Celebrating the Los Angeles Public Library: From #LibraryGivingDay to National Library Week!

Fueling Dreams through Life-Changing Services at the Los Angeles Public Library 

Last month, you helped us celebrate the life-changing work of the Los Angeles Public Library – and we cannot thank you enough for your support! From Library Giving Day to National Library Week, during the month of April, we featured stories of librarians who are making a difference, invited you to share your favorite library memories, and provided a way for Angelenos to show how much they value the Los Angeles Public Library and everything it offers. Here is what library lovers had to say on Library Giving Day and during National Library Week: 

April 3, 2024 marked the sixth annual Library Giving Day, a national day of generosity where library lovers across the country give back to the library systems that welcome, serve, educate, and inspire individuals at all stages of life. We are thrilled to share that your generosity on Library Giving Day helped raise more than $15,000 for the Los Angeles Public Library this year!  

National Library Week followed, from April 8-12, which served as an excellent reminder that for 150 years, the Los Angeles Public Library has been a trusted and valued resource for millions of Angelenos. From early literacy programs for young children to tutoring and college prep support for students, cultural and educational programs for adults, and outreach and services for our neighbors experiencing homelessness, the Los Angeles Public Library works to strengthen communities and transform lives every day. 

Take a look back on some of the highlights we featured last month, from honoring cultural traditions with Yoko Hata, Children’s Librarian at the Little Tokyo Branch Library, to sharing the work of Cybernauts at the Mar Vista Branch Library

Fostering Community through Passion and the Art of Japanese Flower Arranging  

Children’s Librarian, Yoko Hata (far right), with her students at Ikebana for Youth class.

For Yoko Hata, Children’s Librarian at the Little Tokyo Branch, cultural appreciation that inspires a strong imagination is the most important outcome of her work. Yoko discovered the Little Tokyo Branch Library shortly after immigrating to the United States from Japan as an adult. Yoko has always loved libraries, particularly their ability to grow community by offering programs and services to broaden perspectives and promote compassion. Yoko started volunteering with Los Angeles Public Library which inspired a love for librarianship, leading to her appointment as a children’s librarian just a few years later.

“My joy is in helping others, just as I was helped. Libraries should be a place where people can find a community, like I did when I first came to America.”

– Yoko Hata, Children’s Librarian at the Little Tokyo Branch Library

Yoko now offers programs for children and teens in both Japanese and English, and hosts workshops like the one pictured above, where participants learn Ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arranging. In her work as a children’s librarian, Yoko’s goal is to help keep culture alive in the stacks of the Library and the hearts of the next generation of Angelenos and help them feel a sense of fulfillment and to learn about a variety of cultures from an early age.

Lifelong Learning at the Los Angeles Public Library

LAPL Cybernaut Ramsey with a patron at the Mar Vista Branch Library.

If there is one word that could summarize Ramsey Abuhamad’s experience as a Cybernaut, it would be “community.” Cybernauts are trained computer aides that offer technology assistance, computer support, and mobile device support at 37 Los Angeles Public Library locations and online. From helping Library patrons access the LAPL’s e-media resources like Libby and Kanopy, to teaching basic computer and digital skills like how to set up an email account or apply for a job, Cybernauts bridge the digital divide by providing invaluable tech-related services to patrons across the city.

Cybernauts are available to help all patrons in need of technological assistance, and last year, provided tens of thousands of individual support sessions, as well as small group trainings. Additionally, Cybernaut services are focused at Los Angeles Public Library locations in 90% low-income neighborhoods, to uplift and best meet the needs of Los Angeles communities. 

I love being a Cybernaut. It is not just about fixing technical glitches or providing information; it is about empowering individuals to embrace technology, fostering connections, and bridging the gap between generations.

–  Ramsey Abuhamad, Cybernaut at the Mar Vista Branch Library

Services like this are essential for our communities, and every day, Angelenos turn to the Los Angeles Public Library to access these free resources to improve their lives, build new skills, and participate more fully in society. 

As a senior citizen himself, Ramsey notes that since he started working as a Cybernaut in June 2022, the most rewarding part of his role is giving back to his community and helping patrons by utilizing the experience he gained while working in technology throughout his career. Being a Cybernaut, Ramsey said, centers around aiding patrons with the ever-changing technology challenges most senior citizens face.” 

If you didn’t get a chance to contribute last month, it’s not too late! Join hundreds of Angelenos who have supported the programs and services at the Los Angeles Public Library by saying thank you with a gift of $50, $75, $150, or more to ensure that the Library continues to be a dynamic and accessible resource for all who seek community, connection, and inspiration.  

Visit LFLA.org/LGD24 today to make a donation in support of the
Los Angeles Public Library
. Thank you for your ongoing support and generosity! 

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