Angelenos have always been very active in their love and support of the Los Angeles Public Library, but 2015 stood out as a banner year. Many of last year’s programs rose to unprecedented levels of success with record numbers of participants taking part in the educational and cultural programs, resources, and services of the Los Angeles Public Library. General Membership and Young Literati Membership of the Library Foundation are both at an all time high. The Library Foundation also launched a new website over the summer, making it easier than ever before to get involved in our work to benefit the Library. Before we look ahead to what will be an exciting new year, here’s a look back at some of the diverse activities supported by the Library Foundation in 2015.
ALOUD kicked-off a new year of timely programming that would showcase a slate of distinguished voices, including 2015 National Book Award winners Ta-Nehisi Coates and Adam Johnson, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, beloved storyteller Judy Blume, revered author Salman Rushdie, and more. In January, ALOUD hosted L.A.-filmophile and comedian Patton Oswalt in a hilarious conversation about his obsession with movies.
The Young Literati, along with Honorary Chair Samantha Hanks, hosted its first-ever Young Literati Family Day. The youngest of the young Library supporters gathered at Central Library for a a magical morning of books, crafts, photo shoots, face painting, story time, food, and all around fun. Families piled into the Children’s Library for an uproarious reading of Dinosaurs Vs. Libraries by comedian and actor Paul Scheer. The event was such a success, the second annual Young Literati Family Day took place in December.
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. With the help of Chair Junot Díaz, the annual Stay Home and Read a Book Ball raised $109,656 – a new high for the campaign. Save the date for next year’s Ball to take place on March 6 with Chair Judy Blume, who visited ALOUD last June.
After authors and booklovers strolled the lawns of USC for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books last April, the Fourth Annual Book Drop Bash at Central Library was the official after-party of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, exclusively for Library Foundation Members and Los Angeles Times Festival Books authors.
First Lady Michelle Obama presented the Los Angeles Public Library with this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service on behalf of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Celebrating extraordinary and innovating approaches to public service, this award is the nation’s highest honor given each year to five libraries and five museums for service to the community.
The homegrown, genre-defying, GRAMMY-winning band Ozomatli launched the Los Angeles Public Library’s Summer Fun program by releasing a new song and music video. The first-ever theme song in this program’s 80+ year history motivated kids to crack the books and engage in innovative ways with storytelling.
The Library Foundation and the Los Angeles Public Library collaborated on one of this year’s signature projects, “To Live and Dine in L.A..” Bringing to light the Library’s vast collection of more than 9,000 menus dating from 1875 to the present, “To Live and Dine in L.A.,” kicked off with a new book by project curator and author Josh Kun, a special exhibition at Central Library, and a range of public programs with local food experts, including chefs Roy Choi and Cynthia Hawkins, urban gardener Ron Finley, and more.
The many programs surrounding “To Live and Dine in L.A.” continued to span a range of themes and locations across the city, including “Lost & Found at the Movies: Film to Table” featuring host John Nein, Food Critic Jonathan Gold, and Filmmaker Laura Gabbert, and “To Live and Dine in L.A.: A Live Mixtape” at The Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
As thousands of students headed back to school, the Library Foundation increased its support of innovative programs empowering students. From the Cybernaut program expanding to 32 neighborhood branches, to the updating and adding of more Student Zones across the city, to increasing the number of Live Homework Help tutoring sessions, students were equipped with the resources and tools they need to succeed in school.
Over 800 guests gathered in 47 homes across Los Angeles to raise $1.2 million dollars for the Los Angeles Public Library. The Literary Feasts hosted by The Council of the Library Foundation brought together the most generous supporters of the Library Foundation with celebrated authors such as A. Scott Berg, Michael Connelly, Jim Newton, Maria Semple, Mona Simpson, and Kenneth Turan, among others for a one-of-a-kind evening.
The ALOUD series hosted iconic poet, artist, musician, and National Book Award-winning author Patti Smith at The Orpheum Theatre. This sold-out show will go down as one of ALOUD’s most well attended programs ever.
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. It’s not too late to pick-up a holiday gift at The Library Store at Central Library–but shop now as the Store will close in January for a very exciting re-design.
Thanks to all of our supporters for joining us throughout the year and for making these invaluable experiences available to all. Happy New Year from the Library Foundation!
If you are not a Member already, please consider becoming a Library Foundation Member today to take part in these special events.