and celestial mosaics. It has similarities to the Nebraska State Capitolin Lincoln, Nebraska, also designed by Goodhue and which also featured sculpture by the architectural sculptor Lee Lawrie.
Despite the development of accessible databases and public access to the Internet, LAPL's Central Library remains an important research library. Some of the more notable collections included the Science and Technology Library in a special alcove above the general Science Department which included a complete collection of all Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) publications including the complete Patent Gazette and Trademark Gazette issues from the opening of the PTO. It also included a complete set of the entire registration books published by the Copyright Office starting from Volume 1. These collections were restored when the Central Library reopened.
It was extensively renovated and expanded in a "Modernist/Beaux Arts style" (according to the principal architect of the renovation Norman Pfeiffer) from 1988 through 1993, including an enormous, eight-story atrium dedicated to former mayor Tom Bradley. The interior of the library is decorated with various figures, statues, chandeliers, and grilles, notably a four-part
muralby illustrator Dean Cornwelldepicting stages of the history of California.
The building's limited access had caused a number of problems. Generally, the accessible public stacks in the reading rooms only displayed about 10-20% of the actual collections of the Central Library. For anything else, a patron had to submit a request slip and a clerk would retrieve the desired material from the internal stacks. Internal stacks were packed very tightly and had very little headroom. For example, while the normal reading rooms had ceilings of anywhere from ten to fifteen feet, the internal stack areas were many shelves of about six-foot height, stacked internally, so that while the public access area was about two floors plus the Science and Technology alcove, the internal stacks were approximately five or six floors. To fix this would have required substantial renovation, a cost the city was not willing to cover, especially after hours of operation were cut in response to the 1978 property tax reduction measure Proposition 13.
The catalyst for the renovation was the devastating
arson fireof April 29, 1986. Although the building was safely evacuated, its vintage construction precluded the ventilation of heat and smoke, and limited firefighteraccess. Some 400,000 volumes—20 percent of the library's holdings—were destroyed, with significant water and smoke damage done to the surviving works. A second fire on September 3of the same year destroyed the contents of the Music Department Reading Room.
Ironically the Soviet Union gave extensive media coverage of the April 29 arson fire, in comparison to almost no coverage of the explosion and fire three days earlier at the
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Fact|date=March 2008
As part of the rehabilitation plan, the LAPL sold its
air rightsto developers, enabling the construction of the eponymous Library Tower (later renamed the U.S. Bank Toweras well as an earlier period when the building was called the First Interstate World Center) skyscraperacross the street.
The Library's renovation was completed in 1993. The Central Library reopened on
October 3, 1993.
Gallery of the Central Library
Besides the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles, the system also operates 71 branch locations in the city's many neighborhoods:Columns
*Arroyo Seco Regional
*Donald Bruce Kaufman – Brentwood
*Will and Ariel Durant
*Encino – Tarzana
*Exposition Park – Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional
*Felipe de Neve
*Harbor Gateway – Harbor City
*Frances Howard Goldwyn – Hollywood Regional
*Hyde Park - Miriam Matthews
*Jefferson - Vassie D. Wright Memorial
*John C. Fremont
*Lake View Terrace
*North Hollywood Regional
*Palms – Rancho Park
*Pio Pico – Koreatown
*Robert Louis Stevenson
*San Pedro Regional
*Sunland – Tujunga
*Venice – Abbot Kinney Memorial
*Vernon – Leon H. Washington Jr. Memorial
*Alma Reaves Woods – Watts
*West Los Angeles Regional
*West Valley Regional
*Westchester – Loyola Village
Cahuenga Branch, Lincoln Heights Branchand Vermont Square Branchare the three remaining Carnegie librariesin the Los Angeles Public Library System. Six were originally built and three acquired through annexation, but six have been demolished.
List of Registered Historic Places in Los Angeles
* [http://www.lapl.org/ Los Angeles Public Library website]
* [http://www.lfla.org/ Library Foundation of Los Angeles]
*Chuck, Lysbeth. " [http://www.sla.org/content/Shop/Information/infoonline/2002/feb02/chuck.cfm Los Angeles' Very Special Libraries] ," "Information Outlook", Vol. 6, No. 2, February 2002 (published by the Special Libraries Association)
*Fodors.com: [http://www.fodors.com/miniguides/mgresults.cfm?destination=los_angeles@92&cur_section=sig&property_id=21248 Richard J. Riordan Central Library]
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