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FREE Docent Tours of Central Library


Come downtown and visit Los Angeles Public Library's state-of-the-art Central Library. Enjoy the art and architecture of the 1926 Bertram Goodhue Building with its distinctive sphinxes and rooftop pyramid. Wander through the high-tech, 1993 Tom Bradley Wing, designed by architect Norman Pfeiffer, and gaze at the 8-story atrium with its whimsical chandeliers. Learn about the library's comprehensive book, magazine, audio and videotape collections as well as its extensive network of informational databases. Free docent tours are given daily. Call 213-228-7168 or send an e-mail to for more information.

FREE Walk-in Tours

Daily Walk-In Tours of the Central Library last approximately one hour. No reservations are necessary for groups of six or less. The tours leave from the front of the Library Store in the main lobby accessible via the Fifth Street, Hope Street, and Flower Street entrances. Tour times are:

Monday - Friday 12:30 p.m.
Saturday  11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
Sunday 2:00 p.m.

Saturday only 12:30 p.m. - Art-in-the-Garden Tour

If these times are not convenient, please print this Self-Guided Tour (pdf) to make your visit to the Central Library more enjoyable, or schedule an arranged tour at your convenience, during library hours, by calling 213-228-7168.

Docent leading a free tour.

FREE Tours & Programs for Elementary Schools

Elementary schools are invited to make appointments to visit Central Library's Children's Literature Department on:

Thursdays and Fridays at 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m.

The visit includes a thirty minute tour of Central Library and a thirty minute program in the Children's Literature Department. Following the program, students are free to browse for books and check out materials. Check out of materials may add an additional 45 minutes to the visit.

For classes to receive library cards and check out materials on the day of the visit, library card applications must be mailed and processed by the library a minimum of 3 weeks before the visit. One library card is used at the Central Library and all of the 73 branches of the Los Angeles Public Library system. If students already have a Los Angeles Public Library card, they will not be issued another one. If a student has lost a card and would like another, please note this on the application.

To make an appointment for the tour and program, contact 213-228-7168. Our Coordinator will make contact with teachers. If possible, please provide two (2) telephone numbers and an e-mail address. Once an appointment has been made, a confirmation letter regarding the visit will be mailed from the Children's Literature Department. If there are any questions, please call 213-228-7168.

FREE Young Adult Tours

Middle and high school classes are also invited to visit the Central Library. Teen'Scape, a special area in the Central Library just for students ages 12 to 18, offers a wide variety of specially selected books and magazines, ranging from light reading to career and college-selection information and "Hot Topics." Computers are available for homework, research and fun.

The approximately one-hour tour will introduce the resources of Central Library to students and show them the wide range of information at their command, including internet access. To arrange a tour, please call 213-228-7168.


Library tours highlighting the language resources at the Central Library are available for groups for whom English is their second language. Tours are given in English and can be booked by calling the Docent Office at 213-228-7168.

FREE Arranged Tours and the Maguire Gardens

Arranged Tours for groups of any number can be reserved by calling the Docent Office at 213-228-7168. Reserved tours last approximately one hour and include the art and architecture of both the historic 1926 Bertram Goodhue Building and the 1993 Tom Bradley Wing.

Tours of the Maguire Gardens, located directly outside the Flower Street entrance, can also be requested. This adds approximately thirty minutes to the total tour time.

Please note that arranged  tours meet at times different from those of the daily walk-in tours. Tours can also be tailored to the interests of your group, using the many resources of Central Library's collections.

All walk-in tours meet in front of The Library Store in the main lobby. All reserved tours meet in the garden at the Flower Street entrance.

The Docents look forward to seeing you soon!