The Library Foundation of Los Angeles provides critical support to the Los Angeles Public Library resulting in free programs, resources, and services available to the millions of adults, children, and youth in Los Angeles. Through fundraising, advocacy, and innovative programs, the Library Foundation strengthens the Los Angeles Public Library and promotes greater awareness of its valuable resources.
The Los Angeles Public Library has served our community since 1872. As an independent fundraising organization, the Library Foundation closely partners with all 73 Los Angeles Public Library locations to enhance the resources and services offered to Angelenos. Working to complement the City’s responsibility to fund the Library, the Foundation has raised nearly $125 million. From funding literacy programs to equipping libraries with the latest technology, we are dedicated to keeping the Library open and thriving for generations to come.
In 1986, the city of Los Angeles came together to overcome the devastating arson fires that nearly destroyed the Central Library. Corporate and community leaders along with thousands of volunteers campaigned to replace the more than 400,000 destroyed volumes. One of those leaders included Chairman and CEO of ARCO Lodwrick M. Cook, who was so inspired by the community’s outpouring to “Save the Books,” that he created a private partnership along with civic leaders to further the development of the library. Out of this successful model of partnership, the Library Foundation was established in 1992 to raise private sector support to benefit one of the city’s most valued public resources.
After rebuilding and expanding the Central Library, Angelenos continue to show their commitment to libraries. In 2011, when the City faced its worst financial crisis, the Library lost 30 percent of its staff and service was cut to only five days a week for the first time in history. Once again, the community rallied to overwhelmingly pass Measure L to restore library funds and service hours. As a result, it has already restored service on Mondays and two evenings a week at all 73 libraries, and in January 2014 the return of Sunday library service came one year ahead of the schedule promised to voters, ensuring that critical resources will be available to the people who depend on the Los Angeles Public Library the most. Click here for updates on Measure L.