Library service for the community was established some time before 1914 in the Lorena Street School. The Stephenson Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library opened in 1914 on Stephenson Avenue (renamed Whittier Boulevard in 1925) in rented quarters.
The present building, renamed Robert Louis Stevenson, opened February 1, 1927, as the third LAPL branch serving the Boyle Heights community. In 1987, the branch building was entered into the National Register of Historic Places. Damage from the October 1, 1987 Whittier Narrows Earthquake caused the closure of the building.
It reopened in temporary quarters on July 28, 1988. The rededication of the renovated historic building was held on July 3, 1991.
Photographs from the Los Angeles Public Library Security Pacific National Bank Historic Photograph Collection.