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County of Los Angeles Public Library

County of Los Angeles Public Library
Country United States
Type Public
Established 1912
Reference to legal mandate County Free Library Act
Location Downey, Los Angeles County, California
Branches 85
Size 6,434,367
Criteria for collection County residents
Access and use
Circulation 15,368,606
Population served 3,672,882
Members 3,142,419
Other information
Budget US$153,679,000 (2010)[1]
Director Margaret Donnellan Todd, County Librarian
Staff 1,147 (2010)[1]
Website .org.colapublibwww
References: [2]
Maywood Cesar Chavez Library
West Hollywood Library
The former Pico Rivera Library, now closed

The County of Los Angeles Public Library is the 6th largest public library system in the United States[3] which serves residents living in 51 of the 88 incorporated cities of Los Angeles County, California. United States and those living in unincorporated areas resulting in a service area extending over 3,000 square miles (7,800 km2).


  • Politics 1
  • Services and Resources 2
    • Visitors 2.1
    • Card Holders 2.2
    • Website Visitors 2.3
    • Website Card Holders 2.4
  • Locations 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


'County Free Library Act' (1912) established and authorized the Los Angeles County Free Library, later to become the County of Los Angeles Public Library system of branches.

The library system, headquartered in Downey, California, is overseen by the Library Commission of 20 appointed members who report on administration, operation, and service to the County Board of Supervisors who operate County Library as a special fund department.[4]

Services and Resources

The mission of the library is to "provide our diverse communities with easy access to the information and knowledge they need to nurture their cultural exploration and lifelong learning." As such, the library provides many resources, including literacy services and programs for families and children.[5]

Eighty-six regional and community branch libraries, four bookmobiles, and four special reference/resource centers also provide library services to the public. These resource centers focus on patrons of several ethnic origins, including the American Indian, Asian, African American, and Latino communities.[5]

The library system offers consumer health information under CHIPS (Consumer Health Information Program and Services).


Available to visitors within each library are reference and circulating books, periodicals and audio/visual materials. Catalog terminals query the collection of the entire library system. Information centers offer a collection of pamphlets and community information featuring upcoming events. A payphone may be in the lobby, by the restroom or outside near the entrance. A copier may be available for a fee per copy. Ad hoc productivity software/internet computer access may be limited by reservations and a printer is available for a fee per copy using the pay station to place credit on library card accounts or a visitors temporary account.

Card Holders

Registered Library Card holders in good standing may:

  • check out up to 50 circulating books, periodicals and audio/visual materials.
  • place up to 50 items on hold.
  • order books from other libraries within the county system for local pick-up/check-out.
  • reserve productivity software/internet terminals for up to one hour.
  • print 10 pages free per day.
  • only children may log on in the children's computer center, without reservation.
  • access free, unlimited wi-fi, using their own equipment.

Website Visitors website visitors may:

  • search the catalog.
  • search for library locations, hours and holiday closures.
  • view the calendar of Los Angeles County Library events, or search events by location or category.
  • view ideas and activities for teens and kids.

Website Card Holders patrons in good standing who log in with their library card number and pin may:

  • renew checked-out materials.
  • reserve productivity software/internet terminal time.
  • use Live Homework Help®
  • download audio books and e-Books.
  • access all Databases & Online Resources
    • Auto Repair, Biographies, Business, Career, Directories, Downloadable Audio & eBooks, Encyclopedias, Español, Genealogy, Health and Medicine, History, Homework, Kids, Languages, Legal, Literature, Magazines & Newspapers, Science, Social Issues, Taxes, Test Prep, Travel, Virtual Reference Library.


See list of county libraries


  1. ^ a b "Assessor". County of Los Angeles Annual Report 2009-2010. Public Affairs, Chief Executive Office. p. 60. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Margaret Donnellan Todd (2009). "Statistical Information Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2009". County of Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  3. ^ "ALA Library Fact Sheet 22 - The Nation's Largest Libraries". American Library Association. September 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  4. ^ "Public Records". County of Los Angeles Public Library. 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  5. ^ a b Murray, Stuart A. P. “The Library: An Illustrated History.” New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing, 2012, p. 263.

Further reading

  • Woelfel, Roger H. (1987). Diamond Jubilee: Seventy-Five Years of Public Service. Glendale, CA: Arthur C. Clark Company. ISBN 0-87062-181-5

External links

  • County of Los Angeles Library system
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