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Información en español

The Library Foundation and Los Angeles Public Library present a very special day-long, city-wide celebration of language, as part of the Hollywood is a Verb: Los Angeles Tackles the Oxford English Dictionary project.

Join us on Saturday, March 19 at Central Library for A Very L.A. Spelling Bee, an unprecedented dual language English and Spanish spelling bee taking place in the Mark Taper Auditorium. During this unique event, participants of all ages (12+) will have the opportunity to compete in either or both languages while attendees experience live interpretation. As the competition heats up, guests throughout Central Library will also enjoy a dictionary-themed puppet show, word games, poetry and dictionary readings, and a host of language-based activities in both Spanish and English.

For those who can’t make it downtown, activities celebrating words, language, and the Oxford English Dictionary will take place across the branch libraries, as part of the city-wide Day of the Dictionary (Día del diccionario).

A Very L.A. Spelling Bee will be hosted by our Word Expert in Residence, Gustavo Arellano, editor of OC Weekly, lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University – Fullerton, and writer of the nationally-syndicated column, “¡Ask a Mexican!”

A Very L.A. Spelling Bee will take place at  2:30pm and will last 1-2 hours.

If you would like to compete in A Very L.A. Spelling Bee, please send an email to [email protected] and include the following information:

  • What language(s) you would like to participate in: Spanish, English, or both
  • What age group you are in: Youth (12-17) or Adult (18+)
  • A phone number where we can reach you that day.
  • How many guests (friends or family) will be joining you. Your guests do not need to RSVP separately. Limit 4.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to make a reservation?
    Reservations are recommended, as our programs often fill to capacity. Priority is given to reserved guests. Reservations are for attendance only; if you would like to compete, please review the instructions above.
  • Can I attend even if I don’t have a reservation?
    Yes! We often have space available to accommodate walk-up guests without advanced reservations. Check our stand-by policy for more information.
  • Where does A Very LA Spelling Bee take place?
    At the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium. There will also be additional language-based activities going on throughout the Central Library and at participating Branch Libraries.
  • Where should I park for A Very LA Spelling Bee?
    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.
  • Reservation Policy for Free Programs
    As this event is free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at the start of each program.
  • Standby Policy
    Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted based on availability.
  • Canceling a Reservation
    If you are unable to use your reservation, please email [email protected]