Catch the Line-up of Young Literati Toasters

The Young Literati’s Seventh Annual Toast is around the corner, and an exciting line-up of L.A.’s best and brightest has just been announced to take the stage to celebrate the Los Angeles Public Library. On Saturday, March 28, actor Colin Hanks, actress Gillian Jacobs, comedian Jason Mantzoukas, DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad, filmmaker Jason Reitman, actress Jenny Slate, and actress Mae Whitman will read selections of literature from the Library’s vast collections before a special musical performance from GRAMMY-winning L.A. band La Santa Cecilia and DJ sets by artist Shepard Fairey. Please join us for this special benefit and the Young Literati’s biggest event of the year! Learn more about how to attend here, and to ready you to raise your glass for public libraries, here’s a few fun highlights featuring the evening’s special guests.

From the “best Latin rock band,” La Santa Cecilia’s music video “Cumbia Morada”

Official trailer for Jenny Slate’s subversively funny Obvious Child

Jason Mantzoukas’s unhinged visit to Conan

Mae Whitman now in theaters near you

The Seventh Annual Toast
An evening celebrating and supporting the Los Angeles Public Library
Saturday, March 28 at 8PM
Learn More

Raise Your Glass For Libraries at the Young Literati Seventh Annual Toast

On Saturday, March 28, raise your glass with the Library Foundation’s Young Literati for the Seventh Annual Toast to benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Celebrating the delicious and diverse literary history of L.A., the gathering will feature L.A’s best and brightest—including a DJ set by artist and activist Shepard Fairey and lively readings from the Library’s vast collections by actress Gillian Jacobs (Community, Girls), comedian Jason Mantzoukas (The League), and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest), and more.

Held at The LINE Hotel in Koreatown, the Young Literati’s biggest event of the year will be curated by philanthropist, entrepreneur, and Young Literati Chair Amanda Fairey; her husband, Shepard Fairey (pictured below); chef Roy Choi; writer and director Jason Reitman (pictured below); and Golden Globe-winning actress Kate Hudson. Actress Busy Philipps (pictured below) and producer Samantha Hanks will serve as Honorary Chairs of the event, with Philipps serving as the evening’s emcee.

Past Toasts have featured such notable names as Jack Black, Russell Brand, Sarah Silverman, Miranda July, Nick Kroll, Henry Rollins, Tig Notaro, John Densmore, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and others.

Proceeds from the Seventh Annual Toast will support the Los Angeles Public Library’s Full STEAM Ahead program, a fun, integrated science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) series that sparks the imagination, and develops perseverance, problem-solving, and self-confidence through workshops and events for children, teens, and adults.

Tickets for the Toast are $175 per person ($125 for Young Literati Members, $400 for VIP packages) and can be purchased online at

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Young Literati Summer Social Heats Up

The kids may be going back to school, but the summer is not over for the Young Literati. This Saturday, the Young Literati are invited to gather in Santa Monica for a proper send-off to the season of long sunsets and frosty cocktails.

Raising their glasses to this past year of incredible support for the Los Angeles Public Library, Members will also get a sneak peek of what’s on the horizon for this dedicated group of engaged and informed Angelenos who believe in and celebrate the principles that public libraries stand for—free and equal access to information and ideas that challenge and inspire. From live music to pop-up poetry, here’s a taste of what this special night will bring:

Performances by L.A.-based soul band John Macy and the Heavy Hand.


Pop-up poetry by the Poetry Society of Los Angeles, featuring personalized poetry composed on-the-spot by Young Literati Members.Madam Rose and Butless the ButlerMadam Rose and Butless the Butler from the Poetry Society of Los Angeles. Photo by Matt Miller.


Craft cocktails and sophisticated summer fare at the Wilshire Restaurant. Guests are welcome to stay for the restaurant’s nightclub after the party!


Click here to learn about becoming a Member of the Young Literati, and click here for more information about attending the Summer Social.


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

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 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.