The Los Angeles Public Library serves the largest and most diverse population in the United States. The library’s vast service area of 468 square miles is home to four million people and more than 220 languages. Despite the city’s size and diversity, the Central Library and 72 branches each reflect and celebrate the unique qualities of the communities they serve. Together, these libraries provide a level of social, educational, and cultural services unmatched by any other public institution in the city.
The Los Angeles Public Library is the first library in the nation to offer adults an accredited online high school diploma and career certificate. It has created a nationally recognized citizenship program to help the area’s 700,000 eligible residents attain citizenship. It’s giving the largest unbanked population in the U.S. the resources they need to take control of their finances. It’s working with community organizations to feed school children during the summer, screen adults for hypertension, and address other health disparities in L.A.’s neediest communities.
This year, the library faced the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which led to all its physical facilities closing on March 13, 2020 upon the “Safer at Home” order by the City of Los Angeles. In response, the library pivoted to redesign its website to “Library At Home,” realign its resources, services and programs to a virtual platform, and increase access to digital content and online programming as well as to make preparations for “Library To Go” to launch at the start of the new fiscal year.
The library is proud of its successes in overcoming the challenging circumstances created by the pandemic and its work in meeting the needs of all people. The 73 library locations were visited more than 10.8 million times, and more than 16.2 million books and other items were borrowed, including e-media resources. Additionally, the library’s online resources were visited more than 11.4 million times through its website at lapl.org.
By any measure—magnitude, ambition, creativity, innovation, and results—the Los Angeles Public Library has succeeded in empowering individuals, delivering innovative community-based services and serving as the place for creative lifelong learning. It has reasserted the power of the public library and its role as an essential force for positive community change in the 21st century.
By The Numbers: Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020
The Los Angeles Public Library succeeds in empowering individuals, delivering innovative community-based services and engaging all ages in lifelong learning. This year, the library faced the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which led to all its physical facilities closing on March 13, 2020 upon the “Safer at Home” order by the City of Los Angeles. In response, the library pivoted to redesign its website to “Library At Home,” realign its resources, services and programs to a virtual platform, and increase access to digital content and online programming as well as to make preparations for “Library To Go” to launch at the start of the new fiscal year.
Visits to the 73 Libraries
- 10.8 million
- 2.5 million
- 7,237,345 million
New Americans Initiative
- First public library to partner with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for immigrants
- 483 citizenship programs
- 2,253 people served
Career Online High School
- First public library to offer adults the opportunity to earn their high school diploma online for free
- 418 students graduated since 2014
- 1,329 programs including free flu shots, eye examinations with free glasses and insurance assistance
- 17,728 people served
- 276 financial literacy events
- 3,850 people attended
- 2,283 individuals and families who received free income tax services
- Six libraries offer monthly resources and services to help the homeless transition to supported living
- Seventh library added in November 2019
- 3,311 people served (in 8 months)
- 11,446,412 million
- 16,282,884 million
- Digital content provided by Freegal, Hoopla, Kanopy, OverDrive and more
- 557,746 e-books
- 191,843 e-audiobooks
- 10,189 e-videos
Children & Teens
- 6,611 programs including ACT/SAT practice tests, career conversations and homework help
- 54,202 online tutoring sessions
- 151,179 people served
Read Baby Read
- 2,818 kits provided to parents through partner organizations
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics)
- 707 program including robotics, coding and circuitry
- 24,443 people served
Job and Career Center
- WorkSource Center resources and services
- 1,808 people served
- 17 programs including housing and food resources, health care assistance and employment opportunities
- 146 people served