LA County Library
CountryUnited States
Reference to legal mandateCounty Free Library Act
LocationDowney, Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates33°55′40″N 118°09′41″W / 33.92778°N 118.16139°W / 33.92778; -118.16139Coordinates: 33°55′40″N 118°09′41″W / 33.92778°N 118.16139°W / 33.92778; -118.16139
Criteria for collectionCounty residents
Access and use
Population served3,375,417
Other information
BudgetUS$131,063,244 (2015/16)[1]
DirectorSkye Patrick, County Librarian
Staff1,483 (2010)[1]
References: [2]
Maywood Cesar Chavez Library
Maywood Cesar Chavez Library
West Hollywood Library
West Hollywood Library
The original Pico Rivera Library, rebuilt around 2012–13
The original Pico Rivera Library, rebuilt around 2012–13

LA County Library is one of the largest public library systems in the United States[3] which serves residents living in 49 of the 88 incorporated cities of Los Angeles County, California. United States, and those living in unincorporated areas resulting in a service area extending over 3,000 square miles (7,800 km2).[4] LA County Library serves the surrounding regions to the city of Los Angeles, not be confused with the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) which serves areas within the city of Los Angeles.

History and politics

On February 25, 1911, California enacted the County Free Library Law, by which all county governments were authorized to establish a "county free library" to serve all areas of the county where cities and towns had not already established free public libraries.[5] This led to the establishment of the Los Angeles County Free Library, later to become the Los Angeles County Public Library system of branches. Circa 1914, the collection was kept on the “10th floor of the Hall of Records, North Broadway and Franklin Streets.”[6]

The library system, headquartered in Downey, California, is overseen by the Library Commission of 20 appointed members who report on administration, operation, and service to the County Board of Supervisors who operate County Library as a special fund department.[7]

Skye Patrick was appointed County Librarian on February 1, 2016.[8]

LA County Library was a finalist for the IMLS National Medal in 2018 and 2019.[9][10]

LA County Library won the 2018 Marketer of the Year Award,[11] the 2019 Librarian of the Year Award for Skye Patrick,[12] and the 2019 Library of the Year Award. All three awards were from Library Journal and this was the first time a single organization held all three awards at the same time.[13]

Services and resources

Clifton M. Brakensiek Library
Clifton M. Brakensiek Library

The library provides many resources, including literacy services and programs for families and children.[14]

The library system offers consumer health information under CHIPS (Consumer Health Information Program and Services).



  1. ^ a b "Statistics County of Los Angeles Public Library". Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Skye Patrick (2017). "Statistical Information Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2016". LA County Library. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  3. ^ "ALA Library Fact Sheet 22 - The Nation's Largest Libraries". American Library Association. September 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  4. ^ "Statistics | County of Los Angeles Public Library". Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  5. ^ County Free Library Law, Cal. Stats., 39th reg. sess., 1911, ch. 68, pp. 80-85.
  6. ^ Standard Guide to Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Panama-California Exposition. Press Association. 1914.
  7. ^ "Public Records". County of Los Angeles Public Library. 2009. Archived from the original on April 26, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  8. ^ "L.A. County chooses new librarian". Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service". Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  10. ^ "2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service". Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  11. ^ "Past Winners". Library Journal. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  12. ^ III, John N. Berry (December 28, 2018). "Skye Patrick, LJ Librarian of the Year". Library Journal. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  13. ^ III, John N. Berry. "LA County Library Is Library of the Year 2019". Library Journal.
  14. ^ Murray, Stuart A. P. “The Library: An Illustrated History.” New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing, 2012, p. 263.

Further reading

Media related to Los Angeles County Library at Wikimedia Commons