From the Archives: Mad Men

As we bid farewell to Mad Men and the series finale that AMC’s marketing team climatically promoted as “the end of an era,” we combed through the Los Angeles Public Library’s archives to look at some of the real ads of this era. Just like many of the cutting-edge campaigns that Don Draper and team masterminded, these advertisements from archived issues of Westways and Playboy magazines offer a snapshot of the social and cultural climates of their times through humor, sarcasm, lust and wanderlust, and the ever-timely dose of nostalgia.

From Playboy, 1961:

From Playboy, 1964:

From Playboy, 1968:

From Playboy, 1970:

From Westways, 1967:

To continue exploring other images from this inspirational era, browse the Los Angeles Public Library’s photo collection. If you are not up-to-date on the last season of Mad Men, you can check out previous seasons of Mad Men from your local library.

Reminder: Mother’s Day is Just Around the Corner!

Moms are our favorite people. They deserve only the very best on Mother’s Day. So, why not pamper them with something awesome from The Library Store? Whether it’s a scarf, a book, or a journal, we have something that will make her really happy.

Here are some of our suggestions:

Pictured: Los Angeles Sunset Scarf, $125; Mom: Because of You book, $12.95; Pocket Composition Book, $8.75; Confetti Felt Coasters, $30; Turquoise Color Block Pouch, $15.

Oh, and our cards are sure to make her smile too…

 

 

Start Your Summer at ALOUD

With all the sunshine and high temps this week, it certainly feels like summer is quickly approaching. What better way to ring in the new season than making plans for ALOUD? This summer, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ critically-acclaimed ALOUD series presents an exceptional slate of original programming celebrating great writers, epic poetry, and the history of food in Los Angeles.

Kicking off the season on Tuesday, June 9, ALOUD welcomes one of America’s most beloved storytellers, Judy Blume. In conversation with KPCC host Alex Cohen at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo, Blume will discuss her classic work, passionate advocacy for the freedom to read, and her newest novel for adults, In the Unlikely Event. Tickets can be purchased here and are on sale now.

As part of the Library Foundation’s upcoming project exploring the Los Angeles Public Library’s menu collection, ALOUD presents two exciting panel discussions: On Sunday, June 14, Josh Kun, professor and author of To Live and Dine in L.A.: Menus and the Making of the Modern City, convenes local chefs Joachim Splichal (Patina Group), Cynthia Hawkins (Hawkins House of Burgers), and Ricardo Diaz (Colonia Publica) for a conversation on L.A. food past and present. And on Tuesday, July 14, Kun brings together urban gardener Ron Finley, the Healthy School Food Coalition’s Elizabeth Medrano, and Community Services Unlimited’s Neelam Sharma to discuss the struggles and triumphs of contemporary food activism – or, how we live and eat in L.A.

On Tuesday, June 30, three poets pose the question: “What is it about Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” that so deeply resonates across different cultures?” Poet Christopher Merrill joins poets and translators Luis Albert Ambroggio and Sholeh Wolpé and musician Sabba Motellebi for an evening of music and poetry in English, Persian and Spanish.

Join journalist Lynell George and writer Marisela Norte as they debut a new collaboration on the ALOUD stage on Thursday, July 9. “Love, Los Angeles: A Conversation in Words and Images,” is an on-going project to navigate the quickly-changing landscape of contemporary Los Angeles through photographs and text. Frosty of dublab will also be throwing in a live DJ mix for the program.

Two of today’s most thought-provoking and intimately honest essayists, Meghan Daum (The Unspeakable) and Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams), meet on the ALOUD stage on Thursday, July 23 to share their work as they grapple with the modern complexities of being human.

And closing out the season on Wednesday, July 29, Emmy Award-winning composer Laura Karpman with soprano Janai Brugger perform a special adaptation of Karpman’s vocal, orchestral, and visual performance of the Langston Hughes’ poem, “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.”

View the full ALOUD summer 2015 calendar at lfla.org/aloud. Did you know that Library Foundation Members receive advance notice of ALOUD programs? Learn more about becoming a Member here.

New Short Videos from ALOUD

We hope you’ve spent many evenings with ALOUD at the Central Library, hearing from some of the most groundbreaking artists, authors, scientists, and thinkers of our time. Now, whenever and wherever you have a couple minutes to unwind, you can catch up on illuminating moments from the programs you missed or you want to experience again. Over the years, we’ve been archiving full programs through podcasts and videos, and now we are excited to share with you a new series of short videos highlighting a few favorite moments from some recent programs. Take a short break with ALOUD and enjoy!

“Even at the most dramatic, there’s still a sense of playfulness,” said moderator Elvis Mitchell of Scott McCloud’s graphic novels. Hear how McCloud has made humor his ally.

 

“It was March, a light snow was falling…” reads Bill T. Jones from his book Story/Time: The Life of an Idea. Watch as the dancers Talli Jackson and Erick Montes Chavero bring to life Jones’ memory of an evening 24 years ago in this beautiful performance at ALOUD.

 

“Over the next several days, I nearly lost my mind…” begins actor Reza Safai as he read from the deeply personal diary of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a man still imprisoned at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, but who has never been charged with a crime. This is part one of a three-part short video series, which includes a conversation with Slahi’s lawyer, Nancy Hollander, and activist and editor of Slahi’s book, Larry Siems.

Watch over 100 short clips and full programs on ALOUD’s Vimeo page.

 

Spring Break at the Library

It’s spring break for many students around Los Angeles this week and next. If you are looking to keep your young ones engaged outside of the classroom, head over to any branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. With a wide range of free programs for children and teens, there’s no break at the Library from learning, reading, playing, and some much needed relaxing. Here’s a few highlights from the Library’s full upcoming calendar of events.

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NoHo Teens Yoga Club
Tuesday, April 7
North Hollywood Amelia Earhart Regional Library
Practicing yoga helps teens develop the body-mind connection which not only improves body image but also promotes better posture and even alleviates stress. Join us at NoHo library to learn some breathing and relaxation exercises to get you through that stressful school day.

LA Youth Poet Laureate 5-Week Teen Poetry Workshop
Tuesday, April 7

Will & Ariel Durant Branch Library
Do you have what it takes to be Los Angeles’ next Teen Poet Laureate? This 5-week poetry workshop is your opportunity to workshop your poetry or hip hop with professional writers and prepare your portfolio for city-wide competition. Refreshments will be provided.

Magnetic Poetry for Teens
Tuesday, April 14
Washington Irving Branch Library
Come learn to make a magnetic poetry set! Supplies provided; space is limited. This program is presented in celebration of National Poetry Month.

STEAMIN’ SPRING BREAK SCRATCH Camp
Tuesday, March 31 thru Friday, April 3
Baldwin Hills Branch Library
Kids eight years and up are invited to spend spring break learning to create code for making games, animated apps, storytelling and more. This is a four day camp. Commitment to attend all sessions is required. Computers are provided or campers can bring their own laptops. Space is limited. Advance registration recommended. Call 323.733.1196 to enroll.

Camp Minecraft
Wednesday, April 8
Venice – Abbot Kinney Memorial Branch Library
LA Makerspace will teach us how to participate in an interconnected world, where skills in online collaboration and coding are more valuable than ever! Space limited to 15 people. Sign up at the Information Desk. Ages 8-14.

Make It Mondays: Building Bricks
Monday, April 6
Arroyo Seco Regional Library
Join us for a hands-on activity each Monday at 4:00 pm…it’s MAKE IT MONDAYS! On April 6 and 20 we will be creating masterpieces with (4 letter brand name) building bricks.

There’s so many other ways students can take part in the Library’s many activities, including volunteer programs for teens at their local branch. Learn more today!

Top Photo Credit: “Coronado school is in session” from the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Archive.

A Little Romance

As a treat to our readers this Valentine’s Day, we’ve asked Mara Alpert, a librarian at the the Los Angeles Public Library, for some steamy reading recs. See what she has to say about one of her most passionate pastimes:

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“Ah February… the month we surround ourselves with red hearts, chocolate candy, thoughtful gifts, and the companionship of that special someone (if we’re lucky)… ROMANCE in all caps.  Now would be an excellent time to indulge in a little romantic reading.  I’m going to share some of my favorite romance novels (all of which can be checked out with your Los Angeles Public Library card) in the hopes that you will be inspired to add a little more romance to your life.

Book Jacket for: The unsung hero

Suzanne Brockmann – Perhaps you like your males alpha… well, Navy SEALs are among the alpha-est.  They can do anything – fix things, rescue people, crack jokes, and make love like nobody’s business.  If you want adventure, suspense, a few gun fights, and a lot of romance, try Suzanne Brockmann.  You’ll want to start at the beginning of the Troubleshooters Series with The Unsung Hero, in which Navy SEAL Tom Paoletti returns to his hometown to find the girl he left behind (now a doctor), and glimpses a terrorist who’s supposed to be dead.

Book Jacket for: Faking it 

Jennifer Crusie – You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  Okay, possibly your tears will be the result of laughing so hard, but she also knows how to tug those heartstrings.  Ms. Crusie loves neurotic dogs, eccentric families, and the odd illegal activity.  Her characters are not perfect, by any means.  They’re real people – with a kick.  My absolute favorite is Faking It, which tells the tale of Tilda Goodnight, who has been pretty much supporting her family (and trying to forget about the wildly illegal forged artwork in the basement) for years, and her growing relationship with the mysterious Davy Dempsey (whose past has a few larcenous twists as well).

Cover of With This Ring

Carla Kelly – Regency Romances generally take place in and around England in the early part of the 19th century, almost always among the aristocracy.  If you’re only going to read one modern Regency author, Carla Kelly is the one to pick.  Her characters are complex (even the minor ones), she has a great feel for both humor and pathos, and she KNOWS HER HISTORY.  She also doesn’t shy away from sensitive issues – many of her books deal with war and its aftermath, and it’s not pretty.  An excellent example would be With This Ring, which tells the story of Lydia Perkins, who defies convention to volunteer in a dilapidated church full of wounded and dying soldiers after the Battle of Toulouse, and Major Sam Reed, who finds her altogether admirable.

Book Jacket for: Trust no one

Jayne Ann Krentz / Jayne Castle / Amanda Quick – She writes under three different names, and she writes EVERYTHING… contemporary humorous romantic suspense (with a little paranormality thrown in), romantic science fiction (with a little paranormality thrown in), and historical romances touched with mystery, humor, and oh, just for fun, a little paranormality thrown in.  Okay, and she does also write more traditional romantic suspense – her most recent title, written under the name Jayne Ann Krentz, is Trust No One, in which Grace Elland finds events from her past rising up to play a terrifying part in her turbulent present, after she discovered the dead body of her employer.  Fortunately, an awkward blind date has connected her with the one man who can help.

Book Jacket for: Naked in death

Nora Roberts / J.D. Robb – Here is another author with so much to say that she needs two personas to say it (over 200 titles and counting).  As Nora Roberts, she writes contemporary romances spiced with mystery and suspense (every once in a while a little magic appears); as J.D. Robb, she has one of the best futuristic/police procedural/thriller romantic series around (well, the only one around), built around one of the most interesting married couples in any genre – police lieutenant Eve Dallas and her mega-rich, mega-hunky, ex-con husband Roarke.  I like Roberts’ books, but I LOVE Robb’s.  Start the long-running series with Naked in Death, and prepare yourself for a wildly romantic ride.

Enjoy!”
–Post by Mara Alpert

Top Image: From the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection. February 7, 1947. Andre ‘Bandi’ De Toth, enterprise studio director receives his Valentine present early from his wife, screen star Veronica Lake, the gift being a four place Navion airplane.

Young Literati Family Day

On Sunday, the youngest of the Young Literati took over Central Library for a magical morning of books, crafts, photo shoots, face painting, story time, food, and all around fun.

In the first-ever Young Literati Family Day, hosted by Honorary Chair Samantha Hanks (pictured left with her family), Young Literati Members celebrated their love for libraries with the tiniest readers–many of whom signed up for their first library card!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Families piled into the Children’s Library for an uproarious reading of “Dinosaurs Vs. Libraries” by comedian and actor Paul Scheer.

Kids of all ages enjoyed the festivities, which helped to raise awareness for the Los Angeles Public Library’s mission to provide over 100,000 children a week with critical learning and literacy resources.

Many thanks to the dedicated Members of the Young Literati for their lively support of the Library Foundation!

If you are not already a Member, learn more about this group of culturally and civically engaged Angelenos in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who raise awareness and support for the Los Angeles Public Library.

A Valentine for You!

The Library Store has your back this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re celebrating a lifetime together or an awkward night with someone you just met, we’ve got the cards and gifts for you. Stop on by Central Library and visit us! You can do better than just a box of chocolates from the drugstore…

Will you be mine?
The Library Store

P.S. The Pride & Prejudice Playset is a great gift for your little valentine.

The Library Store’s Annual Post-Holiday Sale!

IT’S HERE!!!

Starting today (Monday, January 5th), visit The Library Store‘s annual post holiday sale at Central Library to find tons of great items marked down as low as 50% off*! Everything from children’s gifts and books, to t-shirts and boxed notes, cards, calendars and more! Quantities are limited, so make sure to visit while supplies last. New items will also be added daily.

*No further discount on sale items.

 

12 Months of the Los Angeles Public Library

Every year thousands of Angelenos take part in the many educational and cultural programs, resources, and services at the Los Angeles Public Library. Before we look ahead to what will be an exciting new year at the Library, here’s a look back at some of the diverse activities supported by the Library Foundation in 2014. Thanks to all of our Members for joining us throughout the year and for making these invaluable experiences free and available to all.

January
ALOUD kicked-off a new year of eclectic programming unique to L.A. and the Library. In January, ALOUD paid tribute to Los Angeles’ unofficial poet laureate, Wanda Coleman, to honor what she did for poetry and who she was in Los Angeles: ­a larger-than-life figure who for decades reminded us how to be our own most authentic selves.

February
The Library Foundation’s coziest fundraiser of the year, The Stay Home and Read a Book Ball, took place, inviting Angelenos to support the Los Angeles Public Library without leaving their homes. Last year, folks stayed home in record numbers–raising the most funds ever in the long history of this favorite event! Save the date for the 2015 ball on March 1st.

March
Young Literati Members gathered with L.A.’s best and brightest for the Sixth Annual Young Literati Toast to raise funds for the Los Angeles Public Library’s “Summer Reading Clubs.”  The evening featured Young Literati Chair Amanda Fairey, emcee Busy Philipps, and music by Moby and Jenny Lewis, along with readings and comedic interludes from Nick Kroll, Lizzy Caplan, and Tig Notaro.

April
After flocks of authors and booklovers strolled the lawns of USC for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books last April, participating authors and Library Foundation Members continued celebrating the literary life of this city late into the night at the Third Annual “Book Drop Bash” with more than 400 people gathering at the downtown Central Library.

May
A new exhibit marking the 75th anniversary of Union Station opened at the Central Library. No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station was the first exhibition to examine the significance of the architectural design and cultural politics of the historic station, and included a series of related events like ALOUD panels and a changing display of model trains by various train clubs throughout Southern California.

June
The “Summer Reading Club” kicked off to foster literacy and learning while students were out of school last summer. Los Angeles Public Library’s longest running program motivated over 30,000 kids to crack the books and engage in innovative ways with storytelling.

July
The Library Foundation welcomed Ellen Lipson in her new role as President of The Council. Throughout the year, The Council hosted many special programs and fundraising events to benefit and raise awareness for the Los Angeles Public Library like a special evening and book signing with Norman Lear.

August
The Young Literati gathered in Santa Monica for a proper send-off to the season of long sunsets and frosty cocktails. The Summer Social offered Members the chance to raise their glasses to this past year of incredible support for the Los Angeles Public Library, and also get a sneak peek of what’s on the horizon for this dedicated group of engaged and informed Angelenos.

September
Supporters of the Library Foundation gathered at the historic California Club to celebrate the Foundation’s 22nd anniversary with a gala to benefit the great Los Angeles Public Library. This year’s benefit honored Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz with the Los Angeles Public Library Literary Award and bestselling author Judith Krantz with the Foundation’s Light of Learning Award for her devoted advocacy for the Los Angeles Public Library.

October
Throughout the month, Angelenos joined the Library Foundation and the Los Angeles Public Library for an epic quest to reinterpret Homer’s The Odyssey through a Southern California lens. With over 70 Odyssey-themed activities at the branch libraries for children, teens, and adults, including bike riding with the Cyclops and pop-up appearances by a commemorative Homer Simpson poster, the Odyssey Project culminated with a marathon reading of the epic poem at the Central Library.

November
ALOUD’s award-winning series journeyed to the west side as critically acclaimed Irish novelist Colm Tóibín was interviewed by New York Times bestselling L.A. local Rachel Kushner. The pair took the stage at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills for a conversation about Tóibín’s new novel, Nora Webster, while also discussing their shared passion for some of literature’s most memorable characters.

December
The Library Store got their motors running for the holiday season and sent The Library Store On Wheels to sites across the city to offer unique gifts from our carefully curated collection that gives back to the Los Angeles Public Library.

Happy New Year from the Library Foundation!

Look back at other great photos from the year here.

If you are not a Member already, please consider becoming a Library Foundation Member today to take part in these special events.