Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

This Monday, January 18, we will all pause to remember the legacy of Dr. King’s life and work. Since being signed into law in 1983, this national holiday was envisioned to be “a day on, not a day off,” by bringing the community together in a day of service or celebration. Although the Library will be closed in observance of the holiday this Monday, the Library will still be “on” as there are many ways you can use its tools and resources to learn more about Dr. King this week and beyond.



Look back at a few incredible moments from the Los Angeles Public Library’s photo collection and how Martin Luther King, Jr. impacted our city. Pictured above, Martin Luther King speaks to a crowd of 4,500 on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, where he called for students to join a “Domestic Freedom Corps” to work in 120 counties across the Deep South to help increase the number of registered African American voters.


The Central Library is one of only 50 sites across the United States to host Changing America, a traveling exhibition exploring the historical context of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 1963 March on Washington through an incredible collection of photographs. Free and open to the public through January 29 at Central Library’s Getty Gallery, the traveling exhibition is sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History, in collaboration with the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Los Angeles Public Library has also supplemented the exhibit with images from its Shades of L.A. and Rolland Curtis Collections, capturing a peek at the everyday lives of African American communities in the first half of the 20th century, after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and leading up to the March on Washington.

Also, to mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, Los Angeles Public Library is hosting a program series called Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle. Developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the series uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. Upcoming events include a panel on Freedom Riders led by Dr. Lisbeth Gant-Britton of UCLA at the Palms – Rancho Park Branch Library on January 30. Check out the full schedule of free film screenings at several library branches here.

Other branches will host special film screenings in observance of MLK Day this week, including a special screening that features King campaigning to secure equal voting rights on Thursday, January 14 from 3:30 to 5:30 pm at the Alma Reaves Woods – Watts Branch Library.

Or, take home a book or DVD from the Library’s extensive collection for your holiday. Director Ava Duvernay’s epic film Selma is available at many branches throughout the city.


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