Meet the Young Literati Toasters

We hope you’ll be raising a glass with us for the Sixth Annual Young Literati Toast this Saturday, March 22 at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City. Arguably the Foundation’s most star-studded affair, the evening will celebrate our beloved Los Angeles Public Library with an incredible cast reading and performing selections of our city’s finest literature.

Curated by Amanda and Shepard Fairey, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Moby, and Busy Philipps, the evening will feature readings by Jason Reitman (Labor Day, Up in the Air, Juno), Nick Kroll (Kroll Show, The League), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Gillian Jacobs (Community), comedian Tig Notaro (This American Life), Aaron D. Spears (Being Mary Jane), a musical performance by Jenny and Johnny, and more. Learn more about the event and tickets here, and to tide you over till the big night here’s a look at some of the toasters who will be joining us to support the Library.

Tig Notaro’s Stand-up from “This American Life”:

A clip from “Kroll Show” with Nick Kroll:

Music by Jenny and Johnny:

Stop by the Los Angeles Public Library to check out some DVDs featuring Busy PhilippsCougar Town, Freaks and Geeks, or White Chicks.
Book Jacket for: Cougar town. [videorecording] / The complete third seasonBook Jacket for: Freaks and geeks the complete series / [videorecording] :Book Jacket for: White chicks [videorecording]

Or movies directed by Jason Reitman like Juno, Up in the Air, and Young Adult.Book Jacket for: Juno [videorecording]Book Jacket for: Up in the air [videorecording].Book Jacket for: Young adult [videorecording]

Don’t miss out on this special night to support the Los Angeles Public Library Summer Reading Clubs, which are offered in all 73 library locations and serve over 40,000 children and teens each year.watch?v=QlDSiFQJN2M

How-to-Book-Festival with Attica Locke

Where else are you going to catch Margaret Atwood, Carol Burnett, Lemony Snicket, and Susan Feniger tag-teaming stages across a grassy college quad? The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is right around the corner, and to help guide your way through the largest public literary event in North America, we asked participating local author and Library Foundation Board Member Attica Locke for her tips on how-to-book-festival like a pro.

Attica Locke at ALOUD last year. Photo by Gary Leonard.

What sets apart the L.A. Times Festival of Books from other book fairs?

Locke: Besides Korean tacos and yoga pants, the L.A. Times Book Festival is the best thing ever to happen to L.A. It’s so incredibly comprehensive with an entire stage in Spanish, with music, cooking, and children’s events—it’s the most creative book festival around.

How have you participated with the festival over the years? And what are you doing there this year?

Locke: This is my fourth time being a panelist. I’m usually involved in the crime writing conversations, which draw very diverse crowds. This year, I’m on the “Crime Fiction: What We Can’t Tell You,” panel on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. But it always turns into a family event for me, so my husband and daughter come and we go around and explore.

What panels, readings, or events are you especially looking forward to this year?

Locke: On Saturday, I’m really looking forward to the Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen event. I’ve heard Lemony Snicket speak before and I’ve never heard an artist quite like him—he’s so entertaining. I want to pop in to the YA stage because as an author I’m interested in writing Young Adult fiction, and some of the greatest Young Adult fiction writers in the country will all be in L.A. on the YA stage. I want to hit the fiction panel on the “Social Novel” with Rachel Kushner, Jonathan Lethem, and Marisa Silver in conversation with David Ulin, the L.A. Times’ book editor—that’s going to be insane! I’m also curious about the “Hollywood Tales” history panel.

On Sunday, I’m amazed the day starts with the U.S.C. Trojan marching band, so I want get there early for that. Jamaica Kincaid in conversation with L.A. writer Hector Tobar sounds amazing, who is an incredible writer in his own right and he’s talking to one of the world’s most provocative writers—this will be a great featured event. Finally, the “Guns in America” panel is such a timely topic and I’m a big fan of Erwin Chemerinsky, who is an interesting thinker and a dean at the U.C.I. law school.

You’re an expert at this festival… Any tips for attendees?

Locke: Finding an out-of-the-way bathroom—away from the crowds is key. Also, to avoid lines, I think there’s some convenient stores around the U.S.C. campus that sell sandwiches for an easy lunch. Take public transportation—there’s no reason not to take the train to U.S.C. Also, if you plan to buy a lot of books like me, then bring one of those wheely things people take to Farmers Markets so you don’t break your back carrying around your load of books.

The days are jam-packed with events, but what about the evenings? What do the writers do after they leave the U.S.C. campus?

Locke: The L.A. Times Book Prize ceremony on Friday night is a big deal. But people are still talking about last year’s Book Drop Bash! I made so many connections with new people at the Young Literati’s Bash last year, and I’m a co-host of the event this year, which is at the downtown Central Library on Saturday night. It’s so fitting for everyone to gather there to continue the celebrations.

Stay Up With This Is Your Library

On Saturday, March 2, the doors of the downtown Central Library will stay open later than usual for the seventh installment of “This is Your Library,” the Library Foundation’s series of live late-night-style talk shows. The upcoming episode will feature punk legend Exene Cervenka; actor, writer and producer Mike White of HBO’s Enlightened; author and Los Angeles Times journalist Héctor Tobar; and City Librarian John Szabo, all in conversation with host Justin Veach, the Foundation’s Director of New Initiatives. What might they be discussing? Here’s a quick rundown of some of the guests’ work to get you ready for your library after-hours. Purchase tickets for the event, which will also include music by dublab djs, food by Mas Malo, a post-show concert featuring the psychedelic sounds of Feeding People, and more.

Exene Cervenka is an American singer, songwriter, artist, and activist. Together with John Doe and guitarist Billy Zoom, they formed the seminal Los Angeles punk band X. Exene has covered a lot of artistic territory over the years: publishing poetry, prose, and art books; exhibiting her collages in museums and galleries; recording and touring with her other bands. Watch a performance below.



Mike White
 is an award-winning writer, director, actor and producer. His writing credits range from the indie black comedies Chuck and Buck, The Good Girl, and Year of the Dog to main-stream comedy hits School of Rock and Nacho Libre. His TV credits include the short-lived but critically praised Freaks and Geeks and Pasadena. He also twice competed in the Emmy-winning television show The Amazing Race with his father, Mel. The second season of White’s Golden Globe-winning HBO television series Enlightened premiered this January, starring Laura Dern and White (also the series co-creator). Listen to White talk to Terry Gross on Fresh Air about Enlightened here and flashback to the hilarious trailer of Chuck and Buck below.

Héctor Tobar has worked as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times for nearly twenty years. He shared a Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s coverage of the 1992 riots, and then served as the national Latino Affairs correspondent, the Buenos Aires bureau chief, and the Mexico City bureau chief. Héctor currently serves as a book critic for the paper, is the author of three books, including most recently, The Barbarian Nurseries. Listen to his interview with Michael Silverblatt of Bookworm here and his interview with Karen Grigsby Bates of NPR’s Morning Edition here. And of course, get lost in the history of Los Angeles as you browse his many columns for the Los Angeles Times.

John F. Szabo is the City Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, which serves over four million people—the largest population of any library in the United States—through its Central Library, 72 neighborhood branches, and website at www.lapl.org. Szabo has more than 20 years of leadership experience in public libraries and is a champion for innovative library services that address critical community needs in areas including health disparities, workforce development, adult literacy, school readiness and emergent literacy for preschoolers.  Read the Los Angeles Times’ take on John Szabo’s appointment to City Librarian.

Feeding People, a band of teenagers making some of the heaviest psychedelic around, have just released their latest album Island Universe from Innovative Leisure. Watch their newest music video below.

Feeding People will be presented in collaboration with Spaceland Productions.

We hope you’ll stay up with us for This is Your Library!

Young Literati Raise a Glass and Awareness for the Los Angeles Public Library

If the idea of roaming about a library after hours with a glass of champagne and a donut sounds like a dream, then the Young Literati’s Fifth Annual Toast may have been a dream come true. Last Saturday night, some of the most spirited supporters of the Library Foundation gathered at the Central Library to celebrate the Los Angeles Public Library, and to “bridge the divide” by raising funds for new technology in the branch libraries.

After kicking-off the party in the Rotunda, where there was not one, but two seesaws for partygoers to embrace the library as their playground, guests moved into the Getty Gallery for readings and performances by an all-star lineup. Rachel Small, chair of the Young Literati, welcomed guests into the sacred space of the library, along with Justin Veach, director of New Initiatives, who confessed he was an evangelist for the “holy library” or did he mean “wholly library,” the one place in our society that is free and open to all. New City Librarian John Szabo thanked supporters, and joked about the irreverent feeling of the night, but quickly noted that libraries are not just houses for print books, but are where our community comes together.

“I love the way molecules collide in a library,” said graffiti artist Shepard Fairey, who is an honorary chair of the Young Literati along with his wife Amanda, before reading from The Catcher in the Rye. The readers were asked to select a work that had special meaning to them, and Fairey prefaced his obvious connection to the outsider protagonist Holden Caulfield by describing how libraries influenced his philosophy of art making by giving him free access to art books growing up, a lifeline for a struggling artist. Later Moby shared a similar sentiment before he read from The Futurist Manifesto by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, a work he discovered in his high school library. The extremist manifesto shocked the young Moby, a great great great nephew of Herman Melville, and opened up a world of non-conventional thinking for the musician. Moby and Shepard Fairey, proud Los Angeles Public Library cardholders.

Artist/filmmaker/author Miranda July performed an exercise she usually reserves for private—to overcome a creative block she reads random words from the dictionary for insight. After hilariously self-diagnosing herself as “demonic,” she also performed the exercise on the energetic comedian Jack Black, whose suitable word choice was “throb.” Black later returned to the stage to read from a book by Jack Black, not himself, but an odd adventure story from the 20s, which in further coincidences included a reference to the library. At the end of the night, Black serenaded the late night crowd with a lullaby, bringing his wife Tanya Haden, a professional singer and cellist to the stage, sending off everyone on a literal high note.

Jack Black and Miranda July read their futures from the dictionary.

Interested in becoming a member of the Young Literati? Learn more.

All photos by Rick Mendoza.

Book Drop BASH! is a Smash

The Young Literati capped off the LA Times Festival of Books with an inaugural celebration at the Central Library. From DJ’ing in the Children’s Room, to cocktails and cakes in the Rotunda, to book swapping in the Getty Gallery, authors and Library Foundation supporters gathered after hours to raise their glasses to the literary life of Los Angeles.

Authors Meghan Daum, Janet Fitch, Dwayne Moser, and Young Literati Director Justin Veach

Engaging with the community has always been core to the public library’s mission, and we want to thank everyone who came out to show their support for the Los Angeles Public Library.

Rachel Resnick, Laurie Ochoa, Jerry Stahl, Jervey Tervalon
Lisa Firestone and Caspar von Winterfeldt

 

Trevor Small and Young Literati Chair Rachel Small (right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In continuous operation since 1872 and with 72 neighborhood branches (from Venice Beach to Boyle Heights, San Pedro to Van Nuys), the Los Angeles Public Library provides each and every Angeleno (regardless of race, class, age, gender, sexual orientation, religiousor political belief) with free access to information and ideas that challenge and inspire, from Aristotle to Slavoj Zizek.

Upcoming This is Your Library guest Lol Tolhurst, Melissa Richardson Banks, and Justin Veach

If you’d care to cast your vote for the importance of public libraries by supporting our work on behalf of the Los Angeles Public Library we hope you’ll consider becoming a member of the Young Literati or joining the Library Associates.

Special thanks to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books for embracing the BASH! as our media sponsor and to our literary partners Black Clock, Goodreads, Granta, Literary Death Match, Los Angeles Review of Books, Rare Bird Lit, Rattling Wall, Slake, and Zyzzyva for contributing to the Book Drop portion of the evening. Thanks also goes to downtown’s Semi-Sweet Bakery for providing some mighty tasty desserts, to Lisa Firestone and Firestone Vineyards for keeping the wine flowing, and to dublab dj’s for providing us with the soundtrack for the evening as well as a series of live performances by Anenon, Contact Field Orchestra, and Gifted & Blessed.

Last Call to After-Party at the LA Times Festival of Books

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is gearing up for a jam-packed literary weekend, but the festivities won’t stop when T.C. Boyle and Judy Blume leave the stage. The Library Foundation’s Young Literati is thrilled to keep the festivities going into the wee hours this Saturday night as host of this year’s “go-to” after-party of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. If you want to rub elbows with your favorite authors, weed your personal library, swap books, and party at the historic downtown Central Library, then become a member of the Young Literati and receive two complimentary tickets to The Book Drop BASH! 

It’s a win-win-! Join Young Literati to become a vanguard of the Library Foundation’s mission to raise awareness and support for the library, and get bashed. The Book Drop Bash is exclusive for members of the Young Literati and their guests, and participating Festival authors.

 

The evening will feature a bookswap, so bring books, take books. Leftover books at the end of the evening will be donated to the Library Store where they’ll be sold to benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. To take advantage of this special offer, please contact Justin Veach, Director of New Initiatives at 213.228.7326 or justinveach@lfla.org by Friday, April 20th at 5:00 pm. Or click here to learn more about the Young Literati.

Book Drop Bash
, Central Library, downtown, Saturday, April 21 at 8:30 pm.